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MarketSpice

Princess Grey Tea from MarketSpice

princessgreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Product Description:

An original blend of our Earl Grey Tea with Rose Petals and Lavender flowers. An excellent after dinner tea!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know, I know … I’ve said it at least a hundred times before, and I’ll probably say it another hundred (or more) times.  I love Earl Grey teas.  Well, most of them, anyway.  I have actually come across a few – maybe a handful or more – of Earl Grey teas that weren’t worthy of the praise I usually lavish on the bergamot tea.  And I also adore most of the variations on the Earl Grey concept:  bergamot teas that are just a little different from the classic Earl Grey.

This is another twist on that classic favorite:  Princess Grey Tea from MarketSpice.  This tea took the bergamot black tea and added rose petals and lavender buds.

I like it!  This Princess Grey offers a softer bergamot flavor, reminding me just a bit of the softer flavor you might experience with an Earl Grey creme but without the vanilla overtones.  The bergamot here isn’t edgy or bold or in your face, it’s a gentle citrus-y presence that mingles well with a subtle lavender undertone and hints of rose in the distance.

Normally, I prefer a stronger bergamot flavor, but, I like this softer presentation.  I think that a softer bergamot flavor works best with teas where there is a lavender or other assertive floral flavor (the blue cornflowers are not included in this statement as these are added primarily for a touch of color to the blend, not because they offer a strong flavor profile to the cup).

I believe that a stronger bergamot note might have made this come off as perfume-ish and nobody (at least, nobody that I know of!) wants to drink a cup full of perfume!  This tea offers a nice balance between bergamot and floral notes:  there is contrast between the flavors without too much competition.

As it is, the floral notes are pleasant and accent the bergamot well.  The black tea is a what I’d call a moderately mild tea, it doesn’t become too assertive in this blend, but it is strong enough to stand up and be tasted behind the flavors of citrus and flower.

A really enjoyable cuppa – I’m glad I had this opportunity to try yet another Earl Grey variation!  It’s one of the joys of this “job” … and one I can’t imagine of which I’ll ever tire!

Cranberry-Mint African Redbush Tea from MarketSpice

cranberrymintTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Tisane Description:

Tart yet minty. This tea is a blend of African RedBush, Cranberry and Peppermint flavoring. High in anti-oxidants and naturally caffeine free.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This Cranberry-Mint African Redbush Tea from MarketSpice has a really interesting combination of flavors … and it’s not what I expected at all!

I expected to taste a strong minty taste, and maybe a hint of sour cranberry.  And while the mint is indeed strong … that isn’t the first note I experience.  I taste a warm, nutty flavor from the rooibos.  It is a distinct rooibos flavor, but, at the same time it doesn’t taste like a typical rooibos.  It doesn’t have that sour wood taste, or the sometimes funky sweetness that I often associate with rooibos.  Instead … it is more of a taste that is sweet, almost honey-like (reminding me a bit of honeybush rather than rooibos!) and a warm, nutty flavor.  Hints of wood but not a sour wood.

Then I notice the fruity notes of the cranberry.  It is tangy and tart, but the sweetness from the rooibos curbs some of the tart flavor.  I really like how cranberry and rooibos taste together.  I don’t think I really realized it until I tried this tisane … but these two components work very well together.

Almost at the mid-way point of the sip, I notice the mint.  It is cool and crisp … but it isn’t a strong, distinctly peppermint kind of note.  The flavor of cranberry as well as the strong presence of the nutty tones of rooibos has managed to tone down the peppermint just a smidge, to give it a sweet, cooling effect without overwhelming the palate with minty taste.

The flavor is really surprisingly smooth.  It almost reminds me of a latte … there is almost a creaminess to this cup (and no, I didn’t add milk!) It’s really very pleasant … a very surprising, delicious cup of rooibos!  I’m really enjoying this.

Vanilla African Redbush Tea from MarketSpice

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Tisane Description:

The addition of Vanilla flavoring and Chamomile to our standard African RedBush provides a rich and satisfying cup of tea. Add honey for that extra zing. High in anti-oxidants and naturally caffeine free.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really nice vanilla flavored rooibos blend.  Normally, chamomile is not my favorite thing, but, I like the addition of chamomile here.  It adds just enough of something different to the cup to keep it interesting.

