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Indian Black Tea

Flower of Hawaii Black from Tea Gschwendner

FlowerofHawaiiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Gschwendner

Tea Description:

Mouth-watering pineapple and succulent apricot bloom into a sweet reminder of the Islands. Mahalo.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

So this was a blind tasting; meaning I didn’t look up anything about this tea prior to trying it. However, I definitely had major expectations for pineapple – even though I didn’t see anything but somewhat non-descript candied fruit pieces in the dry leaf whenever you hear “Hawaii” in a teas name pineapple is pretty well always the ‘go to’ assumption, am I right? Also, this was a cold brew because it definitely smelled very fruity and tropical and those are definitely the kind of flavours that lend themselves well to drinking cold.

Pineapple actually is the first flavour I taste; a very tropical, sweet pineapple without a lot of natural tang to it. I’m a pineapple fiend, so of course I’m craving much more pineapple flavor though the level it’s at is pretty good given it’s the more dominant flavor. It’s accompanied by a secondary fruit flavour but I’m struggling to identify it. It’s definitely not as distinct as the pineapple is. Mango maybe? The flavor of the base is about even to the flavour of the fruit. Overall this is a relatively juicy and very summery, but other wise not overly complex or nuanced. I think I’d appreciate a few more ingredients to add some more layers to the flavour. Dare I say it, coconut would probably go well or something floral like rose.

Also, since finishing I’ve looked up the ingredients and the secondary fruit flavor was apricot – looking back in hindsight I really don’t think that it tasted anything like apricot and I’m definitely sticking with my impression that the fruit notes were much more similar to a, perhaps over ripe, mango.

Apart from not being terribly spot on with the apricot flavouring, this is a pretty solid blend!

 

Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena's Gypsy Tea
Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Tea Description:

A robust and full flavored black tea accented with exotic imperial spices. The bold concentrated character of this lush black tea lends itself well to the full notes of cardamom, ginger and clove. The sweet hint of tropical coconut fragrantly fills the cup, offering an inviting taste of paradise to savor from any spot on the map. Delicious with a splash of milk. A bright and flavorful steep. Sunglasses not included.

Fair Trade Certified Indian Black Tea*, Cinnamon*, Ginger*, Cardamom Pods*, Whole Cloves*, Orange Peels*, Nutmeg*, Black Pepper*, Natural Coconut Flavor, Natural Cinnamon Flavor.
* Certified Organic

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I really have to be in the mood for a chai. Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea was really calling to me today. Sent to me from a Steepster.com friend, and I am happy for it, I am sipping a yummy chai with a nice hint at coconut, and a slight taste of vanilla. No vanilla is listed in the ingredients but I taste it nonetheless. Must be how the coconut gives the tea a light milky and nutty flavor combined with the typical spices in chai. Regardless, I am really enjoying this chai from Zhena’s.

Somehow I have managed to drink loose leaf for over a year now and had yet to have tried Zhena’s Teas. This is an excellent first introduction to this company.

I will say if you are expecting a really coconutty tea, this isn’t it. Honestly I would not mind a bit more coconut flavor myself, but I am satisfied with it being lightly flavored.

I had the first half of my cup straight, then added a little vanilla almond milk to the rest. It was excellent both ways but I think I prefer it straight which is interesting because most of my experience with chai has always been the tea mixed with milk of some kind.

I look forward to trying more of the teas offered by Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.

Strawberry Cupcake from Simpson and Vail

Strawberry Cupcake from Simpson and Vail
Strawberry Cupcake from Simpson and Vail

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail

Tea Description:

When you sip this delectable brew the strawberry taste first hits your tastebuds followed by the rich, creamy, chocolate “cake” taste. Some of our staff like this blend with agave or sugar, but I find it’s delicious (and less caloric) as is! The aroma is as enticing as the taste – sweet, baked strawberry cupcakes. Yum! The cup leaves a lingering creamy taste of fresh fruit that makes it hard to resist another and another and another sip!

Ingredients: Indian black tea, strawberry pieces, strawberry leaf and strawberry cupcake flavoring.

Brew tea at 212ºF – steep for 3 minutes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Strawberry Cupcake from Simpson and Vail is one of the freshest tasting strawberry teas I have ever sampled. As a dessert tea however I do wish it were a little fuller in the mouthfeel. That is not to say it is thin or watery but I do think that somehow the ripe fresh juiciness almost hurts the thickness in the mouthfeel. I know that does not sound like too bad of a thing now does it? Because it does taste so amazingly fresh almost as if biting into an actual strawberry! I guess I was just anticipating by the decedent aroma and darker colored cup that it would be richer.

Seriously though, I can’t even get past how bursting with juiciness this tea is to focus on the chocolate flavor, or the cakey bakey goodness in the cup.

