Seven Seas Herbal Tea from Simple Loose Leaf

Seven_Seas_HerbalTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Herbal

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf here.

Tisane Description:

This healthy and harmonious herbal tea blends peppermint, ginseng, cinnamon, echinacea, sarsaparilla, licorice, and organic South African rooibos. The cooling peppermint and warm cinnamon notes pair perfectly with the sweet, soothing finish provided by the other herbs. This special blend is an ideal and tasty way to stimulate your immune system.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Co-Op program here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said in the past, I’m not usually a big fan of ginseng, but this blend has enough going on that I barely notice that the ginseng is there!  I’m too busy enjoying the contrast between crisp, cool peppermint and zesty cinnamon and snappy licorice to focus on the ginseng.  The peppermint, cinnamon and licorice are the three strongest components of this cup.

This is a delightful tisane to sip on this cold winter’s night.  The combination of cinnamon and licorice are warming me from the inside out, while the peppermint adds a refreshing element.  As I said, I don’t taste much from the ginseng.  I also don’t taste a lot from the rooibos or the echinacea.

At first, I had trouble locating the sarsaparilla in this, but if I slurp the sip, I do pick up on a light root beer-ish flavor in the distance, and it’s quite an interesting note to be tasting along with the cinnamon.  Peppermint and licorice are both profiles that I’ve occasionally noticed in gourmet root beers, but not cinnamon.  The cinnamon and sarsaparilla are quite intriguing and this combination is keeping me sipping.

This is a tisane that was a sample in my last box from Simple Loose Leaf (when they switched from the selection club to the co-op plan), and I held on to it for a while because … well, because it’s a tisane.  That’s why.  I have admitted before that I’m often skittish when it comes to tisanes and this just goes to show what I mean by that.

But I’m glad I finally decided to try it because I enjoyed this.  It’s a wonderful medley of contrasts, and there’s a lot of health benefits in this too!

Cinnamon Plum Caffeine-Free Herbal Blend from Rishi Tea

CinnamonPlumTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Tea Description:

The sweetest Saigon Cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese Cassia, melds with the deep, luscious flavors of currants, hibiscus and plum to yield a rich, warming cup in winter or a refreshing glass when served iced in summer. With its fruity, full-bodied and juicy character, Cinnamon Plum’s robust, crimson red infusion is delicious on its own or mulled into cider or wine.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Yeah, I’ve said it about a hundred times (or more) … I’m not a fan of hibiscus.  But I am a fan of cinnamon and of plums, and I also like currants and licorice.  So this tisane seems to have more going for it than it does going against it as far as my palate is concerned.

So, I’ll give it a try!

The aroma of the dry leaf is an abundantly cinnamon-y fragrance.  (The same is true of the brewed tea.)  I can also smell notes of licorice and hints of fruit.  It doesn’t smell distinctly plum-like or even like currants, it just smells warm (from the cinnamon), sweet (from the licorice) and fruity.

To brew this tisane, I used my Kati brewing system and I measured out a bamboo scoop of the loose leaf into the basket.  Then I heated the water to 195°F and poured it into the tumbler.  I let the tisane steep for 6 minutes.  The liquid is a very deep ruby red color … like brewed hibiscus.  Fortunately, the color does not accompany the thick texture of brewed hibiscus.  Either the steep time prevented this or possibly the fact that there are a lot of other ingredients in this blend.  (Or a combination of both these factors.)

It also doesn’t taste too much like hibiscus.  I am getting a strong cinnamon-y flavor.  It’s a sweet, warm cinnamon flavor.  Not like the sweet, red-hot type cinnamon but like the kind of sweet, spicy cinnamon you’d sprinkle on your morning toast.

And I am tasting plum.  It is both sweet and tart.  The tartness is enhanced somewhat by the presence of the currants as well as the hibiscus, but fortunately for my tart-sensitive palate, this is not an overly tart drink.  I’m not puckering as I sip it.  I think that the tartness works in the favor of this tisane because it offers a nice contrast to the spicy and the sweet notes.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable beverage.  I like it served hot – it has a very autumnal feel as I drink it.  It’s cozy and reminds me a lot of a mulled cider.  In fact, I think that would taste lovely with this, I might try steeping this tea in some warm apple cider!  It would also make a tasty iced drink that would be appealing to children as well as adults.


Coconut Cream Pie Honeybush from 52Teas

Coconut-Cream-Pie-HoneybushTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

Sweet, caffeine-free African honeybush combined with our signature honking-big coconut flakes and organic flavors.  Our Coconut Cream Pie black tea is one of our all-time bestsellers.  I can’t fathom why we haven’t made a honeybush version of it yet, but I’m here to fix that now.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

As mentioned in the above description, the Coconut Cream Pie black tea from 52Teas is one of their best sellers.  There’s a reason for that!  That tea is seriously, awesomely good.  Their iced tea version from Southern Boy Teas is also quite yummy.  So I was very interested to see how these flavors went with a honeybush base.

The answer:  it’s really tasty!

