Lemon Jasmine Cleanse Tea from WayGood Tea

LemonJasmineTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  WayGood Tea

Tea Description:

A delicate herbal infusion kissed with fragrant rose petals & jasmine flowers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Dry, this Lemon Jasmine Cleanse Tea from WayGood Tea smells more like sage and rosemary than it does lemon or jasmine (or any other ingredient in this herbal tisane).  But I don’t mind – I like sage and rosemary!

To brew this, I placed one sachet in my teacup and poured 8 ounces of near boiling (195°F) water over the sachet.  Then I allowed it to steep for 6 minutes.  The brewed tisane is a golden hue and smells pleasantly of sage and rosemary with hints of flower and subtle notes of lemon.  Similar to the dry tea – the fragrance is primarily rosemary and sage but more of the fruit and floral notes are coming through now.

The flavor is interesting.  I can’t say that I’ve ever tasted a tea or tisane quite like this.  That’s not to say I’m not enjoying it.  To be honest, I think I need another minute or two of writing about it before I figure out if I really do like it!

I taste sage and rosemary – not surprisingly based upon my experience with the aroma – but I also taste rose.  I appreciate that even though the sage and rosemary are dominate fragrances in this tea, their flavors do not overwhelm the cup.

I’m kind of surprised that the name of this tea is “Lemon Jasmine Cleanse” but of the ingredients in this blend – jasmine, rose, lemon verbena, alfalfa, sage, rosemary & lemon peel – the lemon and jasmine are not very prominent flavors in the cup.  The only thing I taste less than the lemon and jasmine here is the alfalfa.

I really can’t recall ever having tasted brewed alfalfa – I very well may have in another tea in my years as a tea reviewer, I just can’t recall having tasted it.  So, I wouldn’t know what to look for in the flavor here as an identifying note for the alfalfa.

As I continue to sip, I notice more jasmine and lemon notes, but they never really offer a strong presence in this drink.  Despite this, I’m finding this to be an enjoyable tisane.  It’s certainly different, but in many cases, different is good!  And it certainly has proven that to be the case with this.  I’d be happy to sip on this again!

Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tisane from Rington’s Premium English Teas

Lemon-Ginger-GinsengTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

Naturally caffeine free, the Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tea is a refreshing and invigorating infusion that balances the lemon and ginger flavours.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Do you ever go through that moment when – as you’re brewing a cup of tea – you think to yourself:  what was I thinking, choosing this tea?  I actually go through that sort of moment more than I care to admit to.

And I experienced that moment as I was brewing this Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tisane from Rington’s Premium English Teas.  I mean, I like lemon and I like ginger and I actually enjoy the two together quite a bit.  But ginseng?  I think I’ve mentioned more than once here on this blog that I’m not a fan of it.  So, what possessed me to grab this tea to try it?

I don’t know.  But, now that it’s brewed, I might as well try it, right?

I brewed one bag in 6 ounces of hot water (195°F) for 5 minutes.

The aroma offers a strong lemony note with hints of ginger.  I also detect an earthy ginseng aroma.  Ugh.

Fortunately, the ginseng smells stronger than it tastes!  Happy day!

The lemon is the strongest flavor of the cup and it’s bright and invigorating.  It’s not overly tart, it’s more of a sweet lemon note with hints of tangy.  But I’m not puckering here.

The ginger is somewhat subdued, it’s not an overly peppered flavor from the spice of the ginger.  It’s warm enough to offer some contrast to the zesty flavor of the lemon but not so spicy that it distracts from the lemon.  This cup is really all about the lemon!

I can also taste the slightest hint of a cinnamon-y flavor to this.  It’s very slight and it complements the ginger in a very enjoyable way.

What I don’t taste a lot of – thankfully – is ginseng.  Even when I attempt to focus on the ginseng flavor to determine how much of it I actually do taste, I don’t taste a lot.  A slight earthiness – that’s it!  And the earthy notes meld favorably with the earthy notes of the ginger and cinnamon.

