Mountain Berry Tea from SpecialTea Brew

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  SpecialTea Brew

Company Description:

Hibiscus flower, rose hips, orange peel, cornflower petals & blueberries

Taster’s Review:

Wow… this tea is tart!

Now, I am not ordinarily a fan of tart teas, I prefer things on the slightly sweeter side.  But I’m not going to let that stand in my way of offering my thoughts on this tea.

The union of hibiscus, orange peel and blueberry creates a unique flavor – it doesn’t quite taste like blueberry, it doesn’t quite taste like hibiscus.  It is like a new berry… is it mountain berry?  I think that perhaps “tropical berry” might be more appropriate, but that’s just my opinion.

This new berry – Mountain Berry – has a pungent tartness with an underlying sweetness, it has a very juicy flavor that is very vibrant.

It has been suggested to try blending this tea with other “teas” – such as a white tea or a green tea.  I think it would also be quite good with a bit of honeybush.  But I think it would be even better as a “cooler” – adding a little bit of lemon-lime soda (or ginger ale!) to it along with a wedge of orange.  Doesn’t that sound refreshing?

I didn’t have any lemon-lime soda, nor did I try blending it with other teas… but what I did try is chilling it.  It is pretty good as an iced tea, the chill tones down the tarty quality of the tea just enough to make it somewhat energizing.

This is not my favorite tea – but it isn’t a terrible tasting tea either.  It is one that I welcome your thoughts on – please try it for yourself and let me know (by writing a comment on this post) what you think of it.  I’d love to hear from you!

Burgundy Blast from Simpson & Vail

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail

Company Description:

This refreshing blend brews to a bright cherry red color with a sweet, tart taste. Comprised of hibiscus flowers, mango, papaya, lemongrass, safflower, mallow blossoms and acai and pomegranate flavors, this tea is fabulous both hot and iced.

Taster’s Review:

I’ll be honest, this tea scared me a little bit… a quick look at the ingredients made me think that this would be just a little too sour for my taste buds.  So I put off trying it until now…

Yes, it IS a bit tart … BUT… it is also very tasty!  It has enough sweet fruit flavor to it that it smooths out the tart edge just enough so that it’s agreeable.

The key, I think, is to not allow it to steep too long.   I steeped it for just 5 minutes.  This is enough time to extract flavor from the herbs and fruit without allowing the hibiscus to offset the delicate balance of this cup.  Another important factor is that I served it iced.  The chill allows the flavors to mellow out without dulling them too much.  When it is hot, the flavor is much more potent.

But… let’s get on to how this tastes, because it is really quite tasty.  I can taste mango and papaya, pomegranate and açaí.  The lemongrass offers just a hint lemony taste, and it is just the right touch to the sweet-tart blend of fruits.

The hibiscus offers some body to this blend – but because I only steeped it for 5 minutes, it isn’t a thick, syrupy consistency.  It is also not overwhelmingly sour.  It offers just the right level of tart to create a very delicate balance between tart and sweet. 

Simpson & Vail has a very intriguing recipe for this tea – Burgundy Blast Fizzy Drink – which can be found here.  It looks absolutely delicious!

I enjoyed this tea very much and it was just the right tea for today, because even though the calendar says it’s autumn, the weather is very summer-like.  It was HOT today!  Drinking this as an iced tea was very refreshing!

Passion Fruit Black Tea from Design A Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Design a Tea

Company Description:

Koslanda – Dimbulla blend from Sri Lanka with all natural flavoring

Taster’s Review:

This is a simple yet really tasty blend from Design A Tea.  The passion fruit flavor is sweet and sumptuous.  The flavors taste natural and almost nectar-like.  It’s deliciously tropical.

The black tea base is a mellow black tea blend – not particularly stout or robust, but I don’t think that is what is needed here.  A stronger tea would interfere with the balance of flavors.  As it is, this blend allows me to taste the even-toned black tea and the sweet flavor of the fruit.  And I like it!

I enjoyed this tea immensely as both a hot tea and an iced tea.  It is refreshing and … I don’t know what it is about this tea.  Maybe it’s the tropical essence, or the mellow black tea base, or a combination of the two, or maybe it’s something else entirely.  But there is SOMETHING about this tea that has a very tranquil and calming effect.   It’s very nice!

If you visit the website for Design A Tea, you won’t find this tea readily available as a signature blend.  However, you can order this blend by designing it.  They let you design your own samples, too!

Celebrate from Urban Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Urban Tea

Company Description:

A festive, master blend of premium black tea, fruits, warm spices and garden flowers.  Celebrate produces an irresistible bold aroma and flavor that is seductive and satisfying.  One cup won’t be enough!  Try this hot or iced, it’s a winner any way you drink it!

Ingredients

  • Black tea, orange peel, rose petals, apple, almond, cornflower, cinnamon, papaya, peach, cranberry, rosehips, natural flavoring.
  • Origin: Sourced from the finest ingredients from India and the USA

Taster’s Review:

This is a very flavorful cup of tea.  It reminds me a bit of a hot & spicy cinnamon/orange tea, but with a delightful fruit-flavored twist.

The cinnamon dominates this cup, and it is on the warm side!  It’s a bit like those sweet-hot cinnamon hearts.  YUM!

Of the fruit flavors featured in this tea, the orange is the most prominent.  It adds a lovely sweetness to the cup, and the cinnamon accents it so well.  It’s very autumnal.  I can also taste the peach, apple and papaya flavors.  The cranberry is very faint, but I can taste a hint of the tartness from the cranberry in the finish.

The black tea base is not real strong in this blend, and I feel like the flavor of the black tea gets a little lost here.  The same is true for the almonds.  In fact, had I not read the ingredients, I wouldn’t have known that there were almonds in this blend.

