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Eucalyptus

Dark Forest from The Jasmine Pearl Tea

DarkForestTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company

Tea Description:

A great coffee alternative! Smooth dark and rich this blend of chicory, cacao, cinnamon and many other delicious herbs create a satisfying brew for morning or afternoon. Due to the presence of cacao nibs, which contain caffeine, don’t drink Dark Forest near bedtime.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have loved every tea that I have tried from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company.  Their teas are delicious and just knock your socks off sort of fantastic. This particular blend I am trying is their Dark Forest Herbal Tea. Now the description from what the tea consists of online and what I have in hand is different so I think they may have changed up the formula. The blend I have consists of chamomile, ginger, eucalyptus, lemon myrtle, and peppermint.

To begin with, I am not a huge ginger fan. I do like it on occasion but it isn’t my favorite. I know ginger is great for the body so I will drink ginger teas and even enjoy it in food every once in a while, but I do not go searching for it.

So let’s talk about the journey it was to actually drink this tea. First off, I dropped the bag and half of the contents fell out. Ugh.  I boiled the water and forgot about it. Boo. And I measured way too water for my new Doctor Who mug and I had tea all over my desk (I used a gravitea steeper).  Yep.  It seemed like this tea was doomed from the start. By the time I was able to take a drink of this tea I was ready!

The dry leaf reminded me of a sweet pumpkin spice bar.  The mixture just smelled heavenly. I prepped my water and allowed the tea to steep for about 5 minutes.  And I would recommend that being the time you allow the tea to steep if aren’t a fan of ginger like me. I have a feeling any long than that and the ginger would overtake the tea.

My first sip of this tea and I was surprised and how lovely it was.  I was afraid the ginger would overpower and leave the rest of the flavors behind but that wasn’t the case at all.  Each flavor was noticeable at different times and mingled together so nicely.  The ginger was light but there to spice the tea up, the lemon myrtle provided a bit of that citrus undertone, the chamomile was giving the tea a familiar herbal feel to it and the peppermint gave the tea a fresh flavor.  Really well done. Who would have thought those ingredients would make such a lovely herbal?

As delicious as this was, the new upgraded blend sounds just as good! I’m going  to have to try that one soon!

Another impressive tea from The Jasmine Pearl!

 

Green Mint from Chi Whole Leaf

Green MintTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Chi Whole Leaf

Tea Description:

A cleansing blend of Chinese Green Tea, Mint Leaves, Indian Eucalyptus and Milk Thistle Seed from Bulgaria.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Thanks again to Will at Chi Whole Leaf for the samples!

I’ve decided I’m going to review 3/5 here on the blog, though all five will be reviewed on my Steepster account. If you’re interested in learning about the 2/5 I’m not reviewing on this blog here they are: Ginger Chai & Chamomile. I had a few biases going into those tastings, which is why I’m leaving them out on this blog.

This was one of the samples I was pretty stoked about; I really like eucalyptus (if I could be reborn as an animal it’d probably be either a Sloth or a Koala) and the pairing of eucalyptus, mint, and green tea makes me think of a day of being pampered at a Spa or hot spring; cool, refreshing and very stress relieving.

Normally I think this is a blend I’d have opted to try cold, but since I’ve made the other three blends I’ve tried hot I did the same with this one just to have some consistency. I thought dry this smelled pretty minty, but as I was tasting it the green tea base was actually the strongest flavour with both the eucalyptus and the mint providing a refreshing, cooling aftertaste. It was very pleasant and did have a calming “Spa” sort of affect. However I personally didn’t feel totally satisfied with the flavour either; I liked the level of grassy, vegetal green tea notes but I really craved a stronger more “menthol” feeling mint notes, and a touch more eucalpytus. I think both were a little light handed for what they could have been.

That said; I enjoyed the blend and I did feel like my hope of a refreshing hot spring-esque tea was met. And again, I can’t stress enough how much I really like the convenience of these powdered teas; it’s a huge part of why I’m so drawn to matcha as well. But unlike the flavoured matchas I enjoy, these ones a more nuanced and layered instead of fairly monotone flavours!

