Little Black Dress Pink Grapefruit from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description

Teaquilibrium’s Pink Grapefruit is bold refreshing. The colorful combination of citrus and eucalyptus make LBD Pink Grapefruit delicious iced.

ingredients: oolong tea, apple pieces, carrot flakes, blackberry leaves, eucalyptus leaves, beetroot, hibiscus, lemon grass, natural flavor, freeze-dried tangerine pieces, orange slices.

Taster’s Review:

I’m really liking this blend!

After reading through the ingredients, I was a little worried about the combination of hibiscus and Oolong tea, I worried that the somewhat thick, syrupy nature of the hibiscus might interfere with the lovely texture of the Oolong, but, that didn’t happen here.  The hibiscus seems to do very little in this blend – thankfully – except for adding some color and perhaps a little tartness.

But the tartness in this case is quite welcome, because it compliments the tangy citrus flavors so well.  Even though there are several different components to this tea that contribute a citrus flavor, the dominant flavor is that of pink grapefruit. It is tart yet sweet and quite juicy tasting.

At first, I didn’t taste much of the eucalyptus in this, but as I continue to sip, I notice it slightly more.  It is still rather subtle.  It does add some definition to the grapefruit flavor, but, this definitely doesn’t taste like eucalyptus.  It tastes like grapefruit!

The Oolong flavor, by comparison, is a little muted.  Ordinarily, I might find fault with that, however, this is so remarkably tasty that its difficult to complain about the lack of Oolong taste.  This is definitely more of a tea for grapefruit lovers than it is for Oolong lovers, although Oolong lovers might find this a welcome departure from the usual.

Overall, I really enjoyed this cup.  Such a pleasant flavor that I find to be quite invigorating.  It has a very pleasing natural sweetness to it, so little to no additional sweetener is required, which is perfect for those of us who are trying to cut back on the sugar intake!  A great tea for an afternoon out with girlfriends!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Chai Masala Spice Blend from The Chai Cart

Where to Buy:  The Chai Cart on Foodzie

or visit The Chai Cart website for more information

Product Description:

Make any tea into “Masala” tea by adding this magical blend of eight spices known for culinary flavors and therapeutic qualities.

When brewed with black tea and milk, this spice blend makes a bold, fragrant and smooth cup of Masala Chai that will transport you to India in just one sip.

The magical mix of eight spices is perfectly balanced so that no single spice dominates the palate. The boldness of cloves and nutmeg with the spice of ginger are balanced with the fragrance of cardamom and the sweetness of cinnamon. Fennel and white and black pepper add further layers of complexity.

This blend can also be used with green tea or rooibos as well as in soups, stews and countless recipes that need to be spiced up!

Taster’s Review:

This blend of spices is so versatile that it could be used in just about anything.  I considered grinding it fine and using it as a rub on a pork loin, but then, remembering that I still had a teeny-tiny bit of my Sweet Caramel O’Mine tea, I decided that I would use my sample of this spice blend as an enhancement for a cup o’ Spiced Sweet Caramel O’Mine.

I used three teaspoons of the spices with three teaspoons of the tea blend.   This made a very pleasant 3 cups of bold and spicy tea.  I added a dollop of honey and found that it was just perfect served this way.  To make a latte, I would have reduced the amount of water that I used to brew (only 2 cups of water) so that the milk wouldn’t dilute the flavors.

And … OH MY GOODNESS.  This is good.  Somehow the spices bring out the burnt sugar aspect of the caramel, giving this an almost sweet-and-savory kind of taste.  I think the nutmeg and the caramel compliment each other so well!

The main spice flavor that I’m tasting is the ginger, which when combined with the white and black peppers give this cup a very peppery kick!  The cinnamon comes just after the ginger, and the cardamom and cloves add pleasant dimension.  I can’t taste much of the fennel here, and while I do like fennel, perhaps it is a good thing that I can’t taste it too strongly with this tea.  I think it might taste a little too funky with the caramel.

I really like this blend.  I think I may be buying a tin of this in the near future so that I can use it on my next pork loin roast.  If I do this, I’ll be sure to post a review and the recipe on my Foodie Blog!

Fennel Masala Chai from Yogic Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Yogic Chai

Product Description:

Herbal Properties:
– Assam Tea (black Tea): Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the green, oolong and white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas.

NOTE:The USDA recently stated that drinking black tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and could one day be used to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Read more. Click here!

