Signature Positiv-A-Tea Blend from Positiv-A-Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Positiv-A-Tea

Product Description:

100% Organic
USDA Approved
Naturally Decaffeinated

Hibiscus, Lemon Balm, Rose Petals,
Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Lavender

Taster’s Review:

I was a little confused when I read the packaging – the list of ingredients on the card that came with this sample of tea doesn’t include cinnamon, but I was certain it was in there.  I could smell it and taste it.  I was a little worried that somehow my olfactory nerve and taste buds were off.  After visiting the website I see that there is, indeed, cinnamon in the blend.

So at least my nose and tongue aren’t so off after all.  But I still worried that this tisane would be very hibiscus-y since it was the first ingredient listed.  But really, the hibiscus isn’t very dominant here.  It adds some much needed body (without it, I think this would be a dismally thin cuppa) and color, as well as just a hint of flavor that enhances the citrus-y tones of the cup.

That being said, as this tisane cools the hibiscus flavor does start to become more aggressive – so if you like the taste of hibiscus, drink this iced.  If you’re not a fan of hibiscus, I suggest drinking it hot!

The primary flavors of this cup are the citrus-y tones (most notably, orange) and the cinnamon, and it makes for a very nice, warmly spiced orange-y tisane.  I can taste the rose and the lavender also, but, these are not particularly strong in this cup.  The lemon balm adds just a hint of lemon-y flavor, but without lemon-y pucker.  It is a very charming balance of tastes.

A beautiful herbal blend that is just as good for you as it is delicious to drink!  Cheers!


Crimson Nectar from Tea Forté

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tea Forté

Company Description:

A vibrant, fruity, hibiscus-based herbal with a naturally sweet and surprisingly buttery finish. A limited edition holiday tea.

Taster’s Review:

Of the five teas that are included in the Winter Collection, this one is my least favorite.  It’s the hibiscus.  I just think that there is way too much of it in this blend, and I’m not particularly fond of hibiscus.

That being said, this tea isn’t that bad.  Or, at least, not as bad as I thought it would be.  The trick with this one is to not let it steep too long (because then the hibiscus becomes very thick and tart), serve it cold and to use an ample dollop of honey to sweeten it.  (Or perhaps you might use this tisane to make a holiday “punch” – just add some ginger ale!)

The honey serves two purposes, really.  It not only curbs some of the tartness of the hibiscus, but it also adds some definition to the overall cup.  With the honey in there, I can taste the lovely apple and citrus notes.

And then there is the buttery finish.  Yes, I get some tart that lingers on the tongue, but, there is also a sweet, creamy buttery taste in the finish … which nicely offsets the tartness.  It’s really quite pleasant, and perhaps the one thing that keeps me sipping this tisane.

As I said, this is not my favorite tisane and probably not one that I’d buy on its own, but it is certainly not so bad that I would choose not to buy a collection just because it happens to be part of that collection.  And I know that there are those people who have a greater appreciation for tart teas … this is the tea for you!

Skin from Byron Bay Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Byron Bay Tea Company

Company Description:

Beauty begins on the inside, which makes our SKIN tea the perfect primer. The zesty blend of Lemongrass and Ginger is complemented by a purifying punch of Peppermint. So for a naturally healthy glow, and to sustain your internal vigor, sip BBTC SKIN.

Taster’s Review:

OK, I admit it.  Herbal blends scare me.  Just a little bit.  They do!

That’s because even with the finest ingredients, herbal tisanes can go wrong.  They can taste medicine-y.  Or they can just have some funky off-putting taste.  So, needless to say, I was scared to try this blend from Byron Bay Tea Company.

But, this tastes really terrific!  If this is a skin regime, count me in!  I would be happy to drink this on a daily basis.

This doesn’t taste medicine-y or otherwise off-putting.  The peppermint is strong, but not overpowering… and interestingly enough, this tisane doesn’t come off as “minty” exactly, although it does have a crisp and clean mint aftertaste.

