Aria blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

Immediately evident in the dry leaves are whole cloves and some seed pods that I thought at first were anise but, after looking at the ingredients, I decided must be fennel. The attractive-looking combination also includes bits of licorice and marshmallow root as well as orange peel and peppermint plus cinnamon and ginger.

I used a heaping teaspoon of the tea leaves in a cup of water at approximately boiling temperature and then watched it steep for about the next four minutes. It smelled all nice and licorice-y while steeping and became a nice light yellow color, which reminded me a bit of a medium-strong green tea.
When I sipped it, I noticed right away the very present flavor of anise (licorice). It reminds me of the “throat coat” tea I grew up drinking whenever I had a cold, except that it’s a bit more delicate and refined in how it presents the licorice flavor. The licorice still manages to overpower the other flavors in the cup, though. I tried really hard and detected a hint of tingly spiciness from the cloves (I think. Or was I just making that up? I may have been just making that up), but I didn’t detect a noticeable presence from any of the other components. This was a little surprising as I’d seen citrus peel in the cup and that’s generally pretty strongly flavored. Fortunately, the licorice flavor itself was quite pleasing.
The effect of the tea is definitely soothing and relaxing to the throat. It’s a bit viscous as if it had lots of honey in it (likely because of the marshmallow root), which makes it even more soothing. It’s also caffeine free, which means it’s non-stimulating. This can be important when your throat is irritated and you’re trying to relax-soothe it, and it’s also good for singers in general especially near a performance because, according to some experts, caffeine can have a detrimental effect on the voice (the vocal cords, that is).


I’d say this tea would probably great for reducing throat irritation/scratchiness/etc, whether you have a cold or allergies or have just overused or abused your voice recently. (Which I haven’t. But I’ll be sure to use this tea next time my throat is feeling under the weather!) It probably can’t work miracles, like if you have laryngitis and are hoping to still go on stage or something, but it does have a markedly soothing effect. Also, this tea can be re-steeped! So you can use it over and over again, although I personally didn’t test to see how many cups of tea it will make so I can’t give a figure. I’d recommend this tea for not only singers but anyone who might sometimes overuse their voice or who might have to use their voice while sick, like teachers (can’t stop teaching just cause you have a cold!).

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company

A singer’s best friend! This herbal blend was originally designed for Portland’s very own Hampton Opera Center. Licorice, marshmallow root, cinnamon and mint are some of the ingredients used in this blend to provide relief and aid to the throat. Aria satisfies, soothes and warms.


Licorice Root*, Fennel*, Clove*, Cinnamon*, Orange Peel*, Ginger*, Peppermint*, and Marshmallow Root.

*Organically Grown.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A-Tisket A-Tasket Green Tea by Adagio

tiskettasketTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio

Tea Description:

A sunny, citrusy green tea, with a hint of delicious vanilla. Contains green tea, lemongrass, sunflower petals, citrus peels, and lemon and vanilla flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Over time, this has become one of my favourite Adagio teas, and it takes a lot for me to say that. This is a green tea blend, part of the Sunlit Blooms collection, containing lemongrass, citrus peel, and lemon and vanilla flavourings. The dry leaf is primarily green tea, and the leaves are medium to dark green, fairly long and folded. No specific variety is given, but I’d say Dragonwell as an educated guess.

There’s also a generous scattering of sunflower petals, which I assume are there to carry the lemon and vanilla flavourings. Lemongrass and citrus peel are less in evidence, although it’s possible to find the occasional piece if you stir the leaf up and look hard. This hardly sounds encouraging, but as this one actually turns out to be a great tea I’m going to refrain from further comment.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a bright golden yellow, and smells mildly citrusy. To taste, it’s a different story entirely. Lemon cream, in the best bakery sense of the words! Although the green tea is a large proportion of the mixture, it’s completely unobtrusive in the finished cup, and super-smooth to boot. This means that the flavours really shine through, with lemon the first flavour to emerge, followed by a wash of vanilla and cream in the mid-sip. It’s truly wonderful, and sipping on this is putting me in mind of a huge lemon sponge coated in light, fluffy vanilla buttercream.

