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elderberry

#PeruvianSpiceBerry from #IncaTea

The dry leaf smells like mulled wine, with fragrant elderberry, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour a bit of water on these leaves and they brew up fast!  Wow, what a dark red berry brew after only a few seconds!

Brewed, this tea gets much more tart, thanks to the powerhouse of hibiscus flowers.  The ingredients list also include purple corn.  I’m not sure how it adds to the flavor, but the brewed tea is a vibrant purple-pink color.

This tea is best served warm, though the fruitiness might be suited for an iced tea, I’m not sure all the spice is appropriate in a cold beverage.  I’m of the opinion that cinnamon and cloves are best suited for a drink from a hot mug.

The cloves and hibiscus dominate this tea, which were a perfect combination for a cold, grey, rainy day when I brewed this cup.  Drinking Peruvian Spice Berry made me feel like I was tucked in on a cozy autumn day, warming up with peppery cloves and dark currant flavors.

This is definitely a tea for fans of mulled wine and hot toddies.  Or, if you just want to be able to say that you tried a tea made from purple corn!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Inca Tea
Description:

An enlivening herbal, fruit tea blend of purple corn, berries and spices. Caffeine free. This is our Original blend to characterize the true ancient Incan recipe.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Conjure Up the Perfect Cup of Daedra Tea from Grimoire

There’s something about a tea being themed to one of your favorite interests, that just makes the whole experience so much more fun.  Having spent some time battling my way through the fantasy landscape of the Skyrim video game, I was more than ready to brew up a cup of Daedra tea from Grimoire on Etsy.

This herbal tea is bold and bloody.  Big chunks of blood orange are paired with dark berry pieces to help sweeten its tart citrus bite.  There’s a dose of snappy hibiscus to add its fruity notes and turn the brew a deep, pink magenta.  Hot or cold, this blend brews up dark and powerful and makes you feel like you’re drinking sour orange magma, or tart, ruby blood, or even enchanted berry wine.

There’s a lot to be said about the Daedra in Skyrim video game lore, so I’ll spare the details and talk about my favorite bits.  The Dremora are a type of Daedra that can be summoned to fight for you.  These bulked up warriors are clad in red and black scales of armor and are satisfying allies to have on the battlefield.  Their gravely voices call out the best lines when spotting an enemy (“I smell weakness!”) or when gloating over that enemy’s defeat (“No match at all!”).  Trust me, it’s worth upgrading your conjuration magic to have one of these guys on your side.  The colors and feeling of Grimoire’s Daedra tea blend match their aesthetic exactly!

I’d be curious to try some of Grimoire’s other fantasy-themed teas in their Etsy shop.  Some of the other Skyrim flavors include a jasmine green tea for the city of Whiterun, or a cherry oolong for the town of Falkreath.  These blends look like they will be the perfect, magical cup of tea to accompany me on my fantasy adventures.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Grimoire Tea on Etsy
Description:

A blend fit for any Daedric Lord. Rich in berry flavors. **This tea is not available right now but click below for the teas that are.**

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Elderberry Chai from Elderberry Herb Farm

ElderberryChaiTea Information:

Leaf Type: Herbal Chai

Where to Buy:  Elderberry Herb Farm

Tea Description:

A delicious warming & fragrant blend of organically grown all-natural herbs & spices! Historically, elderberry & many of the ingredients were used to boost the immune system. Brew as herbal tea or Chai.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea is beautiful.   There are nice sized elderberries, chai ingredients, herbs and spices in this blend.  I’m pretty impressed with the quality of this blend.

Elderberry Herb Farm carries a few different herbal teas.  I’ve tried a couple and they are really good.  This one is good too, but I think it is my least favorite.

I am not a huge black licorice fan and this blend has a black licorice taste to it.  There is also a strong clove flavor running through each sip.  I could very easily drink this.  The tea is good.  This is just isn’t my favorite chai or would this be a tea I would reach for again.

On the other hand, one of my boyfriends’ twins tried this and adored it.  He asked me to make him another cup of it.  This kid loves chai, so the fact that he loves this tea is really no surprise.  He asked if I would keep some aside for him for tomorrow and later in the week when he and I have our “tea parties”.  It was really cute.

If you are a fan of black licorice, this blend is totally for you.  If not, I say give it a try anyway.  I am not a huge chai drinker and I could drink this if it was around.

With a touch of honey, sugar, and cream, I bet this tea would be fantastic!

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.

Nurture #4 Black Tea from Verdant Tea

nurture-4Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

Intelligent Nutrients’ Nurture #4 is warm, cozy and balancing. We are using the Li Family’s lightly smoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong black tea from the Wuyi Mountains as the base for a smoldering base to pair with certified organic Nature #4, and draw out the natural sweetness of the tea with elderberry and coriander. Like sitting by a crackling fire, this comforting blend brings warmth and balance.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

From the time that I first opened the package to the last drops dripping from my gaiwan into my cha hair, I was practically seduced by the flavor. I love the smell of this tea! To put it bluntly, it smells like musky hippie perfume that all those Tibetan souvenir shops always sell in one form or another. I know, not the most glowing description ever written, but I freaking love that hippie perfume. It’s slightly sweet and smoky, with perfume notes that evoke ancient biblical spices. Frankincense? Myrrh perhaps? I cannot for the life of me put my finger on it, but I am so intoxicated by the smell.

The large, long and lightly twisted leaves are dotted with coriander, and if you can look hard enough, you can see tiny dried elderberries hiding out, same color as the leaves. I gongfu’ed this tea and was delighted by the changes in flavor profile each infusion brought to the table. The new copper penny colored brew presented different combinations each time I steeped it. The first steeping I smelled a scrumptiously peppery aroma. I tasted the peppered aroma on my tongue, as well as that hippie perfumery.

The woody notes transitioned me into the next infusion, where I got a slight lavender essence, and upon smelling the top notes, I found a warm welcome of bread and malt notes. The smoke was an afterthought, until the third time around. I half wondered if there would be any smoke to it at all. But it came out to shine in the third round. It was as if someone had just blown out a match. Not so sting to turn you off anything smoked for the rest of your life, but just a hint so that I could taste the other fascinating notes. This time I got a vanilla orange spice to compliment the hint of smoke.

Sipping and enjoying this tea sent me on a sensory overload trip. I was transported to a different time and place. I know that most people upon hearing the word ‘perfume’ being used to describe tea will most definitely run for the hills. But there is so much more to this brew than the hippie cologne. Each time I took the kettle and dowsed the tea, it showed me a different card hidden in it’s sleeves. If I had brewed it any longer, it may have tried to pull a rabbit our of my cup. This is truly a strange brew.