Green Mango Peach from Tea Forté

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea & Honeybush

Where to Buy: Tea Forté

Product Description:

Fragrant mangoes and peach scent every cup of our lightly steamed green tea with honeybush and a touch of peppermint.

Taster’s Review:

I received a “single steep” package of this tea along with my KATI tumbler, and before I get too deep into reviewing this tea, I want to say that I just love these single steep packages!  They are pre-measured with just the right amount of tea for my KATI cup.  Armed with the KATI tumbler and some of these single steep packages, a tea lover has just about everything they need to brew a delicious cup of loose leaf tea anywhere they go!  Just add hot water!

Now… on to the tea!  The flavors of mango and peach permeate each sip of this tea.  It is intensely flavored!  The green tea base is able to hold its own though, and isn’t overwhelmed.  I can taste the fresh, light taste of green tea in the background.

Less noticeable is the flavor of the honeybush, although I can taste the honey-like sweetness from it.  The mint in this blend offers a herbaceous, somewhat medicinal taste to the cup that is reminiscent to menthol.  I don’t find this to be off-putting, but I can see how others might.  The flavor doesn’t overpower the cup, and I will say that the mint flavor lends a very nice minty aftertaste to the tea experience.

I like the ginger’s presence in this cup.  It is not too strong, but it adds a nice dimension of flavor and cuts through the sweeter notes of the fruit.  It has a well-rounded taste to it.  A lovely afternoon cuppa!

Sweet Potato Pie Honeybush from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Here is the tea I wanted to create for Thanksgiving, and was then going to include in the 12 Teas of Christmas Sampler. It took me some time to perfect it, but I hope that while it might not be as seasonal as releasing it for Thanksgiving, you will all still find it delicious. Here then, is our Caffeine-free African Honeybush blended with real dried sweet potato bits, cinnamon and natural flavors. ENJOY!

Taster’s Review:

Even though 52Teas is one of my favorite tea companies (definitely in the top three!) I was kind of uncertain about whether or not I would order and try this tisane.

I love sweet potato, but, my experience with sweet potato pie is limited.  I have tried fewer than a handful of sweet potato pie flavored teas, and only one sweet potato pie.  Unfortunately, though, that one sweet potato pie was horrible.  I mean… it was just plain inedible.

But that’s the fault with the baker who decided that the niche he was going to fill was the need for sugar-free/unsweetened sweet potato pies, and I am sorry to say that while the idea may be good … and in someone else’s hands with someone else’s recipe, an unsweetened sweet potato pie might be really tasty.  But, in the hands of this particular baker – not so much.

But I’m getting side-tracked.  This horrible sweet potato pie incident has nothing to do with 52Teas so I decided I’d give this tisane a chance.

And I’m glad I did.  This is really tasty!  The aroma is well-spiced, heavy on the cinnamon and ginger.  But it tastes neither too cinnamon-y nor too ginger-y.  Rather, the spices are more of an accompaniment to the stronger flavor of the sweet potato.  In fact, this tastes a bit like the mashed sweet potatoes that I make for Thanksgiving.

I can also taste a hint of buttery pastry to this and that is what really makes this tea for me.  Even though it is a faint taste, it is so yummy and it keeps me sipping the tea just so that I can experience the flavor of the buttery crust.

This is yet another delicious tisane from 52Teas.  I am very satisfied with it and glad I tried it.  I do recommend adding just a little sweetener to this to bring out some of the flavors.  I used a tiny drizzle of agave nectar and it tasted good, but I think next time, I’ll try a little bit of brown sugar … I think it will be even better!

If the sweet potato pie that I mentioned at the start of this review tasted anything like this, it would have been a winner!

Mona’s South African Honeybush from Ducky Life Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Ducky Life Tea

Product Description:

If you like Rooibos, you’ll love our rarer, richer and sweeter honeybush. This fregrant, health promoting herbal tea know for its calming effects can help with weight loss, cholesterol levels, menopausal symptoms, and more. No Caffeine.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said on several occasions, I am not particularly fond of plain rooibos (although I do enjoy many flavored rooibos and I also like organic rooibos alright).  However, I really like unflavored honeybush.

