Postal Rooibos Blend from Monarch Tea Co.

MonarchTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Monarch Tea Co. or Monarch Tea Co. on Etsy

Tea Description:

Warm and rich, perfect for dessert or just when you want that sweet fall moment to yourself.  

Ingredients:  Rooibos, caramel pieces, sunflower and calendula petals, chamomile blossoms, natural flavors.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

This rooibos blend is a very finely chopped tisane!  It appears to be both red and green rooibos and they’ve been chopped into near dust particles, along with the petals and the chamomile.  Everything appears to have been pulverized to a near “powder like” consistency:  a very fine cut.

I brewed this in my Breville, measuring 2 bamboo scoops of the tisane into the basket of the tea maker and adding 500ml of water to the jug.  With most tisanes, I would use 3 bamboo scoops, but because of the fine chop on this, I decided that more than 2 would be too much.  The finer cut means that there is more surface area exposed and lots of flavor will be released and more loose leaf would result in too strong a brew.  I set the parameters for 195°F and 10 minutes and let the tea maker do the rest.

This is a tasty blend.  Not my favorite of the three teas that I received in my Postal Teas box for October, but I’m certainly not disappointed by it.

Because it’s a blend of both green and red rooibos, I find that the flavor is sweeter and slightly more fruity tasting rather than a strong, nutty flavor.  This fruity note accentuates the chamomile flavor which has a natural apple-like flavor.  There are hints of nutty flavors in the background which complement the caramel notes.  It is sweet, soothing and relaxing to sip.  It’s a light cup – both in taste and texture.

It has a pleasing, autumnal taste to it, making it just the right thing for the October box.  It’s cozy and would make a great tisane to sip late at night when you’re craving something a little bit sweet but nothing that is going to be too filling or overstimulating.

Green Detox Tea from Monarch Tea Co.

MonarchTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Monarch Tea Co. or Monarch Tea Co. on Etsy

Tea Description:

The powerful duo of lemon and green tea combine in this refreshing and detoxifying blend.  Detox and refresh while boosting your metabolism through the power of green tea. 

Ingredients:  green tea, lemongrass, dried lemon.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea looks a lot different than I expected it to.  The green tea looks almost like a CTC black tea.  The leaves are very small and darker in color than most green teas that I’ve encountered.  I studied them before brewing and again after brewing to see if the teensy tiny leaves would “open” – if these were in fact very small gunpowder green tea leaves that have been rolled into pellets that are the size of a small grain of sand or if they’re just very finely chopped leaves.  The wet leaves do not appear to have “opened” at all so I think that these are just very finely chopped leaves.

Tossed with these tiny bits of green tea leaves (that look more like black tea leaves than green!) are pieces of lemongrass and very small bits of dried lemon.  The aroma is earthy and vegetal.  Like green tea.  I don’t smell much from the lemon or lemongrass.

To brew this, I used my Breville One-Touch tea maker and put about 1 1/2 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket.  Because this is such a fine CTC tea, you want to measure out a little less than you normally would because there is more surface area to be exposed to the water and because more tea actually fits in the scoop with such a fine cut.  Using more tea would have resulted in a very strong tea.  I found that the 1 1/2 scoops made a very tasty tea with 500ml of water, 175°F and 2 minutes brew time.

The brewed tea is light greenish-yellow and smells a bit more lemon-y than the dry leaf did.  The lemon notes are still rather subdued, I smell more “green tea” than I do lemon.

And this remains true for the taste:  the lemon flavor is delicate.  I taste more of the lemon in the aftertaste than I do in the actual sip.  During the sip, there is a very subtle note of lemon.  It’s tart but softened somewhat by the presence of the buttery lemongrass.  The aftertaste is tart and tingly.

The green tea is the real focus of this blend.  It’s a sweet, refreshing green tea flavor that’s very lightly vegetal.  It’s more earthy than vegetal, and it has a gentle smoky quality to it.  It’s got some drying astringency toward the tail and I find that this dry sensation accentuates the aforementioned tartness of the lemon in the aftertaste.

As for the “detox” part, I am not sure how true that is.  I don’t generally drink tea to detox.  I drink tea for enjoyment and I find that this tea is quite enjoyable to drink.  The lemon-y notes are not fake or artificial tasting, rather, it tastes as though I added a thin slice of lemon to my cup of green tea.  It’s pleasant.  It’s an uplifting drink.

Apple Embrace Black Tea from Monarch Tea Co.

AppleSpiceEmbraceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Monarch Tea Co. or Monarch Tea Co. on Etsy

Tea Description:

This warm and inviting blend brings memories of sitting fireside with a good book. Notes of apple, cinnamon and spice come together to warm and soothe. Ingredients: black tea, dried apple, cinnamon pieces, blackberry leaves, safflower petals, natural flavours.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

I was very excited to receive my Postal Teas box today.  This box is actually September’s subscription – which arrives in October.  Kind of confusing.  Maybe I should just call it October’s box?

Anyway, this month’s featured tea company is Monarch Tea Company.  I was excited to see that this is the featured tea company this month, because I had noticed that this company was featured earlier this year, before I became a subscriber.  I’m glad to have this opportunity to try some of their teas.

The first tea that I am trying is this Apple Spice Embrace.  Perfect for this evening for two reasons:  first, it’s a cold and wet day here in the Pacific Northwest and a warmly spiced tea suits me just fine on a day like this.  Second, my daughter is visiting this evening and its a tea that I think she’ll also appreciate.

I notice the packaging right off the bat.  The teas are in Kraft, foil-lined pouches and they are “sealed” with a bit of whimsical black polka dot fabric tape.  The front of the package has a label with the name of the tea and the ingredients (all the important stuff to know), and the back of the pouch is marked with the elegant Monarch Tea logo.  I like the combination of whimsy and elegance and simplicity.

When I opened the pouch, I inhaled deeply to take in the fragrance.  I notice a “black tea” aroma with notes of cinnamon.  The cinnamon isn’t overpowering and I kind of expected it to be (it seems that in blends like this, the cinnamon is the main event, and I like that it is a gentle presence here.)  There is a light apple-y scent beneath the notes of cinnamon.

I brewed this tea in my Breville One-Touch, pouring 750ml of freshly filtered water into the jug and measuring 3 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket.  Then I set the temperature for 212°F and the time for 2 1/2 minutes.  When I poured my cup of tea, I enjoyed the scent:  hints of apple mingling with notes of cinnamon and a front note of black tea – much like the dry leaf, although it isn’t quite as aromatic.

This is a tasty cup of tea.  The black tea notes are prominent.  A brisk tasting tea – I suspect a Ceylon – but there are some subtle malty notes to this as well.  It’s smooth and moderately astringent.  A sweet, honey undertone that complements the apple notes.

The apple note isn’t in your face.  It’s a subtle taste of apple, offering a slightly sweet, delicately tart flavor that reminds me of the flavor of an apple pie filling, complete with a light touch of cinnamon.  I think that the cinnamon is my favorite part of this tea because it is a rather light touch of the spice.  All too often when it comes to cinnamon in a tea, it’s been added with such a heavy hand that it becomes all about the cinnamon.  Here, the cinnamon softly accents the tea.  It’s a gentle warmth.  Lightly sweet, lightly spiced.

Overall, a really pleasant autumnal tea and as I eluded to at the start of this review, it’s just perfect on a day like today when it’s cold and wet.  I like that I’m curling up to a warm cup of apple-y spiced goodness.