That being said, this is still a very tasty blend, and one I would recommend to those that really enjoy those spicy cinnamon teas.  I really like this.  It does have a lot going on, but, I can’t really hold that against this tea because it is so fun and flavorful.

This tea is delicious hot or iced – and the flavors do change a little as the tea cools.   It becomes a little smoother and softer in taste, and this seems to awaken some of the black tea flavor.  Because it is such a “warm” tea (and by warm, I mean the spicy-hot kind of warm) – this tea is perfect now that the air grows cooler!  A fantastic tea for autumn!

Ginger Peach from Octavia Tea

Tea Type: White Tea

Where To Buy: Octavia Tea

Product Description:

Transport yourself to a fragrant orchard in mid-summer with this mouth-watering blend of peach, ginger and rare white tea. White tea has a delicate, honey-like flavor and contains the highest antioxidant level of all teas.

Our Ginger Peach white tea was a finalist at the World Tea Championships and is one of our best sellers!

Tasters Review:

WOW!  This one knocked my socks off!  WHY!?  Well, I don’t usually like Ginger in most blends…I guess it’s ok in some Ginger Peach pairings but I can usually sample and be satisfied without having to run right out and buy a bunch.  This on is different.  I think it’s because it’s a Ginger Peach WHITE Tea.  The White Tea is lovely in this and the Ginger and Peach couldn’t be more perfectly paired here.  This is nicely scented and flavored.  It makes your mouth water but it’s also thirst-quenching.  Yes, I could taste the Ginger, Peach, and White Tea, but I could also pick up on a honey-like aftertaste.  My iced attempt has an even more honey-like finish than the hot attempt – but I do like BOTH hot and cold of this delightful flavored white tea!  YUM!

Royal Lily Bloom Tea by thepuriTea

Tea Type: Flowering White

Where To Buy: thepuriTea

Product Description:

Royal Lily Bloom is a hand-tied white tea that blooms into a gorgeous gradation from muted-green white tea buds to delicate, canary-yellow chrysanthemum petals to a vibrant spray of blossoming crimson lily. This regal, sophisticated tea is a classic “flowering tea” or “blossoming tea” in terms of its appearance, but its flavor is no shrinking violet… Surprisingly full flavors of cocoa, malt, flowers, fruit and chestnuts set this tea bloom apart from other flowering teas.

Short infusions of Royal Lily Bloom are perfect with mild breakfast foods, mild Buddhist Chinese foods or mellow desserts. It can also steep longer over meals or at parties for a White-Peony-like aroma and deeper flavors of caramel, malt, apricots and chestnuts

Tasters Review:

I LOVE Flowering teas…the beauty, the art, the tradition…

I’m not the most patient person but flowering or blooming teas are certainly worth the wait!  This one…Royal Lily Bloom Tea from thepuriTea is no exception!  This is a real winner!

I did 3 infusions on this bloom!  Here are my findings…

1st infusion…
It was YUMMY!  It was Sweet but still floral. Weird thing tho…the bloom…bloomed…but upsidedown! I tried to flip it gently several times and it just wouldn’t belly-up! Regardless is was a delight to my palate!

2nd infusion…was still good!  It was Floral-sweet and even juicy. The aftertaste reminded me of Chestnuts…a sweet Chestnut more than a bitter-nutty Chestnut.

3rd infusion was semi-fruity and semi-floral and sweet. A bit sugar-like…and still VERY good!

Take TIME for this BLOOM…it’s WORTH it!

Orange Ginger from Samovar

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Samovar

Company Description:

Origin: Organic orange peel, ginger root, licorice root, lemon verbena, and lemon myrtle from United States.

Flavor Profile: A beautiful, full bodied balance of earthy orange, slightly lemony citrus sweetness, and subtle ginger heat.

Tea Story: Zing, citrus, spice, sensual, a house-blended favorite. On a hot day this infusion is the next best thing to orange juice. Refreshing beyond description- served hot or cold, the Orange Ginger blend is heaven sent.

Full bodied, strong, and slightly sweet, this herbal is very grounding. We like to sip on this infusion when we need quiet concentration. It is delicious, honeyed, earthy and complex.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the best tasting tisanes I’ve had in a while.  I purchased the sample size of this herbal tisane – which is just enough for one pot of tea – and now that I’ve had a chance to try it, I wish that I would have purchased a larger size.  Even for a “taster” like me, this is one herbal melange that I wouldn’t mind keeping on my tea shelf on a regular basis.

The flavor is fresh and vibrant.  The citrus is the most prominent taste of the cup, and it is sweet and refreshing.  The lemongrass and lemon myrtle in the blend gives it just a light lemon-y note, bringing a certain tartness to the tongue in the finish.

The ginger is warm and soothing, but it is not an exceedingly strong ginger flavor.  It has a peppery kick that seems to be curbed a little bit by the sweetness of the citrus.  There is also a sharp, sweet note that I attribute to the licorice root in this blend – and it is a very welcome flavor to this licorice lover.

This blend also contains schizandra berries, and I must admit that I’m not real familiar with them.  From what I could find out with a quick google search, the Chinese celebrate the schizandra berry for being the “fruit of five flavors” – meaning that it possesses notes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy-pungent.  Based upon the dance my taste buds seem to be doing – I would say that the schizandra berries are doing their job!

The schizandra berry is said to have a cranberry/citrus/floral flavor, and I can detect a slight floral essence in the background of this tea, as well as the cranberry-esque essence, which is a interesting contrast to the sweet orange.  This tisane truly is just about as perfect as a tisane can get!  I am really enjoying it.

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