Green Mango Peach from Tea Forté

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea & Honeybush

Where to Buy: Tea Forté

Product Description:

Fragrant mangoes and peach scent every cup of our lightly steamed green tea with honeybush and a touch of peppermint.

Taster’s Review:

I received a “single steep” package of this tea along with my KATI tumbler, and before I get too deep into reviewing this tea, I want to say that I just love these single steep packages!  They are pre-measured with just the right amount of tea for my KATI cup.  Armed with the KATI tumbler and some of these single steep packages, a tea lover has just about everything they need to brew a delicious cup of loose leaf tea anywhere they go!  Just add hot water!

Now… on to the tea!  The flavors of mango and peach permeate each sip of this tea.  It is intensely flavored!  The green tea base is able to hold its own though, and isn’t overwhelmed.  I can taste the fresh, light taste of green tea in the background.

Less noticeable is the flavor of the honeybush, although I can taste the honey-like sweetness from it.  The mint in this blend offers a herbaceous, somewhat medicinal taste to the cup that is reminiscent to menthol.  I don’t find this to be off-putting, but I can see how others might.  The flavor doesn’t overpower the cup, and I will say that the mint flavor lends a very nice minty aftertaste to the tea experience.

I like the ginger’s presence in this cup.  It is not too strong, but it adds a nice dimension of flavor and cuts through the sweeter notes of the fruit.  It has a well-rounded taste to it.  A lovely afternoon cuppa!

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!

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!

Kind of Blue from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong / Honeybush / Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description:

Take five to enjoy Kind of Blue, an irresistible blueberry Oolong jazzed up with fennel.  Rooibos and Honeybush give blend a smooth finish while the Oolong gives the energizing boost.  Improvise this tea with any meal or have it solo for an out of this world jam!

Taster’s Review:

This is really tasty.  I was a little unsure about it, because I can’t recall trying an Oolong/Rooibos/Honeybush blend before, and I wasn’t sure how the three leaves would work together – but together they create one groovy vibe!

This blend is unusual, but in a very good way.  The Oolong lends its rich flavor to the cup as well as a smooth texture.  The rooibos adds a little nutty flavor to the cup, as does the honeybush, plus there is an underlying note of honey-esque sweetness to the cup which melds very well with the blueberry flavoring.  And every once in a while, just at the start of the sip, I’ll note a very slight hint of smoke.  Just a hint – ever so slight – and one that can be missed when not paying attention.

The blueberry flavor is not terribly strong here, and I really wouldn’t want it to be.  I think it’s perfectly flavored, because a stronger blueberry essence would overwhelm the interesting balance that exists between Oolong, honeybush and rooibos, and I’m really enjoying the flavor and body of the cup just the way it is.  Similarly, the fennel doesn’t add a lot of flavor to the cup – just a kiss of licorice-like taste that rests in the background – but any stronger and it would overpower the blueberry.

This is a sweet tasting tea, but it is a pleasant sweetness – not at all cloying.  It’s really delicious, and very different!  In fact, this is one of the more difficult teas to describe that I’ve tasted, simply because it is so different.  It has so many interesting flavors and textures throughout the sip that it is one that you need to try yourself to fully comprehend what I’m trying to express.  And you really should try it – if for no other reason than it’s unique approach … but I think it’s worth a try because it’s really good!

Also makes an awesome ICED tea!

Watermelon Green Honeybush from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Review:

Our New Tea of the Week for the week of January 10, 2011

This week’s tea of the week is a special treat. Here’s green honeybush with natural watermelon flavors. If the cold weather has you yearning for a taste of summer, here’s your chance. I’m enjoying a cup of this as I write this. The green honeybush base is soft and pleasant with light citrus notes. The watermelon is sweet; I can almost feel the juiciness of it.

This is the last of our green honeybush, so don’t miss out; this will be a limited edition blend!

Taster’s Review:

I am sitting here with my Libre Mug filled with Watermelon Green Honeybush from 52Teas and the aroma is absolutely delightful.  It reminds me of the scent of Watermelon Jolly Ranchers – a smell I’ve loved since childhood.  The smell alone is making me happy that I decided to order this tisane!

