Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Canton Tea Co.
Blended for us by Rare Tea Hunter, Phil Mumby, this is a base of China Green Sencha given a full makeover with the citrus kick of lemon zest, lemongrass, lemon oil – and ginger. The combination of the fresh, green grass sencha notes, the lemony flavour and the warming ginger is completed by the subtlest hint of liquorice root to give a lingering sweetness.
Learn more about this tea here.
Yum! When Canton Tea Co.asked me to try their new Green Dragon – I was excited! I’ve been really impressed with the quality of teas that I’ve tried from Canton and I love the combination of lemon and ginger – so I was sure that I’d enjoy this new blend of theirs.
And I do! The lemony notes are tart with just enough sweetness to them to keep me from puckering when I take a sip. The warmth from the ginger is mild. And the licorice root is barely noticeable – even those who don’t typically like licorice root would probably enjoy this because the licorice root doesn’t really stand out as an obvious flavor. It’s more like a hint of sweetness toward the tail.
The Chinese Sencha is a sweet, fresh taste with a hint of grassy flavor. It has a pleasant creaminess to it, light and buttery. I like the way this buttery quality melds with the lemon-y notes, creating an almost lemon custard type of experience with each sip. It’s very smooth.
As I continue to sip, the warmth from the ginger builds slightly in the back of the throat. It never gets really warm though. It’s a very mild, gentle peppery note that offers contrast to the creaminess of the tea and the tangy lemon notes.
A really lovely tea – it’s a delightful summertime tea that tastes great as a hot tea or a refreshing iced tea!
Leaf Type: Spice Melange
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Award-winning nostalgic aniseed, star anise + liquorice herbal tea blend
This blend won the highest food award in the country. The judges said: ‘Truly original and delicious infusion that packs a true punch.. finally a blend that’s blokey’! It’s also the nation’s favourite childhood sweet. Not just our opinion, it’s fact. There was a survey, questionnaire and everything.
Learn more about this blend here.
When Bluebird Tea Co. asked me what teas I’d like to try, this one was near the top of my list. After reading the ingredient list, you might wonder why it was that this was one of the teas I requested…
Ingredients: Liquorice, Aniseed, Star Anise, Hibiscus, Stevia, Chilli.
I mean, this tisane has two of my “I’d rather this tisane not have this ingredient” ingredients: hibiscus and stevia. So you might be wondering why I’d choose this tea. But this tisane also has three of the ingredients that I love to see in teas/tisanes: Licorice, Aniseed and Star Anise! And I guess my requesting this tisane proves that my love for these three ingredients overpowers my disdain for the hibiscus and stevia.
Oh, I’m still wishing that the hibiscus and stevia weren’t in there. Before even taking a sip, I’m thinking that it would be a better tisane without them, although it isn’t really a fair assessment because I haven’t yet taken a sip.
The dry leaf is gorgeous. Lots of whole pieces of star anise! They’re so pretty. It smells delightful too: sweet, warm and zesty.
To steep this tisane, I used my Kati Tumbler. (I prefer to use this device when I’m brewing a spiced tea/tisane like this because when I brew a spiced tea in my Breville, the spices become “embedded” in the tea maker and it requires a soak in baking soda to get the odors to release. Then again, I need to soak my Breville anyway, so maybe I should have used it to steep this!) I measured out 1 1/2 bamboo scoops of the tisane into the basket of the Kati and then poured hot water (195°F) over the tisane and let it steep for 8 minutes.
Ordinarily, when brewing a tisane with hibiscus, I steep it for 6 minutes or less. However, I could see very little hibiscus in the loose leaf blend so I figured that this tisane could benefit from a little more time. Spices need time to get their flavors to release fully.
OK! So now it’ sip time. I can definitely taste the hibiscus. Next time I try this tisane, I might go with 6 1/2 or 7 minutes rather than a full 8 minutes. That said, it doesn’t taste too hibiscus-y. But I’m still wishing it wasn’t there.
That said, this is really quite nice despite the presence of hibiscus and stevia. And for those who don’t really mind hibiscus quite so much, it does add an interesting tart, berry like flavor to the cup. It’s a little bit tart and I can feel the insides of my cheeks pucker slightly as I take a sip, but because there is enough going on with this blend from the warmth of the chili to the zesty sweetness from the licorice-y notes, I find that the tartness doesn’t upset me.
The stevia adds sweetness (obviously) and this is a nice contrast to the spicy chili tone. And take note: even though chili is listed as the last ingredient, this tisane has a real spicy kick to it from the chili! I can feel the heat at the back of my throat. It’s not too spicy or hot. I’m not running to the kitchen to find something to temper the heat. But it is warm enough to alert the sensors in the mouth that something spicy is dancing around the palate.
