Fruit Thirsty Crow/Hotcups

A friend of mine was kind enough to share a sample of Hotcups’ Death by Cocoa tea with me. Prior to receiving this sample, I had not heard of this company. Then, as part of an Instagram challenge to post 365 days of tea, I featured this sample in one of my posts and tagged the company. Hotcups then reached out to me and was kind enough to share even more samples of their offerings. They sent me seven teas to try including this one, Fruit Thirsty Crow.

Fruit Thirsty Crow is a mix of currants, hibiscus petals, rosehip peel, elderberries, blueberries, cornflower petals, black currants, raspberry pieces.

I divided the sample in half and prepared a cold brew with one half and a hot cup with the other. For the cold brew, I let the tea sit in water in the fridge for approximately 24 hours. For the hot cup, I steeped it in boiling water for 4 minutes. Unfortunately life got in the way and the “hot” tea was mostly a cooled tea by the time I tried it. So, this is actually a review of a cold brew and a cooled tea.

The cooled tea tastes a little bit like bubblegum to me. Granted, not fresh, just-put-in-your-mouth gum. Instead, this is like gum that you have been chewing long enough that the flavor is slightly fading and the actual gum flavor is coming through, but not so long that it’s no longer fruity. As much as I feel like that explanation can be off-putting, its just the best way I can explain this. It’s actually an enjoyable enough cup with a hibiscus/berry flavor at the front that tapers off to that gum/wax flavor at the end of the sip.

The cold brew is better than the hot tea because that gum element is gone. It is sweeter than the cooled tea and has more berry flavor. This is more like Swedish Berry gummies in their prime than gum that’s losing it’s flavor.

Is it the best fruit infusion I have ever had? No. But it’s a nice enough tea if you like more of a berry focus.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy: Hotcups


Ingredients: Currants, hibiscus petals, rosehip peel, elderberries, blueberries, cornflower petals, black currants, raspberry pieces.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cinnamon Plum Caffeine-Free Herbal Blend from Rishi Tea

CinnamonPlumTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Tea Description:

The sweetest Saigon Cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese Cassia, melds with the deep, luscious flavors of currants, hibiscus and plum to yield a rich, warming cup in winter or a refreshing glass when served iced in summer. With its fruity, full-bodied and juicy character, Cinnamon Plum’s robust, crimson red infusion is delicious on its own or mulled into cider or wine.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Yeah, I’ve said it about a hundred times (or more) … I’m not a fan of hibiscus.  But I am a fan of cinnamon and of plums, and I also like currants and licorice.  So this tisane seems to have more going for it than it does going against it as far as my palate is concerned.

So, I’ll give it a try!

The aroma of the dry leaf is an abundantly cinnamon-y fragrance.  (The same is true of the brewed tea.)  I can also smell notes of licorice and hints of fruit.  It doesn’t smell distinctly plum-like or even like currants, it just smells warm (from the cinnamon), sweet (from the licorice) and fruity.

To brew this tisane, I used my Kati brewing system and I measured out a bamboo scoop of the loose leaf into the basket.  Then I heated the water to 195°F and poured it into the tumbler.  I let the tisane steep for 6 minutes.  The liquid is a very deep ruby red color … like brewed hibiscus.  Fortunately, the color does not accompany the thick texture of brewed hibiscus.  Either the steep time prevented this or possibly the fact that there are a lot of other ingredients in this blend.  (Or a combination of both these factors.)

It also doesn’t taste too much like hibiscus.  I am getting a strong cinnamon-y flavor.  It’s a sweet, warm cinnamon flavor.  Not like the sweet, red-hot type cinnamon but like the kind of sweet, spicy cinnamon you’d sprinkle on your morning toast.

And I am tasting plum.  It is both sweet and tart.  The tartness is enhanced somewhat by the presence of the currants as well as the hibiscus, but fortunately for my tart-sensitive palate, this is not an overly tart drink.  I’m not puckering as I sip it.  I think that the tartness works in the favor of this tisane because it offers a nice contrast to the spicy and the sweet notes.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable beverage.  I like it served hot – it has a very autumnal feel as I drink it.  It’s cozy and reminds me a lot of a mulled cider.  In fact, I think that would taste lovely with this, I might try steeping this tea in some warm apple cider!  It would also make a tasty iced drink that would be appealing to children as well as adults.


Secret Garden Tea Blend from Kaleisia Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black, Green & White Teas

Where to Buy:  Kaleisia Tea

Tea Description:

The most popular blend of all times. This blend consist of white peony white tea, sencha green tea, darjeeling black tea, gunpowder green tea, dragonwell green tea, jasmine pearl green tea, mango, pineaple, papaya, orange peels, strawberry, red currants, sour cherry bits, and apricot bits. A very well rounded fruity tea that is sure to please anyone.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review: 

This Secret Garden Tea Blend from Kaleisia Tea has a little bit of EVERYTHING in it!  White tea, green tea, black tea … fruit bits … and a whole lot of flavor!

