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Ice

Jack Frost from Bluebird Tea. . . . .

There are a lot of minty candy-cane inspired teas out there this time of year, so I was excited to try a more focused, herbal take on mint tea, with Jack Frost from Bluebird Tea.

 

This herbal blend is mainly spearmint and eucalyptus with a hint of sweeter flavors like coconut and vanilla.  That hint of sweetness makes all the difference– pure spearmint tea has a bit too much icy bite, feeling more like medicine than a calm cup of tea.  Jack Frost was smooth and cool without being too fierce or leaving me frozen.

It might sound odd to drink a mint tea at a hot temperature, but I’ve found it very calming both in my mind and in my cookie-crowded stomach.  Mint is supposedly good for your digestion, so it’s been a nice blend to have on hand with all the rich eating of the holidays.  If nothing else, the crisp, minty feeling on my tongue helps me feel refreshed during the bustle of the winter season.  Since Jack Frost is an herbal blend, it’s naturally decaf and perfect for that before-bed brew.

The first time I brewed this tea, I was a bit baffled to see blue-green glitter in my mug.  Had my holiday crafting spilled over into my tea?  It turns out that the extra sparkle is from the snowflake sprinkles in the dry leaf.  Once heated, the sprinkles melt and add a little shimmer and a little sweetness to the lush, green spearmint.

Jack Frost is a great blend for when you want to clear your mind and have the power and focus of fresh, clean, winter snow.


Here’s the scoop!

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

The mischevious Jack Frost is a crisp, cool cuppa. With icy spearmint, frosty coconut + snowflake sprinkles, Jack Frost will sure nip your nose + toes!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Doke Black Fusion from Lochan Tea

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Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Lochan Tea

Tea Description:

Doke Black Fusion

Invoice Number: DB 001

Season: 1st Flush 2015

Grade: Hand made Black Tea

Cultivar: TV22 plucked from the 4A section

Location: Bihar, India

Size: 6 kilos

This tea comes from a small producer in Bihar, south of Darjeeling. The flat tea garden, next to a river (a power plant outlet), is everything else than the almost eponymous “Darjeeling Himalayan vales” – and yet it can already rival with some of the finest Darjeelings. What is unique however, is that the leaf material is Assamese and indeed embodies their virtues without their climate. Not without reason, the Lochan family have baptized some of their teas with the “Fusion” moniker.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It is with thanks to the Lochan Tea family that I have been sent this sample to review. I did not know that the Lochan Tea founder Rajiv Lochan was responsible for starting up Doke Farm, one of my favourite sources for Indian Tea. It was Butiki Teas that got me into Doke through the likes of Doke Rolling Thunder and Doke Silver Needle. Needless to say that makes me rather excited and honoured to be sent this directly from source to review.

In-front of me is a 10g sample which is factory sealed and clearly labelled with tea company name, tea type/name, flush info and growing region and also the date it was packed. A nice little touch and easy to read/see what the packets are. Also the packets are black and non see through which I like as it protects the tea from the sun/light.

In raw form the leaves are: long, thinly rolled and curly. Dark brown colour in appearance. They hare a dry wood and sweet cocoa scent.

Steeping Info: 
Method: Gongfu glass teapot – 200ml
Water: Boiling
Infusions: Three – 1m, 2m,3m.

First Steep – 1 minute

Tea is  light golden brown with a red/orange hue and bares sweet wood and sour malt scent, albeit of a subtle and pure nature.

In flavour this starts with light and soft, sweet wood notes before increasing in strength and becoming sour with malt and cocoa, put together with a sweet fruit after taste of dried fig with honey. A combination that worked very well together and each sip was as good as the first.

Second Steep – 2 minutes 

This steep remains mild and pure in flavour but there is a definite increase in the dried fig flavour. Also the difference between the sweet wood and sour malt has now combined as one. Some dryness in the after taste which put together with dried fig and honey has a rather nutty finish. No bitterness at all.

Third Steep – 3 minutes 

Wonderful balance of flavours remain despite this being the third steep. It is less sweet and there is some astringency now but still mild on the scale. Thicker malt tones and less wood but the dried fig after taste remains.

Fourth Steep – 4 minutes (A surprise steep) 

There is enough flavour left in my opinion for another steep, this doesn’t happen many times which is why this wasn’t planned.

The final steep is lighter than the first but was worth going that bit extra for. All that remains is a dry and delicate wooden flavour.

Overall: 

Mentioning I was a Doke fan from what I had previously tried I’m happy to say this lives up to my expectations. This has such beautiful flavours that were very clean tasting and pure, and it had a wonderful array of different notes that combined together very well. On the mild side for a black tea in strength to begin with which plays with the traditional Indian black tea vibe and makes this rather ‘different’ and ‘special’. I particularly liked the honey and fruit notes in the after taste.

Thank you very much Lochan Tea for this beautiful tea sample, I know I will be keeping an eye on this tea for when my cupboard runs low.

Until next time, Happy Steeping!

Iced Tea Blend from Tetley

TetleyTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tetley Tea or where Tetley Products are sold.

