Ginger’s Island Fruit and Herb Tea from Good Life Tea

Ginger_s_IslandTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Good Life Tea

Tisane Description:

Ginger spices up this tropical blend of dried apples, coconut, rose hip, hibiscus and lemongrass. Step aboard for your 3 hour tour and loose yourself in your own island bliss.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review: 

More hibiscus.  Well, since this is another tisane from Good Life Tea and I had pretty good luck with the C of Tranquilitea tisane I hoped as I steeped this tea that my experience with this tisane would be as favorable as my experience with the C of Tranquilitea was.

This blend has a bit too much hibiscus for my liking, and that’s most of what I’m tasting.  If I can get past the tart, pungent taste of the hibiscus, I can taste subtle notes of ginger and lemon grass.

It is a rare occasion when I find ginger in a tea and it’s presented as a subtle spice, but here, the hibiscus is so strong that it obscures the flavor of the ginger unless I slurp the sip.  The aftertaste is tangy and there is some ginger heat to the aftertaste.  This warmth from the ginger gradually intensifies as I continue to sip the cup, but it never really becomes a strong flavor in the cup.

The same is true of the lemon grass and the other ingredients in this tisane.  I can taste them – very faintly – but most of their flavors are hidden behind the strong hibiscus notes.

Normally, I might blame this on over-steeping.  But I steeped this tisane for just five minutes in 195°F.  Usually, with a hibiscus blend, I steep for six minutes, but when I saw how robust the ruby color of the liquid was after five minutes, I decided to stop the steep process at five minutes.

In the note that I received from Good Life Tea, they indicate that this tisane is

…a fruit and herbal Tisane with Hibiscus, Rosehips, Coconut and Pineapple.  The tropical flavors are tempered and enhanced by ginger and lemongrass. 

I’m not getting much pineapple flavor from this tisane, nor am I getting much coconut.  Now that I am more than halfway finished with my cup and the cup has had some time to cool, I am starting to pick up more coconut and pineapple-y flavors (and I’m tasting more ginger now too), leading me to believe that this tisane is probably much tastier as an iced tea rather than a hot tea.

That said, I can’t help but think that this would be infinitely better without so much hibiscus in it.  If you’re a fan of hibiscus, you would probably find this tisane very much to your liking.

Not my favorite cup, but they can’t all be my favorite.  This one is better as it cools.  When it’s served hot, the tisane tastes strongly of hibiscus, but once it cools, the tropical flavors that are promised in the above description begin to shine through.

Guricha Ureshino Green Tea from Chado Tea House


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Chado Tea House

Tea Description:

Asamushi Guricha from Ureshino, Saga prefecture. Ureshino city has been the biggest Guricha producing center. Located south in Kyushu island. Their geographical location seemed influenced the tea making method. It has sense of Chinese tea feeling as well, though, the base is Japanese tea. Traditional Asamushi, lightly steamed Guricha tea. mild and sweet. Good everyday tea for Guricha lover. Click the image to see the tea leaves and color.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Guricha Ureshino Green Tea from Chado Tea House is really lovely – it’s so mellow and pleasantly sweet.  I drank this tea after dinner, and found that the first couple of sips were pretty difficult to taste but once my palate had been “washed” by the tea, the flavors really started coming through very well.  gurichab

The flavor is light, there is a certain crisp, clean taste to it that makes it a nice choice after dinner.  It is vegetative with flavors that are somewhere between kelp and mild green veggies, with hints of grassy undertones.  I could taste a vague “saltiness” to the taste as well … which is why the “kelp” immediately came to mind.  As someone who typically doesn’t care for seaweed, one might think that my description “kelp” might indicate that I don’t like the flavors coming through but that isn’t true.  While I don’t care for the strong flavor of seaweed (like the sheets you might buy in an Asian market) I find that seaweed notes in a tea to be rather intriguing.  And I do like the hint of salt here, it adds a nice contrast.

But as I mentioned before, overall, the flavor is light, nothing really smacks me over the head here … it’s very lush and mellow and easy to drink.  The sweetness is really delightful – and I think that’s why I’m finding it especially enjoyable after a meal … the sweetness is knocking out that sweet craving that I often have after a meal.  I don’t have room for (nor the desire to eat) dessert, so this tea is making a nice alternative to something sweet.  No, it’s not a “dessert alternative” … but it does offer a little sweet something for those times when I don’t want something too sweet or dessert-y … but my palate wants something a little bit on the sweet side.

A very refreshing tea – light, sweet, and enjoyable!  Then again, Chado Tea House never fails to impress me with their quality.  They’re a great company, and this is a great tea!

Island Coconut Green Tea Blend from Spire Tea

islandcoconutTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Tea Description:

The tropical taste of coconut and the ocean-like flavour of sencha meet in this tea. The body is enhanced by the coconut, which makes it deliciously creamy. It has a balanced acidity that makes your mouth water. The chinese sencha brings hints of seaweed and mineral notes. With such a lengthy coconut finish, you can really savour this one.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn how to subscribe to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

YES!  Now that’s the way a coconut tea should taste!

This Island Coconut Green Tea Blend from Spire Tea – part of my Amoda tea tasting box for the month of May – ROCKS!  It has all the qualities that I want from a coconut tea:  delicious coconut flavor that stands out?  Check!  Rich, authentic coconut flavor?  Check!  The flavor is strong, but the tea is not overwhelmed?  Check!