The aroma of the dry leaf is quite distinctive.  It smells of tobacco – like the pipe tobacco that my step-mother would buy for my dad as she attempted to encourage him to smoke a pipe.  She liked the smell of pipe smoke.  I am not particularly fond of the smell of the smoke, but I liked the smell of tobacco (is it called “raw” tobacco when it’s not smoked and still in the package?)

But I’ll be honest, it throws me off a bit when I smell that fragrance in a tea.  I find the smell of pipe tobacco pleasant but it doesn’t smell like something I want to consume, you know what I mean?  But, once it started brewing, the aroma became much more like rich vanilla and less like tobacco.

The flavor is very pleasant.  It has a smooth, creamy vanilla taste with a hint of nutty rooibos in the background.  The woody tones of the rooibos come out as well, and I like the way they meld with the vanilla notes.  The chamomile is very light, but I can taste that hint of apple-like flavor from the chamomile.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable tea.  I especially enjoy it later in the evening while watching TV, it’s got such a relaxing quality to it.  Very nice!

 

Six Herb Tea from MarketSpice

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Tea Description:

A tangy yet fruity blend of herbs. This old time favorite tea contains Lemon Grass, Rosehips, Hibiscus, Peppermint, Orange Peel and Wild Cherry Bark. Caffeine free.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yet another tea that I held on to because the herbal content scared me a bit.  Hibiscus!  Yikes!  Run for the hills!

But now that I’m finally tasting it, the hibiscus really isn’t a very strong flavor.  It does offer a slight tangy note to the overall cup, as well as some texture and a pretty pinkish hue.  However, the other herbs in this blend manage to keep the hibiscus in check, and keep it from getting too tart or syrupy.  Of course, being diligent on the steep time is important too, I steeped this for six minutes using water at 195°F, and I really wouldn’t recommend steeping it any longer than that.

Really, despite all my trepidation, this really is quite a tasty tisane.  Tangy, yes, but not overly so.  It also has some sweet citrus-y notes that meld nicely with the tangy notes to give it a light sweet-tart kind of flavor that I find rather enjoyable as well as soothing.   And the peppermint – which is another sometimes aggressive herb – manages to stay in check too.  I like how the minty note really freshens up the cup, providing a crisp, cool note to contrast with the sweet and tangy flavors.

A nice herbal that both kids and adults can enjoy any time of day.

Holiday Tea from MarketSpice

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Product Description:

Popular all year round, this Chinese Hunan black tea combines the flavorings of Chocolate, Mint and Raspberry. A tea that truly satisfies your sweet tooth!

Taster’s Review:

I was tempted to save this tea review until it was closer to the holiday, but, I decided that I wanted to do it a little earlier, because not only is it a fantastic tea, it’s something that I think you should get NOW so that you have it for the holiday.  This would be the perfect tea to serve to your holiday guests!

The scent alone is enough to make your taste buds do the happy dance.  Dry, this aromatic tea gives off notes of mint, chocolate and berry.  The combination of these three scents is brilliant.  YUM!  Brewed, the tea has a little less of the raspberry scent, and a little more of the chocolate.  In fact, as I brewed this tea, my daughter had a couple of friends over, and they asked if I had baked chocolate muffins!  Yeah… that’s what it smells like.

The flavor is more of a medley of these three flavors, as well as the distinctive flavor of the Chinese Hunan tea.  The black tea tastes rich and bold.  It is a more mildly-tempered kind of tea compared to, say, an Assam, which while it is quite bold and malty (and delicious in its own right), it can be a rather temperamental tea and become bitter quite easily.  This Hunan is much more forgiving, and maintains its bold, rich flavor without easily becoming bitter.

And this is a good thing, since you want to infuse this a little longer than you would an Assam to extract the most flavor from the other ingredients as possible.  As I said before, the flavor of this tea tends to be more like a medley, like a well-integrated blend of chocolate, raspberry and mint.  Each of the flavors seem pretty even in terms of strength of flavor.   This is neither too minty, nor too strongly raspberry, nor composed of too much chocolate (although, this chocoholic would argue that there is no such thing as too much chocolate.)

This is such a delightful blend … a fantastic blend to serve whilst decorating the holiday tree, or just enjoying the company of family and friends.