Tea Description:

Round, stringless tea bags are made with our unique Perflo tissue—sturdy, yet soft and porous, for faster tea infusion and better flavor release. 2 tea bags make 2 quarts of iced tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t usually buy bagged teas off the supermarket shelf – and by this I mean to say, I just don’t do it.  I guess I’m a bit of a tea snob.  But when Tetley sent me a box of their Iced Tea Blend to try, I was willing to do so because a) that’s what I do, and b) tea.  Tea makes me happy.

And really, when it comes to iced tea – especially cold-brewed iced tea – I really do prefer a bagged tea to a loose leaf tea.  When drinking hot tea, I’m all about the loose leaf but when it comes to cold-brewing tea for iced tea, I prefer the convenience of a bagged tea because less mess = happier me.

So, I was actually happy to have this tea sent to me to try.  I’m getting a little low on my cold-brew tea options (time to shop) and this helped to postpone my shopping for a little while, anyway!

To brew it, I filled my half-gallon glass iced tea pitcher full of freshly filtered water and then I dropped in two of the large tea bags from Tetley into the pitcher.  Then I put the lid on the pitcher and stashed it in the fridge overnight.

Note:  This is essentially “sun brewing” the tea too, because the sun doesn’t actually heat the water sufficiently to ‘brew’ the tea when you put out a jar of sun tea.  By cold-brewing the tea using my above described method, you’re doing the same thing that you’d be doing to make sun tea except that my cold-brewed tea is now chilled.  Eliminated a step!  Yay!

The flavor:  it tastes like black iced tea.  This is an enjoyable unflavored black tea blend.  I think I would prefer this to most other readily available grocery store blends.  It’s refreshing and thirst quenching and the flavor is there.

This tastes like a pleasant iced tea.  It doesn’t taste “dusty” the way some of those supermarket teas can taste.  It’s smooth – not astringent and not bitter.  It is brisk without an overly aggressive flavor.  It’s a medium to full flavored tea, I suspect it’s a Ceylon or since it’s a blend, it’s comprised of mainly Ceylon leaves.  It has that very clean, moderate, no-nonsense type of flavor that Ceylon tea is known to deliver.

If I were in need of an iced tea fix and I wanted a good, unflavored iced tea, I could see myself grabbing a box of this tea off the shelf.  And since it is an unflavored tea, it allows for many interesting possibilities:  try adding a few thin slices of lemon to the iced tea pitcher when you’re brewing it, or perhaps some crushed mint leaves or a couple of cinnamon sticks!

Tequila Sunrise Iced Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-GREEN-Tequila-SunriseTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Tequila-, orange- and cherry organic flavors blended with our awesome organic Chinese sencha fannings make this iced tea bliss. Blow your guests away with this awesome iced tea!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

As I mentioned in my review of 52Teas Tequila Sunrise Black Tea – it’s been quite a while since I’ve had the cocktail.  To be honest, tequila isn’t my favorite alcoholic beverage – but as far as cocktail inspired iced teas go, this Tequila Sunrise Iced Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas is a refreshing drink.

I don’t really taste ‘Tequila Sunrise’ here.  Then again – it HAS been a long time since I’ve had one, so don’t rely upon my memory of what a tequila sunrise should taste like.

During the sip, I taste green tea with hints of citrus.  In the aftertaste, I taste cherry and orange more distinctly and occasionally, a flavor crosses my palate that reminds me of tequila.  But that doesn’t arrive until the aftertaste.  During the sip, I taste green tea and notes of bright, sunny citrus flavors.

What I do like about this particular iced tea is that it’s refreshing and it’s quenching my thirst without tasting overly sweet.  I’m enjoying that I taste more green tea than flavor.

It’s a pleasant iced tea.  Not my favorite from SBT, but they can’t all be my favorite.  Even so, I like it enough to say that I might buy it again.

Earl Blue Iced Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-Earl-BlueTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Our awesome organic Iyerpadi black tea blended with organic bergamot and blueberry flavors. This is sure to wow your guests.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

I know that I’ve mentioned on this blog at least once before in a review of one of Zoomdweebie’s Earl Grey/Bergamot teas that I’m not particularly crazy about the bergamot flavoring that Zoomdweebies uses.  Maybe I’m a bit of a bergamot snob or something but Earl Grey tea is something I take very seriously and it should be right.  So, when this Earl Blue Iced Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas was announced as a recent tea of the week for SBT, I wasn’t all that excited about it.

But this isn’t too bad.  It’s actually pretty tasty.  As an Earl Grey tea or more accurately as a ‘twist’ to the classic Earl Grey -well, it doesn’t really cut it as an Earl Grey, I’m afraid.  But, as a flavored iced tea, it’s really pleasant.  The blueberry is strong and yummy.  The bergamot – well, it doesn’t taste as bergamot-y as I’d like it to.  But when I just drink it and I don’t think “bergamot” and instead, I think “citrus” it works for me.

It has a really enjoyable, sweet-tart fruity flavor to it. And the black tea base is smooth and brisk.  No bitterness, no astringency – just really tasty black tea and fruity flavors.

This is something that I could see myself putting in my shopping cart again the next time I’m shopping at Zoomdweebies dot com.  It’s very refreshing and it’ll be really nice to have it chilling in the fridge on those warm summer days that lie ahead.