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!

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

Tea 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

Tasters Review:

I’m not going to lie…when I was finished infusing this the color of it frightened me!  I was also worried about the Hibiscus – many of you know my trials and tribulations with that ingredient…BUT…

This IS pretty pleasant! I’ve VERY shocked and surprised that the level of hibiscus is what it is!  As it cooled – I could taste more tartiness so I will drink this HOT!  If you are after the fruitier or tartier flavor you might like it cooler.   The Lemon Balm follows it as far as ingredients that pop out a little more than the others but the one that lingers is the Lavender and it’s a pretty lavender as well as a little chewy…if you can picture that!!   The rose and Orange are about equal in taste-intensity and that is subtle.

This is pretty and sassy and different all in one…I think it’s a neat blend and tastes alright!  If you are looking for a positive blend and something that is positively unique…give this one a whirl!

A Girl’s Best Friend from WhiteAugust Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  WhiteAugust Tea Company

Product Description:

You’ll be distracted by this bright and shiny Tea.  A luxurious strand of Sri Lankan black tea, faceted with blueberries, elderberries and hibiscus gems.

Taster’s Review:

Some girls consider diamonds to be their best friend; me, I’d much rather have tea!  So this tea from WhiteAugust really interested me.  The name says just the way I feel when it comes to tea!

The dry leaf is quite beautiful and smells strongly of blueberry.  As it brews this berry aroma intensifies – filling the whole kitchen with the delicious scent of blueberries!  Yummy!

The flavor is quite pleasing.  The black tea base is the strongest flavor and it tastes rich and brisk.  Not at all bitter but there is some astringency that leaves the palate feeling clean, dry and ready for another sip.

The berry flavors are tart, but I am not finding it to be an undesirable flavor in this cup.  There is a light sweetness from the blueberry, and the hibiscus does its part by adding a slight reddish hue to the brewed liquor as well as a bit of its signature tartness.   And while I am not one who normally enjoys tart teas, I am finding that the level of tartness is just right for this particular tea.  I actually like the tartness in this tea!

This tea is delicious hot or iced.  I find it to be most delicious, though, when it is warm … not tepid or lukewarm; but at a nice, drinkable temperature that is warm enough to be a “hot” tea but not so hot that it burns the tongue.  At this point, I find that the flavor of the hibiscus has not yet “popped” so it is still at a pleasant tart level, and the flavors of the blueberry really shine through nicely while still allowing the black tea to be the star of the show.

So far, I have tried a few of WhiteAugust’s teas and I must say that I am incredibly impressed with them.  The teas are appealing to the nose and the eye as well as the palate.  They’ve a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website and they are incredibly nice too!  Everything one could want from a top-notch tea company!

Health Juice from Shui Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Shui Tea

Product Description:

Herbal blend of freeze-dried orange, grapefruit, tangerine, apple, blackberry and carrot, mixed with lemongrass, hibiscus, eucalyptus, and beetroot. This blend is a harmony of sweet and tart flavors. A poet would describe this blend as a “mélange of fruit ecstasy”. We stick with delicious. Great hot or iced.

Taster’s Review:

Now that the holiday season is pretty much over, it’s about the time that most of us are starting to think “healthy” to compensate for our holiday indulgences.  Well, this tisane will get you on your way!

And you know what?  This is a tisane you’ll want to drink not because it’s healthy, but because it tastes good!

When I first opened the package, I could smell eucalyptus which can come off either as a pleasant smell to some and medicinal to others.  I happen to like the smell of eucalyptus so long as it’s not an overpowering scent, and while this tea smells primarily of eucalyptus, it doesn’t overwhelm the nostrils.

I had planned on steeping this for 5 minutes, but, at 4 minutes, I noticed that the tisane had taken on a very deep red color, and I feared that this would be a strong hibiscus-y tea.  Since I’m not terribly fond of hibiscus, I stopped brewing at this point.

And at 4 minutes, the results of the steeping is quite pleasant.  The hibiscus notes are very faint, the liquor is not thick or syrupy, and only the occasional tart note.