So I’m overjoyed by the fact that the flavor of this tea is just as delightful as the fragrance!  This tastes just like fresh, juicy watermelon.  It tastes so much like watermelon that I can almost feel the watermelon juices running down my arm.   YUM!

I haven’t tried too many green honeybush blends, but I am really liking this one.  Honeybush typically has a honey-esque sweetness to it (hence the name), but where the “red” honeybush tends to have a somewhat nutty tone to it, this one has a fresher, lighter taste to it that is somewhat citrus-like and that citrus note really brightens the watermelon flavor.

This tisane is very summer-like to me, so I plan on keeping the rest of this pouch for my summertime ice tea brewing.  As delicious as it is hot, it is perfect as an iced tea.  It is as exhilarating as the fruit itself!

Vanilla Cinnamon Bun from Compass Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Compass Teas

Product Description:

Our most popular tea by far!  Exclusively unique to Compass Tea Company.  Slip on your fuzzy robe and slippers and warm up with this yummy tea version of your favorite dessert.  We suggest sweetening it with Amber Sugar Gems.

A great tasting and natural alternative to drinking decaf tea or coffee.  (Could also be used as a low calorie,  fat free alternative to desserts late at night.)  *Naturally  CAFFEINE FREE

Taster’s Review:

When I first opened the package of this tisane, I was blown away with how good it smelled.  The cinnamon was strong, as was the vanilla, and the combination of these two aromas was postively breathtaking!  It really does smell like cinnamon buns!  YUM!

That’s why I was just a little disappointed by the flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite tasty!  But, I am sitting here, wishing that the flavor was more like the fragrance.  More cinnamon and vanilla, and a little less in the orange flavor.

The flavor of the red and green rooibos together with the honeybush creates a very pleasant tasting base that is honey-sweet with a nice nutty flavor that lends itself well to a baked kind of taste.  It compliments the cinnamon and vanilla flavors and overall, there is a cinnamon bun flavor going on in this cup.

But… why the orange?  It is as though the orange washes away some of the flavor rather than enhances it.

This is a very tasty blend … and yet, disappointing.  I do like the flavors as they are in this tisane, but… I think this tisane could have been so much more that what it is!  It could be a Vanilla Cinnamon Bun flavored tisane, and instead I have a creamy orange spice tisane.  Tasty, but just not what I expected!

On the 11th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Today is Christmas Eve… and I still haven’t finished all the holiday preparations.  I still have presents to buy!

Yeah… I’m not the most organized individual you’re likely to meet.  That’s putting it mildly!

It may not appear so by just reading these words, but … I’m about to have a panic attack!  Good thing I have some tea to help soothe my nerves!

And the tea that I’m enjoying today is …

NEAPOLITAN HONEYBUSH

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Our caffeine-free African Honeybush (If you are still not familiar with honeybush, it is very similar to Rooibos, but a bit sweeter and without the woody aftertaste that rooibos frequently has) blended with organic vanilla beans, organic cacao nibs, freeze-dried strawberry pieces and all natural flavors. This is a real treat hot or iced!

Taster’s Review:

I can’t believe that I haven’t yet written a review for this tea!

Well, no time like the present, eh?  This is a tea that I’ve had on hand for some time now.  I am not going to say its my favorite tisane from 52Teas, because it isn’t, but, I do like it quite a bit!  I think I like it even more now than I did when I first tasted it.

For those of you that have one, I recommend brewing this in a Libre Tea Glass (or similar type vessel).  I put the leaf into the main chamber of the glass, screw on the straining lid, and sip the tisane through the strainer.  This enables me to keep the honeybush in the liquid as I sip it, and the flavor continues to intensify.  This tea just keeps getting better and better the longer it steeps!

After steeping just six minutes, my first few sips were delicious.  I could taste a good combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, together with the somewhat nutty/honey sweet taste of the honeybush.  But now, after continuing to steep some additional 15 or 20 minutes after those first couple of sips, the flavor is even better.  The chocolate – RICH!  The strawberry – SWEET!  The vanilla – CREAMY!  I think I actually like this tisane better than the ice cream after which it was created!