I am also enjoying the way the ginger and lemongrass work together in this blend.  The ginger offers just a hint of peppery flavor, while the sweet citrus-y tones of the lemongrass cancel out some of the spicier notes of the ginger. There is also a nice peppery accent in the finish that I find rather enjoyable.

But, I think my favorite part of this blend is the very subtle taste of rose.  It is a nice touch.  It is so soft and sweet.  Very nice, indeed.

None of the flavors here are overwhelming… instead, they are very harmonious with one another.  It has a pleasant, well-rounded taste.  It is a very soothing, relaxing cup – especially nice at the end of the day!

Chill Pill from Compass Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Compass Teas

Company Description:

Need to take a Chill Pill to calm you down?  This infusion is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and the wonderful soothing benefits of high quality herbs. You’ll love the orange / chamomile flavor that’s sure to calm you down on your stressful days, and help slip you off into sweet dreams at night.

Taster’s Review:

This is a very pleasant blend from Compass Teas.  If you’re like me, you cringe at the thought of chamomile.  As I’ve confessed before, I used to really dislike chamomile, but, I have developed an appreciation for it.  I still don’t like the chamomile dust that is sometimes found in substandard tea bags from the local grocery store, but, in whole leaf blends like this one from Compass Teas, the whole chamomile blossoms are quite agreeable.

In fact, if I hadn’t read the ingredients and saw the chamomile blossoms in the blend when I measured it into my smart tea maker, I wouldn’t have known that this is a chamomile tisane!  The flavor of the chamomile is quite soft and melds almost seamlessly with the citrus flavors of this blend.

The overall flavor of this tea is quite mild and in keeping with the “Chill Pill” kind of attitude.  I previously reviewed this tea, and I am finding it every bit as enjoyable now as I once did.

This is a nice alternative to those who are looking for a soothing, relaxing tisane before bedtime but think they don’t like chamomile!

Bergamot Sage from Rishi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Company Description:

The sublime character of sage is wonderfully balanced and masterfully combined with the citrus notes of lemon thyme and bergamot, which play beautifully with overtones of fresh pine, wintergreen and peppermint. Bergamot Sage is an original mood boosting and mentally clarifying blend, fit for anytime of day.

Taster’s Review:

This is surprisingly good.  It’s definitely the best caffeine-free bergamot tisane that I’ve come across in a long time.

The dry leaf has an appealing bergamot and herb scent to it.  As it brews, I notice that the herbal notes intensify a little bit, but it still smells amazing.  If Glade sold this fragrance as a room freshener, I’d buy it!

The flavor reminds me a bit of a green tea Earl Grey.  The bergamot flavor is strong but does not taste soapy.  I think that the herbs in this tea tone the bergamot just enough so that it can be strong without tasting like Aunt Gertrude’s perfume.

I can taste the sage too, and it gives it an earthy quality and a well-rounded taste.  The sage gives this a more masculine taste, as much of the floral essence of the bergamot is offset by the herb.

I really like this one a lot, in fact, this is one I could see myself drinking regularly.  I like that it has a very calming, grounding effect, and it does help clear the mind (and tonight, with my daughter having a sleep-over, I definitely need some clarity!)

Bravo, Rishi Tea!

Cinna*Plum Tea from American Tea Room

Tea Type: Herbal Tisane

Where To Buy: American Tea Room

Product Description:

A delightfully warming organic caffeine free blend of cinnamon, plum, currants and licorice root. The herbal infusion is organic naturally caffeine free. Cinn*Plum is American Tea Room’s Holiday Tea for 2010.

Tasters Review:

Dry Cinna*Plum Tea from American Tea Room smells like Plum and Cinnamon and MAYBE a little licorice – but not too much licorice to the nose.

When I finished infusing this – I saw the color and freaked because I assumed it had Hibiscus in it…BUT…it doesn’t!   I give this Extra Points for that on my personal preference meter, indeed!

This was quite smoother than I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong – I am thankful for that – as I am not overly fond of intense tarty or fruity teas and tisanes, usually!

