Sakura & Berry/Lupicia -Stephenia-

Each year Lupicia Tea, a Japanese tea company, comes out with a Sakura collection to celebrate cherry blossom season. The collection changes each year and for 2021 the theme is traditional Japanese culture that has been handed down through the generations, such as crafts and traditional Japanese patterns. The collection is well balanced and features a green tea, a decaf tea, black tea, rooibos, even a sakura matcha! The tins this year are beautiful and feature a lovely floral motive. I have wanted to try teas from Lupicia’s Sakura collection for some time so I decided this year that I would order a few.

The first one I am reviewing is Sakura & Berry. This has a black tea base with salted cherry leaf, rose petal and flavoring. The description says that this has a “sweet strawberry flavor.” The dry leaf smells amazing and actually made me think of when my mom would make me strawberries and cream oatmeal as a kid. I steeped the tea up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes.

I really love this one. The first taste is a nice fruity strawberry flavor, nothing too strong. It actually has the same strawberry flavor as strawberries and cream oatmeal but without the cream aspect. On the second taste I get a hit of the black tea base, it is smooth and mellow. I had hoped that I would get taste of the salted cherry leaf however that didn’t come through in the flavor.

Overall this is a tasty strawberry tea in a beautiful tin and certainly worth trying if you love strawberry-flavored teas. I really enjoy Lupicia tea, in fact their rooibos-based honeydew melon tea is in my top 5 favorite teas of all time! If you are interested in the Sakura collection I would not wait as fulfillment for the US comes from the online Hawaii Lupicia store and they get very limited amounts of inventory on these special edition collections.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Description

We are happy to announce the arrival of our seasonal SAKURA & BERRY tea: A blend of Darjeeling and Nilgiri black teas with salted cherry blossom leaves, mixed with sweet strawberry flavor and aroma. Popular as a hot or iced tea, try it with a bit of milk! A LUPICIA Hawaii staff favorite. (Only available in limited quantity)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Notes on Beyond Blueberry/Akova -skysamurai-

I’m taking a leap out of my purist comfort zone to taste some cuppas by a new tea company.

The smell immediately pulsates up your nose when you open the bag. The blueberry aroma is like a club playing EDM.

Makes me wonder if we’ll ever see clubbing again…

This wonderful smell prepares you for something amazing in the flavor. Which unfortunately isn’t there.

It is tepid blueberry in flavor. To be honest, the flavor is very bland. Even the black leaf uninspiring.

My suggestion would be to add real blueberries to the blend (freeze dried if possible). Out of curiosity I’ve also steeped it cold to see if that would reveal better flavors. At five minutes it is still bland but something seems to be trying to peek out.

After 10 minutes there is a bit of cream and a bit more fruity. Which makes me wonder if this would be a good overnight iced tea. .


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Akova Teas

Description

Intoxicating black tea with the aroma of wild blueberries.

Ingredients: Black tea*, Elderberry* + Currant pieces*, Hibiscus petals*, Natural flavors (organic compliant)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blue Mountain Pea Flower/Tin Roof Teas -Ashmanra-

A new tisane to try! This comes from a tea shop a couple of hours away. They were kind enough to allow me to sniff tin after tin of tea and answer my questions when I was a new tea drinker many years ago.

They had really educational tea flights before the pandemic, and hopefully those can happen again one day! If you live near enough to participate, I highly recommend that you sign up for their newsletter and look for a flight that addresses teas that interest you. They even gave out information sheets when I attended and it was fun to meet other people who are passionate about tea. They do ship at reasonable rates, too.

This blend contains apple pieces, mountain blueberry leaves, rosehip, orange & lemon peel, sweet blackberry & melissa leaves, lemongrass, blue butterfly pea flowers, mallow blossoms, and natural flavor.

Butterfly pea flowers are popping up everywhere because of the pretty color they give to food and beverages. I have some on the way to make my lavender syrup more appealing to the eye and to play with in sweet hibiscus drinks! It is also said to be full of antioxidants (like blueberries and purple tomatoes) and is adaptogenic if the internet is to be believed. Lemongrass is often recommended for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Some people pooh-pooh any measurable health benefits from tea and say just enjoy it! So let’s see if we do.