The flavor is really smooth and creamy, just like ice cream.  The only real difference is the temperature and the slightly nutty taste that comes from the honeybush.  I have tasted this tea hot and iced, and it is really tasty either way.  I found it to be very refreshing this past summer when I iced it.  Right now, I’m finding it to be particularly soothing on the nervous tension I’m experiencing due to my shopping dilemma.

This tea is such a wonderful treat!

On the 1st Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

This year as a special holiday promotion, 52Teas offered a special 12 sampler package which is comprised of 11 of their best-selling teas, and 1 brand new tea (for Christmas day!).  The “rules” are simple:  open one cleverly disguised sample package per day – labeled simply with the day that it should be opened (today’s sample package reminded me that I should only open it on December 14, because “Santa is Watching”).

Inside the sample package includes a new label – the label for the tea – and enough of the tea for several cups.  Today’s special tea is:

Piña Colada Honeybush

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

We create a lot of different blends here on 52teas. It is one of the things I absolutely love most about my job is experimenting with new flavor combinations and creating new and unique blends. I have to admit that some of our experiments are more successful than others. Some of the blends we create are good, some are great, and a few, like this week’s Tea of the Week, are just phenomenal!

Sweet African honeybush appears to be MADE for tropical flavors. Combine it with dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes and a touch of rum flavor, and you’ve got a tea so soothing, relaxing and pleasing to the senses, that, like I wrote on the label, you ought to be required to sip it from a hammock on the beach.

We hope this tea blows you away as much as it did us. I’m seriously thinking this might be one to enter into the World Tea Championships next year. Enjoy!

Taster’s Review:

This is one of 52Teas best.  Although, to say “one of 52Teas best” is a bit vague, not only because I happen to say that quite a bit, but because 52Teas makes a lot of great teas.  It would be difficult to actually pinpoint their “best.”

However, this tisane happens to have the distinction of placing 3rd at the North American Tea Championship.  Not too shabby!

You can read my original review of this tea here.  My opinion of the tea hasn’t changed!  The flavor is excellent.  It is pleasantly sweet from the honeybush base, and the flavors of pinapple, coconut and rum are well-balanced.

I am really glad that this tisane was included – it’s a little walk down memory lane!

Tomorrow, I will be posting about the 2nd Tea of Christmas, which is… well… we will just have to wait to find out tomorrow!

Strawberry Pie from My Sweet Honeybush

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  My Sweet Honeybush

Company Description:

Why should apple, cherry and blueberry get all the attention? Here’s our strawberry pie flavored honeybush with real freeze dried strawberries, organic vanilla bean bits, cinnamon and all natural flavors including strawberry, vanilla and hints of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon!

Taster’s Review:

YUMMMMM!  If you like strawberry – you really must try this honeybush blend.  It’s fantastic!

The strawberry flavor is very authentic – it tastes like sweet, juicy strawberries.  There is very little tart to this berry flavor.  It is like the strawberries you might pick up at a strawberry field – fresh and ripe!  And with the naturally honey-esque sweetness of the honeybush, the fruit flavor really intensifies.

The cinnamon and vanilla add a nice dimension to this blend too.  But what really makes this blend so amazing is the buttery “pie” like flavor.  With the butter flavor in there, it gives it a butter-rich shortbread crust kind of taste.

Now, I haven’t ever really had strawberry pie other than Marie Callender’s type of strawberry pie, and I’m not terribly fond of that syrupy gunk they put in their strawberry pie.  But… I have had a lot of strawberry shortcake!  My gramma used to make strawberry shortcake using her pie crust dough which was sprinkled with cinnamon.  And that is what this tastes like!

Thank you, My Sweet Honeybush, for this lovely, very memorable tea that evokes such fond memories!

Blueberry Cheesecake From Art of Tea

Tea Type: Honeybush/Rooibos Blend

Where To Buy: Art of Tea

Product Description:

Artfully hand crafted organic and fair traded South African rooibos, honeybush, and antioxidant rich blueberries infused with a natural creamy rich flavor.

Water Temperature: 206 F degrees
Caffeine Content: Caffeine Free
Steep Time: 5-7 minutes
Ingredients: Organic fair trade rooibos, organic honeybush, organic blueberries, organic cornflowers, marigolds, natural flavors.
Origin: Art of Tea Blend

Tasters Review:

If it says “Cheesecake” I’ll probably try it!