If nothing else, I’m a big fan of the concept.

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 21 from Teanzo 1856

We’re getting there!  This 24 days has gone by so quickly – it’s already day 21!  Can you believe it?  This year is almost gone – a new one about to begin!

dominoornieFor today’s artistic inspiration, I sorted through some of my old photos online and I came across some altered dominoes that I created.  I altered a bunch of dominoes (the back of the domino is a really neat surface to use as a canvas for artwork) and I turned them into little ornaments and sold them one year at the Christmas Bazaar in Ridgefield, WA.  That was more years than I care to count at this point!  Wow!  I can’t believe how long ago that was.

Anyway, here is one of the dominoes that I altered.  I drilled a hole in the domino to be able to add a jump ring and a loop to the domino, then I added the star and swirl design, painted it, and then I added some rhinestones to the piece for some extra sparkle.  Then I protected the surface with a resin that adds a glass-like surface to it.  The final piece was bright, sparkly and shiny – just the kind of thing you want for your holiday tree!

I sold a bunch of these things – back then, I was also selling tea and that was my primary purpose at the bazaar, I wanted to sell my teas but I decided that since I was paying for the booth, that I’d take full advantage of it and sell some other stuff too.  I did pretty well, I managed to sell enough to pay for the cost of the booth plus buy a few holiday gifts for some of the more expensive people on my list.  It was a day well spent.

Tranquil Spa Blend

Tranquil-Spa-BlendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos (Green)

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

Tranquil Spa Blend is a relaxing ginger mint orange herbal blend.  Rejuvenation at its tastiest.  We wanted to take you away to a spa with our teas, so we put together a brand new Spa Trio:  Dream Spa Blend, Tranquil Spa Blend, and Bliss Spa Blend.  Each of these is caffeine free and blended to perfection to give you a spa feeling and taste.  Each of our spa blends comes in a green latch tin with 2 oz of tea.  You can also purchase them as a Spa Trio.  Add a little spa to your day!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Having already tried the Dream Spa Blend and the Bliss Spa Blend from the “Spa Trio” and really enjoying them, I was hopeful that I’d have a similar experience with this Tranquil Spa Blend.  Then I read the ingredients and saw that eucalyptus was in the blend and I’m hopeful that the eucalyptus wouldn’t ruin this blend for me.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed and go into it with an open mind!

To steep this tisane, I used my Kati tumbler.  12 ounces of water heated to 195°F, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch into the basket of the tumbler and then added the water.  I steeped this for 6 minutes.  Usually I would steep a tisane for a little longer but I was a little cautious this time with the eucalyptus.

Now it’s time for a sip!

OK, this isn’t bad!  It’s actually quite tasty.  Yes, I taste the eucalyptus, but, I am getting stronger notes of orange and ginger and the eucalyptus seems to enhance the ginger notes a little bit here.  Rather than causing the whole cup to turn to a bitter, medicinal mess, it is actually enhancing the blend.  That certainly is an unexpected turn of events!

The eucalyptus seems to soften the ginger a little bit.  Ginger usually has a lot of peppery bite to it, but the eucalyptus has soften the blow of the ginger bite here.  It’s still warm and ginger-y pleasant, but the ginger has a smoother flavor now.

I don’t taste a lot from the mint, but there is a background minty taste.  I like the way that peeks through.  The green rooibos is the perfect base because it adds a light, fruity sweetness to the cup.

Everything is balanced here.  The orange is bright and juicy.  The ginger is warm without being too spicy.  The eucalyptus isn’t overpowering (yay!) and the mint is a soft, subtle flavor.  It’s soothing without tasting medicinal.  It all works with the ‘tranquil’ vibe that the name of this tea suggests.

A SURPRISINGLY good tisane.  I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I am.

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 16 from Teanzo 1856

It’s Day 16 of this Advent Calendar/Holiday Countdown with Teanzo 1856.  There are eight days left to shop!  Every year, I tell myself that I’ll start my shopping early, but every year, I end up waiting until the last minute.  (Sigh!)