The lemon here is candy-like and a little tart, which works with the sweet, desserty vibe of the blend overall. Personally, I could probably take a tad more sharpness with all the creamy sweetness, but it’s so great I can’t say I’m all that concerned. This is lemon cream in tea form! A dessert replacement if ever there was one!

Adagio can be hit and miss in my experience, but this one is a definite hit. It’s just so perfectly put together, with really well balanced flavours. This is a must-try blend for anyone who appreciates a good dessert tea. I don’t think there are many that can match this one for pure lemon creaminess. Spectacular!

Spiced Imperial from Whittard of Chelsea 1886

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Whittard of Chelsea 1886

Tea Description:

Set against smooth black tea, this blend is enriched with the exotic taste of cinnamon bark and fragrant citrus peel; scented with spiky cloves and long dark pods of vanilla. From your steaming cup these majestic flavors curl and twist. Let them take you on a journey to lands rich with the fragrance of spice.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This smells so good.  It is spicy with strong cinnamon notes and hints of clove.  It has a delightful citrus-y undertone and a background note of earthy black tea with just a subtle touch of vanilla in there too.

I expected it to taste super spicy, like the spicy-hot cinnamon hearts.  But it doesn’t.  It certainly does have a warm level of spice, but I wouldn’t call it spicy.

What I am liking right off the bat with this tea is that the black tea is not hidden beneath all these spices.  It is evenly matched with the cinnamon, which is the strongest flavor of the spices.  The cloves come through about mid-sip, while the orange notes seem to peek through, brightening up the entire cup.  The vanilla is more of a subtle, distant note, and I find myself wanting a little bit more from it.  However, as it cools, the vanilla seems to rise to the surface, and gives me what I was hoping for.  It doesn’t ever become a strong flavor in the cup, but, it becomes a little less shy about revealing its flavor after the tea has had a couple of minutes to cool.  Not cold, it’s still hot … but, it’s not as hot as it was when I first poured the cup.

I am enjoying this, but I do find myself wishing there was a little more  … something … from the black tea.  From what I am tasting, I would speculate that this is a Ceylon, and it is pleasant enough and tastes good, but, it’s just not quite as solid a tea as I would like.  It’s a bit too mild here; I think needs a bit more roundness to it.  I think that this could have done well with a touch of Assam, perhaps, or maybe Nilgiri, to give it a slightly denser flavor with a hint of malty flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a very enjoyable tea – I just think it could be even better!

Overall, though, I am really enjoying this warmly spiced blend – it evokes thoughts of autumn – my favorite time of year – and reminds me that it is on its way!  And this tea would be a delightful one with which to start those days in fall.  I can’t wait!

Red Bush Chai from Fusion Teas

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Fusion Teas

Tisane Description:

By itself, chai is merely the generic word for “tea” in much of South Asia and many other parts of the world. In western society chai has become to imply a spiced version of tea. Traditionally a strong base is used so that the spices and sweeteners do not overpower it. Rooibos is perfect in this manner because of the bold almost nuttiness flavor that is present.

There are a wide variety of spices that can be used. When you think of chai you immediately think of “warm” spices. Any combination of the following can be used: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, peppercorn, cloves, ginger, and star anise. Cardamon being the most common added spice for its dominant characteristic while a combination of the others play a supplemental role. Our Red Bush Chai stays true to tradition with its boldness.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve sampled quite a few chai-inspired rooibos blends.  Some I’ve liked, some I didn’t.  I like this one.  It is warm and spicy without being too spicy.

In many rooibos chai blends, I don’t taste much from the rooibos, and usually I’m quite happy with that.  However, I do taste the rooibos here – I taste that distinct nutty flavor of rooibos – and I am finding myself really enjoying the taste.  The sweet, nutty flavor of the rooibos melds nicely with warmth of the spices, adding a pleasant depth to this cup.  Also nice is the bright flavor from the citrus peel.  It isn’t a dominate flavor, but it adds a vibrant kiss of flavor to the drink.

I really like the blend of spices.  A nice peppery kick – but not too powerful a kick.  A hint of sweet, sassy licorice from the fennel and anise, but unlike some chai blends that add the fennel and/or anise with a heavy hand, here, the licorice tones are in the background, providing a gentle, welcome flavor.  Warmth from the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

Really tasty, this Red Bush Chai from Fusion Tea Room!