The green tea base is a Chinese Sencha tea – and it is sweet and buttery, and this accentuates the coconut’s natural creamy notes.  There are lovely, lush “green” notes to the tea that are vegetative.  The above description calls them “seaweed notes” and I’d agree with that assessment – especially if I slurp the sip to aerate it.  I also pick up on some subtle grassy tones.  It is sweet, but there is a hint of savoriness to the tea as well, and this offers a palate-pleasing contrast for the sweet coconut notes.

The coconut is the real star of this tea though.  It is so sweet and creamy and yes … decadent!  It tastes like real coconut to me, not an artificial or overtly, sugary sweet coconut, but when combined with the naturally sweet Chinese Sencha, the flavor becomes sweeter. The coconut is very smooth and luscious!

I’ve become quite a fan of the consumer shift towards things that are coconut, and I love the great number of products that are now easily accessible for the consumer like coconut oil, coconut chips, and coconut water.  Coconut water is something that I really like, but I find the cost to be rather prohibitive, and really, I think I’d be just as happy with a cup of this Island Coconut green tea from Spire Tea as I would with a glass of chilled coconut water.  This has fantastic coconut flavor.

I’ve tried a few teas from Spire Tea – and I’m usually quite pleased with what I try from them.  This tea might just be one of the best I’ve tried from them though – it is a coconut tea for those who truly love coconut!

Tropical Island Black Tea from Kally Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Kally Tea

Tea Description:

“Arrrgh, Hoist the main sails matey.” We are off on a sailing ship in the Caribbean. Pirates abound, treasure hunting, we land on a secluded shore, and notice the varied fruits and flowers on the islands. A thought hits us… let’s combine these tropical fruits with some tea in the hold! As the rum is ignored for the much more exciting and healthy tea blend of freeze dried pear, blackberry, lime leaves, sour sap fruit flavorings, the pirates are calmed and life is good. Let’s sneak off with the new found “treasure”… Arrrgh!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The name of this tea is slightly misleading … at least for me it is!  But I don’t mean that in a bad way, I actually quite happy that this tea is different than I expected it to be.  Let me explain:  with a name like “Tropical Island,” I expected something tasting of pineapple or papaya or mango or a combination of these “usual suspects” when it comes to tropical flavors.  I did not expect to taste the flavors of lime and blackberry!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the “usual” tropical flavors in tea just as much as I’m enjoying the unique combination of lime and blackberry, but sometimes, it’s nice to get a surprise … something a little different than what I expected from a tropical tea … something that allows me to see things and taste things a little differently.  And that’s what I’m appreciating about this tea.

The lime is very bright and vibrant, especially in the first sips … this is where I notice mostly only lime flavor and very little else.  After the tea has cooled slightly and I’ve tasted a little more, the flavor of blackberry begins to emerge and I start to notice the flavors of the black tea that have been there all along, but the lime wanted to steal the spotlight and let itself be tasted right up front.

After a few more sips, I begin to notice other notes of this tea – it’s very “sweet and sour” like with an emphasis on the sour.  This must be the sour sap?  I’m not too familiar with this fruit … and I have a feeling that if I were to see this tropical fruit in the produce section, I’d probably avoid it because I tend to shy from the sour flavors … but what I like is that the sour is not so much that I feel the need to curb it with the addition of sugar.  There is just enough sweetness to this cup to keep it enjoyable when served straight (although a wee bit of sugar won’t hurt it either).

There is also a subtle … ever so subtle … note of pear that I notice by the time I reach mid-cup.  Another nice surprise!  This tea is full of them!  A very enjoyable tea that’s full of discovery.  I think that is what i like best about this tea.  It challenges my palate, and takes it on a journey of delightful flavors!

Strawberry Island from iHeartTeas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  iHeartTeas

Tea Descripton:

Finally after much delay I have created my first blend by hand. It is a sweet and juicy blend of strawberry black tea, a touch of coconut to remind you of the islands and creamy vanilla which helps to bind all the delicious flavors together. This blend can be enjoyed hot or cold making it versatile all year long. I am sure you will find this little concoction of mine very light, fun, and slightly sweet. A great blend to brighten spirits and perhaps put a spring in your step.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea takes me back to when I first started out on my path of blending and flavoring teas.  It was a scary, intimidating time, and back then, there were far fewer resources available to me to learn the art … so for me it was very much a case of trial and error – resulting in mostly error!

If I’m interpreting the above description correctly, this is iHeartTeas’ inaugural blend; the very first tea blend that she blended herself.  Knowing from experience how difficult it can be to “put yourself (or in this case, your blends) out there” – I commend her for her courage to do so, and I’m excited for her and glad that she has taken her first steps (and the many steps she’s taken since crafting this blend) to get her young business on the right track.

That being said, I just can’t get all that excited about this particular blend.  I mean, it’s alright, but it’s not as good as I had hoped it would be.

The black tea base is strong and tastes pleasant.  The rich, malty tones of the tea meld quite nicely with the flavors of coconut and vanilla, and I think that that’s my favorite part of this tea.

But the strawberry just tastes a little bit off, a little on the artificial side.  The name of this tea – Strawberry Island – suggests to me that the strawberry flavor would be a bit more pronounced than it is.

I notice that as this tea cools, it does taste much better.  While the strawberry notes remain dormant, I am not noticing as much of the artificial strawberry notes that I tasted when the tea was warmer.  The coconut, on the other hand, has really emerged at this point, creating a delicious creamy coconut flavor.

Because of the way the flavor changes as it cools, I’d say that this tea is best iced.  It is tasty hot, but, better iced.

Overall, I find this tea to be decent – not bad, certainly, but not great either – and it IS a really good first blend, and if this is a look at what the future holds for iHeartTeas, I’m very excited for what comes next!