This tisane is citrus-y with a pleasing background of smooth, sweet apple, beetroot and carrot.  These ingredients lend more to the surface of the tea than they do to the flavor – giving it a little bit of sweetness and body so that the citrus tones do not come off as too acidic.  The overall effect is that of a refined, pulp-free juice like you might enjoy at a juice bar.

The eucalyptus is not as strong in the flavor as the aroma would suggest, but I do get the sharp, fresh taste of eucalyptus trying to peek through the citrus notes.

Overall, a very pleasant beverage – that is is healthy is just a bonus!

Tropical Lime Yerba Maté from Maté Factor

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy: Maté Factor

Product Description:

Tropical Lime Yerba Mate Tea Bags (formerly Hibiscus Lime)
80% Organic Ingredients

Our Tropical Lime tea box contains 20 large tea-bags. All of our tea-bags contain 3.5 grams of tea, DOUBLE the size of most tea-bags on the market, so you can enjoy more of the flavor, nutrition, and energizing effects of Yerba Mate!

Ingredients: Organic Green Yerba Mate, Organic Hibiscus Flowers, Sun-Dried Lime

High in Natural Vitamin C

This amazing, fruity blend is not only refreshing hot or cold, but is an amazing booster to your body’s defense system.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I’m not that fond of hibiscus.  Some hibiscus in blends is OK so long as it’s not overdone – it provides an interesting tart flavor and a little bit of body to a tisane – but, when there is too much hibiscus in a blend, it becomes too tart and too thick and syrupy.

In drinking this tea, I’m not sure if there is too much hibiscus here, or if it is just a tart tisane.  The lime and hibiscus together create a rather sour pair.  Nice if you enjoy sour or tart tastes, I’m not one of those people, though.

That being said, this isn’t thick or syrupy, which leads me to believe that it’s not too much hibiscus, it’s just the combination of lime and hibiscus that creates such a tart experience.  It has a nice body to it.  And I found that a drizzle of agave nectar helped to turn this rather tart cup into something quite good.

Interestingly enough, the earthy quality of  the Yerba Maté in this blend cuts through some of the tart hibiscus taste, so I am getting more lime than I am hibiscus.  Both the hibiscus and lime are still rather strong, but, the earthy nature of Yerba Maté saves this blend.

And who’d have thought I’d ever be happy for the earthy characteristic of Yerba Maté?   Certainly not me, not until now!  But somehow, the blending of earthy and tart work together quite nicely.  The tart cuts through some of the musty flavors of the earthy tones while the earthy flavor smooths out some of the tarter edges.  It works together well.

Now, I am not about to say that this is my favorite Yerba Maté blend, because it isn’t.  But it is quite good and appealing in its own way.  It is one that I would recommend to all you lovers of tart/sour tastes out there.

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!

 

Crimson Nectar from Tea Forté

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tea Forté

Company Description:

A vibrant, fruity, hibiscus-based herbal with a naturally sweet and surprisingly buttery finish. A limited edition holiday tea.

Taster’s Review:

Of the five teas that are included in the Winter Collection, this one is my least favorite.  It’s the hibiscus.  I just think that there is way too much of it in this blend, and I’m not particularly fond of hibiscus.

That being said, this tea isn’t that bad.  Or, at least, not as bad as I thought it would be.  The trick with this one is to not let it steep too long (because then the hibiscus becomes very thick and tart), serve it cold and to use an ample dollop of honey to sweeten it.  (Or perhaps you might use this tisane to make a holiday “punch” – just add some ginger ale!)

The honey serves two purposes, really.  It not only curbs some of the tartness of the hibiscus, but it also adds some definition to the overall cup.  With the honey in there, I can taste the lovely apple and citrus notes.

And then there is the buttery finish.  Yes, I get some tart that lingers on the tongue, but, there is also a sweet, creamy buttery taste in the finish … which nicely offsets the tartness.  It’s really quite pleasant, and perhaps the one thing that keeps me sipping this tisane.

As I said, this is not my favorite tisane and probably not one that I’d buy on its own, but it is certainly not so bad that I would choose not to buy a collection just because it happens to be part of that collection.  And I know that there are those people who have a greater appreciation for tart teas … this is the tea for you!

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