Blue Mist from Simpson and Vail

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Simpson & Vail

Product Description:
Blue Mist is a blend of Jackfruit (a fruit from India with an aroma of banana and pineapple), Apricot and Mango black teas with cornflowers and marigold petals. Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

Tasters Review:

Thought I would step outside my comfort zone with this one. I HATE Bananas!!!! I mean HATE them! When I read this had Jackfruit in it – which is supposed to smell like Pineapple and Bananas – I thought I would try it!  I love Pineapple but not Bananas but I gave it a whirl…

It smells nice…you can tell Mango and Pineapple but there is a little hint of something else which I will ‘chalk up as’ that banana illusion. Nothing is too over the top to make me change facial expressions – like I normal would when smelling bananas – but it does have a different sort of aroma, that is for sure!

It’s VERY dark in color.

It tastes like a HOT tropical smoothie. Not really floral but fruity and not like Pina Colada but truly unique. Almost like a tropical drink with NO Pineapple, Coconut, or Flowers in it…if you can picture that. It’s much different than ANY flavored black I have tried to date. If you are looking for something different this just may be it.

Apricot Kernel Tea from Sanctuary T

Tea Type: Rooibos

Where To Buy: Sanctuary T

Product Description:

The first tea in our Autumn Special Edition Tea of the Week Collection makes its presence known with a strong burst of ripe fruit overtones. The apricot mixed with flower petals and whole almonds makes for the perfect rooibos mix!

Tasters Review:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!  I LOVE apricots!  Ever since I was a toddler!  Yes, I was a weird kid…my favorite foods were dried apricots, lima beans, and fresh sprouts.

I actually bought some dried apricots the other day at the herb store, too!

I think almonds go well with Rooibos!

This smells incredible…both of apricot and almonds!  When I saw that there were HUGE WHOLE Almonds I was VERY impressed!

This infuses a little darker than most Rooibos(es)…I’m excited about that as well!  Plus…there is a hint of floral aroma coming thru too!

Just when I think I can taste more almond than apricot – I then taste more apricot than almond. They seem to flip-flop as I continue to sip!

This is a great tasting FUN flavored Rooibos!  It’s Juicy, Sweet, and Slightly floral.  What a LOVELY group of flavors!  This exceeded my expectations!

White Christmas from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

A black tea blend with the sweet aroma of white chocolate and apricot.

Taster’s Review:

Yesterday, I reviewed a tea called White Christmas from Harney & Sons.  Today, I am reviewing a tea by the same name – and yet, the two are very different teas, indeed!

This tea offers a robust black tea base that is quite invigorating.  It would serve well as a morning tea, or if one is in need of a little afternoon pick-me-up, this tea would fit that bill as well.  There is a bit of astringency to this cup, but it doesn’t overwhelm.  I will say that I steeped this tea for 4 minutes and notes of bitterness were starting to emerge, so I recommend steeping for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes maximum to avoid the bitter notes.  Fortunately, these notes of bitterness were not detracting from the overall deliciousness of the tea.

When I had previously read about this tea, I knew that it was a white chocolate and apricot tea.  But what I smelled when I first opened the pouch, and what I tasted with my first sip was a nutty essence!  At first, I thought my memory must be playing tricks on me and that White Christmas was in fact a nutty flavored tea, and 0ne of the other teas in the holiday sampler was a white chocolate apricot.

But no, as you can read by the company’s product description (above) – this is definitely an apricot and white chocolate blend.  That being said, there is a definite nutty quality to this tea.  That isn’t a bad thing – because I find that it rather compliments the apricot and white tea flavors, and it gives the overall flavor a toasty, baked kind of essence, like fresh baked tea cakes!

The apricot flavor intensifies as I continue to sip on this tea.  It starts out mild, and by about mid-cup, the flavor is much stronger.  The white chocolate is very nice here and provides a very pleasant creamy taste and texture to the cup, with faint notes of sweet chocolate that also intensify as I get closer to the bottom of the cup.

I really like this tea!  I don’t know if this is a tea that Lupicia keeps around all year or not, but, if they do, I highly recommend getting some as soon as you can!  Yum!

On the 4th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Ah… Patience.  As a child, I was often told “patience is a virtue” in response to whatever it was that I wanted and wanted that instant.  I like to think of myself as a patient individual, but I am finding it quite difficult to maintain my composure with these tea samplers from 52Teas.

But, so far, I’ve managed to deal.  I try to keep myself occupied and not to think about that cute little red box.  (The presentation on these sampler packages is fantastic, by the way!)

But, since today has finally arrived… I need wait no longer!  Today’s tea of the day is…

SHERI’S BLEND

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Back when I first started blending teas, before I went into business, I created this amazing, caffeine free blend of red rooibos, apricot pieces, cinnamon and marigold flowers. It was and it remains my wife Sheri’s all time favorite out of everything I’ve created. It also happens to be consistently our number one bestseller at Zoomdweebies.

I also think I got the best comment I’ve ever heard on a tea blend before with regard to this tea. A customer took a sip and exclaimed, “This tastes like Christmas!” I’m not sure where that came from, but I was happy to hear it.

Taster’s Review:

I was so happy when I opened this package this morning and saw that it was rooibos!  I was hoping that it would be a caffeine free blend, because I am a little sleepy and I would very much like to head back to bed for a nap after I get my youngest daughter on the bus this morning, and I didn’t want caffeine to stimulate me.

But I doubt you tuned in here for that information …  Let’s move on to the tea!

This is a tea that I’ve tasted and reviewed previously, but it is one that I’ve been out of for a few months now, and quite frankly, I miss it a lot more than I thought I would!  This is one that has really grown on me.  I liked it just fine from the first time I tried it, but since that time, I have grown rather fond of it.  Is it my favorite from 52Teas?  No.  But, it is an excellent rooibos blend!

