Blue Mist from Simpson and Vail

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Simpson & Vail

Product Description:
Blue Mist is a blend of Jackfruit (a fruit from India with an aroma of banana and pineapple), Apricot and Mango black teas with cornflowers and marigold petals. Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

Tasters Review:

Thought I would step outside my comfort zone with this one. I HATE Bananas!!!! I mean HATE them! When I read this had Jackfruit in it – which is supposed to smell like Pineapple and Bananas – I thought I would try it!  I love Pineapple but not Bananas but I gave it a whirl…

It smells nice…you can tell Mango and Pineapple but there is a little hint of something else which I will ‘chalk up as’ that banana illusion. Nothing is too over the top to make me change facial expressions – like I normal would when smelling bananas – but it does have a different sort of aroma, that is for sure!

It’s VERY dark in color.

It tastes like a HOT tropical smoothie. Not really floral but fruity and not like Pina Colada but truly unique. Almost like a tropical drink with NO Pineapple, Coconut, or Flowers in it…if you can picture that. It’s much different than ANY flavored black I have tried to date. If you are looking for something different this just may be it.

Citrus Appeal from Talbott Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Talbott Teas

Product Description:

All natural premium ingredients: Full leaf Japanese Sencha green tea, hibiscus, grapefruit peel, pineapple pieces, calendula petals, lemon and natural grapefruit flavor.

Taster’s Review:

When I first approached this tea, I didn’t have high expectations.  To be honest, I was like, “Oh, another citrus tea.”  But this tea blows me away!  It is really delicious.

The flavor of the Japanese Sencha is gentle and unassuming, with a pleasing buttery backnote.  Not grassy, not vegetative, just soft and fresh-tasting tea.  The green tea base allows the flavors of this tea to become the main focus while still maintaining its presence in the cup.

There is such a unique and delicious combination of flavors.  All at once, I can taste the flavors of grapefruit, lemon and pineapple swirling on my palate.  I can taste the hibiscus, but it is so very gentle that if I were not focusing intently on trying to pinpoint the various flavor notes, I think I probably would miss the hibiscus.  Probably the place where the hibiscus is most prominent would be in the color of the tea – because it brewed up to a pretty – albeit unusual – pink-ish green color.

I think what I like best about this particular tea is the grapefruit!  For those of you familiar with my tea reviews in the past, you know about how I’ve been searching for the ideal grapefruit green tea, and even though this one has other flavors in it, I do believe I have FOUND my grapefruit green!  I think it is the presence of these other flavors that makes the grapefruit flavor so incredibly delicious for me.

This is THE BEST grapefruit green tea that I’ve tasted, and I think that may even go for the grapefruit green tea that started me on this quest!  This is YUM!

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!

Coconut Pineapple Black Tea from Design a Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Design a Tea

Company Description:

Design a Tea brings choice to the marketplace. The simple concept of offering choices is the number one difference between Design a Tea and other artisan tea blending companies. Who doesn’t like choices in life? The feeling of creating and personalizing a product you order. We want consumers that deal with us to know they are dealing with a caring company. Caring, in that we hand package each order, and we pride ourselves on customer service. It doesn’t stop there.

Design a Tea even cares about the environmental issues around us. We use recycled paper products, labels, even environmentally friendly inks. We make every attempt to purchase from Fair Trade teas from international growers and suppliers and use only organically grown teas and ingredients when possible with all natural flavorings!!

Taster’s Review:

This is not one of Design a Tea’s signature blends, it is one that you can custom “design” (if you wish) – simply visit their Design a Tea page on their website and select “black tea” as your base, and then choose “coconut” and “pineapple” as your two flavorings… and you will have the same tea that sits before me now.

The black tea base (a delicious blend of black teas from Sri Lanka) is a pleasant one – it is brisk and holds its own with the flavorings.  It is strong enough to not be overpowered by the flavor, while still being mild enough to not overwhelm the cup.

The coconut and pineapple are sweet and deliciously tropical.   Having tried a few teas from Design a Tea and not being disappointed by any of them, it is clear that the flavorings that are used at Design a Tea are of the highest quality.  They do not taste fake or chemical-y.  They taste very authentic.

