Organic Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend from Simpson and Vail’s Monthly Subscription Box. . .

Who doesn’t love a subscription box? I know I love them – especially tea subscription boxes.   For a while I was getting 52Teas, BlendBee, and Plum Deluxe subscription boxes (which I loved) but I wanted to try out a few different companies this go around. So last week I decided I would give our friends at Simpson and Vail’s subscription box a go.  Simpson and Vail have a lot of different offerings when it comes to teas so I was hoping by signing up, I would be able to experience some of their teas that I haven’t gotten around to picking up.  Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend was one of those blends and I was so excited to see it in my first box.

Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend is a blend of olive leaf, lemongrass, and ginger root.  So think of your traditional lemon ginger tea with a slight twist.  Brewed with water at boiling and allowed to steep for 5 minutes plus (I actually got a phone call and couldn’t get to the tea right away), this tea hits the spot on this cold midwestern blustery day.  Solid lemon notes, that sweet and spicy hint of ginger, along with this almost herbaceous olive oil finish delivers a solid soothing and comforting cuppa.  (Yep.  There is a slight hint of an olive oil flavor in my cuppa.  And you know what I love it.  )

Smooth crisp spiced lemony goodness . One of those blends where the ginger and lemon are balanced out perfectly and gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.

This tea is giving me all the loving I need while still battling this awful cold I’ve had for the last few days. One of the better herbal blends I’ve had in a while.  Really digging it and am on my fourth cup as I write this review up.  Can’t wait to enjoy this as a cold brew!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

The aroma of fresh lemon greets your nose as you sip this delightful blend. The golden cup explodes with a lemony goodness that lingers on the palate refreshingly. This all organic brew is great hot or iced.

Ingredients: Organic olive leaf, organic ginger root, organic lemon mytle, organic lemon peel, organic lemongrass

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Hot Hibiscus from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co. . . . via Sipsby Box

Happy Monday morning tea friends! Hope your weekend was a great one. Mine was mainly because my Sipsby Box arrived for February.  I’ve been a subscriber to Sipsby for sometime and I have to say, their selections just keep getting better. This month I only received one tea that I know I won’t be able to drink and that is mainly due to medical reasons.  I was super happy to see one of my favorite tea companies in my box, The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

If you haven’t had tea from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co, I encourage you to check them out. Flavored and Straight Tea drinkers alike can find delicious offerings.  This particular blend, Red Hot Hibiscus, was the perfect way to enjoy some subtle Valentine vibes before the big day later this week.  Consisting of organic cinnamon, hibiscus, and orange peel, this blend had my name written all over it.

I brewed up with water prep at boiling and allowed to steep for about 5 minutes and cooled for an additional 4.  I was slightly nervous this tea would deliver a super tart punch first sip in, but that wasn’t the case at all. The main flavor that really comes across is the cinnamon and this cinnamon isn’t overly spiced.  Just a delicious solid flavor. The tartness from the hibiscus and citrus notes from the orange peel really pull together and mingle gorgeously with the cinnamon, providing you almost with this sweetly spiced orange punch tone.   A delicious evening treat and a nice change of pace from the traditional chamomile evening blends I usually enjoy.

Overall, an incredibly delicious herbal that is simple and to the point.   I ended up drinking my entire pouch of this tea in one night and sadly wish I had saved some to try as a cold brew.  Nevertheless, this blend reminds me just how much I do enjoy The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co and appreciate my Sipsby Box.

Can’t wait to dig into the other goodies I received later today!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.
Description

Sweet cinnamon and tart hibiscus are blended to a perfect balance. Orange zest provides a fruity background. This tea is fantastic hot or iced and actually deserves extra steep time for its full flavor to shine!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 from 52Teas. . . .

52 Teas 12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 (SPOILERS) While I’m a huge fan of 52 Teas and their creative blends, I’ve never before ordered their ever-so-popular 12 Teas of Christmas countdown sampler. This year, I decided to treat myself! After a shipping snafu (anyone else find themselves ordering online goodies six months after moving and not until you’ve hit purchase do you go– “DANGIT, that’s being sent to my old address!” Just me? Cool.) that Anne and her team went above and beyond to fix for me, I was EXTRA pumped for these goodies to come my way. I’m going to break these mini-reviews into two, so you’ll get a 1-6 and then a 7-12 installment as I drink these tasty treats in real time! Now: let’s get sipping!

Day One: Foggy Coconut Black – Let’s just say I am… a less-than-enthusiastic earl grey drinker. I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of “blergamot” (i.e. bergamot in tea makes you go “blerg!”), which hit the nail on the head for me. But while I was skeptical when I opened this package, its delightful creaminess was intriguing. I’m so pleased to say that this is one Earl Grey I’ll be enthusiastically sipping! Like my favorite London Fog lattes, the creamy coconut and vanilla balance out the floral and blerg-y undertones of traditional earl greys, making this one a winner– especially as a latte!

Day Two: Candy Cane Marshmallow Green – Ever since becoming pregnant (baby tea lover, due June 2019!), I’ve been… off my tea drinking game. Most teas just haven’t been sounding good to me! But peppermint has totally been the one element that ALWAYS sounds good to me in this pregnancy, so I was thrilled to see this one in the mix. It’s a delightful, creamy Genmaicha, with light minty notes in the background. This preggy peppermint-lover would have adored the peppermint flavor to be more of a POW, but if you’re looking for a gentle, creamy mint holiday tea, this one is a winner.