The after taste of this tea is almost like a fruit flavored beer. There is this flavor of very light delicate hops and a slight wheat essence in the background and it lingers on the palate.

I really rather like this since a lot of teas have a wine like flavor, or even mixed drink type flavor, this is one of the few that have this beer type flavor!

The chocolate in this tea is good, perhaps not outstanding, as I have had better chocolate flavors in tea, but on the other hand it does not turn me off, and a lot of teas with chocolate flavoring do. I would give this chocolate flavor an 8 out of 10 which by my standards is really excellent.

I have been surprised by this tea and am thankful to my Steepster friend who shared it with me. Yup this goes on the wish list and I will order it sometime in the future.

Jalapeno Tea from Man Teas

Jalapeno Tea from Man Teas
Jalapeno Tea from Man Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:

Where to Buy: Man Teas

Tea Description:

Here’s our premium Indian black teas blended with real freeze-dried jalapenos and natural jalapeno flavor! Man up and get some while you can. This is a limited edition blend!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jalapeno tea from Man Teas really is a tea I could drink all the time. Unfortunately this was a limited edition tea and is no longer available. Man Teas, which is a subdivision of 52 Teas also known as Zoomdweebies, releases some of the yummiest and most creative teas out there but the downside is someitmes you find a tea you absolutely love but before you know it they are out of stock and it is “no more”. The reason for this is because the man behind the mask, Frank, is a one man operation, accountant by day, tea master at night. The fact is he does come up with some really amazing teas! So if you find one you love, be warned, get as much of it as you can before it goes POOF!

Now this tea, Jalapeno, is not as scary as you may fear! It is not going to burn your tongue or the roof of your mouth off. It has a really nice crisp like bite to it. I actually get more of a green pepper and black pepper blend from the flavor notes. The smell has more of a bite to it than the flavor.

I love a great savory tea, and in my opinion there are far too few of them. Man Teas comes through, with this blend. If you are looking for some wacky out of the park creations check out their sister company 52 teas here and see what they have in stock. Right now they have a really different blend called Pineapple Bacon Rooibos.

I wish that everyone had a chance to try this Jalapeno blend but one cool feature of Frank’s site is that if you really love a tea and want to see a re-blend you can request a notification to be sent to you if he does ever decide to re-blend it! From this Frank can keep track of notification requests and can tell just how in demand a blend is! This could prompt him to do that re-blend!

Bombay Chai from Boston Tea Company

Tea Type: Chai (Black Tea Base)

Where To Buy: Boston Tea Company

Product Description:

You’ll do the cha-cha over our Chai tea! Ever so popular, worldwide, Chai is a centuries’ old tradition of Indian culture. Boast to your friends about Boston Tea’s aromatic, cheery blend of black tea with sweet fragrant spices. Simply add a pinch of sugar to bring out its rich flavorful spices of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and anise seeds. Top with a generous splash of milk and sensually savor each sip!

Ingredients: Indian Black Tea, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Cloves, Anise Seeds

Tasters Review:

Bombay Chai from Boston Tea Company is a mellow to medium spiced chai but I like the natural-citrusy flavor that comes thru – it isn’t too overbearing…and I like that!  The best part is you can still taste the ‘black tea’ in this chai!  This is a nice sipping or gulping tea…good hot or cold!

A nice, versatile Chai!

DETAILED DESCRIPTION: You’ll do the cha-cha over our Chai tea! Ever so popular, worldwide, Chai is a centuries’ old tradition of Indian culture. Boast to your friends about Boston Tea’s aromatic, cheery blend of black tea with sweet fragrant spices. Simply add a pinch of sugar to bring out its rich flavorful spices of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and anise seeds. Top with a generous splash of milk and sensually savor each sip!
CONTAINS: 135g (4.8oz) of Finest Grade Black Tea
SERVINGS PER CONTAINER: Servings per container approximately 60-70 cups of tea (Note: One serving of Full-Leaf Tea can be brewed multiple times.)
HEALTH: Rich in anti-oxidants, including flavonoids (ie: catechins and polyphenols), these substances found in tea provide many health benefits, such as preventing tooth decay, lowering cholesterol, and assisting in the prevention of heart attacks.
Boston Tea’s loose leaf tea reflects the passion projected in our company’s motto ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Tea’. Our full leaf tea embodies natural beauty, rich aromas and the finest quality that our worldly master tea blenders ardently seek. From the lush plantations of Sri Lanka and South Africa to the mountainous regions of India and China, our teas are cultivated and hand picked at the peak of perfection to produce the most flavorful cup!
Double your tea-drinking pleasure; try any of these flavors hot or iced!
Gluten Free: Yes
Kosher: Star K
Ingredients: Indian Black Tea, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Cloves, Anise Seeds