Red Grey Tisane from Pipers Loose Leaf Tea

RedGreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Roiboos

Where to Buy:  Pipers Loose Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

A caffeine free version of Earl Grey using the finest Rooibos enhanced with organic Sicilian bergamot oil resulting in an absolutely delicious rich, flowery tea with bright citrus notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve sampled some decent tasting Earl Grey inspired rooibos blends and some not so decent tasting Earl Grey inspired rooibos blends, and I think I’ve probably tried more not so decent ones than decent.  So when it comes to trying one that I haven’t yet tasted, I tend to be a little hesitant because the memories of the not so decent ones outweigh the decent ones.

So, I was a little hesitant to try this Red Grey Tisane from Pipers Loose Leaf Tea – but fortunately, this tea surpassed my expectations.  This is really quite good!

The sweet, nutty flavor of the rooibos complements the bright citrus notes of the bergamot really well.  The bergamot is not overdone and I think it’s important to note that because with bergamot, when overdone, it can end up tasting soapy.  Here, there is just enough bergamot flavor to add a tangy-sweet flavor to the cup without it tasting soap-ish.

And while I’m not often a fan of the flavor of rooibos, I like the way the nutty flavors go with the bergamot.  The earthy flavor of the rooibos balances out that zesty flavor of the bergamot nicely.  Hints of flower add some dimension to the tea.

Overall, a very pleasant cuppa.

Sicilian Vanilla Black Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

sicilianvanillaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

Do vanilla beans grow in Italy? We like to think so. Regardless, this black tea is blended with fine English oils made from Italian citrus fruits and sweet extracts, mixed with grade-A Madagascar vanilla beans (plus fine vanilla extract for an extra boost), and the unique savory scent of helichrysum flowers. Sicilian Vanilla is a great blend for the citrus lover, the vanilla lover, or the black tea lover! This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hmm … tasty!  Not at all what I expected, but then, I think when I saw “Vanilla” in the name of the tea, I immediately think, “OK, this is a vanilla tea.”  I didn’t expect the other flavors in this, although had I read the description prior to tasting, I would have!

This tastes more like something rich and dessert-y, like a fancy dessert from a European bakery than it does a straightforward vanilla black tea.  And that’s not a bad thing, not at all!  It’s a very yummy thing!

The description of this tea on Etsy doesn’t go into detail about what teas are used as the base.  It only says a “blend of black teas.”  Based on what I’m tasting, I’m going to guess that there is some Assam in this blend.  I taste a good bit of malty and I also taste a hint of Assam bitterness.  As for other teas, I suspect a Ceylon because I’m getting a Ceylon sort of taste in there too … but I’m less certain of the Ceylon than I am of the Assam.

To flavor this tea, M&K’s used vanilla bean as well as vanilla flavoring, Fiori di Sicilia flavoring and Pannetone flavoring.  Fiori di Sicilia is an extract that is used in Italian baking that has a bit of vanilla, orange and floral essence.  I can taste each of these flavors.  The vanilla is the strongest note of these flavors, with the yummy baked bread taste of the pannetone, and hints of citrus that are especially noticeable at the finish and in the aftertaste.

The floral notes are probably my least favorite aspect of this tea, because it gives the cup an almost ‘artificial’ taste.  However, the floral taste from the Fiori di Sicilia is barely noticeable and something that is easy to overlook given the yumminess of the rest of the tea.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this blend and I’m glad I got to try it.