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Golden West from Pacific Tea Company. . . .

Golden West blend from Pacific Tea was “inspired by a golden afternoon” outdoors.  This herbal blend is made up of a variety of fruits and herbs, many of them tropical like coconut and pineapple.

This tea brewed up pink and sweet with little pops of spice between the fruit.  Sweet apple, tart rose hips, and juicy hibiscus are the main flavors of this blend.  There is a much appreciated hint of pear at the end of each sip. With all the fruity ingredients, it is no wonder that this tea tastes to naturally sweet, but is is a miracle that the fruits are able even to counteract the sour flavors that come with brewing hibiscus.

I don’t taste much coconut or pineapple, they seem to get drowned out by the sweet apple and pink hibiscus.  Likewise, there is only a hint of spice from the added ginger, adding just a mild heat and texture.

I don’t know if this is a “golden” blend, with very little pineapple and pear.  Instead of reflecting on a golden afternoon, I think this tea feels much more like a “pink sunset,” still very flavorful and outdoorsy, but more in line with the driving apple and hibiscus combination I tasted.

Golden West would be great as an iced tea when mixed in with sangria or to when mixed in with lemonade to make it fruity and pink.  As long as you go into this this blend expecting a sweet and pink fruity tea, you will definitely be satisfied. This is especially as the weather gets warmer and it is time to reach for more iced teas than ever.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Pacific Tea Company

Inspired by a golden afternoon in the Solomon western province, the low-acid blend of pear, coconut and ginger, tops any day with notes of pineapple, marigold and hibiscus.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Perfectly Pink #LadyMendl blend from #SunshineCottage

Another lovely tea from the crafty world of Etsy, this time it’s Lady Mendl blend from Sunshine Cottage.  The Lady Mendl tea blend is based on a cocktail of the same name.  The alcoholic beverage was all pink pizzazz, served in a martini with grapefruit juice, cointreau, and gin.

With so much pink citrus in the mix, this tea is surprisingly creamy, with delicious, juicy grapefruit at the forefront, and sweet, candied orange in the undertone.  There are even passion fruit pieces in the dry leaf, adding to the popping, tropical flair of these flavors.

The black tea base is nutty and rich, nicely balancing the strong citrus tones.  There’s even a hint of black pepper in the smell of the leaf, and it comes through in the brew the longer it is steeped.  I find the hint of something savory and spicy to be an appealing counterpoint to the luscious fruit.

This would be a great blend for fans of earl grey who want to get outside their usual bergamot flavor but still want a citrus-inspired drink, fit for a lady.  Look no further than Lady Mendl from Sunshine Cottage and start brewing up something perfectly pink.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Sunshine Cottage (Etsy Shop)

This blend is based on my mother’s favorite cocktail – the Lady Mendl. A delightful blend of orange and grapefruit, this black tea is perfect for an afternoon tea while listening to the legendary Cole Porter – who sang the praises of Lady Mendl in ‘Anything Goes’.

Just as an aside, Lady Mendl (or Elsie DeWolfe) was a fascinating woman and well worth reading about – perhaps while sipping a cuppa of this blend. I enjoy mine with milk (it smooths out the citrus) and a dash of maple syrup (another of my mother’s favorites).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Camellia Rose Black Flowering Tea from McQuarrie’s Tea & Coffee Merchants

McQuarriesLogoTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black/Flowering

Where to Buy: McQuarrie’s Tea & Coffee Merchants

Tea Description:

An exquisite medium body taste profile. A smooth cup with hints of fruit and soft rose notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Picked up a single bloom of this one at McQuarrie’s (my local, privately owned loose leaf store) when I was there earlier in the month. It cost about $1.50 if I remember correctly – $2 tops. It’s been a little while since I had a bloom tea, and when I was skimming the selection they offers this was the only one I noticed with a black base, so I figured I’d give it a shot since blooms with black bases don’t seem to be a super common thing. Like I usually do with bloom/flowering teas, I made it in my 25 oz. mason jar from DT so I could see it clearly. I apologize that the pictures I took are pretty crude; my options were webcam or cell phone, and neither are the highest quality…

floweringtea1Aesthetically speaking this was pretty; the black tea when fully spread out did look a little frayed and tattered, but the flower in the center was really pretty. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but it was a little pinker than they’d lead you to believe. A lot of the lavender ‘woven’ in place also got loose as well and ended up as floaty bits at the top of the mason jar.