At first sip I thought this was creamy and that was about it besides the honeybush and rooibos flavors but then I waited about 2 minutes at room temp…things changed from there on!   The blueberry flavor plumped right up and was very tasty.  There was still a great deal of creaminess to it tho.

I’m not sure if I would say cheesecake-like but it’s certainly creamy!  As for aroma I can smell the blueberries slightly but not overly so.

It is VERY dark in color once infused especially for a Rooibos and/or Honeybush. The after taste is a blueberry and ends with a tiny floral taste.

I don’t know if I would say this about many other tisanes but I enjoy the creamy flavor mixed with the blueberry and I appreciate the blueberry not tasting fake or over the top!

Overall this was quite good and I would certainly have it again!

Guiltless Apple Pie from Element Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Element Tea

Company Description:

This sin-free delicious dessert tea is perfect for any autumn day when you crave Apple Pie the most. You can literally taste the warm sliced apples and pastry in your cup. Yum!

Ingredients: Green Honeybush, Green Rooibos, Apple Bits, Raisins, Hazelnut, Flavoring Bits

Taster’s Review:

This tea smells so good.  The dry leaf smells like a nutty apple pie.  The brewed liquor smells a little less like pie but a little more of the apple scent comes through, and I can still smell the nutty scent.  It smells like a homemade apple pie and evokes memories of visits to gramma’s house.

Mmm!  This is delicious.

Let me start with the base of honeybush and rooibos.  Using green honeybush and green rooibos for this blend is GENIUS for a couple of reasons.  First, the green (or unoxidized) varieties of these two herbs tends to be lighter and fresher tasting.  The green varieties also tend to have a little less of the woodsy flavor that these two leaves are known to have, and instead, the flavor tends to lean a little towards the fruity side.  There is still a light woodsy flavor to it, but, because there is also a somewhat fruity nature to the taste, it lends itself well to a fruity dessert tea such as this.

Second, I have found that in a blend containing both rooibos and honeybush, that the honey-like quality of the honeybush tends to tame that funky sweet aftertaste of the rooibos quite well.  By using both of these two leaves in the blend, Element Tea has managed to cancel out the funky taste of the rooibos while keeping a light, fruity taste and a honey-esque sweetness that complements the overall profile of this tisane very well.

But, enough with all the technical talk… let’s start talking about how this tea tastes!  Put very simply, it tastes just as the name implies:  it tastes like apple pie in a tea cup!  The apple and raisins lend a sweet and well-rounded fruit flavor to the tisane, while the hazelnut offers a nutty taste.  I can taste a pastry flavor to this too, it is slightly buttery.  The nutty taste from the hazelnuts elevates the buttery quality and gives it a very nice, nutty crust like taste.

YUMMY!  This tea is true to its name.  It’s a great way to have your pie and drink it too!

Chocolate Malt from My Sweet Honeybush

Tea Type: Honeybush

Where To Buy:
52 Teas

Product Description:

Continuing with the theme of beverages best shared, here’s our take on the classic chocolate malt honeybush-style. Sweet red honeybush, organic cacao nibs, milk chocolate chips and natural flavors. YUMMMMM!

Tasters Review:

Okay, okay…so I have been going a little crazy over this flavored honeybush…FINE…A LOT Crazy!  Here’s why…

You will NOT be able to find a Chocolate Tea/Tisane that smells better than this!

This is Incredibly Good!!!  I was thinking about giving it a 99 on my personal rating system/score card but I am going with a FULL 100!!!

This is sweet and chocolate and malty and yummy and goooey and smooth and it makes me crave more!!!!! Gimme! Gimme!

Like I said…CRAZY!

This is CRAZY GOOD!

Honey Bush Organically Grown Tea (South Africa) from Indonique

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Indonique

Company Description:

Another caffeine free South African shrub tisane that, although completely unrelated to the Rooibos plant, is amazing similar in taste only lighter and a bit sweeter, great hot or iced.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a cup of unflavored honeybush.  And as I sit here, sipping this, I am wondering why it has been so long?  This is delicious!

Unlike rooibos, which is also grown in South Africa, I really like the taste of unflavored honeybush.  It has a smooth taste with a slight earthy quality to it – not nearly as woody as rooibos tends to be – and a very pleasant honey-like sweetness.