It really is as I said earlier, this tea is really all about the lemon.  This would be something nice to keep on hand for those times when you’re feeling a bit under the weather and want something lively to sip.  It would go nicely with a dollop of honey and would be soothing on a sore throat.

It’d also be nice if you’re cold-brewing some basic black tea – add one of these tea bags in along with the black tea and you’ll have a pleasant lemony flavor to your iced tea.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by this tea!

Ginger Twist Herbal Tisane from Sloane Tea

ginger_twistTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This tea is incredibly warming and comforting. A herbal blend that’s both sweet and spicy. Lemongrass gives a dominant , but smooth, citrus flavour. Hints of mint and tropical fruit blend seamlessly, making individual ingredients subtle to detect. The sweet comforts of the liquorice root coat the throat and help the flavours of the tea linger.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I admit that I entered into my experience with this Ginger Twist Herbal Tisane from Sloane Tea with a little bit of intrepidation because I had heard from a friend of mine who is also an Amoda Tea subscriber that she was a little less than thrilled with this tea.  And after reading the ingredient list, yeah, I was a little nervous about this one.

What’s In It:  Lemongrass, mint, ginger, ginseng, licorice root, apple, papaya, citrus peel, cornflower petals, natural flavour.

Lemongrass, mint, ginger?  OK.  Ginseng … ugh.  Licorice root – in most cases, I’d be enthusiastic about it, but it’s been my experience when ginseng and licorice root are blended together the result is a flavor that … evokes thoughts of dirty socks.  The rest of the flavors seemed OK to me.  It’s the ginseng with the licorice root that was causing my anxiety about this blend.

But, despite my intrepidation, the tea beckoned to me to try it and since my friend was asking for suggestions on how best to brew and serve this tea, I figured I needed to try it.

What’s the worst that could happen?  Since I’m not allergic to any of the ingredients, an allergic reaction isn’t the worst thing that could happen and I trusted Amoda Tea not to send me poison so I didn’t fear for my life if I were to drink this tea.  I surmised that the worst thing that could happen is that I hate this and after I take a sip or two, I unceremoniously dump the rest of it down the drain.

So I brewed it.  I decided to go with a ‘light’ brew and only steeped it for 6 minutes rather than my usual 8 – 10 minutes for a non-hibiscus tisane.  Then I let it cool for a few minutes and took my first sip.

Here goes…

This isn’t horrible.  As suggested by Amoda in the above description, it is a warming drink.  The ginger is the strongest component to the cup and the peppery warmth of the ginger is accentuated by the snappy flavor of the licorice root.

Fortunately, it doesn’t taste of dirty socks.  Or what I think dirty socks might taste like if I were to brew them.  This is not something that really appeals to me so I’ve never actually attempted to brew my socks.  Plus, I usually wear wool socks and if I were to put them in boiling water, the wool might fuse.

The lemongrass and mint are very subtle to the point where it’s really difficult to identify them in the sip.  If I had been given this brewed tisane blindly – not knowing what was in it – and then asked what I ingredients I thought were in it based on what I was tasting, I don’t know that I would immediately pick up on the lemongrass and the mint.  I would definitely pick up on the ginger and the licorice.  I wouldn’t notice the apple or papaya, nor would I immediately notice the citrus peel.

Now that I’m about halfway through the cup, I do notice some light citrus-y tones to this.  I can also taste the faint earthiness of the ginseng, which I find myself wishing wasn’t there.  If I inhale sharply so that a breath of air floats over my palate after I take a sip, I can taste some minty notes, but I don’t actually get much of anything that resembles mint in the sip unless I slurp the sip, and even then, it’s more like a faint hint of mint that could just as easily be mistaken for a faint hint of basil in this tisane.

Overall, I have to say that this isn’t my favorite cuppa from Amoda Tea.  Rarely am I disappointed by a tea from Amoda (they’re my favorite subscription) and I don’t know if I’d say that I find this tea disappointing but rather, I’d say it’s perplexing and not necessarily in a good way.  I think that there are about a hundred other tisanes out there in this great big world of tea that Amoda could have chosen for the box that I would have appreciated more than I have this.

