Tulsi Pure Leaves from Davidson’s Organics

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is an herb used in herbal teas that I discovered more recently in my tea drinking experience.  The green leaf smells and tastes like a gentler cousin to the Italian basil you use in cooking. Tulsi Pure Leaves blend from Davidson’s Organics uses three kinds of tulsi, Rama, Krishna, and Vana, to make up the single-herb brew.

I am always impressed by how much flavor plain tulsi has in tea form.  It tastes green, without being grassy like green teas, and buttery without being too vegetal like white teas.  It has the brightness of cooking basil without being too savory or pungent. There is an almost-cinnamon earthiness buried amongst its flavors and a sweet, crispness that reminds me of spearmint.  If you want to play up the Italian basil flavors, brew your tea with a slice of lemon and a dash of cracked pepper.

If you like tulsi on your own but want to spice it up a bit, Davidson’s Organics also offer a variety of additional blends using tulsi and other ingredients, like licorice, rooibos, mint, or hibiscus.  Don’t wait as long as I did before discovering the goodness of tulsi herbal teas, and start brewing a relaxing, restorative cup from Davidson’s Organics.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Davidson’s Organics
Description:

Davidson’s Pure Leaves blends three adaptogenic varieties of Tulsi (Krishna, Rama and Vana) to create the perfect balance of earthy and minty flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Soothing from Balcony Teas

When you look up herbal tea in the dictionary you should see a picture of Soothing blend from Balcony Tea. It is so herbal and so picturesque.  There are yellow orbs of chamomile blossoms, curls of pink rose petals, vibrant red rose hips, and purple lavender.

Brewed, the tea is sweetly fragrant, floral and full of outdoor goodness. The lemony chamomile is the primary flavor, followed by the juicy rose hip.  The lavender and rose are still present but more relaxed, which is just the way you want it. Too much rose and a blend becomes like perfume, too much lavender and it reminds you of grandma’s closet. This tea is blended just right, and hits the flowery sweet spot.

This tea is soothing, its scent makes you imagine a garden. The chamomile is relaxing, honey sweet with a hint of lemon. Breathe deep in the soothing flower scent and relax.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Balcony Teas
Description:

Feel transported to a beautiful evening in the Mediterranean. All is calm and you can smell wild flowers. Perfect for a moment to yourself or to wind down after a busy day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tropical Sunset from Love Some Tea

This is the first time I’m trying a blend from Love Some Tea.  I got a chance to try Tropical Sunset blend thanks to a generous SororiTea Sister.  The first thing I noticed about this tea is its colorful logo and package design. A green stylized tree is set on a bright background of orange and pink sunset rays.  The colors look a bit like a groovy blacklight poster or a flower power mural.

The second thing I notice about this tea is the size and quality of its leaves.  Their description says this includes both black and green teas, but it is hard to tell the difference in the dry leaves, they are all lush, long, curled leaves.  Brewed, the color difference between the green and black leaves is more distinct and you start to notice the layers of flavor in the scent and taste.

This tropical blend is a medium body tea, like an oolong, with a touch of green and mineral flavors.  But the black tea also adds a bit of unexpected starchiness and a tiny hint of woodsy smoke at the end of each sip.

Among all of these intense tea flavors, there are fruity flavors like passionfruit, mango and papaya.  The fruitiness is so lush the dry leaf almost smells like a fresh plum, but the tropical nature of the fruits comes out more in the brewing.

The quality of the tea leaves made it so that I really enjoyed this tea when brewed hot, but something about tropical flavors always makes me think the tea would be even better when served iced.

I was impressed by my first experience with Love Some Tea and I’ll have to try some of their other flavors sometime soon!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Green
Where to Buy: Love Some Tea
Description:

Our first green and black blend layered with all the wonderful aromas of Thailand, including dried mango, dried passion fruit, dried papaya, rose flower, blue lotus flower, jasmine flower.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red, White, and Blue Black Tea from 52Teas

52Teas has some of the more creative tea flavors I’ve ever tasted, so when I saw my sample bag with a little American flag and a fun name like Red, White, and Blue Black Tea, I knew it had to come from 52Teas.

This blend features raspberries (red), coconut (white), and blueberries (blue), all mixed in with a black tea base. Even before brewing, the tea leaves were a colorful joy to look at. Brewed hot, the coconut and black tea were the most forward at first, very bold and buttery.

I used the 52Teas recommendation and let the tea cool for about 10 minutes before taking another sip.  When I returned to my cup there was much more flavor from the berries.  I tasted tart red raspberry and sweet dark blueberry, all swirled together with the lingering creaminess from the coconut.

Maybe I’m just thinking of patriotic summer days, but this blend would make an excellent cold brew.  It has rich fruit flavors for natural sweetness, solid black tea backing for body and robustness, and a touch of tropical coconut to lighten the mood.

If you’re not an American tea drinker, don’t let the flag theme put you off this blend, it is a great berry coconut black tea that will be sure to add some spring to your step as a hot morning brew or an iced afternoon treat.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is no longer available but check back to see if the tea gets a reblend and what blends are available.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sabriel Fandom Blend from Adagio Teas

Full disclosure, this is one of the blends I made on Adagio Teas.  Their create-a-blend tools are just too much fun, and their fandom tea community is active and engaging.  I wanted to review my Sabriel blend because I had been stewing over the idea for a long time, and it was so satisfying to have it finally come together.

Sabriel is one of the main characters from the Old Kingdom book series by Garth Nix.  I won’t go into too much detail about the books, except to say that the series essentially follows the lives of “good” necromancers who help fight dead creatures or put the dead to rest.  The stories are beautiful, imaginative, and just a little spooky.

For my Sabriel tea blend I wanted something impactful but nuanced; her work managing the magic of the dead takes steadiness and subtlety.  The body of the tea is made up of two types of green tea. The gunpowder tea is robust without being astringent, and adds a whiff of smokiness that compliments the crackling, toasted notes of the hojicha tea.

The rest of the ingredients are all fragrant and sensory-inspiring.  Peppermint brings a cooling creepiness, like fog in a graveyard, or a settling peacefulness like still water.  Rose and lavender can have the morbid interpretation of flowers at a funeral, but can also being nostalgic, like remembering a favorite bouquet or garden memory.  Cardamom adds some spirit and peppery spice, and feels a bit unexpected without its usual partners of cinnamon and ginger. The scent of cardamom always makes me think of opening the kitchen spice cabinet, and all the cooking possibilities within.

I have not come across a blend quite like this in my tea drinking experience, so I was more than happy to have the opportunity to make it myself.  It was also great fun to honor one of my favorite characters and book series in tea form.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!