Cranberry Creme Black from 52Teas

CranberryCremeSSTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

I wanted to create a cranberry flavored black tea – but I didn’t want to go for a straightforward cranberry black tea because that’s been done. At first, I was going to go with a cranberry custard pie flavor but my initial taste tests of that blend proved to be underwhelming. So instead, I went with a cranberry tea with a creamy custard-y flavor. It has a tangy cranberry note but the edgier, tartier flavors of the cranberry are softened by the sweet, vanilla creme notes. It’s tasty!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about subscribing to 52Teas’ Tea of the Week program here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of Anne’s 52Teas creations, and one I was really excited about when I saw it because I absolutely ADORE cranberry tea! This is a pretty good, simpler cranberry black tea. I really, really get a good amount of natural semi-sweet cranberry notes and that flavour gets a bit more depth from the flavour of warming cinnamon and the brisk black base, which is also just slightly malty. It’s a good, medium body and well rounded flavour. However, I when I drank this I definitely did feel like the “creme” aspect of the tea was lacking. Sure, this was SUPER tasty as a simple cranberry black tea but nothing about it was necessarily soft or silky in the way that you’d expect cream/custard/vanilla to be – and that’s definitely what Anne seems to have been trying to achieve here.

To be perfectly honest though, as someone who really likes cranberry teas I’ve tried a lot of them so the range of blends I can compare this one too is pretty large. My personal favourite is Harney & Son’s Boston Blend which _really_ nails the creamy cranberry component. However, this one does a much better job conveying the natural, realistic flavour of cranberry.

Totally worth tasting, but for the cranberry notes over the ‘creme’.

Raspberry Matcha from 3 Leaf Tea

RaspberryMatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/Matcha

Where to Buy: 3 Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Vegan, Gluten Free
Ingredients: Matcha, natural flavors

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a fairly new company, and one I actually wanted to order from since they’ve got a pretty diverse selection of flavoured matcha and I was interested in seeing how it differed from what Red Leaf Tea offers. Unfortunately they don’t yet ship to Canada, so it was great that my fellow SororiTea Sister TheLastDodo was able to send some for me to try!

Instead of my usual matcha in milk I prepped this cold shaken in a DAVIDsTEA timolino with plain old water. Since this is a new company to me and I’m not familiar with their base matcha I wanted as much of a “plain” taste as I could get.

Visually the matcha is a really bright green colour – exactly what I want to be seeing! It smells really intense, and maybe a little bit artificial? That’s something I don’t want to be getting from this one. Hmm; I kept my expectations really neutral going into this.

I actually liked it a lot; I thought the raspberry was very sweet and natural tasting with just a tease of natural tang to it. It also didn’t seem to eclipse the flavour of the matcha itself which tasted subtly grassy and very, very floral. It had me thinking loosely of both orchids and peonies. The artificial smell I was picking up didn’t cross over into the flavour – hooray! Plus, the flavour and base together worked very well – the floral components absolutely complimented the natural tasting raspberry.

It definitely makes me wish I could try more flavors from this company – in particular I’m curious about the pineapple matcha and the apple matcha. I love the pairing of pineapple and floral flavours like orchid so I can see that working really, really well. Basically, I’m saying people should give this company a little bit more love because hopefully then they’ll be able to expand their shipping into Canada!

Hazelnut Pear Green Tea from Petali Teas

Hazelnut_PearTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

“Gunpowder” green is a smooth, full-bodied tea that’s perfect for winter. Blended with a surprising ingredient list, we hope you’re curious to try this out! The vanilla cream is a perfect complement to the smoky gunpowder green & its natural nuttiness is accentuated with hazelnuts. “Peared” up with fruit and cinnamon, this is a really tasty blend. 

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  This Hazelnut Pear Green Tea from Petali Teas is really good.  Then again, I have found that I can count on Amoda to choose some pretty tasty teas for me in their monthly subscription box.  Occasionally, I might find myself a wee bit disappointed with something, but for the most part, the Amoda boxes are a big WIN for me.

I was very intrigued with this tea right from the start.  The idea of pear and hazelnut together sparked my interest.  It sounds yummy and very Pacific Northwest-ish.  It sounds like a great big cup of yum.

And that’s what it is.  The base of this tea is a Gunpowder green tea and it’s a nice choice for this blend.  The green tea is earthy, a little nutty and has a hint of smokiness to it.  It’s not really a vegetative tasting tea although there’s a certain ‘freshness’ to the flavor that plays well to the flavor of the pear.  It has a soft texture and it’s not an overly astringent tea.  It’s really quite nice.

And it melds well with every aspect of this tea:  the nutty flavors and the hint of smoke enhance the hazelnut flavor.  The earthiness melds with the earthy notes of the spices, which are warm but do not overpower this blend.  Instead, they add an accent to the main flavors of hazelnut and pear.

I don’t taste a lot of ‘apple’ in this, I suspect the reason for the apple pieces in this blend is to look ‘pear-like’ because dried pear is a bit more difficult to come by than dried apple.  I also don’t taste a lot from the orange, but it does add a hint of brightness to the cup.  There is no real obvious note of orange, but you can tell that it’s there, perking up the flavors.

A really nice tea.  I’ve enjoyed the teas that I’ve tasted from Petali Teas in the various Amoda Boxes that they’ve been featured in – I’m glad that this is a company that Amoda Tea has chosen to feature regularly!