But I guess they can’t all have me jumping for joy, can they?

Honey Citrus Raspberry Green Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

HoneyCitrusRaspberryGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

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

Tea Description:

M&K’s own unique blend! We take Chinese green teas, blend them with three citrus fruits, licorice root roasted in honey, and actual raspberries! Not too fruity, not too simple, it’s a perfect blend of green tea and fruit. We use local honey from California beekeepers and local California orange peel.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After having tried quite a few different teas from M&K’s Tea Company, I must admit that this one isn’t my favorite.  And I thought it would be one I like quite a bit because the name offers quite a bit of promise!  Citrus, Honey and Raspberry flavors in a Green Tea?  Yes, please!

But the execution is a little off for me and I can’t really pinpoint it yet, so maybe in the process of writing this review, I can figure it out.

To brew this tea, I measured 1 bamboo scoop of the loose leaf tea into the basket of my Kati Tumbler.  Then I added 12 ounces of 175°F water and let the tea steep for 2 minutes.

The green tea base is pleasant:  it’s a combination of two Chinese green teas:  gunpowder and Huangshan Maofeng.  Together they give the tea an enjoyable texture – soft and creamy – and a smooth, lightly buttery taste with hints of smoke and vegetation.

The citrus note is subtle to this and most discernible when the tea is slurped (this helps aerate the liquid on the palate and it “enlivens” the flavors for your palate).  I taste tart and tangy notes of citrus with a light sweetness of the honey.  I also get a hint of bitter from the citrus peel.

Then I pick up on the sweet notes of licorice.  Because the licorice root has been roasted in honey, the flavor of the licorice has been softened – I’m not getting that sharpness that I often get from licorice root.  I think that this works for this particular blend because if the licorice root hadn’t been softened somewhat, it might have taken over the blend and we’d have Licorice Citrus Raspberry Green Tea instead of Honey Citrus Raspberry Green Tea.

Instead the licorice just adds a hint of almost candy-like sweetness to the cup that I actually enjoy.  It might be my favorite thing about this particular blend

The raspberry is also quite subtle and I think that is what I’m thinking is off.  I feel like I’m tasting more hibiscus and raspberry leaf to accentuate the raspberry than I’m actually tasting raspberry and that’s unfortunate.

So, there you have it, I’ve pinpointed my issue with this tea:  I’d like the flavors of citrus and raspberry to be a little more prominent in the blend.  I do like that the green tea is a dominant flavor here and I like the little contrast that the licorice root adds, but I think that because this tea is called Honey Citrus Raspberry Green Tea that I’m wanting a little more focus on the citrus and berry notes.

It’s not a bad tea but it’s not as great as I thought it would be.  I’ve enjoyed many of M&K’s blends though, so I won’t hold this against them, because while it’s not my favorite tea that I’ve had from them, it’s tasty.  It’s good, just not as great as some of the other M&K’s experiences that I’ve had.

Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club, Volume 17 (Part 1)

yunomi2I received my Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club package the other day and I was excited to get started!  This month, the teas are focused on ’tisanes’ – herbal blends from various Japanese tea companies.

Since this is a tisanes package and not Camellia Sinensis, I won’t be featuring part two of this series tomorrow night.  This is because I don’t usually drink more than 1 tisane per day, so I need time to consume these teas and write about them!

This month’s package included Yomogi herbal tea which is a Japanese Mugwort tea, Longevity herbal blend which is a blend of 18 Japanese herbs, Mulberry leaf tea which has been prepared Sencha style, Organic hatomugicha which is also called “Job’s Tears” and finally, Organic mugicha which is a barley tea.  Of the five, the Mugicha is what I look forward to most, as I’m quite fond of barley tea.

Also in this month’s package was another cute origami Crane … I’m getting a little collection of these!  The usual booklet which offers some information about each of the teas was not included but we received an email from Yunomi explaining that the booklet would arrive separately a little later.

