Leaf Type: Coffee Leaf Tisane
Where to Buy: Wize Monkey
Juicy mangoes all up in your boca!
Learn more about this tea here.
The packaging of this one didn’t give much away – only the name (Mango Party), and the fact that it’s a test flavour. It’s a bagged tea, but in an unbleached, sizeable bag so there’s plenty of room for leaf expansion. No complaints there. I did a little digging around, and discovered that this is, in fact, a coffee leaf tea. This isn’t something I’ve ever tried before, so it piqued my interest straight off. From what I managed to find out, coffee leaf tea is pretty much exactly what you’d think – a herbal tea made from the shredded leaves of the coffee plant. It contains less caffeine than either tea or coffee, and is described as being similar in flavour to green tea. I added the bag to a cup of boiling water, and gave it 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown, and the scent immediately put me in mind of guayusa.
To taste, guayusa is again probably the best comparison I can come up with. It’s quite prominently earthy in the initial sip, but in a good way – anyone that enjoys guayusa would be quite at home here. The flavouring emerges in the mid sip, and adds a creamy, mildly peppery, mango flavour. It’s juicy and fruity, but it’s a little milder and more fleeting than I really would have liked. There’s maybe a second or two in the mid sip where I can really taste it, and then it’s gone and the earthiness returns. For those who were wondering – this doesn’t taste of coffee at all.
This was a new experience for me, and I’m going to say that I liked it. I’d seek out more coffee leaf teas on the strength of this one, that’s for sure. When a tea is flavoured, I like the flavour to be strong and prominent, so this one lost a couple of points for me there. The flavouring is nice, but it’s a little milder and more fleeting than I’d hoped – more of a mango flash than a mango party. Either way, it’s a pleasing, fruity cup with a lovely, smooth creaminess. Definitely worth a try if you’re a mango fan, or if you’ve not tried coffee leaf tea before and are looking for a new tea experience.
Leaf Type: Coffee Leaf Tea
Where to Buy: Wize Monkey
Juicy mangoes all up in your boca.
Stay tuned for the official release of our mango flavour.
Learn more about this tea here.
You might remember back in November when I reviewed the Armando’s Original Blend Coffee Leaf Tea from Wize Monkey. I enjoyed that ‘tea’ – it was different from anything else that I had tried but similar in taste to Guayusa.
Well, the guys at Wize Monkey sent me some more samples to try, and this is the first one I’m trying: Mango Party Coffee Leaf Tea. The website says that this flavor is “coming soon” and I’m not sure exactly what that means, but if the idea of mango flavored coffee leaf tea intrigues you, keep your eye on the website for when it becomes available.
This is a bagged ‘tea’ but I appreciated that the bag is an unbleached bag and there’s plenty of room for leaf expansion. I put a bag in my teacup and added 8 ounces of water heated to 195°F. Then I let it steep for 4 minutes.
The mango flavor is very prominent and I really like the way it marries with the flavor of the coffee leaf. It has a deliciously juicy, fruity flavor and the coffee leaf has a buttery flavor that I didn’t really pick up on when I tried the original coffee leaf tea in November. I think that the mango brings out the very best in the coffee leaf!
The overall flavor is smooth, buttery and MANGO! Really nice! This is something I’d be happy to drink again and again! Two thumbs up!
Leaf Type: Black & Green
Where to Buy: English Tea Store
The Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea loose leaf blend from English Tea Store is a delicate medium tea with a hint of Earl Grey and Jasmine. This is a lighter afternoon tea.
Every May, the Queen holds a garden party at Buckingham Palace, a lovely English springtime tradition. The tea that is served is a long time favorite, a delicious Palace medley specially selected for this occasion. Intriguing hints of high-grown pure Ceylon Earl Grey blend effortlessly with the soft jasmine from Fujian Province. Couple this with malty Assam (from the estate of Borengajuli) flavory Dimbula Ceylon (from Hatton), brisk and golden cup East of Rift Kenya (from Kambaa and Kagwe) and you have one of the most flavorful teas to come from the British Isles. Each cup is a cup of mystery – the flavors all come to the fore at separate times – one minute you taste the Earl Grey, the next second you can almost feel the soft floral notes of jasmine and finally you get the satisfying fullness of the Assam Ceylon and Kenya blend. Enjoy this tea and be a part of the annual tradition in the west gardens of Buckingham Palace, without having to dress up.
Learn more about this tea here.
This Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea is an example of a tea that I should have read the description of before I brewed it, because by simply looking at the loose leaf, it is difficult to tell that it’s a blend of black and green teas. I should have used a slightly lower temperature to steep this tea! And there is some bitterness as a result. I steeped this for 3 minutes using boiling water, and I think I should have used water that was closer to 180°F. Even with the bitterness, it isn’t a bad tasting tea, but I think it could be better. Unfortunately, I don’t have more of this tea to experiment with it.
