What is a dessert tea?
You may imagine dessert teas to be packed with sugar and lacking in flavor, but the opposite is true. What we call a “dessert tea” simply means it has flavors that are reminiscent of desserts and/or pair well with desserts to enhance the experience. They do not have sugar, but if you add your own sweetener, the dessert notes are amplified.
But how do you narrow down what types of desserts you actually like as a tea? I am here to help you break down the different flavor categories of desserts as to how we relate them to tea flavors.
First I will list the flavor and describe the taste profile. And then I will list my top 3 choices for that category. Keep in mind that I will be including some teas in this list that are only available seasonally during the holidays. I didn’t want to make a dessert tea list without including some of the best ones!
I have also included examples of these types of desserts as seen on WDW property to help set the flavor mood.
The 4 Dessert Flavor Categories
- Vanilla / Caramel / Cream
- Chocolate / Brownie / Truffle
- Fruit / Berry / Cobbler
- Chai / Cinnamon / Fresh Baked
1. Vanilla / Caramel / Cream
Welcome to my personal favorite of the dessert categories when it comes to tea, the cream desserts. Think creme brulee, creamy caramel cake, vanilla cupcakes, coconut cream pie, buttery sugar cookies, etc.
Creamy dessert flavors are very popular tea flavors because they mimic what adding milk and sugar does. Teas, especially black tea, are rich in tannins and can be on the bitter side. The creamy dessert flavors perfectly compliment the dryness from the tea.
If you have ever tasted a tea and thought to yourself I wonder what the secret ingredient is? Chances are, the answer is vanilla. As an important ingredient in many baked goodies, vanilla can trick our taste buds into thinking it is a creamy dessert. It transforms into a perfect flavor enhancer.
Creamy Tea Recommendations
Lights on the Bayou is a dessert tea with flavor inspiration from the famous New Orleans dessert, Bananas Foster. This flambéd rum banana dessert as a tea has a very signature creamy taste with an accent of banana. The banana here doubles here as another creamy element as well as the caramelized taste of the rum glaze. Label art is inspired by the fireflies scene in the bayou in Princess and the Frog.
Man Catchin’ Beignets is another dessert tea that hails from New Orleans cuisine. To perfectly capture the essence of Tiana’s specialty beignets, this tea starts with a base of caramel-flavored oolong tea. The roasted oolong tea leaves with caramel really taste like fried pastry dough. And the secret creamy ingredients that bring the whole thing together are a hint of coconut and vanilla. The fun yellow label art is a nod to Tiana featuring some of her cooking tools and the diner cup from Duke’s Cafe. You may also spot some Mickey beignets!
Italy is a seasonal holiday tea from our Epcot inspired collection of dessert teas from around the world. This tea tastes like the Italian Christmas classic, the Pizzelle Cookie. These simple flat cookies are made with a buttery dough pressed flat on a decorative iron. Traditionally they are flavored with aniseed and orange, but in the tea, we also added in a touch of caramel/vanilla to capture the taste of the actual cookie. The resulting tea is light and buttery with an aromatic zesty aroma.
2. Chocolate / Brownie / Truffle
As one of the most popular dessert flavors, chocolate doesn’t need much introduction. However, it is important to note how chocolate flavors come across in tea form. A big mistake you can make with chocolate teas is expecting too much and wanting more of a hot chocolate taste.
When there is a chocolate flavor in a tea or roasted cocoa shell, the flavors are much more subtle. Most of the chocolate notes will come through in the aroma and if you add sweetener, the chocolate taste may become more recognizable. The rich nuttiness and deep fruity notes from the chocolate compliment teas so well.
Chocolate Tea Recommendations
Germany is another seasonal tea from the Epcot Holiday desserts collection. This black tea flavor is inspired by German chocolate-dipped ginger Lebkuchen cookies. The taste is an indulgent mix of chocolate and ginger that really highlights the rich festive cocoa taste.
Ice Scream Inc is a sweet dessert black tea inspired by Monsters Inc. A swirl of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry complete this cute story of friendship. Even with the other flavors, the chocolate is the star here with the vanilla and strawberry as a supportive cast.
Miracle on Main Street is new this year with our seasonal holiday tea collection! It is a caffeine free rooibos blend with chocolate and orange. Similar to the other chocolate teas, the orange here brings the chocolate taste to the front perfectly complimenting its rich roasty taste.
3. Fruit / Berry / Cobbler
Moving to the brighter side of desserts you have the fruit forward creations. Think apple pie, raspberry strudel, peach cobbler, blueberry crumb cake, etc.
The secret to a good fruity dessert tea is combining the fruit taste with a bit of vanilla, almond, or spice. This separates these teas from being simply a ‘fruity’ or ‘berry’ tea. Because of this, these could also double up in the other dessert categories, but the fruit really does set them apart.
Fruit Dessert Tea Recommendations
L’Chaim is a seasonal option from the Epcot holiday dessert teas inspired by the hanukkah dessert, Sufganiyot, or jelly filled donut. It has a black and green tea base combined with tart sweet berry notes of blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, black currants, and raspberries. Sprinkle in a touch of vanilla to bring out the donut taste and you have jammy sweet berry perfection.
Main Street Muffin is a dessert tea that has it all with a bit of vanilla and spice and an incredible blueberry taste. Inspired by the aromas of Main Street USA in Disney World, this green and black tea is blended with vanilla, salted caramel, a touch of cinnamon, and juicy blueberries to mimic the taste of a hot blueberry muffin with a streusel crumble on top.
Evil Queen is a fruit forward blend inspired by Disney’s first villain. Sweet fruity notes of apple, cranberry, pomegranate are blended with cinnamon spice and rolled black tea leaves that mirror the Evil Queen’s dark twisted soul. The touch of spice gives the fruits a pie quality similar to the gooseberry pies Snow White was making.
4. Chai / Cinnamon / Fresh Baked
This final group of desserts are the ones made with our favorite baking spices: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamon, etc. These desserts also happen to have a similar spice taste to chai and these spices are very commonly found in tea. Think cinnamon coffee cake, pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, gingerbread, churros, snickerdoodles, etc.
Cinnamon Dessert Tea Recommendations
Mexico is another Epcot inspired holiday dessert tea tasting of none other than the classic cinnamon churro. To recreate this taste, we mixed the naturally creamy rooibos with cinnamon and vanilla and then added in a bit of almond for a sweet, nutty horchata taste. The tea also has just a touch of hibiscus in the blend as a festive Christmas color accent to the leaves.
Pumpkin King is an obvious choice for this category because this seasonal tea tastes like a pumpkin pie. Black tea combined with cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin create a bold spiced chai-like taste. Label art is inspired by the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas.
Very Merry Christmas Tea is also a seasonal offering and it is truly an incredible spiced desert tea. Luscious black tea mixed with holiday fruits and spices: apple, orange, raisins, cinnamon, cloves and almonds create this festive blend. This tea tastes like sugar, spice, and everything nice! The fruits and almonds give the basic spiced tea more body and dessert quality. On the Christmas sweater label, look for hidden Mickeys!
I am going to go make a cup of L’Chaim now and pair it with a blueberry muffin, because this tea guide is making me hungry! I hope you found this helpful and maybe even introduced you to a tea that you may not have thought to try.
Share with your friends and see what desserts they prefer!