Peruvian Spiced Berry Tisane from Inca Tea

peruvian spiced berryTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tea

Where to Buy:  Inca Tea

Tisane Description:

This is our Original blend to characterize the true ancient Incan recipe. 

INGREDIENTS:  Hibiscus Petals, Elderberries, Currants, Purple Corn, Apple Pieces, Pineapple Pieces, Cinnamon, Cloves and Natural Flavors. This is the tea that the founder Ryan came across during his hike. Its is an enlivening herbal, fruit tea blend of purple corn, berries and spices.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I wasn’t sure exactly what to think about this new tea made with purple corn!  Weird, right?  But, I decided that I had to give it a try.  It was just weird enough.  Not so weird that I’m put off by the thought of it, but weird enough that I’m really intrigued!

The aroma of the dry leaf is spicy and sweet.  I can smell the cinnamon and cloves, and the sweet notes of pineapple and berries.  I steeped the pyramid sachet for 6 minutes (I don’t usually go over 6 minutes with hibiscus blends because I don’t want the tisane to become too syrupy) in 195°F water.

The brewed liquid is a dark plum color (hibiscus!) and smells of spiced fruit.  The cinnamon and cloves are still a dominant scent to this, but I like that it’s not overwhelmingly spicy.  The fruit notes come through nicely, smelling a bit like a spiced berry compote.

Tasty!  Really tasty!

This Peruvian Spiced Berry is the first of the teas created by Inca Tea.  It’s their “original.”  And it certainly is original, because as I said, I can’t recall ever encountering a tea that is made with purple corn.  And Inca Tea’s original is a tasty offering!  I am really enjoying the combination of berry flavors and spice.

I taste a bit of corn in this too!  The corn adds more of a nutty, grainy sort of background note than a strong, obvious “corn” flavor.  This ends up tasting a bit like a liquefied spiced berry cobbler – YUM!

Yes, there’s hibiscus and rosehips in this, and this would ordinarily make for a tart cup, but the warmth of the spices and the sweetness from the apple and pineapple soften those tart notes so that the tartness of these herbs does more to accentuate the berry flavors rather than stand out on their own.  There’s still some tartness, but it’s a berry tart rather than a hibiscus tart that I’m tasting.

There is some texture to the cup too, but it’s not coming off as syrupy.  It’s pleasantly thick without feeling as though my tongue is coated with hibiscus syrup.

I really enjoyed this – my first experience with Inca Tea!  I will be trying more from them – and I’m looking forward to it!

Cacao Chai from Zhi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea

Product Description:

Our Zhi Signature Blend Organic Cacao Chai has been lovingly hand-crafted to satisfy the most discerning chai aficionados and dark chocolate lovers.

Organic Assam Black Tea with cinnamon, cardamon and ginger, pure vanilla and an abundance of organic Peruvian cacao nibs.

This Chai loves whole organic milk and turbinado sugar! We created this blend due to overwhelming demand – at home!

Join us in a steaming cup of this sumptuous delight.

Taster’s Review:

This is yummy.  It reminds me a bit of my homemade hot chocolate – made from scratch – which I really don’t make often enough.  Now I don’t have to make it at all!  I’ll just brew some of this chai instead.

This has a wonderful chocolate flavor.  It is a deep, dark chocolate flavor that is bittersweet.  The Assam base provides a solid backdrop of flavor, and seems to propel the flavors of chocolate to the forefront.  Assam typically is a strong, malty and substantial tea, and while it isn’t front and center of this particular blend, it is an essential part of this tea because it helps to bring the other flavors to life in a really delicious way.

After the chocolate notes, what I notice is a spicy cinnamon kick, which is enhanced by the peppery flavor of ginger.  The cardamom adds a warm, citrus-y note to the background.

This combination of cacao, spices and tea makes for an incredibly warm, comforting and indulgent cup.  A must try for all you chocoholics out there!