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!

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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!

Sunset in Seattle Tea from Market Spice

Tea Type: Herba;

Where To Buy: Market Spice

Product Description:

One of our sweetest and most popular herbal teas, Sunset in Seattle is a blend utilizing a myriad of herbs that are soothing and mellow. Ingredients: Rosehips, Vanilla, Chamomile, Spearmint, Raspberry, Lemon Grass, Hyssop and herbs. Contains no sugar and is caffeine free.

Tasters Review:

Sunset in Seattle Tea from Market Spice looked much like the picture above  thru the see-thru bag it came in but there was white powder heavily throughout the blend.  For me not knowing too much about this tisane before trying it I was confused by the powder ingredient but quickly released it was the vanilla within the mix.
The vanilla ‘powder’ is powerful and very nice smelling.  The overall aroma consists of Chamomile, Mint, and Vanilla.  The color post-infusion is a cloudy gray-orange-yellow type color.  The taste is minty but floral…Herbally yet smooth…lemony yet vanilla….this is odd but lovely.  It’s interesting and surprising!  I ended up REALLY liking this one!  The aftertaste is minty yet sweet! Opposites completely attract in this case…and it makes me grin from ear to ear!

I especially liked the vanilla and minty notes!

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!

Chocolate Mint Rooibos from TeaScapes

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  TeaScapes

Product Description:

This rich full-bodied tea brews to a reddish orange liquor. The chocolate pieces create a creamy taste and the mint is bright and refreshing. This Chocolate Mint Rooibos tea can be consumed both as a hot beverage and as an iced drink.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  This is good stuff!

The aroma is delicious – very minty, but with a nice chocolate-y scent too.  I can also smell the rooibos … which smells like, well, like rooibos.

I am happy that I can’t really taste the rooibos, though.  Perhaps a faint nutty flavor or woody flavor here and there, but nothing very pronounced or strong.  As I am not particularly fond of the flavor of unflavored, oxidized rooibos, I find the lack of rooibos flavor here to be a good thing.

The strongest flavor is the mint.  The taste is clean and crisp, just like I’d expect from a strong minty taste.

But before it has a chance to be TOO minty, the chocolate notes hit the palate.  Mmm!  Chocolate!  The chocolate is a milk chocolate-y kind of taste.  It is not as strong as I personally would like it to be (but then, I always say that about chocolate), but there is a good amount.  The result is a tisane that tastes a bit like a mint chocolate chip ice cream (well, except for the fact that this is hot!)

The finish is minty fresh with just a whisper of chocolate.  This would be a great low-calorie, low-fat, caffeine-free dessert substitute!  Delicious!

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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