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!

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!

Root 66 Tea from Monterey Bay Spice Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane/Spice Melangé

Where to Buy:  Monterey Bay Spice Company

Product Description:

Roasted dandelion, chicory root, and sarsaparilla root get you started towards Root 66 Tea. Creating a robust and dark infusion, this herbal tea exudes a mouth-watering natural earthiness. Good for your liver, Root 66 Tea also twists in a bit of the exotic: the lively sweetness of coconut and the slight chocolate taste of carob. With lingering licorice airiness, this herbal makes a fantastic coffee substitute or a dessert tea!

IngredientsSarsparilla root, chicory root, roasted dandelion root, carob pods, cinnamon, fennel, crystal malt and coconut.

Caffeine Free

Taster’s Review:

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m always a little leery of herbal blends such as this.  I’m always afraid that they’ll taste too medicinal for my personal taste, so I find myself always putting off trying them.

And I am really sorry that I put off trying this one as long as I did, because it’s rather tasty!  It has a sweet, root beer-like taste to it which is enhanced by the spices and malt.  It has a slightly roasted taste to it too, and I like how the coconut and sarsaparilla taste together.  It’s really much better than I imagined it would be.

The Sarsaparilla root gives this tisane its root beer taste.  The licorice-y taste of fennel and the cocoa notes of the carob enhance the sweetness of this cup while the cinnamon gives it a nice warmth in the background.  There is a roasted note to this as well from the chicory and roasted dandelion root which adds depth to the cup.

But what really makes this tisane special is the coconut.  I love the combination of flavors – it’s sort of like a chocolate and coconut flavored spiced root beer!

This tisane has a little bit of an herbal/medicinal aftertaste that I would define as almost peppery – it’s the dandelion!  However, this aftertaste doesn’t linger very long.  And because I enjoy the flavor of the tea so much, I can overlook the aftertaste.

I am sipping this now as a hot beverage – it is cold and wet outside and I am enjoying the warm, cozy comfort of a hot tea, but I think that this blend would be even better iced – it would be a great substitute for soda!  Just a little pinch of sugar will enhance the sweeter notes and make it an irresistible treat for the kids.  It’s naturally caffeine free, so there’s nothing to overstimulate them, either!

This is YUMMY!

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!

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!

Over Achieve Mint from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description:

Getting ready for race season or simply want to add some calm pep to your day?

The mouthwatering combination of chocolate and fresh mint has made Achieve Mint a customer favorite.  Overachieve Mint is blended with energizing Yerba Mate to give that sustained boost that mate is known for. This is a fabulous choice for endurance athletes or anyone who wants a natural calm energy.

ingredients: yerba mate, peppermint, cacao nibs, natural chocolate flavor.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really tasty Yerba Maté blend.  The mint is strong but the chocolate does come through nicely.

The Yerba Maté base is a green (not roasted) Maté and offers a hint of its earthy, vegetative flavor.  However, the mint flavor is rather intense here, and it does seem to mask some of the stronger notes of the Yerba Maté.  But, I’m not complaining because I sometimes find the rather distinct flavor of Maté to be a bit too much for me.  With this blend, it’s really quite enjoyable and melds very well with the other flavors.

The peppermint is very strong – this blend is certainly not for those who do not care for mint.  For those of us who do, though, this is a clean, crisp tasting peppermint that invigorates while leaving the palate feeling refreshed.

The chocolate is a bit subtle, but, I am liking how it comes through.  I can really notice the cocoa notes in the aftertaste mingling with the minty flavor.  I also found that the chocolate seems to pop a bit more as the tisane cools, so don’t drink this one piping hot!  Let it cool just a little so that you can enjoy the chocolate flavors!

This tisane reminds me of a peppermint patty (especially the aftertaste), but without the overwhelming sugary sweetness!  A thin layer of chocolate coating … just enough to coat the peppermint but not overpower it … a snappy, vibrant treat that will surely get you going!

I like this one a lot!

The Skinny from DavidsTea

Tea Type:
Oolong Tea/Pu-erh Tea Blend

Where To Buy:

DavidsTea

Product Description:

Did you just eat and eat and eat? And then eat some more? 2000 years of ancient Chinese wisdom suggest you try this organic blend. It contains oolong and pu’erh teas, both reputed to speed your metabolism and block fat absorption after a heavy meal. Plus it’s got ginger and ginseng, two more traditional metabolism uppers. So go ahead, drink up. The only thing you’ll gain is wisdom.

Tasters Review:

The Skinny from DavidsTea really took me by surprise!  I ended up really liking it!  Here’s the SKINNY on this tea from DavidsTea…

This tea takes a while to infuse before the true color appears.  Dry…I thought this first smelled like Orange Cream and then I thought it was more of a Fruit loops/Orange aroma. Post infusion – it smells more like a woodsy/orange. The taste is flatter than I thought it would be.  I would say more Oolong than anything else and then a share of orange taste.  I can’t really taste the Pu-erh, Ginseng, or Ginger much…which is ok with me but maybe not-so-good for those specifically looking for those ingredients, I suppose.

Overall the taste of this one is pretty good!  As far as me liking this tea – I do enjoy it – much more than I expected!  It’s a goodie!

 

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