I could taste Plum and maybe the currants, too…they’re very wine-like.  The cinnamon isn’t an intense cinnamon type taste – I can smell it more than taste it…and the licorice is pretty much the same way…together they knock down the tartiness of the fruit and it works out VERY nice!!!  This is very warming and comforting and fruity and fun but not overly tart and I like that.

Eventho American Tea Room markets this as their Holiday Tea for 2010 – I think it would be lovely iced, as well!

Silky Spice from Simpson & Vail

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Spice Melangé

Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail

Company Description:

This fabulously heady blend of hibiscus flowers, cinnamon, cloves, sarsaparilla, coconut, allspice, and orange blossoms with vanilla and cinnamon flavors brews to a deep red cup. Definitely a palate pleaser! The taste is slightly spicy, with a creamy finish and a lingering spiciness that is uniquely refreshing.

Taster’s Review:

While I had high hopes for this tea, I was also a bit hesitant to try it.  All of the ingredients sound GREAT… except the hibiscus!  So, here, with a little apprehension, I am about to taste this new herbal/spice melangé offering from Simpson & Vail.

First reaction:  Interesting.  The hibiscus does offer its trademark tartness to the cup, as well as a bit of body to what might otherwise be a somewhat thin tisane.  That being said, I’m still of the opinion that this would be better without the hibiscus.

But, lets consider the tea as it is.  I really like the spicy notes of this tea.  It isn’t a “hot” spicy, but more of a gently warm spice combination with a lot of character to it.  The cinnamon, cloves, and allspice give a nice, well-rounded spice taste that is neither too hot nor abundantly sweet.

What I really find interesting about this blend is the sarsaparilla.  It adds a really intriguing note to the cup.  The vanilla is soft and adds a sweet creaminess to the tisane, as does the coconut. There is a also faint citrus note from the orange blossoms.

I think I prefer this hot, because some of the most interesting flavors become a bit more elusive as the tisane cools.  Try it with a drizzle of honey – I love how it brings out the sarsaparilla! 

Here is a recipe for Silky Spice Hot Grog, found on the Simpson & Vail website:

Simmer 1 cup of apple cider and 2 Tbsp Silky Spice Hibiscus Herbal Tea for 10 minutes.
Strain out the herbs.
Sprinkle cinnamon and garnish with orange slices and a cinnamon stick.
Makes 1 serving.

Blissful Blueberry from Talbott Teas

Tea Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where To Buy: Talbott Teas

Product Description:

Still warm from the sun, the blueberries melt in your mouth with an abundance of fresh-picked flavor. Comforting notes of apple and black currants unfold in this antioxidant-rich herbal blend.

All natural premium ingredients: Blueberry fruit, apple pieces, rosehips, hibiscus, cornflower petals, black currant leaf, natural blueberry and strawberry flavors.

Tasters Review:

The guys over at Talbott Teas are still “on Cloud Nine” from being on Oprah’s Favorite Things Yesterday and here at SororiTEA Sisters we thought we would continue to celebrate with more Talbott Tea Reviews this week!

Today I would like to talk about Blissful Blueberry from Talbott Teas.  There are many reasons I would like to chat about this one, actually.  One being the name connection…BLISSful.  BLISS is not only part of my screen name but also part of my real name and I use that play on words quite a bit.  I have a Craft Blog called Blissful Place and it’s located HERE.

I was intrigued by this tisane because of the blueberries, too!

I remember the first time I sampled this tisane from Talbott Teas…I’ll admit…I was afraid!  The post infusion color is what ‘got me’.  The color was so vibrant I KNEW their was Hibiscus in it and if any of you know me you know my troubled relationship with hibiscus!  I was thinking it was going to be Hibiscus and NOTHING else!  BUT I was thankfully wrong!  This is a wonderful mixture of fruit, folks!  Mostly Blueberry BUT the strawberry and apple flavors are noticeable to the tongue as well!  It’s quite tart and fruity but mostly from the actual fruit and not as much from the hibiscus.   I can tell there is hibiscus in there but not nearly as much as I assumed!