The cinnamon and apricot work very well together – so well, in fact, that they pretty much mask the flavor of the rooibos which is just fine with me.  I do get an occasional “rooibos” flavor that crosses my palate, but, the flavor of the rooibos is not the primary focus of this blend.

The apricot is sweet and has a very authentic flavor, and it is well seasoned with the cinnamon.  The cinnamon really livens up the flavor of this cup.  The apricot is really delicious, but it is the cinnamon that gives this tea its pizzazz!  Without the cinnamon, I think this blend would be rather ordinary.

Not that ordinary is bad, mind you, but, when it comes to 52Teas, I’ve come to expect something out of the ordinary!  And, it would seem that they deliver on that expectation – time and time again!

Now … my thoughts begin to wander to what tea is next in my box of Christmas wonders from 52Teas …

Noël à Vienne from Dammann Frères

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Dammann Frères

Company Description:

A blend of non smoked teas from China and Ceylon with chocolate, apricot and vanilla, fruit bits and orange peels.

Taster’s Review:

Noël à Vienne – translation – Christmas is coming!

Wow!  You know, every time I taste a tea from Dammann Frères – I can’t help but fall in love with it and proclaim it my new favorite from this company.  Their teas are just spectacular, and I’ve yet to find one that I’ve not absolutely loved!

The black tea used in this blend has a brisk, deep flavor to it that reminds me a bit of freshly baked cookies.  It is not a strong “cookie” essence – but when it is combined with the apricot, chocolate and vanilla flavors of this blend, it really seems to come alive and remind me quite a bit of the apricot cookies my grandmother used to bake.

There is no one real strong flavor in this tea for me, they all seem to come together in a harmonious, seamless flavor that tastes and even smells a bit like Christmas.  Not the peppermint candy kind of Christmas, but the gathering of family around a warm hearth and eating fresh baked cookies kind of Christmas.

This is the kind of tea that evokes happy memories.  This is that kind of tea.

Apricot Oolong from Octavia Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Octavia Tea

Company Description:

A favorite among connoisseurs, oolong teas (often pronounced “Wu-Long”) are semi-oxidized and express characteristics in-between green and black teas. The leaves are usually brownish in color, large in appearance and produce a very aromatic, smooth and complex brew.

The cultivation and manufacture of classic oolong tea is restricted to Southeastern China and the island of Taiwan.  Often, different tea estates have their preferred ways of making oolong.  It is because of the intricacy of this process that oolong teas can have the widest array of flavors and aromas.  High quality oolongs are among the world’s most expensive teas.

During production, leaves are tossed in bamboo baskets to lightly bruise their edges, releasing enzymes that react with oxygen.  With oolong tea, the outer part of the leaf is allowed to oxidize, but the center is kept green.  Some oolongs are more oxidized and closer in character to black teas, with amber-colored infusions and notes of dark chocolate, fruit and roasted sugar.  Other oolongs are less oxidized and are closer to green tea, with a lighter body, floral aromatics and golden green infusions.

In terms of health benefits, oolong is said to reduce plaque in the arteries, lower cholesterol, boost metabolism and aid weight-loss.  Research conducted in Japan, China and Taiwan reports that regular consumption of oolong tea is linked to the reduction of cholesterol and the lowering of blood sugar.  Its reputation as a safe, daily slimming and dieter’s tea in Southeastern Asia has been widespread for hundreds of years.

Taster’s Review:

This is a new tea from Octavia Tea … so new, in fact, that at the time of the writing of this review, the tea had not yet been introduced on Octavia Tea’s website.

In a word, this tea is YUMMY!  But, I doubt you came here just to read one word… so, I will illuminate further on this tea.

The aroma is very strong.  It is fruity and flowery, and it is hard to say which is strongest.  It smells like an apricot tree in bloom!  The fragrance of the brewed tea is not quite as fruity or flowery, but there is a deep, earthy quality with hints of apricot and honeysuckle.

The flavor is smooth.  The peach-like quality of the Oolong tea, together with the apricot flavoring and the Osmanthus in the blend creates a rich apricot/peach flavor.

The Oolong tea is a darker Oolong, which means that it’s been oxidized longer than the “greener” Oolong teas.  The longer oxidation period deepens the flavor of the Oolong… it is not as buttery and vegetative as a green Oolong might be.  Instead, it is fruit-like with a deep, nutty quality.  The mouthfeel isn’t quite as thick as a green Oolong, but it is smooth and silky.

This tea would be delightful served hot or iced.  Because of the deeper flavor of the Oolong, the flavor won’t be lost in the chill.  The natural sweetness of the fruit and tea means that this tea doesn’t need additional sweetener, but, if you don’t mind adding a drizzle of agave nectar, you might notice that this enhances the fruit notes.

I really like this tea.  Very refreshing and delicious!

Peach & Apricot Green Tea from Empire Tea Services

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: Empire Tea Services

Product Description:

Gunpowder green tea with peach / apricot flavor.

Tasters Review:

Peach & Apricot Green Tea from Empire Tea Services is INTENSELY flavored and smells AWESOME! 🙂

The flavored gunpowder is shiny prior to infusion.  After the infusion is complete – the leaves expand quite a bit – and are still very highly scented.

The post-infused liquid is quite dark in color…probably the darkest I have seen for a gunpowder.

The flavor of this is really REALLY good…very Peach AND Apricot and equally-so!  The gunpowder taste is present but in the background.

This is a highly flavored gunpowder and I like it a lot – mostly because of the flavors we are dealing with here!  I love both Peach and Apricot and think they BOTH go really well with Green Tea.

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