The dry leaf smells like mulled wine, with fragrant elderberry, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour a bit of water on these leaves and they brew up fast! Wow, what a dark red berry brew after only a few seconds!
Brewed, this tea gets much more tart, thanks to the powerhouse of hibiscus flowers. The ingredients list also include purple corn. I’m not sure how it adds to the flavor, but the brewed tea is a vibrant purple-pink color.
This tea is best served warm, though the fruitiness might be suited for an iced tea, I’m not sure all the spice is appropriate in a cold beverage. I’m of the opinion that cinnamon and cloves are best suited for a drink from a hot mug.
The cloves and hibiscus dominate this tea, which were a perfect combination for a cold, grey, rainy day when I brewed this cup. Drinking Peruvian Spice Berry made me feel like I was tucked in on a cozy autumn day, warming up with peppery cloves and dark currant flavors.
This is definitely a tea for fans of mulled wine and hot toddies. Or, if you just want to be able to say that you tried a tea made from purple corn!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Inca Tea
An enlivening herbal, fruit tea blend of purple corn, berries and spices. Caffeine free. This is our Original blend to characterize the true ancient Incan recipe.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Culinary Teas
A full flavored berry tea. We have added black and red currants, as well as raisins to our blend. A naturally sweet herbal tea.
Learn more about this tisane here.
The above description forgot to mention that it is also a naturally tart herbal tea. Hibiscus! But, I’m kind of liking the way the hibiscus marries with the currants. It adds an interesting dimension to the flavor of the currants (and there are TONS of little tiny currants in this blend).
I don’t taste a lot of raisin-y flavor to this, especially not when it is served hot. As the tea cools, a sweet raisin note starts to emerge, but it isn’t a well defined flavor. Mostly what I taste is the flavor of currant, which adds a deep, almost-wine-like flavor to the cup, and the hibiscus, which adds tartness to the already slightly tart currant notes. But the hibiscus also does something else here, it gives more of a berry-like taste to the cup.
Yes, currants are a berry, but, they taste more wine-y to me than a typical berry flavor (that is, a berry like blueberry or raspberry or strawberry), and the hibiscus seems to enhance the berry profile of the currants a little bit, which I really like.
I don’t recommend oversteeping this tea – because although it contains no tea leaves (and therefore it’s not going to become bitter or tannic), it does contain hibiscus and when it’s left to brew too long, it becomes syrupy and tart. I brewed this for about 6 minutes, and I’d say that was just about perfect. It added some texture without going overboard, and it added a pleasant tartness without it becoming pucker-y.
As I sip this, I find it enjoyable, but I think it could be more enjoyable if a few spices were added to it as it infuses – maybe some cinnamon or some cloves might add a warm dimension to the flavor and make it a bit like mulled wine. Or, you could add some hot apple cider (perhaps at a 1:1 ratio?) to give the apple cider a delicious berry taste while lightening the flavor of the berry tea.
This is a tasty tisane. It’s not what I’d call a favorite, but, it’s not bad. I like it served warm by allowing it to cool somewhat after it’s been brewed. When it’s too hot, the hibiscus is very prominent. But as it cools, the flavors mellow somewhat and it’s much nicer.