Rumchata Genmaicha Green Tea from 52Teas

Rumchata-GenmaichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Our friend LiberTEAs was a big fan of our Rumchata honeybush, but suggested that a Rumchata genmaicha would be even better.  It was one of those head-smacking moments for me when I tried to imagine the toasted rice in the genmaicha with the horchata and rum flavors.  Of course it would be awesome.

So here it is.  Thanks to LiberTEAs for the suggestion.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been excited to try this one!  After I tried the Rumchata Honeybush from 52Teas, I couldn’t help but think that these flavors would work well with a Genmaicha base.  (And I even mentioned it in that review!)  And while I do really enjoy the Rumchata Honeybush, it is even better with the Genmaicha.

The sweet, buttery notes of the green tea offer a nice creamy texture and taste to the flavors of horchata and rum.  The toasty rice notes meld beautifully with the notes of almond and cinnamon.  The result is a warm, cozy, delightfully delicious beverage.

It is sweet and creamy.  It is warm and gently spiced with cinnamon.  The nutty flavor of the almonds and toasted rice are perfect together.  There is a mid-note of rum that is there from the start of the sip to the finish and it lingers in the aftertaste … just like if I were to take a sip of an actual Rumchata (after trying the Rumchata Honeybush, I decided that I should try a Rumchata.  I liked it, but I think I like the tea versions better.  What can I say, when it comes to alcohol, I’m just a wimp.)

I love this!  A brilliant tea … even if I do say so myself!  (haha!)

Rumchata Honeybush from 52Teas

RumchataTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

My helper Kelley has been hounding me about making a Rumchata blend for a while, so I decided to finally give in. She also thinks we should do a Hobbit tribute tea called “Second Breakfast” but when I tell her that second breakfast should include bacon she shrieks at me that I’m a sick man. (You should know that whenever we blend the bacon teas, she whines about it for at least an hour after we’ve finished. In her defense, the bacon flavoring is VERY pungent when we first blend those and admittedly it’s not my favorite scent either.) In any event, I think she’s got a real winner here. This is a sort of spiced, creamy rum with elements of horchata, almonds, cinnamon and other spices and a sweet creamy finish. Honeybush seems a natural compliment to it. I think you guys are going to like it a lot.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

When I learned that 52Teas’ tea of the week for the week of December 9th was to be a Rumchata Honeybush blend, I was excited to try it!  I haven’t tried Rumchata and I didn’t even know it was a real thing until the other day when I saw a bottle of it in the liquor section of my local grocery store.  But, I LOVE horchata and the idea of horchata mixed with rum sounds pretty darned yummy to even this tea-totaler.

And it is yummy!  When I first opened the package, the smell of rum is pretty strong, so I worried a little that this would taste all of rum and not so much horchata.  But, there is a nice distribution of the flavoring here, I taste rum, but I also taste horchata … and actually, I might taste more horchata than I do rum.

The cinnamon notes are nice and warm, and the almond notes add a touch of sweetness as well as warmth.  This blend doesn’t go overboard with the cinnamon.  It’s a light touch of cinnamon.  And there is a creamy, vanilla-y, rice-like note that I taste that mimics the horchata flavor.

The honeybush base is a nice choice for this blend, although I can’t help but think that a genmaicha blend would have worked even better.  (The toasted rice flavor would have been just the thing to elevate the horchata flavor.)  But I do like the nutty, sweet flavor of the honeybush here.  It adds a nice backdrop for the flavors.

Overall, a really tasty honeybush blend.  I drank my first cup of this straight up with no sweetener or other additions and it was delightful.  I like it better, though, when I brew it strong (I add just a little extra leaf) and then add a light sprinkling of turbinado sugar (about a pinch worth of sugar) to accentuate the spices and just a splash of almond milk. The almond milk really does wonders for this blend.  Rice milk might work well with this too!

Nutty Enough Tisane from Naked Teas Galore


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal/Spice Melange (And a lot of nuts!)

Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Tisane Description:

We taste the brazil nuts upfront and the almond/marzipan near the end. It finishes with apple that is mouthwatering and nicely tart. Similar to opening a can of mixed nuts and snacking, this cup of tea is hard to put down.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Learn how to subscribe to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

This is the third tea/tisane from my April Amoda Tea Tasting Box.  And as you can see from the above information, Nutty Enough is a tisane from Naked Teas Galore.  The dry leaf looks a lot like (and smells a lot like!) what you might experience if you were to open a jar of mixed nuts.  Sure, there are some other components to this as well, like dried apple bits and cinnamon and cacao nibs … but it still looks like a bunch of nuts … and it smells like it too.

I taste the brazil nut right off the bat.  Then the cinnamon starts to come through as well as notes of apple.  I taste a hint of honey.  The cacao flavor is a little less distinct and I find that this is better experienced if you slurp the tea, which allows for maximum aeration of the tea and the palate can pick up those subtle notes of cocoa.

Now that I’m about halfway through my cup, this tastes a lot like what I’d imagine a cup of apple cider that’s been simmered with a handful of nuts instead of a bunch of spices.  The cinnamon is mild, and just enough to really accentuate the apple in a very pleasant way.  It’s really quite tasty – different, certainly! – but I like it.

As I am finishing this cup, I look forward to what teas Amoda Tea will be putting in my mailbox this month!  Have you subscribed yet?  Why not?  Click here to learn more.