– Cardamom: A household spice that is commonly used to support digestion without increasing Heat.* It has expectorant and diaphoretic actions.* The mucus forming properties of milk are neutralized when cardamom is added to it.*

– Cinnamon: This warming spice is traditionally used in cold formulas as an expectorant and diaphoretic (sweat inducing).* Due to its warming property, cinnamon is known to promote digestion.*

– Cloves: An energizing herb,* cloves are an effective stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach.* Cloves are used extensively in Ayurvedic herbology.

– Ginger: In Ayurvedic and Chinese herbology, Ginger is known to have heating, cleansing, toning and stimulating properties.* Ginger promotes digestion, relieves abdominal discomfort, dispels chills and it is also useful for relieving respiratory complaints due to phlegm and arthritic conditions due to coldness.*

– Fennel: A common spice that it is traditionally used in Ayurvedic Medicine to improve digestion and absorption without increasing Fire. Fennel is calming to the nerves and their aroma acts upon the mind and promotes mental awareness. * Fennel is also found to increase low milk supply in breastfeeding moms.*

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Taster’s Review:

I have said this before:  I love spiced chai blends.  Well, many of them anyway.  That being said, I am also biased when it comes to chai blends because I created my own Chai blend that I think is pretty remarkable.

However, I do try to remain as unbiased as I can when I offer a review about a chai, because I want to be as fair and honest as possible concerning any tea.  And now that I have decided to discontinue blending teas, I find that I enjoy other teas much more.

Yogic Chai is one of my favorite companies because they provide exceptional customer service.  When I deal with Yogic Chai, I feel like a person – an individual – and not a customer or order number.  When I email them with a question, I get an almost immediate response (within an hour most of the time!) and it’s not some automated or cut-and-paste response.  There’s a real person communicating with me.  They treat me like a friend.  I like that.

Yogic Chai focuses on what they do best – spiced chai blends – and they have the largest selection of spiced chai blends that I’ve ever seen from one company. From their Original Masala Chai (Black Tea, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves & Ginger) to some rather unusual selections, including Wild Blueberry White Chai and Acai Berry Mate Chai, Yogic Chai proves that they have a passion for chai!  They even have some interesting medicinal chai blends.

This Fennel Masala Chai is (what I’m assuming to be) Yogic Chai’s Original Masala Chai with a heaping helping of fennel seed.  The fennel adds a pleasing taste of black licorice to the cup.  Sweet with just enough snap to it to make it a little less ordinary, the fennel is a very enjoyable addition to this chai.

The black tea used in this blend is an Assam tea which is brisk and strong, but not so aggressive that it overthrows the flavor of the spices.  There is some astringency, but not too much.  It does get bitter if you over-steep it though, so I recommend a brewing time of 4 minutes or less.  I found 4 minutes was just enough time to extract a pleasing flavor from the spices without that bitter bite from the Assam.  Success!

One thing I’ve noticed with Yogic Chai is that their chai spice blend is in good balance – not too much ginger, not too much cinnamon.  I can taste notes of each spice without one spice getting all the attention.  This is true of this blend as well, even though fennel is “showcased” by the name of this tea, it is not an overpowering taste, but instead, it falls in line with the other spices and becomes part of the blend.

I prefer this particular chai blend with a dollop of honey but without steamed, frothed milk.  I found that the milk off-set the taste of the fennel more than I wanted.  It was still good “latte” style and I could still taste the fennel, but, there was less of that fennel taste that I really enjoy.  So, with this one – try it first before you add milk!

A must try for chai lovers!

Irish Breakfast Blend from Ocean of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ocean of Tea

Product Description:

Need an eye-opener? Blended from Assam and Ceylon teas, this classic Irish breakfast is full bodied and can be enjoyed throughout the day. It goes well with milk in the traditional Irish manner, but does equally well with a touch of lemon, or plain.

Irish breakfast black tea has an obscure history. Assam teas are popular in Ireland, and Irish breakfast blends are considered normal tea in that country. Popularized elsewhere as a breakfast tea, it is often served as an alternative to coffee.

Taster’s Review:

If you’re looking for a breakfast blend with the gusto to get you going in the morning, you need look no further than this Irish Breakfast Blend from Ocean of Tea.

