Jacqueline’s Tea from Jacqueline’s Tea Room (available from iHeartTeas)

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:

This tea is part of the Sweet Set Sampler from iHeartTeas.

Learn more about Jacqueline’s Tea Room here.

Tea Description:

Black tea with Lavender flowers and honey bee pollen.

Taster’s Review:

There were a couple of teas in this sampler that prompted my purchase, but, I have to admit that this wasn’t one of them.  I think it was the English Garden that really struck my fancy, and it was the name of the tea, really, that made me want to try it.  I find it somewhat amusing and even a little disturbing that after all this time, and after all the teas I’ve tasted, that I am still swayed by something as cosmetic as the name of a tea.

As far as this tea goes,  I don’t think I even read the description of this one before I brewed it!  I don’t know, “Jacqueline’s Tea” just didn’t sound all that exciting to me.  I just happened to grab a black tea from my pile of samples that I need to try.  If I had taken the time to read the description, I probably would have been much more eager to try it.  Lavender and pollen?  AWESOME!

Normally, I associate pollen with the stuff that makes me feel icky in the spring and summer months.  But, when it’s used for culinary purposes, I really love pollen.  I was absolutely blown away by these Fennel Pollen Shortbread Cookies.  Pollen offers a sweetness like honey, but with more complexity.  Here, it has some lovely floral intonations, which enhance the flavor of the lavender quite nicely.

The black tea is mild and smooth.  On Steepster, I compared this tea to an impressionist painting.  If you stand up close to most impressionist art, it looks muddled, like a confused set of brush strokes.  But if you take a few steps back, the subject matter comes in to focus, and you see the brilliant beauty of the artwork.  This tea is like that.  The first couple of sips, the flavors seem kind of blurry.  I tasted the black tea and I tasted sweetness, but, my palate seemed a little confused by it all.  Then, after a couple of sips, the flavors come in to focus.  The black tea:  mellow and unassuming.  The lavender and the pollen:  sweet and floral, with the pollen notes highlighting the lavender in a way that I don’t think I’ve experienced lavender before.

This is not a tea that I’d recommend for the “gotta-get-moving” first thing in the morning cup of tea.  This is more like a tea you want to sip when you just want to sit back and contemplate.

If you’re a fan of lavender, this is a tea I recommend trying.  It is a different way to experience lavender, and it’s definitely worth experiencing!

Maté Carnival from Chado Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Roasted Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Chado Tea Room

Company Description:

Raosted mate, cocoa, rooibos, sunflower, cactus, cornflowers and almonds. Coffee substitute, great with milk. Perfect of American Breakfast. Must Try!

Taster’s Review:

This is a pleasant yet rather unusual yerba maté blend.  I am really enjoying it!

Roasted yerba maté and chocolate really complement each other very well.  The combination of the deep, toasty, earthy flavor of the yerba maté and the rich, smooth chocolate is just so decadent and yummy!

There is a faint sharpness to this cup as well, and I attribute that to the sunflower.  It is very faint, though, and might otherwise be missed if you’re not trying to find it.  The almonds and chocolate – being a classic flavor combination – work well together in this blend as well.

I can also detect the woodsy rooibos flavor, but, again, this isn’t strong enough to really compete with the stronger, pungent flavor of the maté.  I am not really sure what contribution the cactus makes to the overall flavor of this tisane, although there is a fruit note to this tea that I cannot otherwise place.  Perhaps that is the cactus?  I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think that this blend would be quite the same without the cactus.

I’ve tried a couple of chocolate flavored maté blends, but this one stands alone because it has a more complex flavor to it – perhaps because of the rooibos, or the almonds, or the sunflower, or even the cactus.  Or, maybe it’s because of all of these components and how well they work together in this cup.

I really like it.