No Obligations Decaf from Plum Deluxe. . .

My brother described the smell of this as “the inside of Bed Bath and Beyond… no, the other one. Bath and Body Works. That one. WITH THE SMELLS.”

The strong and enthusiastic odor of this blend is definitely one of its defining characteristics. It smells sweet, nutty, vanilla-like — which is, as it turns out, precisely what it is. It tastes like the illustrations from the original Candyland look: rounded and bright and lip-smacking.

 

Kids like playing Candyland. It’s easy to learn, it takes a while, and anyone can win. Everyone has a chance.

Like Candyland, this tea doesn’t live in the land of adults. Due to its sweetness and decaffeinated status, it is accessible to children, too! Share it with yours today.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black (Decaf)
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Given the state of world affairs, we thought you could use a good cup of something with no expectations attached — hence the aptly named No Obligations blend. We use a fresh, vibrant decaf Ceylon black tea for the base and add both hazelnut and almond extracts with some spiced cinnamon, a pinch of cocoa nibs, and a creamy vanilla.

The result is a cup that will wrap around you tighter than your granny’s arms. Sip and relax, knowing that you’re doing the best that you can and that taking a moment for yourself is always a great idea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Get that Wild West feel with Wild Chicory Joe from The Tea Spot

When I think of chicory, I think of my favorite western TV shows and movies.  Why?  Well there wasn’t always a good supply of coffee out on the dusty trail, so chicory would be brewed as a substitute.  Chicory and coffee have a long history together, with chicory stretching or replacing coffee when the latter is hard to come by, from Napoleonic France to the American Civil War.  After these coffee-sparse times, some cultures developed a taste for chicory and still brew it alongside or with their coffee today.

I got a chance to try a cup of Wild Chicory Joe from the Tea Spot.  I’m both a coffee fan and a tea lover, so I can appreciate both sides of this story.

Wild Chicory Joe brewed up super fast, as quick and dark as coffee.  The brew was immediately full and fragrant, smelling like savory toasted grains or roasted nuts, over an undertone of more bitter, dirt-road earthiness.  The first sip was a bit daunting: it’s not coffee, it’s not tea, and my taste buds were not sure what to expect.  As I moved onto a second and third and fourth sip, the flavor grew on me.  Beyond the roasted notes, there were flavors like caramel and malt, and a touch of true coffee on the aftertaste.

I could understand how chicory got its start as a coffee replacement.  This brew is dark and bitter, but with a touch of the bright, citrus notes you find in a blond coffee roast.  Unlike coffee, the chicory isn’t oily, instead it brews up with a smooth mouthfeel and a more herbal flavor.

Maybe I’m channeling my favorite westerns, but this cup is distinctly masculine, with nothing floral or astringent, just deep, bold, bitter – pow!  All that said, the chicory does mellow out with some milk and sweetener so you can mix it like your favorite coffee or tea.  And since the chicory is decaf, you can make a latte at any time of day or night.
If you’re looking to switch  from coffee to chicory, this won’t be an easy transition, the chicory isn’t a perfect coffee replacement (not to mention, you’ll be craving the caffeine).  But if you’re bored with your tea or need a break from your coffee, Wild Chicory Joe will be a fascinating cup to try.  A cup of chicory might just be the perfect accessory to have on hand when watching your favorite western or reading your favorite wild west novel.  Happy trails!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

Hold onto your hats, coffee lovers! This natural coffee replacement is so darn delicious, you won’t believe your taste buds. Our Wild Chicory Joe brews into a boldly deep herbal tea that masquerades as a strong-brewed cowboy coffee, without any acidity. The roasted chicory root creates a dark espresso base while the chocolate barley malt adds cocoa notes and the fennel adds a little sweetness. Drink it straight or as the bold caffeine-free base for a latte. You might even trick some coffee fanatics into enjoying this cup of herbal tea. Giddy-up and grab some Joe!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pacific Coast Lavender from Winterwoods Tea Company Courtesy of Amoda Tea

Herbal tea can be a great before-bed comfort, especially as the weather gets cooler.  Composed of sweet and savory herbs and naturally caffeine-free, it’s hard to go wrong.  Usually, my one complaint with herbal tea is that the flavor is mild or too delicate, but wow!  Was I proven wrong on this blend!  The lavender is so fresh, fragrant, and plentiful– it all but knocked me over when I first got a whiff of the dry leaf.  This is a tea with simple but powerful ingredients, each one vibrant and visible in the blend.  

The health benefits of these herbs are all the positive usual suspects: lavender and chamomile for relaxation, rose hips for health-boosting vitamin c, and cool, stomach-calming peppermint.  When brewed, the lavender definitely takes the spotlight, lighting up my whole room with its warm, floral scent, and filling my senses when I bring my mug up to my face.  Beneath all the lavender fragrance, the chamomile and peppermint play well together, producing a mellow, grassy, lemon-mint brew.  The rose hips are harder to pick out.  Traditionally, rose hips tend to be strong and sour, more like orange or hibiscus, but in this blend they appear only as a little fruity note at the back of each sip.  

While I might not be in the mood for this tea every night, it definitely comforted me, reminding me of herbal teas I would drink when I was home sick or staying warm on a snowy day.  Not to mention the lavender was out of this world: I have yet to find another lavender tea that can even come close to competing with this one. 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea
Description:

Making this tea your evening ritual through Fall and Winter can be a great way to help naturally boost your mood if you’re experiencing wet grey days. Lavender can calm emotional stress, peppermint can invigorate your mind and chamomile will help soothe.

This tea is no longer on the site but others from Winterwoods Tea Company are here!

Pink Rose Lemonade from The Tea Spot

pink-rose-lemonade-teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Tisane

Where to Buy: The Tea Spot

Tea Description:

Pink Rose Lemonade is a swirling collage of flowers with a hint of lemon and wintergreen. Like a fancy floral confection, this delicately handcrafted tea will refresh and soothe your palate. Pink Rose Lemonade is totally guilt-free, as it has no caffeine and is naturally sweet. Lemon, rose, mint, chamomile, and lavender spring to life in this absolutely fabulous herbal tea. Pink Rose Lemonade tastes distinctively wonderful brewed hot or cold.

Features:

  • Premium Loose Leaf Herbal Tea
  • Sample = 5 8-oz Servings
  • 1/2 LB Bulk = $0.31 / Serving
  • Naturally Caffeine Free!
  • Gluten-free & Sugar-free
  • No added flavorings

Ingredients: lemongrass, lemon myrtle, orange peel, rose petals, lemon balm, spearmint, chamomile, lavender

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Pink Rose Lemonade from The Tea Spot…that just sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  Well…it IS!  I’m usually not BIG on herbal tisanes but this Pink Rose Lemonade from The Tea Spot is something that sparks my interest that is for sure!

The product description and profile said the ingredients of this herbal tisane were lemon, rose, mint, chamomile, and lavender and that it is good hot or cold.  I agree!  First I want to point out how well these 5 ingredients meshed together so nicely!  The ratio seemed to be 1/5 – 1/5 across the board…at least that is what my taste buds seemed to pick up!  I’m glad because I don’t generally like or side with chamomile flavors but if you pair chamomile with mint I’m more apt to try it.  Lemon is always a plus.  Rose and Lavender I can be hot and cold on but here it worked!

Pink Rose Lemonade from The Tea Spot is refreshing this or any time of year!  This is probably on my short list of favorite herbal tisane offerings to date!