The first tea that I’m going to try is the Longevity Herbal Blend from Nakazen.  I was happy to see that this tea included Camellia Sinensis in the form of Oolong tea.  Here is a list of the ingredients:

Barley tea, job’s tears, sicklepod seeds, cat’s whiskers (herb), dokudami (herb), oolong tea, tumeric, guava leaves, biwa (loquat) leaves, mikan (Japanese mandarin) peels, brown rice, pine leaves, ohbako, benibana, persimmon leaves, amachazuru, sarunokoshikake (fungi), cinnamon

18 Herbs for Longevity from Nakazen

The aroma of the dry leaf is very herb-y.  It sort of reminds me of walking into one of those apothecary shops.  The brewed tea has more of a ‘medicinal’ type of fragrance, still smelling very apothecary-ish but the herbal notes are medicinal smelling.

The taste is actually quite enjoyable.  It has a roasted flavor to it.  It’s toasty and warm.  Very nice on a chilly night!

The roasted flavor I attribute to the barley in the tea.  I also taste the brown rice, it lends a warm and nutty flavor to the cup.  I taste the resinous notes of pine leaves and I taste the warm spiced notes of cinnamon.  I taste hints of tumeric and I don’t know if I actually taste the Oolong, but I can feel it’s contribution – the texture of the tea has that wonderful, thick Oolong-ish mouthfeel.

The other herbs of this tea, I’m not sure what flavor profile to fit with which herb because they are herbs that I am – for the most part – quite unfamiliar with.  I would like to say, though, that even though the aroma strongly suggests an herbaceous, medicinal flavor, I smell more of that herb-y medicine-y flavor than I taste.  For the most part, what I taste is the barley’s contribution to this tea – I taste that warm, roasty-toasty flavor and that’s quite fine with me – I’m really enjoying this!

SONY DSCThe second tisane that I’ll be sampling – and the last for this, part 1 of the Yunomi Discoveries Club, Volume 17 review – is the Japanese Mugwort Tea from Yomogi-Cha.  The word “Mugwort” makes me think of Harry Potter and Nightmare before Christmas.  It sounds like something that Professor Snape would put in a potion or something that Sally would put in Doctor Finklestein’s soup.

This particular herbal doesn’t appear to be available on Yunomi’s site at the moment.

The dry leaf looks a lot like a dried salad.  The leaves are large and fluffy and there are some stems in there too.  The steeping parameters suggest using 1 tablespoon to 2 cups of water.  I brewed this in my Kati tumbler which holds 12 ounces (so 1 1/2 cups of water) so I figured, close enough.  Because these leaves are so fluffy and large, I eyeballed what looked like a tablespoon of leaf and put that in the basket of my tumbler and poured in 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F and let it steep for 4 minutes.  (The suggested parameters are 3 – 5 minutes.)

Having never tried Mugwort tea (at least, not to my recollection), I was not sure what to expect.  The aroma of the brewed tea is very grassy/leafy, evoking thoughts of what it might smell like if I were to steep some fresh lawn clippings.

The taste is very much like what the aroma suggests.  It’s an interesting combination of bitter and sweet.  It’s very herbaceous but not so much in an herbal sort of way, it’s more a grassy sort of herbaceous.  There is a light buttery note which is kind of nice.  There is some sweetness.  Overall, it’s not an unpleasant tasting drink, it’s just quite different from what I’m used to tasting and I’m not finding myself really enjoying it.

In other words, I don’t hate it but I don’t really like it either.

From what I understand, Japanese Mugwort tea is useful for detox and weight loss.  I don’t know if that’s true or not because I’m just drinking one cup of the stuff and that’s hardly enough to gauge whether or not it will work in this capacity.  I am noticing a warming sort of effect though.

Overall, it’s alright.  If I were going to drink this on a regular basis, I think I’d want to add something to it, perhaps a thin slice of lemon or some mint – something to perk up the flavor a little bit so that I’m tasting less of that strong grassy sort of flavor.  Not my favorite.