The aroma is lovely! I can smell the bergamot and the jasmine, but neither offers an overpowering fragrance. This seems to be nicely balanced between the two classic ingredients of jasmine and bergamot.
The black tea is rich and flavorful. I can taste the malty notes of Assam and the aforementioned bitterness may be a result of the Assam’s presence in the blend. The bitterness is not something that I find off-putting as it’s not an intrusive flavor. It doesn’t get in the way of me tasting the other flavors of the tea nor does it get in the way of the enjoyment of the overall cup. I’d rather the bitterness not be there, of course, and if I had a little more of this tea, I’d experiment with it a little to figure out a better way to brew it so that the bitterness wasn’t present.
The green tea is a little less discernible than the black tea. This isn’t surprising, as green tea tends to have a lighter flavor than black tea. However, that isn’t to say that the green tea can’t be tasted because I definitely taste it’s softer, somewhat vegetal taste and a silky texture that is unmistakably green tea-ish.
The jasmine is a sweet, exotic note that compliments the tangy bergamot. The bergamot it not as strong as I typically like a bergamot in an Earl Grey blend, however, since this is a “garden party” blend (for Buckingham Palace, no less), I can let the softer bergamot slide because a stronger bergamot essence may very well overpower the delicate notes of jasmine and a good balance between the two has been achieved here. It’s a pleasantly floral, tangy cup that is very satisfying.
Overall, an enjoyable cup that I’d suggest as an afternoon cuppa. It’s not quite robust enough – in my opinion – to serve as a breakfast blend or that first cup of the day when you need that jump start. This is ideal to serve to guests though, and makes a lovely cup of tea to enjoy in the afternoon, even if your garden party is a party of one.
Where to Subscribe: Tea Box Express
About Tea Box Express:
Tea Box Express is more than a box of tea. It’s an experience. Each month brings a new box brimming with surprises that always include quality brand-name tea and three or four fun tea-things. We are dedicated to bringing you the best teas and the niftiest tea goodies. Our mission is to bring a tea party to your door every month.
Save 20% off your first month’s subscription! Just use the code SORORITEA20 in the coupon field at check-out to save!
This is a review of Tea Box Express’s debut box – October 2014 – which hasn’t yet begun to ship. The box came to me early so that I could review it and share my thoughts with you so that you can get in on the goodies right from the very beginning!
This box is near PERFECT for people like me. As some of you may know, besides writing about teas, I’ve also written about other subscription boxes (specifically, foodie/yummy goody boxes) on my Hungry in Portland blog. I’ve pretty much discontinued those reviews mostly because I find that my time has become limited and tea is more important to me than the goodies, so, I devote my time here. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped getting in on the goodies!
What’s so great about this box is that it combines the best of both worlds! It’s a tea of the month box and it’s a goody box, plus there are some really neat accessories to go along with it. For the October box, I received a tube of Teatulia Black Tea, a jar of “Tea Honey” from Savannah Bee Co., an adorable bee shaped, festively frosted sugar cookie from The Decorated Cookie Co., plus a bright yellow, ceramic teapot-shaped teabag caddy and a tea honey dipper/server which allows you to drizzle honey no-mess-style into your cup of tea. I’ll be reviewing the “tea party” including the tea later, but, for now I wanted to review the experience of receiving this box!
Let’s see what these items would have cost me if I bought them separately:
- Teatulia Black Tea: $8.99
- Tea Honey: $5.50 (although to get the 3 oz. jar, you need to buy 2 at $11.00)
- Bee Cookie: $5.62 (approximately)
- Teabag Caddy: $4.50
- Honey Dipper: $4.98
Total retail price would be approximately $29.59 if these items were purchased separately, although some of the items can’t really be purchased separately, and these prices do not include shipping charges. To subscribe to this box, you can pay month-to-month $25.50 plus $5.99 for shipping, or if you pay for 3 months, the monthly cost comes out to $24.67, or for a six month subscription, the cost works out to be $23.17 per month.
So there is a savings benefit to subscribing, but to me the real benefit is the joy of receiving the box. The fun part of these boxes is that they’re curated for you. This month’s theme (if it’s not obvious with the Bee and the honey), is “Bee Happy”! When you first open the box, the first thing I saw was this card (to the left) that says, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln.
Inside the lid of the box is a “theme card” that offers some suggestions on how to be happy. Nurturing our positive emotions like joy, gratitude and serenity can make us happier, and I love the suggestion on starting a happy list!
My happy list:
Yeah, there are a few other things that I’d add to that list, but tea is right up there at the top of the list. Tea is joy. And this box is all about TEA. Receiving a box like this every month would be like getting joy in the mailbox!