California Sweet Peach Herbal Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

CaliforniaSweetPeachTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

Sweet orange peel roasted in honey, real grade-A Madagascar vanilla beans, actual peaches! California Sweet Peach is our signature herbal infusion. We are proud to roast our own orange peel in local honey and use peaches straight from California! Our natural peach flavor is supplied by Silver Cloud Estates and is a blend of different natural extracts and oils, enabling us to boost the taste of peaches. This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends. Note: California Sweet Peach contains no tea, as it is an herbal infusion. We chose to include the term “herbal tea” in the title due to its categorical popularity.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This California Sweet Peach Herbal Tea from M&K’s Tea Company is an interesting tisane.  As I sit here, sipping it, I’m trying to determine whether or not I like it.  I can’t say that immediately upon taking my first few sips that I was blown away by it.  At the same time, I can’t say that immediately upon taking my first few sips that I wasn’t intrigued.  I felt the need to keep on sipping.  It’s interesting enough to keep me sipping but there’s something about it that hasn’t yet ‘won me over’ – at least not yet.

I like that the hibiscus is not a strong presence in this cup.  Normally, when I am about to taste a tea or tisane with hibiscus, my thought is “why?”  Why hibiscus?  But, after drinking about half a cup now, I can see why the hibiscus is in this blend.  It adds a little bit of body to the cup (but I wouldn’t recommend steeping it longer than 6 minutes or so to avoid having a thick or syrupy body) and the little bit of tartness that it brings to the cup adds balance to the warm notes of the licorice and the sweetness of the peach, honey and vanilla notes.

The star of this cup is – obviously – the peach.  I like the flavor of the peach here and I think that’s what’s keeping my interest.  The peach is a genuine peach-y note.  It doesn’t taste chemical or artificial.  It tastes true to the fruit.  I also like the orange in this.  The orange adds a touch of bright flavor to the sweet peach notes.

Now that I’ve finished the cup I can say that I enjoyed this.  It had a strong peach flavor but there was enough other stuff going on in this that it didn’t end up being all about the peach.  I liked the different flavors going on.  And even though this does have hibiscus in it – like so many other fruit/herbal tisanes to – this is not your ordinary tisane.

Just as an aside:  it’s something when I finish the tea before I finish the review.  Take that for what it’s worth, but it doesn’t happen often.  I must have enjoyed what I was drinking!

Yeah.  I’d drink this again.  I enjoyed it.  This one has earned my approval.  Even if it does have hibiscus in it!

Mint Chamomile Rooibus Blend from Simple Loose Leaf

Mint_Chamomile_RooibusTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf

Tea Description:

Our Mint Chamomile tea will put a smile on your face regardless of the day you are having.  Brew a cup of this floral, sweet and soothing tea and enjoy a wonderfully fresh finish of this beautiful cup of tea.

Chamomile Flowers, Roobius Tea, Peppermint Leaves, Natural Vanilla Flavor

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Co-Op Membership here.

Taster’s Review:

What a happy day!  I was so thrilled to find a box from Simple Loose Leaf in my mailbox today!  So happy, in fact, that I decided to go against my “usual” approach when it comes to teas and I grabbed the tea I would normally ‘put off’ trying:  this Mint Chamomile Rooibus Blend!

Tonight seems the perfect night for such a blend too.  I’m up a little later than usual and I’m not really feeling all that sleepy yet.  I’m hopeful that the chamomile in this tisane will help inspire a sense of calm and relaxation so that I can start thinking about catching some Zzz’s.

To brew this tisane, I grabbed my Kati tumbler and measured a heaping bamboo scoop into the basket.  Then I poured 12 ounces of 195°F water into the tumbler and let it steep for 8 minutes.

I’ve come to realize that I’d really rather not steep chamomile blends in my Breville One Touch.  The chamomile is a bit more ‘resistant’ to being removed from any infuser basket, and while I do scrub out my infuser basket in between every tea that I brew in my Breville One Touch, chamomile proves to be rather challenging to scrub out of the basket.  I find it easier to clean the Kati Tumbler infuser basket than it is to clean the basket of the tea maker!

Even though I am often quick to say that I’m not crazy about chamomile or rooibos, I’m really enjoying this!  I think it’s the combination of the peppermint and the vanilla flavor that I’m liking.  The soft, creamy notes of the vanilla soften the crisper edges of the peppermint just enough so that the herb isn’t as invigorating as it often is.  I’m not getting that exhilarating feeling after sipping this.  The mint is cool and sweet and the vanilla adds a softness to it that is quite nice.

The rooibos adds a little bit of nutty flavor and a touch of honey-like (that honeyed flavor coming not just from the rooibos but also the chamomile) sweetness to the cup.   I like that while the rooibos doesn’t present a strong flavor to this tea, what I can taste of the rooibos is a pleasant contribution to the overall cup.  That is to say that it plays well with the other flavors!

Of the four ingredients of this tea, the chamomile is the one that I taste least.  As I already mentioned, I do taste a light ‘honey-like’ flavor from it, but I’m not tasting much else from it.  Maybe a hint of ‘chamomile apple taste’ every now and then, but it’s very obscure.

But I don’t mind that at all.  I’m not big on chamomile, as I said, but I do like the flavors of mint and vanilla and since those are the two strongest flavors of this cup, I’m quite happy with what I’m tasting.

This is a soothing, comforting cuppa – relaxing?  Yes.  A really nice bedtime drink.

This tea came in this month’s Simple Loose Leaf’s Co-Op Membership box, along with four other teas.  This program is great for someone who likes to taste before they commit to a large quantity of tea – the five tea packages were sample sized, just enough to have several cups of tea to decide if you like it enough to buy more and when you do buy more, you get a discount on full-sized purchases!  This Co-Op program is a win-win!