12day1giftFor today’s artistic inspiration, I am turning to another piece that I received in a 12 Days of Christmas mail art swap.  The artist I’m featuring today is Gwynn Thoma, and she made this beautiful rustic heart ornament for my tree.

This is another one of those ornaments that’s just FUN to discover every year when I start “unwrapping” all my ornaments for the tree.  It’s so cute and there are so many neat little details about it that I seem to keep finding something new about it every year.  I also like the bit of rustic whimsy it adds to my tree.

Another thing that really stood out to me about this particular ornament was the packaging.  Gwynn stitched together little “envelopes out of Kraft paper and adorned them with bits of aged sheet music and a swatch of the burlap that she used to create the heart ornament.  It’s a very clever and lovely package and I love how it “matches” the gift that was tucked inside.

I hope that you guys are enjoying my art “roundup” as well as the countdown to Christmas with teas from Teanzo this year!

Seasonal Relief Herbal Tea

Seasonal-ReliefTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

In India, licorice root is used to soothe sore throats, and the tulsi plant is revered for its many health benefits. In this delicious herbal wellness tea, we’ve combined licorice root and tulsi with a powerhouse of helpers: peppermint, hibiscus, honey bee pollen, and eucalyptus. Not only is the tea delicious, but it is soothing too.  Enjoy this tea hot or iced.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I suffer from seasonal allergies that seem to last all year long now.  I never used to!  Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, I didn’t have allergies.  But I guess with all the pollen in this area, I soon started feeling unwell in the spring with allergy symptoms, but because I never had allergies before, I thought maybe it was something else.

Then I started taking allergy medication and my symptoms disappeared.  At first, I only needed these toward the end of winter, through spring and at the very start of summer.  Then I started needing it through summer.  Now, I need the medication year round or I start sneezing, eyes start watering and I’m just really uncomfortable with my symptoms.

So, I am always looking for a tisane that I enjoy that might help me alleviate my symptoms so that I don’t have to take so much allergy medication.   So when I saw that this was a Seasonal Relief blend, I was excited to try it.

Unfortunately, I’m just not enjoying this one very much.  Perhaps it’s the eucalyptus, but I feel like I’m sipping on liquefied VapoRub.

At first, I enjoyed the peppermint and licorice-y notes, and I could taste notes of tulsi that I enjoyed.  But after drinking about 1/4th of the cup, the flavor of the eucalyptus seemed to build and it got to the point where all I could taste was the eucalyptus and this does not create a very pleasant cup for me.

On the plus side, the hibiscus is not a heavy flavor or texture.  I think that this could be much nicer if maybe there was less eucalyptus, and maybe a little more peppermint and tulsi.

Overall, this just wasn’t my cup of tea.  They can’t all be, though.  Teanzo has had some real winners with this Advent Calender, this just didn’t do it for me, so hopefully tomorrow, we’ll have something yummy!

Orange Grapefruit from Fusion Tea Room

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal

Where to Buy:  Fusion Tea Room

Product Description:

This mild creation is given fruity sweetness by the apple pieces and carrot flakes and a touch of freshness by eucalyptus leaves, lemon grass, tangerine bits and a nuance of hibiscus. Dried Orange slices are an optical reminder of the fresh citrus flavor of this absolutely perfect composition.

Taster’s Review:

This is a delightful surprise!  I had expected this tisane to be very tart, but, it really isn’t.  It is a little tangy, but not what I would call tart.  Instead it is mild and refreshing and deliciously sweet!

The hibiscus is so very light here and seems to offer nothing more than color and texture to the cup.  Together with the beetroot, this brews to a vibrant, plum-red color.

The flavor of the hibiscus is masked by the bright flavor of citrus.  And that’s just fine with me!  The overall flavor is a pleasing balance of orange and grapefruit.  There are lingering hints of tangerine and I can taste the crisp notes of eucalyptus in the distance.

The apple, carrot and beetroot provide a sweet base for the citrus fruits and help to curb their sometimes sour tendencies while enhancing their natural sweetness.

This tisane would be a big hit at a little girl’s tea party.  The color is sure to please and the sweet ambrosial flavor will have them begging for more!  This one’s a winner!