But the three real stars of this cup are the licorice, star anise and aniseed! This has a really lovely licorice-y flavor! If you are a fan of black licorice, this tisane should be at the top of your must try list! This has a lot of snappy licorice flavor! Sweet and zesty. It reminds me so much of the black licorice candy that I love. In fact, it tastes as though someone liquefied some black licorice candy and then served that in a cup with a splash of hibiscus, a pinch or two of chili pepper and a little bit of sweetener.
I like this served straight up without additions but it would also be quite nice with a cinnamon stick garnish. (I like the combination of cinnamon and licorice.) Really, it doesn’t need anything other than that. It could do without the hibiscus, although I’m not hating that the hibiscus is there. The same goes for the stevia. I like the little bit of sweetness that the stevia adds to this. It’s enough sweetness without getting that funky flavor that I sometimes taste from stevia in teas. Bonus!
Yet another huge win for Bluebird Tea Company!
Leaf Type: Functional Tisane
Where to Buy: Naked Teas Galore
This is crafted ever so carefully to ensure that no one ingredient overpowers another. Wow! What a blend. Balanced spice, herbaceous nettle and a subtle apple-like flavour brought by the chamomile. Soothing mint and sweet liquorice to finish.
Learn more about this tisane here.
Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.
I wasn’t all that excited to try this Detox Tea from Naked Teas Galore. For one thing, it’s an herbal tisane, and for another it’s a functional herbal tisane. Two strikes against it right from the start, and then it’s a chamomile blend too. Yikes!
But I tried to remain positive and give it a try. After all, Amoda Tea has been pretty good at selecting teas and even tisanes that make me happy that I’m a subscriber. I mean, hey, if I wasn’t happy as a subscriber, I would have cancelled the subscription a long time ago. (Speaking of subscribing, I highly recommend signing up for December’s box … it sounds like it’s going to be a winner!)
But, let’s get back to this Detox Tea, shall we?
This is actually a lot tastier than I thought it would be. Normally, when I think “Detox Tea” or even “Functional Tisane,” I think that I’m in for a medicinal, herbaceous tasting drink. Fortunately, this tastes neither medicinal or herbaceous to me. The spices here are in the foreground, tasting more like cinnamon, cardamom, cinnamon and licorice than it does nettle or chamomile.
Oh sure, I can taste notes of the chamomile, and even hints of the herbaceous character of nettle and peppermint and dandelion root. I taste notes of citrus from the lemongrass. And all the flavors meld together in a way that is very tasty and not at all medicinal.
I like that the apple-y notes of the chamomile marry with the citrus tones of the lemongrass and the bright goji berry to create more of a “fruity” quality than distinct individual notes of each of these. The same is true of the spices. It doesn’t taste too much like any one of the spices, instead, I taste a medley of warm, zesty spice.
One of the nicer Detox tisanes that I’ve tasted … this is a detox I can stand behind, because this tastes really nice!
Where To Buy: Herbal Republic
A great ginger tea that’s an original ayurveda blend.
Contains ginger, citrus peels, liquorice, peppermint and pepper.
Ginger. Where to start!? Ginger and I have a back and forth sort of relationship! Some call me Ginger because of my Red Hair…and that’s fine, I suppose. I LOVE Ginger in most foods. Ginger in teas and tisanes!? Well, that’s where it seems to get complicated!
Most of the Ginger Flavored Teas and Tisanes I have had aren’t really on my LOVE or even my LIKE list. It seems most of the flavoring is overdone and/or cancel out the other flavors in the blend or mixture. Sometimes it tastes too herbally or chemically or just spicy or peppery and nothing else! So, yeah…I guess you can call me PICKY when it comes to Ginger-Type Teas and Tisanes!
Having said that…
Every assumption and thought I had holding me back from having a cup I am now completely throwing out the window! This was a complete surprise and in a good way! It proved me wrong in every way and I certainly don’t mind being proved wrong if the end result is a tasty tea/tisane!
I was so worried this was going to be TOO Gingery for me…it wasn’t…
The Lemongrass totally evened that out…both the lemon grass AND the ginger are gentle yet flavorful and pair well together! I wouldn’t change the ratio any…it’s good the way it is!
I can’t really smell the licorice but I can taste it a little bit and with the licorice and the pepper pairing they also work nicely together and are subtle…again, thanks to the lemongrass.
I can smell the peppermint but the taste of the peppermint really isn’t the flavor in the forefront…it’s just enough to be there – in comparison I would say a little less than the licorice. Maybe moreso in the aftertaste.
This is very different yet quite good and I am so pleased it’s NOT ‘run of the mill’ and even more so excited that it’s more than just ginger!