Ibelin Blend from Armeniac

Ibelin Blend from Armeniac is another case of hibiscus done right!  Ibelin Blend from Armeniac REALLY blew me away!  Let me tell you a little bit more about this herbal tisane…

The ingredients in Ibelin Blend from Armeniac are wild oregano, black currant, nettle leaves, wild cherry leaves, and hibiscus.  I have to be honest – Herbals are NOT what I grab off the shelf FIRST.  And usually when I see a tea or tisane has hibiscus in it I tend to roll my eyes.  BUT…with Ibelin Blend from Armeniac I was EXTREMELY surprised and HAPPY with the outcome of this cuppa!

Upon opening the bag I could smell a savory oregano and slightly tart currant aroma.  For some reason the combined aroma took me back to my childhood.  It took me back to one of my favorite pizza places growing up!  The surroundings smelled similar and I don’t know why!  I’m assuming it was because of the oregano and like-spices they used in their sauce paired with another childhood favorite of Loganberry Drink.  Both were staples in this particular restaurant.

One infused I noticed the tartiness come thru more which was the combination of the currant and hibiscus.  The hibiscus in this herbal blend worked lovely!  It wasn’t over powering!  And paired with nettle leaves, wild cherry leaves, and Oregano really counteracted it.  Ibelin Blend from Armeniac offers a sweet and savory yin and yang that I can’t resist!  This is nice hot but even better iced!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal/Tisane
Where to Buy: Armeniac


Limited Edition Exclusive Loose Leaf Herbal Tea

This excelsior blend has a delicate springtime aroma, a tart, fruity flavor, and the pink color of a blossoming rose; good choice as a morning wake up drink.

Ingredients: Wild oregano, black currant, nettle leaves, wild cherry leaves, hibiscus

Type: Herbal, Natural, Caffeine Free, GMO Free, No artificial colors or fragrances

Directions: Place 1 heaping teaspoon of tea blend per each cup in a teapot, add freshly boiled water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a teacup and serve hot or iced, without sugar.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Woman Black Tea from Tay Tea

wildwomanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tay Tea

Tea Description:

An organic high-grown Ceylon tea with wild blueberries, black currants, hibiscus, elderberries and corn flower petals. One heavenly sip of this organic tea is enough to make you go wild! A perfect tea to wake up to.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a tea I was looking forward to a fair bit; despite the hibiscus in the blend which I personally think it completely unnecessary to include in most blends but especially in berry ones.

When I first started drinking teas I was actually rather hesitant about trying blueberry teas because I don’t actually like the fruit a whole lot, and I definitely don’t like the taste of anything artificially blueberry flavoured but when I finally did try out a couple blueberry blends I learned that it’s a flavour I surprisingly quite enjoy – especially when paired with a black base like this one is. In fact, my most logged tea on Steepster happens to currently be DT’s Blueberry Jam tea – it makes a great everyday sort of tea and brews up very consistently, so when I tried this one I was kind of internally measuring it against that blend.

Dry, the leaf smells mildly of blueberries and black currants with the faintest scent of something sweet and almost black licorice like – which is odd given that none of the listed ingredients are ones I’d associate with that sort of flavour or scent. Visually, I don’t see much (if any, really) hibiscus in the leaf I’ve measured out. I’m slightly relieved about that, though I wonder if it’s going to make for a skewed sampling.

Taste wise, the blueberry is definitely the first flavour here though it’s quickly followed by a little bit of elderberry and the sweeter side of black currant. I don’t actually know how much black currant is blended in here, but for people who dislike the medicinal taste black currant sometimes has I don’t really see that ever being a problem with this blend; it’s all sweet and jammy, and faint in contrast to the blueberry anyway. I will say that compared to Blueberry Jam, this has the same level of berry flavour with the same accuracy when it comes to how realistic it is.

The downside is the base. This had a recommended steep time of three to five minutes and I steeped on the lower end of the spectrum – three and a half minutes in total. Even with a steep on the low end of Tay Tea’s suggested spectrum it brewed up quite bitter, and sadly that bitterness is the finishing note which lingers well after you’ve finished the sip. It greatly detracts from what would otherwise be a very well done blueberry tea.

For that reason, I don’t think I’d order it for myself though I do think it’d be worthwhile to try it again with a steep time closer to two and a half minutes to see if the bitterness could be lessened without losing out on the robust blueberry notes.

Wild Woman Black Tea Blend from Tay Tea

WIld-WomanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Tea Information:

Do you have as much trouble finding well-balanced berry teas as we do? Look no further. This is the one. Wild Woman has an amazing dark berry aroma. Don’t let it scare you off though because it softens in the sip. The hibiscus is light and adds to how deliciously tart this tea is. The blueberry and black currant authentically flavour a bold black tea base.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After reading the description of this tea on the website, I was a little apprehensive.  I’m not into hibiscus, as I’ve said on many occasions and I really think that hibiscus is “overused” in the tea industry.  It’s become a substitute for true berry flavor and I think that’s a shame.  So, I found myself thinking … “ugh, hibiscus in a berry blend, how original.”  (sarcasm, of course!)

