Beets were a contentious part of my family dinners. Every Easter my grandmother would make a cold beet salad and our seating arrangements had to be coordinated to put certain beet-haters at the other end of the table from the beet salad. I was firmly on the side of the beets, and couldn’t get enough of grandma’s beet salad. Needless to say, I was excited to try a beet tea.
Up Beet from Teapigs is a green tea blend with hibiscus, beetroot, ginger, and carrot. The green tea is really just a base to carry the bolder vegetable and herb flavors. I didn’t think any flavor could hold up against powerful hibiscus, but beetroot is a formidable ally in this blend. The sharp hibiscus is balanced out by the iron-sweet earthiness of the beets. Carrots bring their own natural sweetness alongside the beets, and the ginger adds a hint spice to give more texture to the flavor palette. The longer I let the tea brew, the more ginger heat and mineral beet flavors came to the forefront.
Punchy, strong, and sweet, this is truly a unique blend. If you enjoy fruit and veggie juice blends, you should try this tea. It is a sweet and savory blend, with the umami-earthiness of the beets, the lightly sweet carrots, and the fruit-punch hibiscus, all coming together for a bold, full-flavored cup of tea. As a beet-lover, I’m happy to have this tea on my shelf anytime I’m craving their bold, earthy flavors and I don’t have grandma’s beet salad at hand.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Teapigs
This blend will give you the kick you need to jump into your lycra, tie up your trainers, skip to the gym and throw that scary giant kettle bell way over your shoulder. This blend of beets, spice and hibiscus which helps give you extra energy, is fruity and punchy (enjoy with or without lycra!).
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Rohini Emerald Green First Flush Darjeeling from Udyan Tea
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Udyan Tea
Rohini has been planted with special green tea clones which have very less *tannin content in them. The teas made from these bushes taste smooth and sweet, with pronounced vegetable flavour. They aren’t bitter unlike their counterparts from the district. Rohini Emerald Green Tea is made from single leaf and a bud.
Learn more about this tea here.
Rohini Emerald Green is a First Flush Darjeeling tea, a variety I’m particularly fond of. I’m intrigued by this one, though (more so than usual!) because the leaf is different from any I’ve seen before. It’s a fairly uniform mid-green in colour, with one or two lighter leaves and some yellow mottling. What’s surprising is that the leaves are large and curly, partially rolled but not tightly. I’ve never seen a first flush Darjeeling that looks quite like this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow-green, the scent reminiscent of a green tea. After an initial hit of orchid-like floral, there’s a distinctive vegetal scent. The leaves, once unfurled, remind me a little of oak tree leaves.
To taste, this tea is also unlike any Darjeeling I’ve tried before. In some ways, it’s far more like a green tea or an oolong than anything else. The initial flavour is lightly floral, in the sweet, heady way of orchids. It’s not an intensely perfumey floral, but rather like crushing the petals of an orchid or lily flower in your hand and then translating the scent into a taste. It’s difficult to describe, because it’s like the wrong sense is being used, but that’s as close as I can get to identifying the kind of sensation the floral produces. There’s a mild “green” flavour lurking underneath the floral, but it’s more chlorophyll than vegetal – not a flavour I’ve come across very often, but it works well here, continuing the floral theme. The texture reminds me a lot of an unflavoured milk oolong, in that it’s buttery and mildly creamy. It’s not thick tasting, exactly, but it has a sort of dairy cream feel to it that’s pleasant and unusual – almost a little “flat” tasting, but with a richness at the same time. The aftertaste is a little mineral, again reminding me of a green oolong. It’s a little like wet rock; a tiny bit metallic, but also fresh and clean.
This one was an experience for me, and I really savoured every sip. I’ve not come across a Darjeeling like this before, either in terms of taste or appearance, so it really made me think about, and question, my expectations. I enjoyed the flavour, even though floral teas aren’t usually my thing. Clearly I can still surprise myself on occasion! I’d happily recommend this one to most people, whether they’re fans of Darjeeling, green, oolong or floral teas. This tea certainly offers a unique experience, and its placed Udyan Tea more firmly on my personal radar.
Raspberry Truffle Matcha Green Tea from Red Leaf Tea
Leaf Type: Green Tea (Matcha)
Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea
Raspberry Truffle Matcha is the perfectly designed treat that literally melts in the mouth with its mix of sweetness and Matcha undertones. This treat can make the perfect in-between meals treat that is perfect for enticing the taste buds to want much more. It can also make the perfect desert when people want to sample the different alternatives that are available for the palate to partake. For children, this exceptional treat can be one of many favorite offerings on their special occasions.