Design a Tea is a wonderful company that not only offers you the unique service of designing your own tea blend; their customer service is commendable as well.  Two thumbs up!

Pirate Tea from Design A Tea

Tea Type: Black Tea/Yerba Mate Blend

Where To Buy: Design A Tea

Product Description:

Ingredients: Koslanda-Dimbulla blend (Sri Lanka), Roasted Yerba Mate, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves, Natural Vanilla/Pineapple flavoring.

Tasters Review:

Well, I like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and I like Pirate Booty so when I tried Pirate Tea from Design A Tea I was happy to say I liked that, too!  Actually I more than liked it…I’ll admit…I LOVED it!

It smells like Pineapple and chai more pineapple than chai…I, personally, LOVED this about it!  This tea infuses really dark and really fast!

The taste is AWESOME!!  I can safely say this is my FAVORITE Chai to date!!  The flavoring is wonderful! The spices are mixed in nicely underneath.

Pirate Tea from Design A Tea is the complete package if you are on teas that favor pineapple!  And a nice, true, delicious pineapple – not that artificial tasting stuff!

Pineapple Papaya Green Tea from Monterey Bay Spice Company

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: Monterey Bay Spice Company

Product Description:

Exotic tastes and colors create a tea that is delightful to brew and delicious to drink! Pineapple Papaya Green uses Chinese Sencha as its base, a green tea with slender leaves that produces a yellow cup and a naturally sweet flavor. The Sencha is followed by pineapple pieces and blue malva flowers, which deliver soothing and healing vitamins and enzymes. Delight in this sensational tea with health benefits to boot!

Ingredients- Sencha green tea, pineapple pieces, blue malva flowers, and fruit flavor.

Contains Caffeine

Tasters Review:

Dry Loose Leaf Scent is very nice – it’s mostly Papaya & Flowers where as the Wet Loose Leaf Scent smells more like Green Tea, Papaya, and Pineapple.  After infusion is complete – the Liquid Aroma is VERY slight mixture of all of the above.

The Color has a typical medium Green Tea look to it.

This has a Sweeter Green Tea Taste with hints of Pineapple and Papaya…more Pineapple than Papaya.  The floral notes sneak in towards the end of the sip and throughout the aftertaste.  I have really enjoyed the cups I have had of this flavored green tea!


Pirate Tea from Design a Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black with Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Design a Tea

Company Description:

All that’s missing is that pain in the butt parrot and a buried treasure; like we said, you will remember after 1 cup of Pirate Tea where the treasure is… or at least where you lost your car keys! This is a hardy chai with a very pleasant sweet pineapple aroma and after taste. GREAT COLD

Taster’s Review:

I am not generally a huge fan of Yerba Maté.  For the most part, I can take it or leave it, although sometimes, I come across something pretty spectacular.  I even blended a pretty spectacular Yerba Maté blend… if I do say so myself.

But, Yerba Maté isn’t necessarily my favorite … know what I mean?  It’s kind of like rooibos.  I don’t dislike rooibos… but, it’s not something that I crave usually either.

BUT… this blend… I can actually see myself actually craving!  It is so good.

It is a blend of black teas and Roasted Yerba Maté (generally my preference when it comes to Yerba Maté).  The Yerba Maté is not an overwhelming presence in the cup (perhaps that is why I like it so much?) but the deep earthy flavor is there, as well as the roasted quality from the Maté.

The black tea is also not an overwhelming presence.  I can taste it, but, it seems to be providing more of a smooth presence to help curb the edge that can sometimes be part of the flavor of the Yerba Maté.  Together, the Maté and black tea create a very smooth, yet rich, deep, earthy flavor.

The pineapple is the strongest flavor in this cup, but it is not an overly aggressive flavor.  Rather, it is pleasantly sweet and juicy, and provides a beautiful contrast to the earthy character of the Yerba Maté and the warmth of the masala chai spices, creating a perfectly harmonized balance of flavors.

There is also vanilla flavoring added to this blend, which is soft and smooth, and gives the whole blend a hint of creamy, sweet goodness without being too obvious.

This is an amazing blend – definitely one of my favorite Yerba Maté blends, and perhaps the best I’ve tried from Design a Tea.  That’s saying quite a lot, because I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve tried from them!  This one is a real winner!

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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