Jennifer’s Chai – a Custom Blend from Ovation Teas

Ovation_TeasTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ovation Teas

Tea Description:

Black tea blended with cinnamon chips, cloves, ginger, cardamom, almonds, nutmeg, black pepper, and safflowers with chai flavoring and almond & vanilla extract.

Taster’s Review:

I debated with myself whether or not I should write this review, because I recently learned that Ovation Teas is closing their business.  I am very saddened by this news for several reasons.  The first, and most obvious to many of you, I’m sure, is the fact that they’re a tea business and I don’t want tea businesses to go out of business!  They are a local company, and I love to support the local businesses.  But one of the main reasons I’m sad is that Ovation Teas had some pretty spectacular blends … and I barely scratched the surface at trying them all (and yes, I wanted to do that!)

I ordered this particular custom blend just before Christmas as a gift for a recipient in a gift swap in which I was participating.  My recipient liked chai, vanilla flavored teas and almond flavored teas, so I asked Ovation teas if they could combine all of the above in one amazing blend!  And they did … AND in addition to the full-sized portion that I ordered for my recipient, they were nice enough to send me some of the tea to try too!

It brews up dark and fragrant, smelling of alluring spices with hints of almond and vanilla with a rich backdrop of earthy black tea.  And that’s what I taste, too.  The black tea has a strong presence here, and I appreciate that because often with chai blends, the black tea tends to take a back seat and is often overwhelmed by the spices.  That didn’t happen here, and I’m glad.  The spices are very harmonious … the cloves do stand out a bit which kind of surprised me, because usually with chai blends it’s either the cinnamon or the ginger that is prominent.  Here, the other spices seem pretty evenly matched, with the cloves coming out as the prominent flavor.

And these flavors are nicely accentuated by the flavors of vanilla and almond which offers a sweet, creamy, nutty note.  I like that the nutty tones of the almond are further highlighted by the nutmeg in the chai … a really nice touch (I think that this might have been an addition that I requested, and I think I did right to request it, this blend would not be the same without the nutmeg).

This is a really delicious chai that I’m enjoying served straight with just a little bit of turbinado sugar to emphasize the spices a bit.  It doesn’t need a lot of sweetening though, because the sweetness of the vanilla and almond are very satisfying.  And because of the creaminess of these two flavors, it doesn’t need milk to make it taste creamy … although this would be very tasty with a drop or two of milk just to enhance the creamy tones.

To Ovation Teas, I lift my tea mug up and toast you, I will miss you!

Gui Fei Oolong from Butiki Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Our Gui Fei Oolong was sourced from Lugu Township in Nantou County, Taiwan and is a particularly unique tea. Green leafhoppers are allowed to bite the tea leaves which causes the leaves to begin the healing process which creates the honey notes in this tea and also begins the oxidation process. This tea utilized traditional Dong Ding processing techniques. Gui Fei Oolong has a natural sweetness to it and produces no astringency. Notes of honey, lightly burned toast, raw almonds and apples can be detected.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Good Heavens! This tea smells DIVINE! Seriously I have had this in my stash for ages now and just never got around to testing it out. I am angry with myself for waiting so long! I am kicking myself!

The aroma is peach and honey. The dry leaf is nuggety and a few stems while the moist leaf is still quite dry and I hope for more steeps to follow! The cup is a beautiful sunny orange color.

My first sips emote honey, peach, and candies almonds. What a pure and simple delight! This will be consumed regularly until it is time to reorder. Still angry at myself for sitting on this one!

Subtle notes of oak are peaking through. I do not detect any apple notes but perhaps in the second infusion. I am getting a mouthfeel of brandy like consistency. Thick and syrup like yet not clinging to my mouth like syrup, much brighter than that – not heavy just very juicy and refreshing in a sweet rich sort of way.

There is some astringency to this cup and it is a tad sour on the after taste much like a peach that is not fully ripened yet, but as you wait a little the flavor tames into almost an oak moss flavor and then the sweetness comes back around. There is a palate cleansing effect that follows.

My second steep is still deep in color perhaps even more so which is surprising. The steep turned into more of a reddish orange rather than a bright sun colored orange. The astringency still exists, which is something I have found in Butiki Teas oolong more so than others but it is nice as it reminds me of a black tea’s astringency even though the flavor description says there is none but again, I don’t mind at all. I am now getting a savory sweet note like apples and sage that I often cook with together.

I decided that I needed to “pair” my tea with a chocolate truffle. Okay I was making excuses to have one but hey I wanted a truffle! This brought out the peach notes in the tea by truck loads! Literally it was like a truck load of juicy ripe peaches drove into my mouth! Okay not literally but figuratively. Regardless it was amazing! Now I could easily use this new discovery of the paring as an excuse to have another truffle but alas I would prefer to savor my third steep allowing it to stand on its own.

Steep three although not necessarily the final steep but the last I will write about still has a lovely color to it. It does not seem to be weakening at all! The flavors are still very present with the peachy notes, along with the wood notes. It is becoming more oak-y in flavor now however and a little less sweet. Now it is settling into a tea that one would kick back and really relax with and it may even be making me a little sleepy due to its easy going qualities – no not sleepy but grounded. Like a good meditative tea!

End result is this tea has many layers of flavors to offer someone willing to sit down and contemplate it. One could easily suck down cup after cup and just enjoy and embrace the goodness however for me, I am finding this tea one that I will build a relationship with and discover more depth through each steep as I know there are many more left to uncover! The wet leaf still has more love to give, still some dryness within them, and they still smell strongly of flavors!

Very good tea!