Because even though the two herbs – rooibos and honeybush – are related, they taste different.  They are both sweet, but the sweetness is different.  In the case of honeybush, the sweetness is more honey-like, whereas with rooibos, the sweetness seems to mimic that of saccharine.  They both have a woody flavor as well as a nutty tone to them, although I find that rooibos is more woody while honeybush is a little more nutty.

This honeybush from Ducky Life Tea is an excellent product:  fresh and full of flavor.  There is a very pleasant nutty flavor to it and even a somewhat malty note that I am enjoying and I don’t remember experiencing with other honeybush teas in the past.

The sweetness is honey-esque (although there are no real surprises there!)  And even though this honeybush is not “flavored” or “blended” – that’s quite alright, because I am finding it flavorful and delicious without anything added.

It doesn’t even need sugar or other sweetener, because of that natural sweetness.  I do recommend, though, that you steep this extra long (at least 6 minutes, the longer the better).  In fact, if you have one, try steeping it in a libre mug.  Place the leaf in the main chamber, add the boiling water, let steep for at least 6 minutes before you begin sipping, and then top the mug with the strainer lid.  This will allow the leaves to continue steeping as you sip.  Honeybush never grows bitter from over-brewing, it just becomes more delicious!

I really enjoyed Mona’s South African Honeybush from Ducky Life Tea.  This is a terrific company that not only delivers quality product, but does so in a fun and exciting way!  (Just place an order and see what I mean!)  They are also prompt to answer customer inquiries and very friendly!

Kind of Blue from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong / Honeybush / Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description:

Take five to enjoy Kind of Blue, an irresistible blueberry Oolong jazzed up with fennel.  Rooibos and Honeybush give blend a smooth finish while the Oolong gives the energizing boost.  Improvise this tea with any meal or have it solo for an out of this world jam!

Taster’s Review:

This is really tasty.  I was a little unsure about it, because I can’t recall trying an Oolong/Rooibos/Honeybush blend before, and I wasn’t sure how the three leaves would work together – but together they create one groovy vibe!

This blend is unusual, but in a very good way.  The Oolong lends its rich flavor to the cup as well as a smooth texture.  The rooibos adds a little nutty flavor to the cup, as does the honeybush, plus there is an underlying note of honey-esque sweetness to the cup which melds very well with the blueberry flavoring.  And every once in a while, just at the start of the sip, I’ll note a very slight hint of smoke.  Just a hint – ever so slight – and one that can be missed when not paying attention.

The blueberry flavor is not terribly strong here, and I really wouldn’t want it to be.  I think it’s perfectly flavored, because a stronger blueberry essence would overwhelm the interesting balance that exists between Oolong, honeybush and rooibos, and I’m really enjoying the flavor and body of the cup just the way it is.  Similarly, the fennel doesn’t add a lot of flavor to the cup – just a kiss of licorice-like taste that rests in the background – but any stronger and it would overpower the blueberry.

This is a sweet tasting tea, but it is a pleasant sweetness – not at all cloying.  It’s really delicious, and very different!  In fact, this is one of the more difficult teas to describe that I’ve tasted, simply because it is so different.  It has so many interesting flavors and textures throughout the sip that it is one that you need to try yourself to fully comprehend what I’m trying to express.  And you really should try it – if for no other reason than it’s unique approach … but I think it’s worth a try because it’s really good!

Also makes an awesome ICED tea!

Watermelon Green Honeybush from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Review:

Our New Tea of the Week for the week of January 10, 2011

This week’s tea of the week is a special treat. Here’s green honeybush with natural watermelon flavors. If the cold weather has you yearning for a taste of summer, here’s your chance. I’m enjoying a cup of this as I write this. The green honeybush base is soft and pleasant with light citrus notes. The watermelon is sweet; I can almost feel the juiciness of it.

This is the last of our green honeybush, so don’t miss out; this will be a limited edition blend!

Taster’s Review:

I am sitting here with my Libre Mug filled with Watermelon Green Honeybush from 52Teas and the aroma is absolutely delightful.  It reminds me of the scent of Watermelon Jolly Ranchers – a smell I’ve loved since childhood.  The smell alone is making me happy that I decided to order this tisane!

So I’m overjoyed by the fact that the flavor of this tea is just as delightful as the fragrance!  This tastes just like fresh, juicy watermelon.  It tastes so much like watermelon that I can almost feel the watermelon juices running down my arm.   YUM!