Day Three: Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush – I opened this package, and was immediately sold by those tart, mouthwatering raspberry notes. Brewed, the raspberry loses some tartness, but is balanced really wonderfully by some beautiful, creamy marizipan-esque undertones. Delightful with cream!

Day Four: Ginger Cola Black – I was Skeptical-with-a-capital-S of this one (cola?! In my TEA?) but friends, it is KILLER on ice. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it hot yet (warm cola is not sounding great to this mama-to-be), but it’s spicy and cola-esque without all that syrupy sweetness. I can see why this one is a popular blend!

Day Five: BlackBerry Custard Tart Green – While some teas haven’t sounded great to me this pregnancy, berry teas have sounded delightful across the board. This one hit all its promised notes– fresh and fruity berries, creamy custard and flaky pastry. I (gasp!) served it with some milk and found it brought out ALL the flavors even further, while muting some of the green grassiness. Yum!

Day Six: Banana Pancake Black – I have shocked myself in recent months with a love for banana flavored teas. I’m pretty neutral on bananas themselves, and even more negatively-skewed on banana flavoring, but for whatever reason, I cannot get ENOUGH of them in tea lately. This blend delivers on the banana and bready, malty, maple-y pancake goodness of a breakfast treat, all whilst not being overtly banana-in-your-face (think banana bread, rather than banana candy). I served this one with a touch of maple syrup and cream, and had to stop myself from chugging the whole cup. Delightful!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

The majority of these 12 Teas of Christmas are sold out but some of them are still available below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mint Matcha from 3 Leaf. . . .

There is (was?) a restaurant in Toronto called Fring’s. It is a joint effort between the rapper, Drake, and the celebrity chef, Susur Lee. This restaurant has been plagued with all sorts of drama but of course, given the owners, it is still popular and still crazy expensive. And by crazy expensive, I mean that one drink is $18 plus tax. Nonetheless, that price tag didn’t stop me from trying their tangerine mojito last time I was there and it is that tangerine mojito that inspired my drink today.

My preferred way of drinking matcha is to drink flavored matcha mixed into a glass of cold milk. This works well with flavors like Berries & Cream, Mocha, or even Caramel Popcorn (trust me on this last one…it. is. good.). However, mint milk just sounds bad to me so I wanted to find another drink to mix with my mint matcha. That is when I remembered the tangerine mojito and the delightful combination of tangerine and mint and all of a sudden the tangerine lemonade in the fridge was calling to me.

I used a half teaspoon of 3 Leaf’s Mint Matcha in 8 ounces of Tropicana’s Tangerine Lemonade. One thing I noticed about this matcha is that it gets rather clumpy and thus makes it difficult to mix in to whatever beverage it is being added to, at least when being added to a cold beverage. Just something to keep in mind.

Given the lack of success I had tasting the matcha through the tangerine lemonade, I decided to try a heaping half teaspoon (and I mean HEAPING) in 8 ounce of water. Unfortunately, this isn’t much more successful because it basically tastes like I am drinking fresh lawn clippings. There is a slight mint to this cup but more than anything it is grass.

All in all, I don’t think this one is for me but it was an interesting introduction from my SipsBy box. I don’t usually drink unflavored matchas and though this is meant to be minty, it doesn’t taste very flavored to me. I have tried other mint matchas that had a lot more mint flavor and a lot less green tea base and those are the ones I will stick to. With that said, for those looking for a more pure matcha flavor, without the sugars and flavoring, this might be one to try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Matcha
Where to Buy:  3 Leaf
Description

Crisp, Invigorating, Fresh

We took our premium grade matcha and infused it with crisp, fresh mint. Perfect for drinking hot or iced.

INGREDIENTS:

Premium grade matcha infused with natural mint flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honey Orchid Dan Cong from Tea Runners. . . .

This is a strong, alluring cup of pure, unblended oolong that tastes like fruit and flowers with a dash of pollen/honey. The taste is surprisingly rich for a straight tea.

I feel like a fancy aristocrat with such a delicacy at my hands. Like my porter bright it straight from Asia as an offering from a king trying to curry my favor.

(Side note: “Curry favor”? Like… make it spicy and delicious? I’ve never thought about the phrase “curry favor” before, and had to Google it to make sure that was the exact phrase. It is. Do you ever have linguistic moments like this?)

This tea makes me think about how big and magical the world is. We have these plants that come up from the ground that we’ve selectively bred and handle in specific ways to make them tasty. There’s nothing else in this cup. Just leaves. We put the leaves into some hot water and taste pours out.

Some people put beans in hot water for the same reason. But they’re wrong. The leaves are better.

If you want to enjoy these leaves in particular, they’re for sale at the TeaRunners site. The site is run by a girl who’s been in several science fiction TV shows I like. I showed up to support the girl. I stayed because I liked the plants she picked out for me to try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea Runners
Description

From the family farm of a nationally recognized tea master, this fabulous Mi Lan Xiang (“Honey Orchid Fragrance”) Dan Cong Oolong tea sets itself apart with its distinctive golden color and strong fruity aromas.

This alluring and addictive tea has strong notes of orchid, honey, lychee and mango, with a touch of spice. It lingers on the palate for hours and will have you coming back for more.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!