A friend of mine was kind enough to share a sample of Hotcups’ Death by Cocoa tea with me. Prior to receiving this sample, I had not heard of this company. Then, as part of an Instagram challenge to post 365 days of tea, I featured this sample in one of my posts and tagged the company. Hotcups then reached out to me and was kind enough to share even more samples of their offerings. They sent me seven teas to try including this one, Fruit Thirsty Crow.
Fruit Thirsty Crow is a mix of currants, hibiscus petals, rosehip peel, elderberries, blueberries, cornflower petals, black currants, raspberry pieces.
I divided the sample in half and prepared a cold brew with one half and a hot cup with the other. For the cold brew, I let the tea sit in water in the fridge for approximately 24 hours. For the hot cup, I steeped it in boiling water for 4 minutes. Unfortunately life got in the way and the “hot” tea was mostly a cooled tea by the time I tried it. So, this is actually a review of a cold brew and a cooled tea.
The cooled tea tastes a little bit like bubblegum to me. Granted, not fresh, just-put-in-your-mouth gum. Instead, this is like gum that you have been chewing long enough that the flavor is slightly fading and the actual gum flavor is coming through, but not so long that it’s no longer fruity. As much as I feel like that explanation can be off-putting, its just the best way I can explain this. It’s actually an enjoyable enough cup with a hibiscus/berry flavor at the front that tapers off to that gum/wax flavor at the end of the sip.
The cold brew is better than the hot tea because that gum element is gone. It is sweeter than the cooled tea and has more berry flavor. This is more like Swedish Berry gummies in their prime than gum that’s losing it’s flavor.
Is it the best fruit infusion I have ever had? No. But it’s a nice enough tea if you like more of a berry focus.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: Hotcups
Ingredients: Currants, hibiscus petals, rosehip peel, elderberries, blueberries, cornflower petals, black currants, raspberry pieces.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Green
Sure we all have responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle into a routine. Break things up with the tingling intensity of Pomegranate Burst™. Blended with the goodness of green tea and the unexpected tart flavors of pomegranate and cherry, one sip will be enough to shake up an ordinary day.
Learn more about this tea here.
I brewed this Pomegranate Burst™ Green Tea from Good Earth without knowing the ingredients in the tea – only knowing it’s a flavored green tea. So, I brewed it the way I’d brew any other bagged green tea: using 8 ounces of hot water (170°F) and steeping for 2 minutes.
After I finished steeping the tea, I noticed the color – it’s a vivid ruby color, just like the color of a pomegranate aril. This communicated “hibiscus” to me. And after my first sip, yep … there’s hibiscus in this. Ugh. That first sip told me something else: there’s stevia in this too. Double Ugh. And it’s not even the natural leaf from the herb “stevia” it’s steviol glycosides which is the chemical compound of stevia. And I can taste that chemical taste from it too. Triple UGH!
Served hot, this just isn’t my cup of tea. I taste to much hibiscus and stevia and a syrupy cherry flavor (read: cherry flavored cough syrup) for me to derive much enjoyment out of drinking it. I do taste pomegranate and hints of raspberry. Those flavors might be nice if my palate wasn’t overwhelmed by the flavor of hibiscus, chemical tasting stevia and cough syrup.
No green tea flavor to speak of here. Just none.
Not one to want to give up on a tea so quickly, I decided to cold-brew a few bags in my half gallon pitcher, hoping that the cold brew might soften the overpowering flavors that I experienced with the hot steep. I used 5 tea bags for 2 quarts of water and stashed it in the fridge for about 8 hours.
As an iced tea, this is a little bit better but not much. The cherry flavor is not quite as cough syrupy as when it’s brewed hot but it still has that cough medicine taste. The chemical stevia notes are a little less apparent although I can still taste it. To offset the flavor of the stevia somewhat and try to make the sweet taste more natural, I added some agave to it and this addition helped make the drink more palatable.
On the positive side: I do like that I taste the pomegranate and the raspberry and these two fruits have a pleasant fruity flavor. The hibiscus is also less apparent as an iced tea. This tastes a lot more like a fruit drink than a tea though.
I think it’s fair to say that this was not a win for me. It wasn’t horrible but I find it difficult to move past that artificial taste of the stevia. It really ruins this drink for me.