Raspberry Truffle Matcha is not for the faint hearted because of its deep rich taste sensation on the palate. It is a good alternative for other normal sweet choices such as chocolate or other candies. It also forms a great accompaniment to many foods and drinks with its sweetly inviting appeal and unforgettable flavor. This is a good treat for making a lifeless day unforgettable with its hints of pure pleasure and understated appeal.
Learn more about this tea here.
Firstly, for those not familiar with Red Leaf Tea’s amazing and varied selection of flavoured matcha, this company offers probably the widest selection of flavours I’ve ever seen in addition to offering a choice on the level of flavouring (starting at delicate and going up to robust) and grade of matcha. If you want to get especially fancy, you can also get different tea types for your matcha as well, such as white or black tea.
The specifications for THIS matcha are the basic grade of green matcha and a robust flavouring level. It is important to note that my preparation was also not the traditional way even though I used a traditional chawan and chawask. This was prepared in cold milk, instead of hot water. That’s my personal preference when it comes to almost all matcha flavours as well as straight matcha.
You can definitely tell, just from the smell, that this is robust flavouring; if you focus hard enough you can actually pick up on the scent of the raspberry before even opening the resealable bag it comes in. And once it has been opened, you’re going to be flooded with the sweet smell of a confectionery-like raspberry with a dark chocolate backdrop – it’s 100% Raspberry Truffle in scent.
As I was whisking this one, it frothed up a great deal more than the average matcha and that thicker, frothy texture didn’t let up easily; for the first half of the chawan I probably could have consumed it with a spoon. It was that frothy! Considering how strong the smell is before being prepared, the flavour is actually surprisingly light – but there are some things about it that tip me off that it’s robust flavouring. I’ve noticed with other robustly flavoured matcha that some flavours tend to get a sort of chalky note; one that reminds me of children’s chewable vitamins or Tums. It seems particularly bad with flavours with fruit in them. This certainly isn’t the worst offender I’ve encountered (I think Orange probably wins that spot, or Boysenberry) but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed it at all.
Otherwise, the flavour is pretty good. I’m a touch surprised that the raspberry is coming off a lot stronger than the chocolate though; when I think of truffles I absolutely picture the over the top, dark, rich, fudgey chocolate notes with the ‘extra’ flavour kind of infused in as more of an aftertaste or undercurrent. You could say the opposite is true here! The raspberry doesn’t have any tartness or tang to it; more so it’s a bit of a sweet and confectionery type of raspberry; like what you’d have in a raspberry danish for example. The chocolate is obviously creamy from the milk but has a distinct ‘dark chocolate’ taste to it. It’s maybe a touch fudgey. The notes from the matcha itself are still present, though quite lightly. But that’s to be expected given the flavour level.
Overall; I’m quite happy with this one! It’s gonna do wonders for satisfying those late night sugar cravings and I’m already picturing how well this would taste lightly sprinkled over top cereal or popcorn. If I had to really emphasize anything to potential buyers though it’d probably just be to expect that the raspberry is going to taste stronger than the chocolate.
Windy City Blend from TeaGschwendner
Leaf Type: Black, Green & Oolong
Where to Buy: TeaGschwendner
What a gentle treat for the body and soul! A delicious whirlwind of flavor composed of seven sweet teas.
Learn more about this tea here.
Thanks to my tea friend Sil for sending some of this my way!
I cold brewed my sample; it’s been absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous here in Saskatchewan lately (Spring has arrived!) so I’m not making hot tea for my commute to work anymore – which means I’ve had to be a little bit creative with what I’m picking out for cold brews. It’s resulted in some surprisingly great brews though! Since this tea is a jumble of different types, part of me was also relieved about not having to figure out what temperature to brew this one at hot.
This was a very weird tea; there’s certainly a lot going on with it. I tried it semi blindly; I hadn’t looked it up before hand to see what the ingredients were but I had seen reviews on it so I knew to somewhat expect strawberry and caramel notes. Otherwise, I had no prior knowledge going in.
