Red Grey Rooibos from Piper’s Loose Leaf

RedGreyTea Information:

Leaf Type: Roiboos

Where to Buy: Piper’s Loose Leaf

Tea Description:

A caffeine free version of Earl Grey using the finest Rooibos enhanced with organic Sicilian bergamot oil. Resulting in an absolutely deliciously rich, flowery tea with bright citrus notes.

Learn more about this tea here. 

Taster’s Review:

I’m not sure that I’ve ever tried a rooibos earl grey before, so this is probably a first for me. The dry leaf looks pretty much like a standard rooibos, except with the addition of a few marigold petals that I assume are there to help carry the flavouring. There’s the definite scent of bergamot, so I’m curious to see how this one works out. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright red-brown. The scent is quite “brassy”, so I added a splash of milk.

I wasn’t sure about this one when I took my first sip. It seemed to taste mostly of rooibos, with little room for anything else. It’s true to say that it’s quite a potent rooibos, tasting of dry wood shavings with a slight metallic tang reminiscent of brasso. There aren’t many things that can overpower bergamot, but I think I might have found one here. The milk I added does help to temper things a little, and after a few sips I can taste the mild beginnings of an earl grey. The bergamot here is fairly smooth and not as sharply citrusy as some I’ve come across. Ordinarily I’d be praising a bergamot with these qualities, but here it’s just a little too mellow to make much of an impression. There’s a hint – an impression – of earl grey, but it never really moves much beyond that point.

I’m torn as to how I feel about this one. In general, I’m a fan of milder earl greys. I don’t like sharp, strong, over-powering bergamot. At the same time, I dislike flavoured rooibos blends where the only real flavour is rooibos, because it’s overpowered everything else. There’s definitely a balance to be struck. This tea is almost there. Yes, the rooibos is the dominant flavour, but I can tell it’s supposed to be an earl grey. I can taste a little bergamot, although in this case I wish it were just a touch stronger. Ultimately, I did enjoy my cup. It’s not perfect, but I enjoyed the novelty of a caffeine free earl grey and I appreciated the attempt to be light handed with the bergamot. It’s definitely worth a look, if you’re a fan of milder earl greys in general, or if you’re looking for a caffeine free option with a difference.

Sassyfras Strawberry from Piper & Leaf

sassyfrasTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Piper & Leaf

Tea Description:

A Delicious Burst of Strawberries, Sencha Green Tea, Sassafras Roots, Red Beets, and a Subtle Herbal Blend.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Another sample from Piper & Leaf. Another tea I shared with my dad over the Mother’s Day festivities.  Another tea I so wanted to fall in love with, but alas. . not so much.

I brewed this one up per the instructions on the sample.

This tea smells delicious.  As with the other Piper & Leaf samples I have had, the teas smell fresh.  Crisp.  Beautiful to look at and brews up smelling amazing.  But first sip was met with a twinge of disappointment.

The tea had a strong strawberry flavor but had this weird taste that I couldn’t wrap my head around.  It was like the two flavors were competing against each other instead of mingling together.  My dad said the same thing.  He said it wasn’t something he would need to have again but that it was a unique tasting tea.  I’m not sure if the unique odd flavor I was picking up was the sassafras root or the red beets.

I would love to hear somebody else’s thoughts on this tea.  I can’t say that I’ve had sassafras a whole lot or even beets for that matter.  I’m wondering if it was just user error or if it was just the uniqueness of the different ingredients.  I am hoping to place another order with Piper & Leaf to try the rest of their offerings and I will more than likely give this one another shot.  It just sounds so very interesting!  I feel like I need to give this one another shot.

Smashberry Tisane from Piper & Leaf

smashberrypiperTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Piper & Leaf

Tea Description:

 An Incredible Fruit & Herbal Infusion of Tart Apples, Sweet Strawberries, Rosehips, & Special Herbs

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

smashberry4I enjoyed a fantastic day today with my parents, boyfriend, aunt, grandparents and kiddos.  We celebrated Mother’s Day and just had a great time together.  My dad was in a tea drinking mood and I was excited to share with him.  We plowed thru the tea I brought and had fun doing it.  We even received samples of herbs from Litehouse Foods for a fun addition to the tea.  (A full spread on the amazing Litehouse Foods samples will be coming soon).

What better to pair with a Strawberry Herbal tea?  Lemongrass and Mint from Litehouse Foods.

smashberry1Threw my sample of this strawberry tisane into my tea pot and threw in a couple pinches of both the spices.  These spices are so much fun.  They actually expand with water and are freeze dried.  I brought the water to boil in the ol whistling kettle and then let it steep for about 10 minutes.  Grabbed two glasses out of the cupboard and dumped some ice in and served.  I had wanted to garnish the cup with a strawberry but my mom had already cut them up for strawberry shortcake.  At that point, I wasn’t going to complain.  I had strawberry shortcake in my future.

smashberry2Before I could even take my first sip, my dad had downed the cup.  I asked him what he thought of it and he said it was good and that it felt good on his tummy.  Crisp and fresh like.  I agree.  The tea had this fantastic strawberry flavor with a hint of lemon and mint.  The apple flavor was very subtle and in the background.  It reminded me of something you would serve to little girls while they are having a tea party.  The chunks of fruit are huge in this tisane and nothing in this sample was crushed up.  You can tell Piper & Leaf take time creating their teas.  Each tea I have sampled from them so far has had giant chunks of fruit or herbs.  The tea has tasted fresh and crisp.  Definitely impressive so far.

I can’t say I would buy anymore of this particular tisane.  It was good and adding the herbs was a lot of fun.  Even though it was really good, I just can’t say it wowed me to the point of thinking I need more.

What I can see myself doing is picking up more of these herbs and seeing what I can come up with or what creative ways I can use them to freshen up tea that may need a simple tweak here and there.