Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Gurman’s
Green tea with mango bits, papaya bits, pink pepper, flavouring, chili pepper, sunflower blossoms, safflower.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is such a very pretty tea to look at! It reminds me of a forest floor. The peppercorns look like ripe berries laying in a field of dried green grass that the green tea offers, along with the bits of mango giving off such an eye pleasing palate of color! The smell is intoxicating as well.
Don’t fear the peppercorns! This is such a well blended tea that you do not need to worry about a gentle palette being lit afire! The peppercorns do exactly what they should do, add a gentle presence that gives the tea a nice lift, and the dried mango does its job in sweetening up the cup! Truly you do not need to add any sweetener to this tea! While it does not have stevia or any added sweeteners to it, the mango is naturally and perfectly sweet enough to give this tea just the level of sugary goodness it needs!
The aroma while steeped is so amazing, even our own LiberTeas likened it to asian food, saying (not a direct quote) that it was savory yet sweet with a good balance. I absolutely agree here that Gurman’s managed to get this tea just right!
Originally I received this tea in a tea trade, but when I went to the site to purchase it – in great anticipation mind you, it was not on the site! I wrote Gurman’s and within days they had it back up on their site for me to buy! Now that is some good customer service if you ask me!
I have had several of their teas and every one has been excellent!
Now keep in mind as strongly flavored as this tea sounds with all the peppers, mango, etc… it is really quite a light tea, both in the color of the brew and the flavor. It is certainly now what I call a “punch in the face” flavored tea, I think many times we expect a tea with such ingredients to be so. Not this one, this is actually quite mellow and laid back. It may have peppers in it but it has manners!
Now I should say that peppers and I are friends. I don’t mind them one bit, in fact I love them. I can eat jalapenos in the raw form and often fill them with peanut butter as a snack. Granted jalapenos are not the hottest peppers out there but this is for frame of reference only. I have read a few tasting notes here and there that do say this is a spicy tea, however I just can’t honestly say it is. It only has a kick in my opinion but then you can also now see where my opinions come from!
I don’t want to give anyone a false idea that this tea is for everyone, but at the same time I don’t want to scare anyone away as it is truly a tea, and a tea company worth checking into!
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Della Terra Teas
This unique blend will take you to the rainforest with the taste of sweet chili and orange. This tea is blended from an ancient South American recipe and has orange peels, chili pepper bits, red peppercorns, coconut and pure cinnamon. Perfect for a night time treat.
Learn more about this tisane here.
I’m enjoying this much more than I expected I would. I don’t know that I had any real “expectations” … but, as I’ve mentioned before, I have this sort of automatic repellant response toward rooibos. And it really isn’t very fair. Most of the rooibos blends that I’ve tried in the last two or three years have been enjoyable enough, and some were actually really good. It all goes back to my first few times trying rooibos – plain, conventionally-grown rooibos at that – that causes that response. Like I said, it’s not fair. There are a lot of really tasty rooibos blends out there.
And I’m really enjoying this rooibos blend from Della Terra Teas. The first couple of sips, I noticed the woody and nutty tones of the rooibos coming through strongly, but they seemed to meld quite nicely with the flavor of orange and cinnamon. The orange is bright and juicy tasting, and the cinnamon shows us the sweeter side of cinnamon, allowing the chili pepper to handle the spicy notes.
At first, I didn’t really taste much from the chili pepper, but now that I’m about halfway finished with the cup, the spicy notes from the chili are coming through. But they never become super-spicy hot … they are more like a warm spiciness that stays with you throughout the sip, and then imparts an enjoyable burn on the palate in the aftertaste, reminding you of the delicious warmth of the tisane.
The coconut is also something that I didn’t notice at the start. But after the first couple of sips, I began to notice a slight creaminess that arrived toward the tail end of the sip. It isn’t a strong flavor, and never really becomes a strong flavor, but it does develop slowly as I continue to sip. It doesn’t offer that distinct “coconut” flavor, but, it does add a sweet, creamy note that contrasts nicely with the sunny orange and sweet and hot flavors of the spices.
Overall, I found this to be an extremely enjoyable cuppa. Something I’d enjoy keeping on hand to enjoy once or twice a week, when I want something spicy yet sweet for those late-night cravings!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Chad’s Chai and Tea Company
This magical blend of tea and aromatic spices will carry you away to exotic lands. Crafted in true India-style,this Masala chai is the best you will find anywhere, at least on this side of the world!
Ingredients: Full leaf Indian Black Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Clove, Organic Chili Pepper, Organic Ginger, Star Anise, Organic Cardamom.
This is a very nice, even-tempered chai tea. It has a pleasantly warm, spiced tone to it without being too spicy. I did expect it to be a bit spicier than it is, actually, what with the presence of Chili Pepper in the ingredient list. But, the Chili Pepper is more of a background note and does not overwhelm the cup.
That being said, the Chili Pepper flavor does develop as I continue to sip on this tea. At the start, there is very little Chili Pepper flavor, and by mid-cup, the I can feel the Chili Pepper on the sides of my mouth and on my tongue. It is still not at a hot or uncomfortable level, but it is more than I had experienced at the start.
What I like best about this particular chai is the Star Anise. This is not the only chai that I’ve tasted with Star Anise, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I just happen to like the way the Star Anise expresses itself here. It doesn’t have a strong or sharp licorice flavor, it is a sweet hint of licorice that sort of comes and goes throughout the sip. Very nice.
This tea also has a somewhat surprising note of pumpkin that presents itself in the aroma of the dry leaf as well as the brewed liquor. The pumpkin essence is also tasted slightly in the cup, it is not a strong essence, but I can taste the distinct squash notes of pumpkin! It’s surprising but quite good.
The other spices of this blend are very well balanced. I can taste notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger, black pepper and cardamom, but they do not seem to be in competition with each other. They provide a very even base of spice that is warm and inviting. Delicious!
This is a very good masala chai blend. I enjoyed it with a dollop of honey and no milk – but it is equally as good served latte-style with a splash of milk.