It is called “honeybush” because its flower smells like honey.   And although it has that honey-like aroma and taste, it isn’t at all heavy or thick (or sticky!) like honey.  This is very light and refreshing.  And because it’s naturally caffeine free, it’s a great choice to drink any time of the day.

Another great way to enjoy unflavored honeybush is as an addition to a favorite tea.  It adds a little bit of sweetness and a little extra dimension to the flavor without adding calories.  And honeybush is loaded with antioxidants!

I prefer my unflavored honeybush to be organically grown (and yes, it does make a difference in flavor with honeybush and rooibos!) and that’s why I really like this Honey Bush from Indonique.  My kids love it too!

French Lemon Ginger Tea from Art of Tea

Tea Type: Honeybush

Where To Buy: Art of Tea

Product Description: A breath of fresh air! This organic ambrosia is the answer to a clean fresh cup. Combining lemon verbena, lemongrass, botanicals, and ginger complimented with the sweetness of South African honeybush.

Tasters Review:

I’m not normally a fan of ginger in teas…at least most of the time I am not.  French Lemon Ginger from Art of Tea may have just changed my mind.  USUALLY I have found most ginger teas to be too fierce for me…but I will say this one is darned good! It’s a smooth taste. There is just a bit more lemon than ginger and they are in perfect harmony! There’s the slightest bit of Honeybush in the actual blend but wouldn’t suggest any more! This is the perfect amount of that, too! This one blew my doors off! I was totally surprised by this and think it’s just darling!

Breakfast Blend Tea from LiberTEAS & Contest/Giveaway!

Tea Type: Black Tea & Honeybush

Where To Buy: LiberTEAS

Product Description:

A bold yet smooth blend of black teas (Ceylon, Assam, Yunnan & Nilgiri) and just a touch of vanilla and honeybush. The result is a deliciously rich, robust tea that will get you going and put a spring in your step.

Tasters Review:

This is a brilliant blend of black teas and honeybush called Breakfast Blend from LiberTEAS and I just LOVE it!  Keep reading for a chance to win this tea, too!

The black teas are very bold and are what you seek for a morning tea!  The honeybush gives it the natural sweetness and pairs wonderfully with the hint of vanilla.  The pairing of honeybush and vanilla also gives this blend a great smoothness to the tea as well.

This is NOT your run-of-the-mill Breakfast Blend…it is so much more.   One I would certainly say is on the top of my list of not only Morning Teas or Bold Teas but also Creative Blends and pure joy in a cup!  A great start to any day!

NOW…WHO WANTS TO WIN THIS TEA???

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Contest Announcement:  Win a 2 oz Tin of LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend and a 2 oz tin of the tea of your choice from LiberTEAS (limited to stock on hand).  To enter, you simply need to comment on this review post.  That’s it!  We will select the winner via random selection on Saturday, July 24.

Want to increase your odds of winning?  Here are some ways to earn extra entries:

1.  Become a fan on our Facebook page.  Check out our sidebar widget to link to our Facebook page, and when you become a fan, come back here and comment on this post to let us know that you’ve become a fan so that you’ll get the extra entry.  Already a fan?  Then announce this contest on your facebook page to earn an extra entry!  Please include a link of our blog on your facebook announcement so that your friends can check out the contest too.

2.  Got a blog?  Blog about this contest and earn an extra entry to this contest.  Please include a link of our blog in your blog post so that your readers can check out the contest.

3.  Twitter about the contest and include a link to our blog in your twitter.

Be sure to let us know that you’ve facebooked, twittered, or blogged about the contest by posting the information here.

GOOD LUCK to all of you!

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This contest is over – and the Winner is:  Meghann M.!  CONGRATULATIONS MEGHANN!

Piña Colada Honeybush from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where To Buy:  52Teas

Company Description:

Sweet African honeybush appears to be MADE for tropical flavors. Combine it with dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes and a touch of rum flavor, and you’ve got a tea so soothing, relaxing and pleasing to the senses, that, like I wrote on the label, you ought to be required to sip it from a hammock on the beach.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve got to be honest; I wasn’t very interested in trying this tea when I first saw it on the 52Teas website.  I’m not a big fan of piña coladas.  (Although I do like the tune – catchy!)  However, I had read so many positive reviews of it on Steepster that I just had to give it a try.  Fortunately, 52Teas sells their teas in 2 ounce packages – not a big investment to try something you’re not too confident about.