Now, I have to admit that I prefer the black tea version, but then again, I’m more of a camellia sinensis type of girl than I am a Cyclopia (aka honeybush) kind of girl.  However, I must say that I like the nutty, honeyed sweetness that the honeybush brings to the coconut cream pie flavors!  The coconut and the honeybush meld together nicely, and the honeybush also accents the buttery pie crust notes deliciously.

I taste strong notes of coconut mingling with sweet notes of creamy vanilla and touches of buttery pastry.  The nutty, sweet notes of the honeybush marry together with these flavors in a very pleasing way.  It’s sweet, creamy and yummy!

It’s dessert in a teacup!  It is sweet without coming across as cloying.  This is the kind of dessert that you can “indulge” in without feeling guilty afterward.

And even though I do prefer the black tea version of this tea, I like that this is naturally caffeine-free, making it a nice choice for later in the evening.  You know those late night sweet tooth cravings?  This tea is just what you need to help you satisfy those cravings without eating something that you’ll regret in the morning.

Just Tulsi with a Twist from Just.Organic.Tea

justorganictealogoTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  Just.Organic.Tea

Tisane Description:

Tulsi, Lemon Myrtle, Ginger, Peppermint, Cinnamon & Pepper

Learn more about Just.Organic.Tea’s stance on Social Responsibility here.

Taster’s Review:

Just Tulsi with a Twist is a blend that isn’t currently available on the Just.Organic.Tea.’s website, but I really like this company, and since they did send me this sample, I figured I’d try it and tell you what I think about it.

Here’s why I like this company:  I like that they are a company that isn’t just “talking” about making this planet a better place for us and for future generations, they’re doing something about it and their products prove that.  They strive toward selecting organic and sustainable products, and they choose those products that are Fair Trade certified.  Sure, it’s easy to find products that are less expensive, but, I like that this is a company that won’t compromise like that.  I appreciate that.

And I’m really enjoying this Tulsi blend!  It’s sweet, lemon-y, and with just enough of a warm spice kick to keep the taste buds happy.  I’m a little surprised that I’m not tasting more from the peppermint than I am, usually, peppermint is a very assertive flavor.  But the blenders at Just.Organic.Tea. have blended this in such a way that it has a gentle minty note that plays well with the other flavors in this blend.

I like that I’m tasting each component in this blend.  I taste the basil-like notes of the tulsi.  The slight “minty” note of the tulsi is accentuated my the soft peppermint-y flavors.  It tastes herbaceous but not overly so.  I can taste the cinnamon and the ginger and the pepper, and these give the cup a pleasing, soothing warmth.

What I taste most is the Lemon Myrtle, and it gives a really lovely lemon-y note without the pucker.  It’s like that sweet-tart lemon flavor you’d find in a lemon curd.

A really nice blend from Just.Organic.Tea.  I hope that this will eventually return to their collection of teas that they offer, because it’s one that I think that many tea drinkers would enjoy.  It’s a tasty caffeine-free alternative, especially nice after dinner.  I found it to have a calming effect on the tummy after a meal … bonus!

Pumpkin Brownie Honeybush Blend from 52Teas

Pumpkin-Brownie-HoneybushTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

I think this one might just speak for itself.   Caffeine-free honeybush, cacao nibs and marigold petals with organic pumpkin and fudge brownie flavors.  This is a big cup of delicious!

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t remember ever tasting a pumpkin brownie before, and I’m pretty sure that if I had tasted a pumpkin brownie before, I would remember it!  So, for the purposes of this review, I’m going to just have to imagine what a pumpkin brownie would taste like.

And while I’ve never tried pumpkin brownies, something I have tried (and I LOVE!) are pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  When autumn arrives, something I’m always keeping a look out for at my grocery store bakery are those cookies … and I’m happy to say that this reminds me a lot of those yummy treats!

But getting back to the subject of pumpkin brownies, I think I’m going to have to find a recipe for pumpkin brownies too.  This might just have to be the Thanksgiving dessert for this year’s Thanksgiving.  Because … yeah.  Pumpkin … Brownie.  Do I need to say any more?

And if my pumpkin brownies wind up tasting anything like this yummy tisane, I think it might even be something that is requested more often than on Thanksgiving.  This is YUM!

The honeybush base is a nice choice for these flavors, because it has a naturally sweet, nutty taste that goes really well with a fudge brownie flavor.  It adds some depth to the brownie notes.  And I like the way the honeyed flavor works with the pumpkin too.

This is a sweet dessert-like tea, but I like that even though it’s inspired by something that is really rich and sweet, it isn’t an overly sweet cup of tea.  It satisfies the sweet tooth without overwhelming it.  There is a balance, ad the pumpkin, while it is a sweeter vegetable, it adds an element of savory to the cup so that it’s not cloying.

The pumpkin is sweet but not too sweet, and adds a compelling contrast to the cacao flavor, and I really love the way pumpkin and chocolate taste together.  There’s a good amount of chocolate flavor, a good amount of pumpkin, and I can still taste the nutty flavors of the honeybush too.