This is a very strong, rich tea!  Robust!  One thing that I notice right away with this blend is that the Assam in the blend makes its presence known in a very profound way.  It is malty and has a very pleasing depth of flavor.  If this tea doesn’t get you going in the morning, nothing will!

The tea has a toothsome quality to it and reminds me of a freshly baked loaf of bread.  Yummy!  The malty tone intensifies this quality.  The Ceylon helps to give this blend a very well-rounded appeal.

While this tea is excellent with the additions of milk and honey (that’s sort of a tradition when it comes to breakfast blends, isn’t it?) I am finding it quite nice with just a drizzle of agave nectar to help take off some of the edge of the Assam (if you like that edge, omit the sweetener completely!) while enhancing the undertone of caramel-y sweetness.

This cuppa is warm and inviting, not to mention absolutely delicious.  I love it!

 

Coconut Pineapple Black Tea from Design a Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Design a Tea

Company Description:

Design a Tea brings choice to the marketplace. The simple concept of offering choices is the number one difference between Design a Tea and other artisan tea blending companies. Who doesn’t like choices in life? The feeling of creating and personalizing a product you order. We want consumers that deal with us to know they are dealing with a caring company. Caring, in that we hand package each order, and we pride ourselves on customer service. It doesn’t stop there.

Design a Tea even cares about the environmental issues around us. We use recycled paper products, labels, even environmentally friendly inks. We make every attempt to purchase from Fair Trade teas from international growers and suppliers and use only organically grown teas and ingredients when possible with all natural flavorings!!

Taster’s Review:

This is not one of Design a Tea’s signature blends, it is one that you can custom “design” (if you wish) – simply visit their Design a Tea page on their website and select “black tea” as your base, and then choose “coconut” and “pineapple” as your two flavorings… and you will have the same tea that sits before me now.

The black tea base (a delicious blend of black teas from Sri Lanka) is a pleasant one – it is brisk and holds its own with the flavorings.  It is strong enough to not be overpowered by the flavor, while still being mild enough to not overwhelm the cup.

The coconut and pineapple are sweet and deliciously tropical.   Having tried a few teas from Design a Tea and not being disappointed by any of them, it is clear that the flavorings that are used at Design a Tea are of the highest quality.  They do not taste fake or chemical-y.  They taste very authentic.

Design a Tea is a wonderful company that not only offers you the unique service of designing your own tea blend; their customer service is commendable as well.  Two thumbs up!

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

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Positiv-A-Tea

Product Description:

100% Organic
Hand-Blended
USDA Approved
Naturally Decaffeinated

Ingredients:
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!

 

Holiday Fruit & Spice Blend from Mark T. Wendell

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where To Buy:  Mark T. Wendell

Company Description:

A blend of select black tea leaves with orange pieces, bits of cranberry, ginger and cinnamon. A winter season favorite that is now available year-round.

Taster’s Review:

Having recently tried Mark T. Wendell’s Autumn Cranberry blend, I was very curious to see how this one would differ from that tea.

While the two teas are both black teas flavored with cranberry, they are two very different teas.  Since I’ve already reviewed the Autumn Cranberry blend, I think I’ll just talk about the tea that I’m sipping right now:  Holiday Fruit & Spice!

The black tea base is brisk but not very aggressive.  It seems rather content to sit back in the background and just let the cranberry, orange and spices do their thing.  It is a mild yet very delicious black tea with a light-to-medium amount of astringency.

The cranberry and orange are very complimentary to each other here.  A light tartness from the cranberry and the sweet orange really come together well in this cup.  It tastes juicy, bright and delicious.

The spices here are not overwhelming or spicy.  Instead, they simply give the cranberry and orange a very seasonal kind of flair.  The spices add just a hint of warmth to the cup.  What this sort of reminds me of one of those spiced fruit punches that are served at holiday parties… you know what I’m talking about?  With the clove-encrusted orange slices floating on top?  It has that kind of spice level… not strong, just warm and very agreeable.

There is no bitterness to this tea.  I even brewed this and forgot to set the timer — I think it must have been brewing for well over 5 minutes before I rescued it!  But still, no bitterness.  Just very pleasant fruit and spice flavor.

After my initial taste, I decided to add a drizzle of honey to my cup.  It is plenty sweet without the honey, but I like the way the honey enhances the fruit and spice flavors.  This is a very nice cuppa – one that would be perfect to serve to friends and family at holiday gatherings!

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