But really, I don’t know what I was so worried about!  This is 52Teas, after all, one of my favorite online tea companies.  I have yet to try a tea from them that I really dislike.

My curiosity got the better of me and I finally decided to buy a package.  And WOW!  This tastes fantastic!

I’ve tried a few piña colada flavored teas, and with most that I’ve tried, the flavors of the coconut and pineapple are represented but there is seldom anything resembling rum in the blend.   Not so in this blend.  There is a touch of rum flavoring to this.  It isn’t an overwhelming flavor, but just enough to make this taste more like a piña colada than a tropical flavored tea.

The coconut and pineapple flavors add a pleasant sweetness and tropical flair to the cup – maybe I should be drinking this out of fancy stemware rather than my tea mug – complete with a little paper umbrella!

But as delicious as this tisane is hot, it is even better iced!  It is super refreshing and fast becoming one of my favorite cold drinks – I could drink it all day!  That is… if I hadn’t just used the last of my package.   This is definitely a must try tea!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Company Description:

Our caffeine-free African Honeybush (I know this is two Honeybush blends in a row, but I couldn’t resist), blended with dried pineapple and just a touch of freeze dried cherries and natural flavors. We’ve included the natural essences of cake, pineapple, brown sugar and even a hint of maraschino cherry to top it all off.

This was the tea of the week for the week of April 19, and as I am writing this, there are 15 pouches left of this fabulous flavor.   As someone who has tried many of their flavors, I can attest that this is a company that does honeybush blends right!  This tea is absolutely decadent and delicious – a perfect substitution for dessert!

Taster’s Review:

Pineapple upside-down cake is more than just a dessert; for me it’s like comfort food.  That yummy, caramelized crust of brown sugar, pineapple slices and cherries.  The rich, buttery cake.  A slice of pineapple upside-down cake is a little bit like a slice of paradise!

Yes, I love pineapple upside-down cake, but, it is something that I don’t prepare very often (read this as saying:  I never prepare it) because I cook for a rather finicky group (aka my family) and I can just imagine their reaction if I did make it:  “Pineapple upside-down cake?  Why did you make that?  Why couldn’t you just make a *normal* cake?”  This reaction would be complete with a whine in their voice.  Then, I would be left with the cake to eat all by myself (now that I’ve typed that out and read it to myself … I’m thinking maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to actually make an upside- down cake sometime soon.)

In the meantime, I can indulge my taste buds in this dessert in a teacup from 52Teas.  And they nailed it with this blend!  The dry tea smells quite delicious – I can smell the pineapple and I can even smell the buttery cake.  My mouth started watering when I first opened the pouch!  I could hardly wait for the eight minutes to pass while it steeped!  I wanted my pineapple upside-down cake!

YUM!  This tea is so good!  The buttery cake-like flavor is very dominant, it really tastes like liquefied cake – so rich and decadent!  The pineapple is sweet, and there is just a hint of cherry.  But what really brings this tea all together for me is the caramel-y taste of the brown sugar.  This tastes just the way I remember pineapple upside-down cake tasting!  (Yes, it has been that long since I’ve had pineapple upside-down cake that I have to qualify the last remark as “the way I remember”)

The honeybush base is perfect for these flavors.  It is sweet and honey-like, with a pleasant nutty taste, but it is not overly assertive in the blend and does not interfere with the buttery cake-y, pineapple-y, caramel-y, kiss-of-cherry flavors.

After my initial sip, I chose to add just a sprinkling of raw sugar to bring out some of the finer details of this tea.  It does have it’s own sweetness so just a little bit goes a long way here.  Next time, I might add a little bit of muscovado sugar to bring out some of the more molasses-y caramel notes.  That being said, if you are one who prefers not to add any sweetener of any kind to your tea, this tea is still quite delicious without the addition.  This is truly a lovely way to indulge in the comfort of pineapple upside-down cake!

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