Thai Iced Tea from Arbor Teas. . . .

Let me take you back, friends. To a tiny Thai restaurant around the corner from my single-girl apartment, in a bygone era. Picture this– five girlfriends smushed around a corner table, ordering the spiciest dishes off the menu (and dying equally over how good they all were, and also how our mouths and subsequently, entire bodies were aflame from the inside), our only respite coming from the sweet, creamy Thai iced teas peppered all across the table. I don’t even think we knew whose was whose anymore– we just kept ordering them, passing them around, trying to quell the spice-fire.

And that, my friends, is the LAST TIME I had a Thai iced tea. I KNOW! My life has changed a bit since then, in that I am both neither a single girl anymore, nor do I live in that apartment– but certainly not because I don’t *like* Thai iced teas anymore (even typing that seems like blasphemy). Rather, due to the revolt that dairy has since decided to wage on my body and thus, sweeping them off the table.

So while I was a little glum when I saw a few samples of Thai iced tea dry leaf blends in my review pile, I knew I wanted to give recreation a go. AND THEN: I found coconut milk condensed cream at the hippie grocery store on our block and all was right with the world. I brewed this one up cold, overnight in a mason jar (my favorite iced tea method), and when it was steeped and strained, stirred in some deliciously sweet & creamy condensed coconut milk, gave it a stir, and was immediately transported back to that corner booth, mouth on fire, seeking respite in the cold, spiced, creamy and sweet Thai iced teas of my relative youth. Well done, Arbor Teas! I’ll be recreating this one in my kitchen again for many a day to come.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas
Description

Finally, Thai Iced Tea with NO artificial flavors or colors!

Thai Tea (also known as Thai Iced Tea) is a popular iced drink hailing from Thailand, commonly found in Thai restaurants across the US. Our Organic and Fair Trade Certified Thai Iced Tea is a traditional blend of strong black tea, vanilla bean, cardamom and anise. It can be enjoyed hot or cold with a twist of lime as a self drinker (without milk). Or it can be brewed to create a traditional, restaurant-style Thai Iced Tea when combined with ice, milk and sugar!

To recreate a restaurant-style Thai Iced Tea, we recommend steeping a double strength cup of tea. Then sweeten the hot brew with sugar, and serve over ice. Glasses of Thai Iced Tea are usually topped with dairy, such as sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, half and half, or coconut milk (this last one, of course, is not actually dairy). The final addition of dairy usually rests on top of the ice cubes creating a beautiful layered effect in the glass! For illustrated step-by-step instructions, check out our guide How to Make Thai Iced Tea and/or see our how to video.

NO artificial colors or flavors! Did you know that the deep orange color of Thai Iced Tea served in restaurants is usually attributed to artificial coloring? Well, no longer! We’ve developed an organic teablend that includes no artificial colors or flavors. As a result, when dairy is added to this iced tea it will not turn orange, but a beautiful, natural light brown!

Ingredients: organic black tea, organic cardamom, organic anise seeds, organic vanilla extract, and natural vanilla flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Let’s Kick It Up A Notch! Ginger Chili Tisane from Arbor Teas

 

I  don’t know what’s going on with my tastebuds lately but the spicier the tea, the better it tastes to me. I used to pass over ginger teas all the time because I just wasn’t a fan. Now, I’m searching high and low for ginger and even black pepper tea blends. Just can’t get enough of them.

Which is why Ginger Chili Tisane really fit what my taste buds were craving. Plus the fact that this blend has green rooibos in it, just makes this tea that more inviting.

Ginger Chili Tisane is a mix of green rooibos, ginger, lemon peel, rosemary, cloves, and chili flakes. So interesting and unique and as a side note, a blend that is organic.  I’m so happy this blend has green rooibos as its base instead of red rooibos. Red rooibos is really the only tea that I just have trouble trying or enjoying.  But green rooibos and I are the best of buds!

I brewed up this tea with water prepped at 212F and allowed to steep for 5 minutes.  For my first experience with this tea, I wanted to stay on the side of safe. The instructions actually call for a 5-7 minute steep. I think next time I enjoy this tea, I’ll go with the full blow 7 minutes or even a cold brew!

The first experience of this tea is one of wonderment. The green rooibos provides and lays down a heavy rich honey flavor that is quite smooth. The ginger and chili add in that spice that isn’t overwhelming by any means. I actually wish the ginger and chili were a bit stronger which is easily remedied by a stronger steep I’m thinking.  The cloves bring in that familiar chai feel while the rosemary contrasts the sweet honey by a touch of a savory note.  I’m left with the feeling that if I would have added in another scoop or even allowed the tea to steep a few more minutes, if that lingering spice that is described on the website wouldn’t have been more noticeable.

All in all, just delicious. Sweet and spicy for sure but more on the milder spice. But again, the spice may increase with a longer steep. I would love to add in a touch of black pepper to this tea to see if those spices don’t kick it up to the level of craving even more!

For my first experience with Arbor Teas, I’m impressed. It seems (and I know I’ve said this  before) that you find yourself in a rut, drinking the same kind of tea again, and again. Ginger Chili Tisane definitely brings in flavors to shake up your tastebuds!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas
Description

We are extremely excited to offer this *hot* new organic herbal tea. Naturally caffeine-free, this loose leaf tisane packs a punch! With an herbaceous nose of rosemary, citrus, and ginger, its aroma reminds of a fragrant cocktail. But, once it is consumed you’ll be surprised by the warming and lingering heat! The liquor starts off mellow and sweet and then WHAM — the chili sets in to become the predominant flavor and you are not drinking a simple herbal tea, but along for a spicy, hot thrilling ride!  Add a little honey to create a sweet and spicy organic tea concoction.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Greenfield Estate Ceylon from Arbor Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas

Product Description:

This terrific example of a high-grown Ceylon black tea hails from Sri Lanka’s eastern Uva District, grown between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Organic and Fair Trade Certified, this black tea is composed of finely twisted leaves of uniform size and dark brown color. Its full-bodied mahogany infusion represents the best of high-grown Ceylons, with a complex flavor profile, light body and classic brisk character.

Ingredients: organic Sri Lankan black tea

Taster’s Review:

When it comes to unflavored Ceylon teas, I am not usually overly enthusiastic.  That’s because for the most part, they are rather ho-hum.  Boring.  Of course, there are exceptions to this, and I have tasted several remarkable Ceylon teas worthy of enthusiasm.  However, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one quite like this.

Truth be told, I held on to my sample of this tea for a few months because of that “ho-hum-ness” (yes, it’s a word … now) and now that I’m tasting it, I’m regretting my hesitance.  This is the opposite of boring.  This Ceylon is SUPERB!

It is remarkably smooth, starting with a sweetness that reminds me of dark brown sugar and honey, and ends with a light astringency.  It is brisk and absolutely delicious.  This is one of those teas that I could see myself drinking every day and not ever tiring of it.

There are notes of fruit in the background – a distinct citrus note with perhaps a hint of apricot? – and a hint or two of flower within these complex layers of flavor.  I am finding myself so enveloped in this tea, enjoying the amazing sweetness of it and exploring the myriad of flavors within it.

The worst part about this tea – is that it is so good that it disappears from my cup too fast!  I highly recommend this one – it should be on the shelf of every tea lover’s cupboard.