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!

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!

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!

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea from Local Coffee & Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Local Coffee & Tea

Product Description:

A soothing herbal rooibos with licorice root, fennel, peppermint and lemon verbena. Naturally caffeine-free.

When Mrs. Potter Palmer (Bertha Honoré Palmer), the well-travelled and powerful Chicago socialite, first set eyes on Sarasota in 1910, she proclaimed ‘Here is heaven at last’.

She soon owned 80,000 acres of what is now Sarasota County, operated a successful ranch, and made her graceful winter home and gardens at The Oaks on Historic Spanish Point.

Sarasota County celebrates the 2010 centennial of her arrival and honors the significant impact Mrs. Palmer made on our culturally rich and prosperous community. Please join us in raising a cuppa Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea to this incredible woman!

For more information about events throughout the year, visit http://www.BerthaPalmerAlive.com

Taster’s Review:

I love licorice and I like peppermint, but I don’t always like the two flavors together.  Sometimes it works for me while others it does not.  With this tisane, it works very nicely!

The rooibos base offers a hint of nutty/woody flavor, but, it iss barely distinguishable  in the midst of the stronger flavors of licorice, fennel and peppermint.  The lemon verbena is a soft citrus-y flavor that sits in the background and softens some of the sharper qualities of the other ingredients.

The licorice, fennel and peppermint are the dominant flavors here, but as I said before the lemon verbena softens them somewhat, making this combination very palatable.  It starts off with a sweet licorice-y taste, followed by the taste of crisp peppermint.  The bright, lemony note arrives right before the finish and leaves a cool minty/citrus-y aftertaste.

I like this best when served hot with a drizzle of agave nectar, but it’s not bad iced either.  This is a tasty, soothing and very relaxing tisane.  Nice!

Savanna Vanilla African Rooibos from Domo

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Domo

Product Description:

For hundreds of years the Khoisan people of South Africa have enjoyed rooibos tea, not just for its sweet, delicate taste but for its medicinal value. Now Domo has captured the spirit of the wild with a subtle blend of red rooibos and natural vanilla. Domo Flavour-Infused Rooibos is a whole new way to enjoy tea, and thanks to a high antioxidant count and no caffeine, it’s also one of the healthiest teas you can buy. Try Domo Vanilla-Enhanced Rooibos and rediscover the spirit of Africa.

Taster’s Review:

This is completely and utterly YUM!  Like dessert-treat yum!

This rooibos comes as a powder similar to green tea Matcha (only it is a reddish-terra-cotta color).  I prepared it the same way I would green tea Matcha except that I used hotter water (almost boiling) as rooibos tends to respond better to hotter water, but I used the same Matcha tools to prepare the Savanna Vanilla African Rooibos.

The result is a rich and creamy chawan full of sweet goodness!  But, be warned, this IS sweet.  And it tastes so creamy and vanilla-y that I almost feel like I should be eating it (like eating ice cream) rather than sipping on it.

The rooibos is not extraordinarily distinct in this – I can taste notes of nut and wood but not a lot of rooibos aftertaste (which is good!)  The dominate flavor is the vanilla – and it tastes like it was sweetened with vanilla sugar!  Yes, it is that sweet … if you don’t care for sweet drinks, this may not be the ideal beverage for you.  But for the rest of us – this is so deliciously decadent that it will help curb any sweet craving you might have!

I love this!

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!

Organic Peppermint from Byron Bay Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Byron Bay Tea Company

Product Description:

A fresh, minty tea that is both cooling and invigorating. Enjoy any time of the day.

Taster’s Review:

This is about as simple as it gets, folks.  It’s 100% pure, 100% organic peppermint leaf.  Nothing else.  It really can’t get any simpler than that, can it?

Sipping Peppermint tea is a delicious way to relax after a meal.  What I like best about pure peppermint tea like this one from Byron Bay is that even though it tastes crisp and refreshing – somehow, it doesn’t end up tasting like medicine-y mouthwash.  It is (obviously!) minty fresh and herbaceous, but it doesn’t taste medicinal.  It tastes natural – because that’s what it is.

It is especially nice after eating something spicy, because it helps to cool the palate and leave it feeling clean!  Peppermint is one of my favorite restorative herbs – I feel refreshed after I sip it, but because it is naturally caffeine free, I don’t feel too stimulated by drinking it.  It is invigorating yet soothing!  Nice!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Fresh Brewed Designs Steamy Romance Digital Stamp

Click on photo to be directly linked to the page where this digital stamp can be found. It is located about half-way down the page.