For those who aren’t crazy about Hibiscus – try what I did…under infuse!  It does make a difference!  AND…I have found this one I enjoy COLD or ICED more than the Hot Cup Equivalent!  I really do think it’s the Blueberries!  They make this work ICED!  It’s VERY Nice!

Just another offering from our friends at Talbott Teas who are still celebrating their products being featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things yesterday!  Continued success to you!

Better Morning Blend from Two Leaves and a Bud

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Two Leaves and a Bud

Company Description:

It’s time to pry your eyelids open again – try doing it with an energizing combination of lemongrass and peppermint, while a citrus aroma perks up your nose. Stinging nettle and rose hips give this herbal tea a great taste. If you decide you’re a morning person, it’ll be our little secret.

Taster’s Review:

As I mentioned on Steepster, I had my doubts about this tea before brewing it.  I couldn’t imagine that an herbal tea would make a good “morning” blend.  Night-time, sure!  Even late afternoon.  But morning?  Yeah, I had my doubts.

But, I am doubting this one no more!  While it is caffeine-free, it is very invigorating!  The lemongrass is light and citrusy – offering hints of lemon and lime.  The peppermint tastes crisp and clean, but is not overwhelming.

Overall, the blend is very well-balanced.  No one ingredient overpowers the others, each seems to work in synergy with each other to provide an excellent, naturally caffeine free way to start the day.

This would make an excellent morning tisane for those who need to reduce their caffeine intake – or really, anyone who is just looking for a lighter tasting morning tea.  It has a very bright and vibrant quality that may just make you forget that you need caffeine to start the day.

Tulsi Harmony from TeaFrog

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal & Rooibos

Where to Buy:  TeaFrog

Company Description:

Tulsi Herb, Rooibos, Ginger Bits, Cinnamon, Lemon Verbena, Chamomile Blossoms, Lavender, Rose Petals

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This is good!  Surprisingly good!

Why surprising?  Well, here’s the thing – I ordered this because it sounded different.  I liked the name.  Tulsi Harmony. But the truth of the matter is, I have only tried a couple of tulsi teas/tisanes, and while I enjoyed them quite a bit, tulsi still scares me just a little bit.

I don’t know why it scares me, it just does.

Well, hopefully this tisane will put my fears to rest and let me celebrate tulsi!  Because this is so good.

The tulsi is the strongest flavor here – and it lends a somewhat spicy character to the cup that is similar to cloves.  The ginger is very soft here, offering mere hints of its characteristic peppery nature.  The cinnamon is a little stronger, and it is a sweet yet spicy cinnamon.  These spicy notes are not over-the-top or in-your-face spicy, rather, they are quite … harmonious!

The rooibos is one flavor that is lacking in the cup.  I am not getting a lot of rooibos rather distinctive woodsy/nutty flavor.  But, as I’m not a huge fan of the woodsy flavor of rooibos, I am not missing it.

I can, however, distinguish the other flavors here – the chamomile, the lavender, the rose and the lemon verbena.  These aren’t strong contributions to the overall cup, but, I can taste subtle hints of each ingredient.  And I think that is what I like best about this tisane.  It has a complexity that is rather uncommon in tisanes.  It offers an interesting and delicious taste.  I’m very glad I decided to try this today!

Dandylicious from Byron Bay Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Byron Bay Tea Company

Company Description:

Rich, full-flavoured and caffeine-free, this specialty blend is a cleansing coffee substitute. The roasted wattleseed makes it a little nutty, while the cinnamon adds a spicy sweetness. Ideal for ‘Soy Dandelion Lattés’ (LSDs) plus perfectly palatable on its own.

Taster’s Review:

As I sit here with the cup in front of me, I can smell the aroma from the cup – and it really does have a very coffee-like scent. When I bring the cup up to my nose for closer olfactory “inspection” the fragrance of the cinnamon becomes more distinguishable, but there is still a very coffee-like essence to it.

The flavor is a little … different.  It isn’t bad, but it is rather unusual, and I can see how the flavor might be a bit off-putting to some.  This blend’s saving grace is the cinnamon, which adds a very pleasing spicy sweetness.