This was actually pretty decent as far as bloom teas go though; since a lot of the lavendar broke off and was drank by me early on it didn’t get a chance to get super strong/perfumey and instead just imparted a nice light, but still present flavour. Other strong flavours were malt, stewed fruit and raisin from the black base and then quite a bit of rose from the actual rose in the blend. It tied in together pretty well. If I was a fan of raisins I think I’d have personally liked it a little bit better. There was a nice mix between flavours contributed by the tea itself and the additional floral ingredients. Given most bloom teas are just a pretty aesthetic this had some solid flavour to match.

floweringtea2It was a bit bitter by the end; but given that I drank it during an hour and a half movie and it was essentially steeping the entire duration of the movie I think it held up incredibly well. I know McQuarrie’s sources almost all of their teas from different companies, but this one isn’t listed like they usually do – so maybe it is one of the few teas they carry that are actually their own blends.

If that’s true, than it’d definitely be harder for most people to get a hold of since it’s a local store (with pretty steep shipping prices for delivery outside of Saskatoon) – but I do think it’s worth a try! However, if I had to guess where they probably sourced it from I’d wager Metropolitan Tea Company, since that’s where most of the flowering blends they carry seem to be from.

Juicy Lemon & Pink Grapefruit Oolong Tea from Herbal Infusions

lemon_grapefruit_oolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Herbal Infusions

Tea Description:

At first we started off this blend of Formosa Oolong with just lemon, but soon Dan decided that his love of grapefruit (pink specifically) should be shared in this tea. We then added freshly peeled organic pink grapefruit rind and created a fantastically balanced and refreshing Oolong tea that we are sure you’ll love.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

The name of this Oolong:  Juicy Lemon & Pink Grapefruit Oolong Tea from Herbal Infusions … suggests that it’s going to be quite a tart tasting tea.  So, I’m not exactly sure why it was that I had to order some as soon as I discovered it.  I’m not usually a big fan of tart flavors, although I do like lemon and I love grapefruit teas if they’re done correctly.  And I think that was the allure for me, my love of grapefruit teas and still looking for the best grapefruit tea out there.

This is really good.  Surprisingly, it’s not as tart as the name suggests.  Sure, the lemon is there, and so is the grapefruit, but the flavors balance out with the sweet notes of the Oolong in such a way that I taste more of the sweeter notes of the two citrus fruits than I do the tarty flavors.

The Oolong has a toasty note to it, and there is a slightly earthy/nutty flavor to it as well.  I really enjoy the contrast between the earthiness and warm nutty flavors to the bright, citrus-y notes of the fruit flavors.

A really enjoyable flavored Oolong.  The natural flavors of the dark Oolong tea meld in a very agreeable way with the fruit flavors of lemon and grapefruit.  I’m really glad I tried it!  Oh!  And be sure to resteep the leaves with this one.  The second infusion is even better than the first.

Southern Boy Teas Pink Lemonade Flavored Black Iced Tea from 52Teas


BLACK-Pink-LemonadeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Created for National Iced Tea Day 2013! Our take on Pink lemonade incorporates the organic flavors of lemon, red grapefruit, a touch of raspberry and a smidgen of cotton candy for sweetness. blended with our premium organic black tea, this is pure refreshment.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I got this Pink Lemonade Flavored Black Iced Tea of the Southern Boys Teas collection from 52Teas, I thought it was an herbal tisane.  That is … until I opened the pouch and smelled the tea and I realized that there was black tea in it.  What I expected when I first ordered the tea was a “pinked” version of the Lemon-Aid tisane from 52Teas.   But that isn’t what this is at all.

However, this is really very good!  It is a very refreshing iced tea.  The black tea base is brisk and is pleasantly flavored … it melds nicely with the notes of lemon and raspberry.  The grapefruit comes through as I reach the mid-way point through my glass … that’s when I really notice it.  It is nicely sweet – and yes, I do taste hints of the cotton candy too.  It’s an interesting combination of flavors that come together in a really delicious way.  It is sweet, a little bit tart, and very tasty!

The first time I tried this … I cold-brewed it.  And of the many iced tea flavors that 52Teas sells under the Southern Boy Teas brand, this is the one tea that I don’t recommend cold brewing.  The flavors just don’t come across as well or as deliciously when it’s been cold brewed – it kind of tastes “muddied” … not like mud, of course, but, the flavors aren’t crisp.  The flavors are there, but, they aren’t as easily discerned as they are when the tea is hot brewed.

But … when hot brewed, this tea tastes really, really good.  In fact, it may just displace the Lime Cola as my favorite iced tea flavor this year.  This tea gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me (although it does lose a couple of points because I like cold-brewing!)