Product:

Steamy Romance Digital Stamp

Designer:

Heather Dennis

Where to Buy:

Fresh Brewed Designs

Artist’s Review:

Well, now that I have tried using digital stamps, I’m really loving it.  They’re not only simple to use and much easier to store than rubber stamps, they’re also quite economical!  This lovely image is just $3.00!

About my project:  This is a very simple card, using some left over scrapbook paper (over the years, I’ve amassed a LOT of paper).  The kraft cardstock is made from recycled paper and I acquired it from my favorite art supply store, Collage!

I printed the image on pink vellum and then colored in the image using colored pencils.  It’s hard to see in the image, but I also added a few tiny heart-shaped rhinestones to embellish the card a little bit.

It’s a pretty simple design but I’m happy with it.  I hope that my SweeTea likes it too!

This was an incredibly fun digital stamp from Freshly Brewed Designs!  Perfect for Valentine’s Day, or for any occasion when you want to celebrate your love of tea (or… coffee, I guess).  Even if you’re an “old-school” artist/crafter like me, I think you’ll find that you can easily incorporate digital stamps into your repertoire.  They’re so versatile and simple to use, once you’ve tried them, you’ll probably wonder “what took me so long?”  I know I did!

Mint Chocolate Chip from The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

Tea Type: Rooibos

Where To Buy:
The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

Direct Link to the product at their store…CLICK HERE.

Product Description:

Ingredients Organic Rooibos, Vanilla, Mint, Chocolate Pieces * Characteristics Energizing, Organic, Caffeine-Free * Flavors Sweet, Minty * Caffeine Content None * Steep Temperature 200˚ * Steep Time 3-5 mins

Tasters Review:

I’m always interested in Mint Chocolate Chip Flavored stuff!  I have to admit…I just think chocolate and mint are genius together…generally speaking!

BUT…when it comes to this flavored rooibos…it doesn’t let me down!  It’s intensely flavored and smells AWESOMELY AWESOME! I know that is redundant and not the most creative phrasing for an official tea/tisane review but it DOES fit the bill…trust me!

I can see all of the ingredients and something that looks like dried apple but I don’t see that in the list of ingredients so maybe what I am seeing is a vanilla bean or something.

The taste is a nice, bold, strong Chocolate and Mint Mix.  It does hide quite a bit of the Rooibos taste but paired with the vanilla makes for a milky-smooth ending and aftertaste.

This is very good!  I like this a lot!  And I mean A LOT!

As it cools the chocolate becomes more malty…almost like a chocolate milk shake type malty…this aspect of the taste interests me as I don’t recall having that happen to me in other tea/tisanes.

This without a doubt made it to my mid 90 percentile of favorites!

 

 

Zest Energizing Tea from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description:

Teaquilibrium’s Energizing Sport Tea contains yerba mate, a South American herb known for its plethora of health benefits. A study of yerba mate at The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded that mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.” Mate is also a natural source of caffeine, theobromine (dark chocolate’s euphoric stimulant) and theophylline (tea’s soothing stimulant) which stimulate the central nervous system to create calm energy and mental clarity.

Yerba Mate fuels your muscles and nourishes your body with 15 amino acids, 24 vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex. Natural phytochemicals stimulate your immune system and boost your metabolism.

Taster’s Review:

OK, when I first saw the name of this tea, I was immediately reminded of “the other” Zest (you know, the bar of soap?)

But I’d much rather use THIS Zest as my “eye-opener” – and it certainly does do just that.  The lemon-y flavor is bright and clean… and shall I say it?  Zesty!  The delicious, lemon-y flavor curbs the earthy notes of the yerba maté.  This is not overly earthy or grassy tasting, it is quite smooth for a yerba maté, which sometimes can come off as a little bitter.  I’m not getting that with this cup at all!

The lemon-y flavor is not incredibly tart, although there is a faint, tangy note at the finish that lingers a little bit with a tingly sensation on the tongue.  This is something that is almost barely noticeable unless you’re focusing on it, though.  Mostly what I get from the lemon is a smooth, sweet citrus-y taste that reminds me a bit of lemon curd.

The yerba maté is a green maté (that is, it isn’t roasted), so it has a fresher taste to it which is very fitting with the whole concept of “Zest.”  This tastes fresh and bright and lively!  It is certainly enough to get you going even on those days when you feel sort of sluggish.  This will help rid you of those “sleepyzzz!”