I don’t think I’ve ever tried a dandelion tea before, or if I have, I wasn’t aware of it.  So I don’t really know what that tastes like.  I mean, when I was a kid, I used to munch on dandelion stems, and I occasionally enjoy a spring mix salad that has dandelion greens in it, but that pretty much sums up my culinary experience with dandelion.

And then there is the wattleseed.  I’ve only tried one other tea blend with Wattleseed in it (at least only one other to my knowledge!) and it was Byron Bay’s Chai.

My lack of experience with two-thirds of these ingredients is quite apparent; however, I will do my best to review the teas based upon what I taste.  I taste cinnamon (as I mentioned previously) – its sweet and warm spice tones are very apparent in this cup.

There is a herbaceous kind of background note that is somewhat bitter and reminds me a bit of cooked dark leafy greens, so I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that this flavor comes from the dandelion.   As odd as this bitterness is, I am finding it quite interesting and a delicious addition to the cup.  There is also a pleasing malty flavor.  I can also taste a nutty flavor to the cup.  All of these interesting notes lend themselves well to the coffee-like translation of this tisane.

I really liked this herbal tea.  It is quite different from any other tea or tisane that I’ve tried thus far, and this uniqueness alone sets it apart and makes it rather enjoyable.


Digestive Helper from Georgia Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Georgia Tea Co.

Company Description:

Ingredients: camomile blossoms, peppermint leaves, yarrow, valerian roots, marigold blossoms, lemon balm leaves.

Taster’s Review:

I received this tea from a friend a couple of months ago, but I held on to it until I felt like I could use a cup of Digestive Helper.  Well, tonight is that night.  We just returned home from a nice restaurant and I indulged in some delicious yet very rich food.  Digestive Helper to the rescue!

Whenever I encounter these types of “functional” herb blends, I am always just a little bit (or sometimes a lot) leery, because I fear that the blend will not taste very good.  Fortunately, this is a functional tea that not only helps with digestive distress but is also tasty.

This tisane has a very smooth, mild flavor, and it doesn’t taste definitively like any one particular herb, but more like a melangé of many herbs… which is what this is.  The peppermint is the most prominent flavor, but again, this isn’t a distinctive peppermint taste, but more like a minty background note that has melded with other flavors.  There is also a citrus-y note to it.

The overall flavor is quite pleasant and it has a very soothing effect.  My stomach feels a bit calmer now after having consumed a cup of it, and I’m very appreciative of that.

This is a good herbal tisane to have on hand – because you never know when you might need it!

Fruit Blend Tea from Sahara’s Supplies

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Sahara’s Supplies

Company’s Description:

A pleasantly fruity and minty blend of herbal ingredients. Delicious and caffeine-free!

Description: Fruit Blend Tea
Origin: United States, House Blend
Uses: Tea

Taster’s Review:

This tea presents a challenge to me, because I’m not really crazy about it.  It’s not necessarily a bad tea though – it’s just not my favorite tea.

Let’s start with the obvious (as far as my palate is concerned).  This blend has a lot of hibiscus in it.  Hibiscus is not my favorite herb in teas because it offers a very tart flavor and has a rather thick body, so if there is a lot of hibiscus in an herbal blend, it can brew up to be rather thick and somewhat syrupy.

I know that there are a lot of people out there who love hibiscus.  I’m just not one of them.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy some blends with hibiscus in them, but, I am just of the opinion that it needs to be added lightly.  Too much hibiscus is well… just too much.

And for me, this blend has a little too much, and it interferes a little bit with the other flavors.  I can taste the fruit flavors of lemon and orange – and these flavors are quite pleasant, and I think they would be even better if there were less hibiscus in this blend.  The hibiscus tends to highlight the sour qualities of the citrus fruits, and much of the subtle sweetness seems lost.

My favorite part of this tea is the peppermint.  I really do like how it seems to be peeking out of the other herbs in this blend.  It’s like a little tease of peppermint, and it does entice me to keep drinking, if for no other reason than that little hint of peppermint.

