Plum Deluxe: Monthly Tea Club

I am a fan of monthly boxes, especially ones that allow me to try new things. I have seen monthly boxes tea boxes before, but Plum Deluxe is the first one that I’ve seen that is 1) organic, 2) seasonal–there is a special tea club-only blend each month, 3) generous in size, 4) customizable, and 5) affordable.

I was sent the 2-Tea per month subscription to review, with an extra bonus tea. Find out more about what’s included in each month’s shipment and other FAQs at

Continue reading below to learn about the four teas I tried:

52Teas: Coconut Cheesecake Honeybush


Do I really need to say anything else? Maybe just this: DO NOT drag your feet on this one; it is going to go FAST! Ingredients: Honeybush, coconut, natural flavors

Avail­able through: 52Teas | Face­book

Tasting Notes

Jumping back into tea tasting with a good ‘ol #sipdown! The smell of the dry leaf is sweet, roast-y, with hints of caramel. Once steeped for six minutes the smell mellows with just a faint lingering coconut sweetness at the end.

Surprisingly, this tea tastes stronger and sweeter than the smell would suggest. The first hit is of tea–similar in flavor to a weak black tea, blended with rooibos but without the itchiness that I usually associate with it. Where astringency should usually end the sip, instead the taste rolls into toasted coconut with some oil slightly coating the mouth. There is no cheesecake flavor. As it cools the coconut takes a more prominent role, turning the tea sweeter, though there is still no cheesecake.

Delicious sip: organic monks blend 


Laced with enticing caramel and vanilla flavors, this black tea is sure to please the senses. Although flavorful and exotic, it still maintains a smooth and mellow finish, making for an incredible experience that is sure to delight.

Avail­able through: Deli­cious Sip | Face­book

Tasting Notes

The dry leaf has a creamy, sweet, and smooth scent. The wet leaves smell earthy, sweet, floral, strong with vanilla and marzipan.

The brewed liquid is very dark in appearance. The scent is more subdued but still creamy and sweet, reminding me of iced lemon pound cake.

The opening taste is smooth and creamy but not as sweet as the aroma was. The richness finishes with a slight astringency and the flavor of grapes and fresh plums.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.

Coffee & Tea Festival NYC 2015

Last month I traveled to New York City for the 2015 New York Coffee and Tea Festival. This year it was held in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan, which some people griped about but I actually enjoyed. As I get older, I gravitate towards Brooklyn more than Manhattan, but I still love to visit the main city since it is much more accessible.

Apparently the move to Brooklyn was made so that the space would be larger. Unfortunately, I think the venue seemed about the same size. There were still lines and crowding to get to certain areas and at times it was difficult to talk to the vendors themselves. It was also hot inside and there were limited food options. We had learned from our past experience in 2014 and ate before-hand so we would be fueled for tea, coffee, and shopping. We also limited impulse purchases. We walked around and made notes of any vendors we wanted to re-visit so that we wouldn’t have to carry a lot of stuff and so that we could make sure we wouldn’t end up with buyer’s remorse like last time. I think Stephanie ended up with no less than 8 different Taiwanese oolongs because each stall seemed to be better than the last!

I enjoyed seeing some repeat visitors from last year, but missed some (Yezi!! Why weren’t you there?!). I also missed being able to talk to the vendors since I felt rushed due to the crowds and the heat. I was also disappointed because it seemed more “mainstream” this year. There were tea vendors that didn’t know what materials their tea bags were made out of and some vendors that didn’t even sell tea, coffee, or anything related to it.

I still enjoyed myself and am glad that I extended my stay a few days to check out Greenpoint and a new tea bar called teadrunk. Next year I would like to see some smaller, more focused companies and less chains and corporations. Before going, I had cataloged my tea at over 100 different kinds so I tried to be quite choosy with my purchases.

I purchased: The Book of Tea (Second Edition) – Signed, Mount Gray Tea from Damn Fine Tea (a favorite of mine. It’s takes a LOT for me to re-purchase a tea), Owl’s Brew Coco-lada Concentrate, a boutique Da Hong Pao oolong from yu teahouse, and my first gaiwan from Zhen Tea. No one could believe that I went to New York for a tea festival and only bought 2 teas! Stephanie and I split our stash so I also have some Light Tie Guan Yin from FirsdTea and Gao Shang Cha from Silver Needle. I probably would have purchased more if the vendors would have had their items available — some were sold out and some just weren’t selling tea.

I encourage anyone that likes tea or coffee to attend the festival. There were vendors for all levels and even entry-level drinkers. It’s fun to go when it’s a bit quieter (either VIP hour or towards the end of the day) so you can talk to the people themselves more. I know some people went both days so that they could attend some of the seminars and workshops.

Here are some spots that I took more than a few photos at.

Zhen Tea

Damn Fine Tea

Yu Teahouse

Joseph Wesley Teas


Silver Needle Tea Co

My Zhen Tea

Everlasting Tea

Chai Diaries

Waterfall Tea

The Veda Company

Honey & Apothecary



Disclaimer: I was provided press passes to this event

Delicious Sip: Organic Kyoto Cherry Rose


This is a fresh and smooth green Sencha tea with excellent body and depth. The bright cherry and subtle rose flavors give this tea a wildly exotic character unique in its own right. The tea used in this savory blend is grown only from March to April and the quality is clearly tasted in every cup. The Hunan Province is renowned for producing excellent Japanese style green teas and our Organic Kyoto Cherry Rose tea is a prime example. We invite you to brew a cup and taste the difference.

Ingredients: Organic Green Tea, Rose Petals, and Natural Flavors

Available through: Delicious Sip | Facebook

Tasting Notes

Smells: Buttery, sweet like candied flowers.

Taste: Wow. I don’t like floral teas but this tastes great. Like a tea time cake topped with flowers while rolling around in the spring grass outside. It is very smooth and not astringent at all. Not too vegetal or grassy as some green teas can be. The after taste at the back of the throat is reminiscent of lettuce, but very faint.

This is one of the best green teas I’ve tried recently and it is very easy to brew. The rose does not add a perfume or soap taste like I’ve had in the past and it blends well with the green tea. The packaging recommended 3-7 minutes and I brewed it for 3 minutes with slightly cooled 175 degree water.

Flavors: Cake, Dry Grass, Marzipan, Rose, Violet

About Delicious Sip

Delicious Sip Teas are harvested in a three to five week window and the process occurs but once a year then blended in small batches by true tea masters to capture the most subtle flavors. They are organic, fair trade, and socially responsible.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.