I like to steep this energizing drink in a vessel that I can keep the leaves continually steeping as I sip… so I am using my Libre Mug.  I put the loose leaf into the main chamber, and then add the hot water and allow it to steep for five minutes, then I screw on the filter lid and the filter lid strains the tisane as I sip it.  Since yerba maté lacks the tannins of tea leaves, it doesn’t get bitter from lengthy brew times – it just gets more flavorful!

I like this!

Yin Yang Maté from Tea Addiction

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Tea Addiction

Product Description:

Ingredients: Yerba maté, cacao nibs, and vanilla flavoring. Get yourself going with this yerba maté chocolate treat! These leaves are believed to stimulate the immune system, decrease inflammation, and increase metabolism.

With the addition of cacao nibs, a myriad of vitamins as well as a natural anti-depressant “sweeten” the pot. Cacao is also thought to encourage mental alertness and clarity of mind. Try adding a touch of milk to make your cup of smooth and chocolaty Yin Yang Maté extra special!

Taster’s Review:

I am really enjoying this Yerba Maté blend.

The fragrance of the dry leaf is quite tempting – it smells like chocolate!  YUM!  The brewed liquor maintains the chocolate scent which now combines with a slightly toasty scent, a hint of vanilla and an earthy quality.

The flavor is a little surprising!  There is a toasty/smoky/woodsy taste to the cup that I hadn’t expected.  Usually, I do expect a light roasted flavor along with an earthy note and a vegetative quality, but not so much of a smoky wood flavor.  It is not an off-putting flavor, just different.

As the cup cools, I find that the smoky wood flavor subsides as more of the earthy/vegetative quality emerges.  The vegetative note is much less noticeable in these roasted Yerba Maté leaves, which trade in some of the vegetal taste for a more caramelized earth note, which plays off especially well with the cacao and vanilla flavors.

The cacao is more savory than sweet, but the addition of the vanilla gives it a sweet, creaminess that almost intimates at a milk chocolate note in the distance.  You can enhance that flavor by the simple addition of a splash of milk, if you wish.  I find this to be rather delightful without the milk – but I do recommend a dollop of honey or agave nectar to smooth out some of the bitter taste of the Yerba Maté.

This is the first that I’m trying from Tea Addiction – and I’m quite happy with it, and the company!  They are incredibly nice, and as a tin collector I can’t overlook the sleek tins!  I just love it when I find a new tea company!

Organic Chamomile from Byron Bay Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Byron Bay Tea Company

Product Description:

This classic herbal infusion features the subtle, sweet taste and calming properties of Chamomile flowers. Perfect any time of the day.

Taster’s Review:

Honestly, I don’t get real excited over chamomile tea.  In fact, I usually cringe when I receive some.  It isn’t that I dislike chamomile; it’s just that it isn’t my favorite herb to brew.

So needless to say, chamomile is not something that I drink very often.  But sometimes, I really need to relax and unwind, and no other tea or tisane that I’ve tried promotes a sense of calm better than chamomile.

And, the flavor of this chamomile is quite pleasant!  Byron Bay Tea Company does not specify from where they obtain their chamomile, but the blossoms are whole, large, and not at all dusty.  The chamomile smells fresh!  It has a light, clean smell to it that is a little floral and a little fruity.

The flavor is delicate and sweet, with hints of an apple-like taste.  Although it is a flower, chamomile doesn’t really come across as floral in flavor to me, although I do note some pollen-like notes here.  Not a dusty kind of pollen, but more like a sweet, honey-like pollen.

This gentle tisane is just perfect for those times when I need to relax.  It’s an excellent chamomile!

Lemongrass Tea from Supple Skin Boutique

Tea Type: Herbal

Where To Buy: Supple Skin Boutique

Product Description:

Common name: Citronella

Used for calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. Also considered as a mild insect repellant.

Used as diuretic for detox as well as antibacterial and antifungal.

Used on dogs to reduce barking and as an aid to retraining

No established contraindications.

This information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tasters Review:

Did you know that LEMONGRASS can help dogs bark less?  I guess I never knew that!

Another thing I must point out is that my other Lemongrass herbal teas don’t really look like this.  This one looks like a pale-tannish-yellow color and has lemongrass but also what looks like root and powder in the mix!

It really didn’t have an aroma prior to infusing but afterwards…it was pleasant but not over the top!   It infuses to a VERY clear and clean pale almost completely clear color liquid-wise.  It’s a very gentle lemongrass and a gentle herb type taste.

This isn’t too bad!  I think it would make a nice base for blending!   It does leave a refreshing aftertaste, too!  I give this one a thumbs-up from Supple Skin Boutique!

 

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