This makes a much better iced tea than a hot tea, and I do recommend a drizzle of honey or agave nectar or some sugar to help curb some of the tartness of this unless you really like tart.

As I said at the start, this is not a bad tea, it is just not my favorite tea.  I know that my palate tends to be overly sensitive when it comes to sour/tart flavors.  So, I do encourage you to try it for yourself… and if you like it, please stop by and let us know – I’d love to hear from you!

Mote Beach Tea from Local Coffee & Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Local Coffee & Tea

Company Description:

Mote Beach Tea is a combination of fruits and herbs including coconut, apple, hibiscus, rosehips and pineapple. Mote Beach Tea contains no sugar and is naturally caffeine free.

Mote Beach Tea was created to honor of the marine research conducted at Mote Marine Laboratory. This beach inspired loose leaf tea is a tisane and contains no true tea, camellia sinensis. Mote Beach Tea is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Wonderful hot as a calming bedtime drink, or iced as a popsicle in the summer.

Mote Beach Tea is available in distinctive blue bags that are re-sealable to maintain freshness. On the back of each package is an overview of Mote Marine Laboratory.

Taster’s Review:


I’m not a particular fan of sour teas, I like a little bit of tartness to a fruit tea or tisane such as this one, but when it is really tart, it is a little off-putting.  This tisane is almost too much tart.  Almost.

That being said, this tea isn’t ONLY tart… there are some other delicious things to be said about this tisane as well.  In particular, I am really enjoying the combination of the pineapple and coconut.  It lends a lovely tropical flavor to this blend.

The tartness comes from hibiscus, which also offers a bit of thickness to the liquor, giving it a rather enjoyable texture.  The apple also brings a little bit of tartness to the party, but I am also noticing a backdrop of apple-y sweetness.  Nice!

As I continue to sip this tea, I find that I like it better.  It is especially nice when it cools down, because it tames some of the tartness.  The coconut is sweet and smooth, and I am really finding it to be particularly delicious here.  It is a bit like a tropical nectar!

A couple of things to note about this blend:  1)  I added a dollop of honey to the brewed tisane and found that this brought the tartness level down to a palatable level for me.  Like I said, I’m not big on tart.   BUT, if you like tart/sour teas, you should taste this one before sweetening it.  2)  If you want to tame the tartness without having to add a lot of sweetener, try steeping it for only 5 – 6 minutes instead of the suggested 8 – 10 minutes.  This should be long enough to extract the flavors from the ingredients.

Polari-Tea Organic from Starwest Botanicals

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Starwest Botanicals

Company Description:

Complex herb tea with licorice and fennel to add sweetness and warming, as well as ginger for hint of spice.

Ingredients: Organic fennel, organic flax, organic fenugreek, organic licorice and organic peppermint.

Taster’s Review:

After reading the ingredient list I was fairly confident that I’d like this blend.  After all, I love licorice, fennel and peppermint.

But, I have to be honest.  I’m not really crazy about the blend.  The licorice is strong – as is the fennel.  The peppermint offers an interesting crisp freshness to these sharp flavors, but, it’s just – somehow – not enough.   It’s not bad… it’s just not my favorite cuppa.

So to improve the flavor, I tried drinking it with a thin slice of lemon.  This was really very nice.  It would also be good with a couple of chunks of candied ginger.

And even though it isn’t my favorite tea, I think this would be a good tea to drink if suffering from a sore throat (or a toothache, since licorice root is very good for tooth ailments), because it is very soothing and it offers a good amount of warmth, even when sipping it as an iced beverage.  It would also be quite comforting to drink on a chilly evening because it really warms you from the inside out.

Wild Bitter Tea (Tianshan Lushui) from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This is a rare and expensive tea grown in Zhejiang province. In Chinese medical journals the Tianshan Lushui is known to lower cholesterols and help with weight loss. This tea produces a green color liquid. The better its quality is, the greener the color. This tea has traditionally been used as a diet tea in palaces by the empress and princesses of ancient China. Because this tea is very concentrated, we suggest using one teaspoon of tealeaves for every 500ml of water.