What does it look like in my spoon? Lots of leaves! I see the straight pieces of lemongrass and the soft, dried pieces of leaves and blossoms. I see at least a piece or two of orange and lemon peel in each spoonful. (I have already made this several times and once as a large pitcher of iced tea.) There are a few small apple pieces, too. It is well mixed and distributed and I don’t need to add lots of extra spoonfuls because of big chunks taking up lots of space. I stick with an actual teaspoon per cup. I prefer this to tisanes that have huge clumps of sticky dried fruit that defy measuring. But that’s just me.

The steeped tisane comes out blue, leaning toward a purple haze. The flavor is soft and mellow with nice, light sweet orange flavor and a pleasant little zing from the lemon and rose hips.

I do not care for rose hips and hibiscus much unless they are heavily sweetened to make essentially an adult version of Kool-Aid. But this doesn’t have any mouth puckering sensation at all. It is very pleasant to drink and needs no sugar to be enjoyable. This is the right amount of rose hips for me!

For the iced tea, I did add sugar because I live in the South and that’s what we do. It was good and did keep me from reaching for that carbonated, caffeinated soda I wanted and knew I shouldn’t have. I was glad I chose wisely. So there’s one health benefit I got from it!

I am thinking now, though, that the next iced pitcher will be unsweetened, because drinking the hot version again I feel like it really doesn’t need the sugar to be enjoyable unless I am just in the mood for something sweet.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy: Tin Roof Teas

Description

Apple pieces, mountain blueberry leaves, rosehip, orange, & lemon peel, sweet black berry & melissa leaves, lemongrass, blue butterfly pea flowers, mallow blossoms, natural flavor

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nicole Relax Raspberry/Hey Bestea -CuppaGeek-

Who doesn’t love a lovely raspberry herbal tea?

Nicole Relax Raspberry is a lovely blend of raspberry pieces, lemongrass, and what looks to be either rose or hibiscus pieces.  The ingredients are not listed on the package but I do see they are listed on the website.

Brewed up with water at boiling and allowed to steep for about 5 minutes, this tea blend really hit the spot. Tart raspberry and hibiscus notes mingled and softened by the lemongrass with a sweet finish.  What I loved was this tea is described as being relaxing and most relaxing blends have chamomile.  For being a non traditional relaxing blend, this tea really hit the spot.

With ingredients like raspberry, hibiscus, and lemongrass- this blend really called for a solid cold brew.  Set up in a mason jar with cold water and allowed to brew overnight, this tea may have actually been a bit better iced.  I really loved how the tart raspberry notes really popped with the citrus lemongrass finish.  This is definitely a blend for those lovers of all things hibiscus.

Overall, this blend though simple, is really top notch for a fruit tisane.  Lovely, simple, but really on point.  A great tea to enjoy any time of the day but one I think would be perfectly paired with a good book on a rainy day.

All in all, a great first cuppa from a new company to me.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy: Hey Bestea

Description

Our bestea Nicole is all about living a life of leisure and relaxation. So take five minutes, brew yourself a cup of Nicole relax raspberry tea to relax your body and soul. Since this refreshing tea blend is packed with vitamins, your body is going to say “ I love you” with every sip.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tasting Notes – Rainforest Indulgence/Teakruthi- Skysamurai-

Hate to say it but this would be better suited for the British drinkers, who like a strong cup with milk/sugar.

Due to the tiny size of the leaf, it infuses very quickly. A tricky one to brew if not for milk. The astringent qualities come out so quickly.

Next time less leaf. If you can make it past the astringency you’ll find it has a fresh feeling on your palate.

Filled with some malty and dark woodsy notes of mahogany.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  Teakruthi

Description

This low grown full-bodied blend was hand-plucked from the shade of the Sinharaja Rainforest in Sri Lanka. Made from the highest quality leaves, Rainforest Indulgence offers a unique flavour. Rather than hand-rolling to bruise the leaf and introduce oxidation, this tea was produced by a modern mechanical process to tear the leaf and oxidize. Only limited amounts of Broken Pekoe (BP) grade Ceylon tea is produced, so this tea is truly a special morning treat. This strong tea is reddish-orange in colour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!