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Whispering Pines Tea Co.
Sweet notes of mint and tart hibiscus with just the perfect elderberry twist flow smooth as water through the rooibos base – It’s like a cup of serenity pulled straight out of the deep northern forests!
Learn more about this tisane here.
This Ancient Forest Rooibos Blend from Whispering Pines is really quite nice! I was surprised to find that this has hibiscus in it, because, while I do taste the hibiscus, it isn’t a strong, prominent flavor … and hibiscus is one of those herbs that tends to get strong and prominent in no time at all. And I steeped this tisane for 10 minutes! But … it did not get thick, syrupy or overwhelmingly tart! Hooray for Whispering Pines Tea Company … they know how to blend with hibiscus!
The hibiscus here seems to accentuate the elderberry flavor … and I like that just fine. I’m not a fan of hibiscus (as I’ve said many times before) but, I don’t mind it if it’s done right, and Whispering Pines did hibiscus right with this blend.
The spearmint is done right too – it’s not a powerful minty taste … it is crisp, cool and refreshing … but it doesn’t taste like toothpaste! There is a really enjoyable balance of flavors here. Even the rooibos – which is another herb that I’m not particularly fond of – works well with this blend. The natural nutty tones of the rooibos melds nicely with the berry notes and the minty notes, while the sweetness of the rooibos offsets some of the tartness of the cup.
A really enjoyable blend, this Ancient Forest Rooibos Blend!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: David’s Tea
Blueberries might just be the greatest fruit around – after all, they’re the star ingredient of North America’s favourite muffin. And hundreds of years before moms were making them into jams, jellies and cakes, blueberries were called “star berries” and revered for their healing powers. Another little known fact about blueberries is that they make for one great cup of tea – when you blend them with black tea, elderberries, cornflowers and stevia, it’s the perfect companion to your morning toast. (MK Kosher)
Organic: black tea, blueberries, elderberries, pink cornflower petals, stevia. With organic and natural flavouring*.
Learn more about this tea here.
Blueberry Jam Organic from David’s Tea sure does not give me the blues! In fact it is exactly what I was craving today.
So I wanted something super dessert like, something really sweet, something fruity, something that would replace the fact I am not eating many “goodies” these days. This was my selection.
I could not resist all those blueberries, the sweet yummy smell of fruity goodness. This is the best next thing to having jam on my toast which I crave every morning but am not allowing myself to have right now. Lately I have been having juicy plump blueberries either in my matcha (they take the place of boba) or just on their own.
This tea from Davids Tea is so good and sweet and I don’t have to add any sugar to it, although I am tempted to just to see how dessert like I can get this tea. I am going to be a good girl though and appreciate the sweet juicy blueberry flavor on its own.
Also I love that this is made with organic ingredients! Oh and did you know how good blueberries are for you? If I could only have one berry in my life I would have to select blueberries as they just have such wonderful health properties and they are so very good!
Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: Mahamosa Gourmet Teas, Spices, and Herbs
Peaches, hibiscus, apple bits, elderberries, and sunflower petals with peach cream flavor.
Time: 10-12 minutes; Temperature: 203-212⁰F: 1-2 level tsp./6 oz serving
Learn more about this tea here.
Peach Melba from Mahamosa Gourmet Teas, Spices, and Herbs is a sweet, tangy, treat.
I want to address the hibiscus in this blend. Its done so well! I am not one to favor hibiscus in any amount. I see no need for it 99% of the time, however in this blend it actually does something good! To begin, it provides the right amount of tart to make this rather sweet tea balanced. Secondly, it does not cover all the other flavors in the tisane.
Often times I think tea companies add hibiscus because it is so inexpensive and helps to expand the blend, however in this case Mahamosa has done right by this blend.
The peach flavor comes through nicely and the creamy flavor is present. The apple flavors taste as if they were fresh apples picked right from the teas in an orchard! The elderberries, which I love, happen to have a very fresh and slightly tart flavor too but that is okay because there is a deep sweetness in this tea that needs a dash of sour, and tart to help it stay down to earth.
If you enjoy this tea hot you simply must try some on ice! It is something I can see myself serving in place of juice this summer and far more healthy!