Taster’s Review:

These tiny leaves are so much fun to watch as they brew.  When I first watched them, the first thought that came into my head is that this is “instant gratification for tea watchers” – because it unfurls much like a gunpowder or pearl, but much faster.  It is kind of like watching a gunpowder tea unfurl in fast forward.

I was a little afraid to taste this tea, to be honest.  When the name of the tea is “bitter” – I get a little worried.  But, really, this is “bitter” in a good way.  Kind of like dandelion greens.  And that is a really good description of this tea, because when they unfurl, the damp leaves look like baby dandelion greens!  Really tiny, baby dandelion greens!

This is actually quite good.  It has a savory quality that I’m finding very rewarding.  The key is to not over brew it, I found that with a short brew time (I brewed it for about 1 1/2 minutes in hot but not boiling water) the flavor is lightly bitter, with an interesting sweet background note.  It’s a very crisp, bright, herbal taste that I’m finding rather energizing.  Vibrant!

I also recommend not using too much leaf when you brew this, because the flavor is quite intense.  Too much leaf will result in a cup that is quite bitter, and because the bitter is so overwhelming, it is difficult to enjoy the other flavors that this tea possesses.   A lighter infusion allows the many dimensions of this leaf to come alive in the teacup!

By now, you might be wondering what “Tianshan Lushui” is – is it a tea (as in Camellia Sinensis) or is it something else?  Well, I was not entirely sure if it came from the Camellia Sinensis plant, so I contacted Enjoying Tea for more information.  I was very impressed with the speed in which they responded!

They informed me that it is in fact an herb and not from the Camellia Sinensis plant.  I also did a little research of my own, and found that this herb is also often called “small-leaf bitter tea.”  It is often utilized to help cool the body temperature, as well as help to lower cholesterol and improve blood circulation.  It’s also supposed to be good for the skin!  So while it’s not a true tea, it is a tasty herb and very good for you!  Cheers!

Organic Better Rest Blend from Two Leaves and a Bud

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Two Leaves and a Bud

Company Description:

If the sandman has passed you by, try this relaxing blend of chamomile, peppermint, hops and valerian. Lemon balm and rose hips make this herbal tea a soothing and healthy part of your bedtime ritual. Sip, sip, saw logs!

  • Finish: Slightly Sweet
  • Caffeine: NONE   Light   Moderate
  • Top note: Honey
  • Middle Note: Smooth
  • Taster’s Review:

    As I reviewed the ingredients for this tea (Lemongrass, peppermint, chamomile, orange peel, lemon balm, fennel, ginger, rose hips, anise, valerian, and hops), a couple of things stood out to me.

    First of all, this blend contains hops, and this is the first time that I’ve noticed hops being part of a tea blend – other than my own Meadow Nocturne blend (which is no longer available).   Hops is an herb that can be used to help one relax, and it is also useful in aiding digestion.  There are probably other teas out there that use hops, I just am not familiar with them.

    The second thing I noticed is that this is not only a blend that is useful in encouraging a good night’s rest, but can also be quite useful in helping soothe an upset stomach.  Not only are hops useful in this area, but peppermint and ginger are also good for digestive issues.  This would make an excellent bedtime tea for someone who might have acid reflux!

    Finally, I noticed that the blend contains fennel and anise – two of my favorite herbs.  I love the licorice-y taste of these herbs, and I like how the licorice flavor comes out in this blend.  It isn’t a strong, dominate presence, but, it is just enough to give this tea a deliciously different taste from the other “bedtime” herbal teas.

    And this IS a deliciously different bedtime herbal blend.  There is no one flavor or herb that seems to stand out above the others.  All seem to work in delightful synergy to create a very smooth, lightly sweet tasting cup that offers a sense of tranquility for not only the mind but also the body.

    I can taste gentle notes of peppermint, ginger, citrus, and licorice.  All of these flavors are tied together with a sweet, honey essence.  It is not an overly sweet flavor – it is itself rather calm and gentle, but because of the honey note, it doesn’t need sweetener – a nice bonus!  This is truly an EXCELLENT bedtime blend.