I haven’t tried too many green honeybush blends, but I am really liking this one.  Honeybush typically has a honey-esque sweetness to it (hence the name), but where the “red” honeybush tends to have a somewhat nutty tone to it, this one has a fresher, lighter taste to it that is somewhat citrus-like and that citrus note really brightens the watermelon flavor.

This tisane is very summer-like to me, so I plan on keeping the rest of this pouch for my summertime ice tea brewing.  As delicious as it is hot, it is perfect as an iced tea.  It is as exhilarating as the fruit itself!

Vanilla Cinnamon Bun from Compass Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Compass Teas

Product Description:

Our most popular tea by far!  Exclusively unique to Compass Tea Company.  Slip on your fuzzy robe and slippers and warm up with this yummy tea version of your favorite dessert.  We suggest sweetening it with Amber Sugar Gems.

A great tasting and natural alternative to drinking decaf tea or coffee.  (Could also be used as a low calorie,  fat free alternative to desserts late at night.)  *Naturally  CAFFEINE FREE

Taster’s Review:

When I first opened the package of this tisane, I was blown away with how good it smelled.  The cinnamon was strong, as was the vanilla, and the combination of these two aromas was postively breathtaking!  It really does smell like cinnamon buns!  YUM!

That’s why I was just a little disappointed by the flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite tasty!  But, I am sitting here, wishing that the flavor was more like the fragrance.  More cinnamon and vanilla, and a little less in the orange flavor.

The flavor of the red and green rooibos together with the honeybush creates a very pleasant tasting base that is honey-sweet with a nice nutty flavor that lends itself well to a baked kind of taste.  It compliments the cinnamon and vanilla flavors and overall, there is a cinnamon bun flavor going on in this cup.

But… why the orange?  It is as though the orange washes away some of the flavor rather than enhances it.

This is a very tasty blend … and yet, disappointing.  I do like the flavors as they are in this tisane, but… I think this tisane could have been so much more that what it is!  It could be a Vanilla Cinnamon Bun flavored tisane, and instead I have a creamy orange spice tisane.  Tasty, but just not what I expected!

On the 11th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Today is Christmas Eve… and I still haven’t finished all the holiday preparations.  I still have presents to buy!

Yeah… I’m not the most organized individual you’re likely to meet.  That’s putting it mildly!

It may not appear so by just reading these words, but … I’m about to have a panic attack!  Good thing I have some tea to help soothe my nerves!

And the tea that I’m enjoying today is …

NEAPOLITAN HONEYBUSH

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Our caffeine-free African Honeybush (If you are still not familiar with honeybush, it is very similar to Rooibos, but a bit sweeter and without the woody aftertaste that rooibos frequently has) blended with organic vanilla beans, organic cacao nibs, freeze-dried strawberry pieces and all natural flavors. This is a real treat hot or iced!

Taster’s Review:

I can’t believe that I haven’t yet written a review for this tea!

Well, no time like the present, eh?  This is a tea that I’ve had on hand for some time now.  I am not going to say its my favorite tisane from 52Teas, because it isn’t, but, I do like it quite a bit!  I think I like it even more now than I did when I first tasted it.

For those of you that have one, I recommend brewing this in a Libre Tea Glass (or similar type vessel).  I put the leaf into the main chamber of the glass, screw on the straining lid, and sip the tisane through the strainer.  This enables me to keep the honeybush in the liquid as I sip it, and the flavor continues to intensify.  This tea just keeps getting better and better the longer it steeps!

After steeping just six minutes, my first few sips were delicious.  I could taste a good combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, together with the somewhat nutty/honey sweet taste of the honeybush.  But now, after continuing to steep some additional 15 or 20 minutes after those first couple of sips, the flavor is even better.  The chocolate – RICH!  The strawberry – SWEET!  The vanilla – CREAMY!  I think I actually like this tisane better than the ice cream after which it was created!

The flavor is really smooth and creamy, just like ice cream.  The only real difference is the temperature and the slightly nutty taste that comes from the honeybush.  I have tasted this tea hot and iced, and it is really tasty either way.  I found it to be very refreshing this past summer when I iced it.  Right now, I’m finding it to be particularly soothing on the nervous tension I’m experiencing due to my shopping dilemma.

This tea is such a wonderful treat!

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