Hibiscus Berry from Rishi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Product Description:

Luscious currants and delicious forest berries complement this fruity and balanced blend with a wonderful scarlet red infusion that refreshes and rejuvenates.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said on several occasions, I’m not a big fan of hibiscus.  Generally speaking, it is too tart for my personal taste.  But, I know that some people out there love the stuff (otherwise, the tea companies wouldn’t be selling it, right?) so when I decided to give this tisane a try, I did so on the premise that I would be fair and objective about the tisane and try not to let my own personal feelings get in the way.

But you know what?  I’m actually enjoying this!  I am surprised that I am actually enjoying it.

I steeped it for just five minutes.  I find that steeping hibiscus-laden tisanes any longer results in a very thick, syrupy, tart cup.  But, five minutes is just long enough to extract flavor and a little bit of body out of the hibiscus without going overboard on the tartness.

And while this IS a tart tisane, it isn’t too tart.  I don’t pucker up when I take a sip, but I do feel that sourness hit the back of my tongue – and its ALMOST a pucker.  I did add a dollop of honey and I am sure that helped to curb the tartness a bit, but it also did something else too; it added definition to the blueberry, currant and mango flavors.

I love that I can taste the sweetness of the mango, and the thickness from the hibiscus makes the mango flavor almost nectar-like!  I can also taste the blueberry peeking through.  It’s a very flavorful, fruity cup and it is one that I am sure kids will LOVE (and this is much better for them than soda pop, even with the honey!)

So, it just goes to show you, don’t let the name of a tea affect your decision to try it.  If I had done that, I wouldn’t be drinking this tea right now, and I am liking it!

Black Currant from TeaGschwendner

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  TeaGschwendner

Product Description:

These lovely summer berries are immensely popular in Europe. Ready for a continental treat?

Ingredients: Black tea from India, black currant leaves, black currants and flavor.

Taster’s Review:

When I first opened the package of this tea, my nose was met with a lovely berry aroma.  It smelled juicy and delicious!

But I was a little disappointed with the first couple of sips.  I wasn’t getting nearly the currant flavor that the fragrance led me to believe I would.  The first few sips tasted mostly of black tea with mere hints of black currant flavor and a slightly tart finish.

However, as I continued to make my way to mid-cup, I found that the flavor intensified.  It is still a little softer than I had hoped but it is much nicer now than at the start.

I believe the black tea base is a Ceylon.  I base this on the flavor – it is very even-toned, with a smooth and mellow taste.  It is not an aggressive flavor, but, I happen to think that is a good thing, because if this were a stronger tea, it would probably overwhelm the black currant flavor altogether.

The black currant flavor is delicate but pleasant.  It has a delicious taste that reminds me a bit of my favorite tea cake (which I haven’t had in quite some time) which is laden with black currants… it leads me to believe that this tea would be a fantastic choice to serve with shortbread cookies or some other butter-rich pastry-like treat.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this cuppa, but it isn’t one that I would consider a favorite.

Black Currant Bai Mu Dan from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Company Description:

Sometimes I think white tea is not as much fun as the others. It’s such a delicate and subtle flavor to begin with that it doesn’t lend itself to things like chocolate peanut butter cup. What DOES pair well with it are nice sweet fruits, like black currant.

Taster’s Review:

52Teas is one of my favorite tea companies.  Why?  Well, there are several reasons.  They offer a new flavor every week, and these flavors are usually just a little bit out of the ordinary.   And, perhaps most importantly for me, they offer these new and unusual teas in a quantity that I can feel comfortable about buying – 1 or 2 ounce pouches, depending upon the type of tea, and they are easy to store and are re-sealable.  This is the perfect amount of tea for this tea reviewer because it’s not a huge commitment, but it is just enough to taste the tea several times to determine whether I like it enough to sit down and write about it, and it’s also enough to share some with my SororiTEA Sister, Jennifer.

All of this, and their prices are reasonable too – usually just $7.99 per 2 ounce package (and did I mention that the shipping is free?)

All of these reasons really wouldn’t add up to much, though, if the teas didn’t taste good.  And I must say, while I have tasted quite a few of 52Teas offerings, I’ve yet to try one that disappoints me – and more often than not, I am very pleasantly surprised by them.

This is one tea that really surprised me.  I held off buying it for a while because I’ve never really considered myself to be much of a fan of black currants (although, I don’t know why, as I love black currants in tea cakes and most of the black currant teas that I’ve tasted have been delicious).  I am glad that I finally gave in to my curiosity and tried it, because it is really quite good.

The fruit flavor is vibrant and yet it does not overpower the delicate flavor of the Bai Mu Dan.   It is sweet and refreshing – especially when served chilled.  This is one of my newest favorite iced teas!   It is much tastier than any of those RTD bottled teas out there – and the best part is that because you brew it yourself, you can control the amount of sweetener you add to it, or you can choose to not sweeten it at all!  I do add just a little bit of agave nectar to mine, because this really brings the fruity flavors into focus plus I can taste some of the sweet, delicate notes of the white tea just a little better.

Another outstanding tea from 52Teas!

Black Currant from Tea Forté

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Forté

Company Description:

Black currant and blackberry leaves infuse our rich black tea for a fruity, aromatic cup. Naturally sweet and fully satisfying.

Ingredients

blackberry leaves, black tea, flavoring

Taster’s Review:

I’ve tasted a few black currant black teas over the years, and I really can’t remember one that I disliked.  But, I can’t remember one that I liked better than this one, either.

Having previously reviewed this tea, I was curious to find out if my thoughts on this tea have changed at all…

The aroma is still fruity – subtle before brewing, and developing more fully in the coppery liquor.   One thing that I am noticing though, is that the black current essence seems a bit stronger in this cup than I had previously indicated.  It is almost wine-like in its depth of flavor.  It doesn’t taste fermented, but it does have a nice, fruity flavor with a pleasant level of astringency – like a good, dry wine.

The black tea base is bold and flavorful.  It is brisk enough to be that first cup of the morning, yet smooth enough to make a good afternoon cuppa (perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up!)  The rich flavor would make this a thirst-quenching choice for iced tea as well.

Overall, a very pleasing cup of tea!

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