Yerba Mate Mint by Choice Organic Teas . . .

I steeped this tea for 4 minutes at 175 degrees with one bag in about one cup of water.

The packet says to steep for 4-6 minutes but it smells plenty strong enough at 4 so I stopped there. Plus, since mint can get bitter if oversteeped, I didn’t want to wait too long.

It smells nice and minty while brewing. I can’t really distinguish it from plain peppermint tea by the smell. After steeping is over, the tea is a yellowish cedar-like color and not noticeably viscous.

First sip: Surprise! It tastes just like mint herbal tea–to me, anyway. Or at least not different enough that you would be positive there’s something else in there rather than just a variation on the minty flavor. (Maybe if I had prepared a cup of plain mint tea at the same time to compare against, that would have helped me pick out any differences, but alas–I didn’t think of that until it was too late.)

What that means is that this could be a clever way to have something caffeinated in the morning if you’re an herbal tea drinker and don’t care for green or black tea or coffee! Or if you only drink black tea with milk (like me) and are avoiding milk because you have a cold, but still need that caffeine boost. (I know that sounds oddly specific but it happens to me more often than you’d think!)

The mate isn’t roasted, I’m guessing, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t have a strong enough flavor to dominate this tea blend (after all, peppermint is a very powerful flavor and it’s hard to overcome that). So if you like peppermint tea, you’ll probably like this!

With sugar: It’s still good and minty, nice and easy on the throat (which means that it’s both good for colds and for vocal health if you’re trying to relax your voice and stay hydrated, although I guess caffeine is a little bit controversial where vocal health is concerned).

Overall this blend is both useful and enjoyable when prepared as a hot tea beverage, and it seems to have plenty of potential as a cold brew as well, although I didn’t try it that way.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: Choice Organic Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rooibos Chai from Choice Organic Teas

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Choice Organic Teas

Tisane Description:

Thrill your senses with this naturally caffeine-free twist on traditional chai. We blend rich South African rooibos with the finest masala spices for a cup that’s warming, robust and subtly sweet. It’s a luscious treat that pairs wonderfully with milk and sweetener. (Caffeine Free)

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a nicely balanced chai blend – spicy, but not too spicy, and just enough of an exotic sweet spice to it to keep it interesting.  And the most surprising part of it all is that this is a rooibos blend!

I’ve never really hid my lack of interest when it comes to rooibos.  I mean, I don’t hate rooibos or anything, but, it isn’t usually my first choice when it comes to a cup of tea.  But, the fact that this is an organic rooibos base is one thing that I found assuring.  If I were to have a side-by-side comparison of plain, unflavored rooibos that was conventionally grown versus a plain, unflavored rooibos that was organically grown, I’d choose the organic every time.  There is a very noticeable difference in taste between the two.

And it makes a difference in this cup too.  The flavor is smooth and there is an undertone of earthy, nutty flavor to the cup, and this earthiness from the rooibos melds well with the earthiness of the chai spices.  I taste the cinnamon, and the cloves, and the cardamom … with the ginger and pepper sort of providing a backdrop of flavor that I really like.  Often, these two spices in a chai tend to take over the cup, offering a very peppered taste, but, that’s not happening with this cup.  I do love a good, spicy, peppery chai, but I also enjoy it when I find a blend that has these spices as more of a background note than something in the forefront.

But that’s not to say that this isn’t a spicy cup – it’s got it’s own spiced charm to it, but, it isn’t what I’d call a very strongly spiced chai.  And I think for a rooibos blend, that’s right on target.  You don’t really want something too spicy just before bed, and with rooibos being naturally caffeine free, it makes a great late-night chai option.  Here neither the spices nor the caffeine will keep you awake!

Rooibos Chai from Choice Organic Teas

Tea Type:

Where To Buy:
Choice Organic Teas

Product Description:

Thrill your senses with this naturally caffeine-free twist on traditional chai. We blend rich South African rooibos with the finest masala spices for a cup that’s warming, robust and subtly sweet. It’s a luscious treat that pairs wonderfully with milk and sweetener. (Caffeine Free)

Organic Rooibos*, Organic Cardamom, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Clove, and Organic Black Pepper *Fair Trade Certified™

Tasters Review:

I’ve been trying to get my life-long digestion issues under control – especially the last few weeks.  I have read that Chai Spices as well as Rooibos can help with that.  I’m grateful!

This smells like a sweet yet slight spicy chai post-steep.  The color is a nice rich dark red-brown.  The taste is sweet from the rooibos and slightly spicy from the spices.  This is really nice! REALLY NICE – for a bagged chai!  Probably one of my fave bagged chai’s as well as one of my fave rooibos chai in a bag, too!

I could see myself drinking this often!  This one surprised me!  If you see this on a shelf at a good price – give it a whirl!

Oolong from Choice Organic Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Choice Organic Teas

Product Description:

Savor the delicious complexity of this sophisticated oolong. After plucking, the leaves are lightly bruised and briefly oxidized to create a tea with a balance and harmony all its own. A gentle earthiness with hints of smoke, a lingering finish and a delightful aroma make this a remarkably enticing and enriching cup.

Taster’s Review:

This is a pleasant enough Oolong tea.  Not my favorite Oolong, but it has an enjoyable flavor.

The product description from Choice Organic Teas (provided above) refers to this as a “sophisticated Oolong” and I agree.  It has a sophistication to it that I wouldn’t normally associate with a bagged tea.  I think it is the delicate smoky tones that evoke the thoughts of sophistication for me.  It isn’t overly smoky (I wouldn’t like it if it was), but the subtle notes of smoke give this an interesting dimension of flavor.

There is also a pleasant undertone of caramel-y sweetness to this cup which compliments the earthy notes without over-emphasizing them (I’m not a big fan of strong earthy tones either).   There is a bit of astringency at the tail, perhaps a bit more than I would have expected from an Oolong, but it leaves the palate clean and allows me to enjoy the light sweetness in the aftertaste.

The mellow flavor of this tea goes quite nicely with a meal, and that’s the time that I really appreciate the convenience of a tea bag.  When I’m cooking in the kitchen, I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to brewing tea.  Also, if I happen to go out to eat, these tea bags are great to bring along and are usually much better tasting than any of the teas that are offered in a typical restaurant.

No sweetener is needed with this Oolong, but a little honey is quite nice with it and brings out some of the natural sweetness of the Oolong.  I also like this with a thin slice of orange.

Rooibos Superfruit Tea from Choice Organic Teas

Tea Type: Rooibos

Where To Buy:
Choice Organic Tea

Product Description:

Paired with fruit, this jewel-toned red tea is slightly sweet, full of flavor and refreshing. Grown in South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains, rooibos has long been prized for its restorative qualities. Hibiscus, rosehips, orange, and schizandra berry are known for their high levels of vitamin C.

Tasters Review:

This is tremendously aromatic. It smells like grapefruit at first but I quickly realize it’s more ORANGE than anything else.

As for the taste I can taste Orange, Hibiscus, and Berries! The flavors are overtop of the rooibos flavor and it’s fruity, citrusy, and a little tart. Nothing I can’t handle…which leads me to believe the hibiscus isn’t jam packed in there which is fine by me!

I would have to say the primary flavor and scent is the ORANGE tho! This is very flavorful for a bagged rooibos! I like it hot but KNOW I would like it ever more iced and for the upcoming spring and summer weather I think it would be marvelous!