Since this blend seems to be primarily green tea, I went with a lower brew temperature (185°F) and steeped the tea for 2 1/2 minutes in my Breville One- Touch.  And the results are tasty!

Fruit flavor hits the palate first, although … it is more like a “medley” of fruit flavors rather than one specific fruit note.  Kind of like a bite of ambrosia salad where you taste several fruit notes all at once and it’s difficult to pin-point exactly which fruit you’re tasting.  It’s a very refreshing fruit taste though!

As far as tea flavor goes, green tea is what I taste most.  That sweet, sort of leafy/grassy note that is very fresh and crisp.  It’s a nice contrast with the sweet and sour fruit notes that tantalize the palate at the start of the sip. There is a sweet, creaminess to the tea notes as well, is that the white tea or the buttery notes from the Sencha?  I can’t be sure, but, I like the way it comes together with the fruit notes.  I don’t taste a whole lot of white tea here, nor do I notice much from the Darjeeling black tea, although I can’t say that this blend would taste the same without those tea leaves being a part of this blend.

As I continue to sip, I realize that I’m tasting mostly a “tropical” sort of taste:  notes of pineapple, mango, and papaya, with a strawberry background note.  I taste the sweetness of the apricot too.  The sour tones of the currant and the cherry come through near the finish, but these are not very strong flavors. The fruit notes, overall, are more “melded” together as a unified flavor … like some kind of “ultra-fruit” but, if I aerate the sip by slurping, I can pick out individual fruit notes.

I like that this blend is more sweet than it is sour, because I’m not a huge fan of the sour taste as I’ve said many times.  While this does seem to be a rather “busy” blend … I find it enjoyable.  I like it better iced than hot, so, I’ll be brewing more of this later for my iced tea pitcher and enjoy it all day long tomorrow!

Fireberry Tisane from Tiesta Tea


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea

Tisane Description:

Dark, rich, and smooth. Who doesn’t want that? With a combination of all your favorite berries, this charmer will definitely leave you burning for more. (Another amazing iced tea!)

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This Fireberry Tisane from Tiesta Tea is a very unexpected tisane.  The name suggests to me a tisane with the warming power of ingredients such as chili pepper or perhaps ginger … but this tisane has neither.  And because I didn’t read the ingredient list before I took my first sip, I was surprised at how smooth this tasted.  It didn’t taste sharply tart the way many fruit and herbal tisanes do, and I suspect this has something to do with the rooibos in the blend.

Oh, it still has some tartness – not just from the hibiscus but from the three different berries:  cranberry, currants and elderberries.  But the sweet, slightly nutty, slightly honey-esque notes of the rooibos softens the tart bite.

This is a tasty blend.  I do still find myself a bit let down by the lack of “fire” in this blend, and I am wishing that there was in fact some chili pepper or ginger of something else that might give it a touch of heat.  As it is though, it’s a remarkably smooth tisane … with a nice sweetness and contrasting tart note that doesn’t take tart too far.

Enjoyable … one I would be happy to drink again.

Patriot Tea (Daughters of the American Revolution) from Local Coffee & Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Local Coffee & Tea

Product Description:

Daughters of the Revolution vowed to “drink tea made from weeds” instead of imported tea. Thankfully they chose herbs, fruits and flowers to make their tea and as a celebration of those early beverages we now present them to you in this beautiful tea!

A CERTIFIED ORGANIC Rooibos blended with lavender the “Herb of Harmony”, rosehip shells, dried red and black currants, rose petals and bilberries. Heady, perfumed lavender notes with a floral, fresh, fruity and mellow flavor. This is a very relaxing tea for consumption any time of day or night. Naturally caffeine-free.

Taster’s Review:

It took me a while to finally taste this tea.  But I didn’t hesitate with this tea because I didn’t think I would like it.  In fact, I was quite certain I would enjoy it.  I love lavender, I love currants, so I felt that this tea had a lot of potential, even though it is a rooibos blend.  The reason I postponed trying this tea is because of the name.  I wanted to save this tea to review closer to a patriotic holiday … like the 4th of July.  But the 4th came and went and I had forgotten about this tea.

So… here I am now a couple of months after July and I figure that now is is as patriotic a time as any.  And really, do we really need a reason to celebrate our patriotism?  Especially if that patriotism is demonstrated through tea!

This is a delicious rooibos blend.  It has a very nice amount of lavender essence, providing a beautiful, heady scent and delicious, sweet flavor without tasting too lavender-y.  I love lavender, but it can be a little too much at times.  Here, it’s just right.  The rose adds a hint of flavor that proves to be very harmonious with the lavender notes.

The elderberries and currants add a tasty berry flavor that is pleasantly tart.  That tartness offers a nice contrast to the sweet floral taste and gives the overall cup a nice sense of balance.

This is a very tasty “tea made from weeds!”