My experience was that the oolong stood out the most of all the teas mixed in here; and then the black tea – didn’t really pick up anything particularly like green tea. Perhaps the little bit of nuttyness at the front of the sip? But that note could be attributed to the other base teas as well; it’s all very open ended. In addition to some nuttyness, I noticed a fair bit of toastier notes and mineral notes at the start of the sip; this is partially what made the oolong stick out a little more for me.
This transitioned into the body of the tea, which had a sort of ‘medium’ sweetness and richness to it; definitely the caramel. While this flavour was strongest in the middle of the sip, it was still present all throughout. The finish is where the strawberry kicked in for me; though I found it more of a soft, generic red berry sort of flavour and a lot less distinctly like strawberry.
Now that I’ve looked up the tea I see there are also some floral ingredients. I don’t recall pinpointing anything distinctly floral at all – but it is possible (though perhaps a bit of a stretch) that the presence of these flavours, if there at all, were just kind of smooshed in with the flavour of the oolong for me. With all that was going on with this tea I think it’d be perfectly reasonable for me to have missed them again.
I would totally drink this again; the impression I got is that this is definitely one of those teas that gets better the more you drink it. Depending on the outcome of trying it a few more times and seeing what flavours are more consistent, I think it could be a unique addition to a person’s tea stash!
1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong From Butiki Teas
Leaf Type: Aged Oolong
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas (However it is no longer for sale)
Tea Description: Our 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is a 22 year old spring harvested tea from Nantou, Taiwan. This rare tea is oxidized between 20-30% and charcoal roasted. Da Ye Oolong is uncommon today since this tea has a lower production volume. Our 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is sweeter and creamier than our 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong. Notes of roasted chestnut, bark, fresh butter, honey suckle, and cinnamon can be detected. Due to the age of this tea, some mineral notes may also be detected. This tea has a silky mouth feel and is sweet and buttery.
Learn more about this tea on Steepster.
This isn’t a new Butiki blend (really there aren’t any new Butiki blends anymore since the owner’s retirement and the store closed); but it is new to me. I’ve been curious about it for a long time, but I think that without Butiki closing I would have been stuck in a permanent state of “window shopping”, which is a shame because I definitely would have been missing out.
So, this tea is actually older than I am by four years! There’s something inheritantly fascinating about that, and it’s hard to wrap my head around it. Many reviews I’ve seen for this tea feature the reviewer remarking “where they were” or “what they were doing” back in 1991, but I wasn’t doing anything! My parents weren’t even married in 1991.
Lately I’ve been trying to explore straight oolongs a little more thoroughly so it’s appropriate I’m trying this one. I’ve enjoyed the straight oolong I’ve had, especially the darker/roastier ones, but my exposure has been relatively limited and it’s time to change that. The dry leaf for this one already smells quite different than oolong I’m familiar with; it has a really distinct dill smell to it! And then nuttier notes emerge as well. It’s the dill that gets me though; I’ve never heard of dill being a present flavour notes in a straight oolong before – maybe a green tea though that’s probably a bit of a stretch too. I’m already learning things!
Wow; this is surprisingly more complex than I was expecting. Even upon my first few initial sips I was registering such a large variety of flavours it was almost a little overwhelming; they all tie in quite well to one another though. It seems like the general backdrop of flavours is a combination of soaked/damp wood and moss. Very earthy, and very natural. On top of the general taste, which carries throughout the sip, was a lovely arrangement of roasty and nutty flavours, with a very slight and enjoyable dryness. The combination of all of these things is coming together to remind me of petrichor.
For those who don’t know; petrichor is the smell of rain on dry earth. It’s my absolute favourite smell in the world and I’ve been looking for a tea that accurately conveys it for as long as I can remember; this does the job better than anything else I’ve tried. Lastly, this tea finishes with a sweet dill note that tickles at back of my throat. I’m liking how the dill plays into all of this by adding a bit of a different feeling as well as a unique taste!
My second steep was good too; many of the flavours I observed with the first cup were still there but in different levels. I found the wood flavour was less pronounced as well as the dry nuttiness, but the moss was a little more accentuated. The dill was also a lot more strong; instead of just tasting it in the finish I was tasting it in the body of the sip as well. I also registered a very subtle floral note and some richer mineral notes.
Unfortunately because of a prior commitment in the day I didn’t have time to continue with additional steeps; but I’d love to find a day to dedicate solely to this tea because it’s strange, and wonderful and very complex and I’m so smitten with it!
It’ll be hard to get your hands on this tea now; but if you find yourself with the chance to try it I definitely recommend doing so!