    Be sure to stop by the all-new website for Two Leaves and a Bud.  Just like this blend – it’s positively lovely!

    Lemon Grass from Enjoying Tea

    Lemongrass Plant - Photo from Wikipedia

    Tea Information:

    Leaf Type:  Herbal

    Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

    Company Description:

    This perennial herb, native to Southeast Asia is noted for its lemony scent and ginger undertones. In Thailand, lemongrass is believed to calm the nerves and restore the spirit. The lemony flavor of lemongrass is used to flavor everything from curry to Thai milk shakes. Lemongrass is delicious brewed on its own or enjoyed with your favorite tea.

    Taster’s Review:

    This Lemon Grass has such a pleasant, bright flavor.  Like the name of this herb suggests, it has a lemony taste – but what I like about lemongrass over a lemon is that lemongrass doesn’t have the same tangy/tart/pucker-ish character of a lemon.  Instead, it is like the sweeter side of a lemon – fresh, vibrant, and appealing.  It also has a delicate buttery taste to it that I really like.

    Over the past few months, I have really become a fan of this lemongrass from Enjoying Tea.  It has that light, lemony flavor that I really enjoy.  It is soothing when I have a sore throat; restorative when I feel drained; and refreshing when I want a hot beverage but desire something a little lighter than tea.  It also blends so well with other teas – I like to add a little to unflavored white tea or honeybush for a little extra flavor.

    Lemongrass is also excellent served hot or iced.  I especially like it hot on chilly evenings.  It is naturally caffeine free and very uplifting.  For an extra treat, try adding just a little candied ginger to the brewed lemongrass – it sweetens it just a little bit and accents the natural ginger-like undertones of the lemongrass.  Delicious!

    Vermont Maple Tea from Teavana

    Tea Information:

    Leaf Type:  Fruit & Spice Melangé

    Where to Buy:  This tea is no longer available from Teavana

    Company Description:

    This herbal tisane tastes of crisp apples, toasted almonds, and cinnamon all sweetened with a rich natural maple syrup taste. Drink year round to remind yourself of chilly winters around the hearth.

    Taster’s Review:

    I admit that I have a weakness when it comes to maple.  So, naturally, this tisane was very appealing to me.

    The maple flavor here is blended with the flavors of cinnamon and apple and a faint hint of almond.  The combination is truly wonderful.  The cinnamon notes are spicy, but not “red hot” hot – perhaps its the maple that curbs some of the spicier tones of the cinnamon.  The apple offers a sweet smoothness to the overall cup – and it’s a bit like apple cider with a heavy infusion of maple flavor.

    But what is wonderful about it is that even though it is sweet, it is not cloying.  It has a wonderful, warming taste that is truly comforting.

    A friend sent me some of this tea, and as I sit here sipping it, I can’t help but feel a little wistful that it is no longer available.  It is one of the best teas/tisanes I’ve tried from Teavana.

    Digest Tea from Byron Bay Tea Company

    Tea Type: Herbal

    Where To Buy:

    Byron Bay Tea Company

    Product Description:

    A light, refreshing infusion featuring Peppermint, Lemonbalm and Fennel, which has been specially blended for enjoyment before, during or after any meal. Understated, minty and gentle on the stomach. Bon Appetit!

    Ingredients: Peppermint* Chamomile* Fennel* Lemonbalm*

    • Certified organic


    Tasters Review:

    I held off on trying this only because I wanted to save it for a day when and where it was really needed.  A day where my stomach was grumbling and growling.  Last week…I had one of those days!  So – I figured it was time to put this tisane to the test!

    The fennel is oh-so-slight and not over powering! Which is perfect because many teas with fennel in them that I have tried the fennel has been too forward.  This fennel nicely done in this tea/tisane!  The chamomile is also nicely done…I’m not overly fond of Chamomile usually…but this is just the right amount for me!  And the Mint is great! This made my stomach stop growling and it was a pleasant surprise!  I ended up enjoying this tisane quite a bit and I usually don’t get overly excited about herbals – but this was a goodie!

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