But … this is pretty darned good, I must say!

As the description above promises, the hibiscus here is light.  It doesn’t add too much tartness nor does it add a thick, syrupy texture to the cup.  There’s just a wee bit of hibiscus tart that accents the berry notes in a pleasant way.  But what I’m appreciating here is that the hibiscus isn’t taking away from the berry flavors or making it tastes too hibiscus-y.  Instead, the hibiscus seems to encourage the berry notes to come forward.

The black tea is a medium-bodied tea, brisk and even toned.  It is smooth, not very astringent (a moderate astringency is noticed at the tail) and it doesn’t taste bitter.

The blueberry is the top note.  It’s sweet and it’s my favorite aspect of this blend.  The currant offers a slight wine-like quality to the cup and it adds just a hint of tartness.  There is that berry tingle at the end of the sip.

A very enjoyable berry tea.  I didn’t try it latte but I think it would be quite nice with a splash of milk in it – berries and cream!  It has a nice sweetness to it and doesn’t require sugar to coax the flavors to come forward, so I would recommend tasting this one before you sweeten because you may find it doesn’t need it.

It tastes good hot but I liked it even better as it cooled.  It had a really pleasant flavor, suggesting to me that this one would be great to have on hand in the summer for iced tea!

Forest Fruit Black Tea from Tea of Life

TeaofLifeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Learn more about Tea of Life and Amazon Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

As I start a tea to steep, I find myself wondering – anticipating? – what the tea will taste like.  This Forest Fruit Black Tea from Tea of Life has the flavors of strawberry, blackberry, black currant and cherry, so obviously I was expecting a very fruity tea.

But, what what surprised me – happily! – is that this tastes more of tea than it does of fruit.  Oh, the fruit flavors are there and they’re loud and clear, but, the black tea base is robust and has a strong, solid black tea flavor.  It doesn’t take a back seat to the fruit notes.

Instead, I taste a medley of fruit notes that sit just beneath the black tea notes.  Strawberry pops out first with a sweet-tart cherry note coming in just after.  The blackberry notes seem to weave their way in and out of the sip and are sometimes more difficult to discern than the strawberry and cherry.  The black currant is most recognizable at the finish, when I notice a sort of tart note, and the astringency of the black tea makes that more distinguishable.  It’s almost “wine-ish” at the finish.  The aftertaste is like a blend of the four fruits, with a prominent berry tingle on the tongue.

An enjoyable black tea blend from Tea of Life:  it’s sweet, fruity and flavorful.  I find it especially nice as it gets cooler, making this an ideal choice for iced tea.

Blueberry Fruit Tea from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Product Description:

Ingredients: Roselle, Black Currant, Blueberries, Grapes

TeaVivre’s Fruit Tea’s make great, low calorie, caffeine-free, refreshing drinks for anytime of the day. Made only from carefully matched flower petals, dried fruit and berries, they all have high levels of vitamins and minerals and – most importantly – taste and smell great! They are all fantastic to drink either hot or iced. All our fruit teas are made without any added sugar, and so naturally have a very slight sour taste. If you’d like a slightly sweeter drink, simply add a small amount of sugar or, better yet, a small amount of honey.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m usually a little hesitant to try a “fruit tea” because I worry about too much hibiscus.  But… a quick glance at the ingredients … no hibiscus?  Cool!  But wait!  What’s that … roselle?  After a quick check on Wikipedia, I’ve learned that roselle is a species of hibiscus.

This worried me a bit, because… well, as I’ve mentioned more than once, I don’t really care for hibiscus.

But… this is really quite good.  In fact, I really wasn’t prepared to like this quite as much as I do.  The roselle has some similarities to the hibiscus I’m more accustomed to:  most specifically, I taste a distinct hibiscus-y flavor and it’s trademark tartness.  But what I’m not getting from the roselle is that syrup-y thickness that I would normally experience with hibiscus.  This tastes and feels lighter and cleaner.  It doesn’t feel sticky and thick.  Nice!

In fact, this tisane is remarkably light for a fruit tea.  It is really quite refreshing.

The blueberry tastes sweet and there is some tartness to it that is accented by the tart from the roselle.  I also taste the black currant, and it gives the overall cup a fruit wine-like taste (in fact, I’m thinking that this might be nice brewed with some mulling spices for a mulled wine – but without the wine! – drink.  Yum!)

This is one of the better fruit teas that I’ve tasted in a very long time.  Oh, sure, I’ve enjoyed many of the other fruit teas that I have had.  But this one stands out among the others.  This … is what other fruit teas should aspire to be!