Organic Fruit Jam from Tea Sparrow. . . .

When it comes to getting me gifts, my friends and family often turn to one of two things: mugs or tea subscriptions. One such subscription that I received as my Secret Santa gift this past holiday season was several months of tea from Tea Sparrow. If I am being honest, as someone who loves really out there flavors, I have been underwhelmed by the more basic options I’ve been receiving.

With that said, this Organic Fruit Jam tea did catch my eye. It has the usual fruit tea ingredients such as apples, hibiscus, rosehips, and strawberries but it also has more exciting flavors like barley malt, cream extract, etc.

I made this iced in light of the potential for tartness thanks to the hibiscus and rosehips. Unfortunately, despite the unique ingredients, this tastes a lot like many of the other fruit tisanes I have had before, tart and with a vague fruitiness. It also has a sharp tart note atop the rest of the tartness that hits the back of your mouth near the end of the sip. Alas there is nothing here that says “jam” to me.

I also brewed this hot and intended to try it that way to compare it with the iced tea but life got in the way and the mug cooled before I got to it. However, the hot brewed tea which has then cooled is smoother than the iced tea. It also is a bit less tart than the iced tea which makes more room for a muddled fruit flavor to come through. Still not a “jam” tea to me but this cup is definitely closer to that desired flavor than the iced tea given there is more sweetness here.

Ultimately, I just feel like I’ve had this tea time and time again. The hibiscus/rosehip tartness is overwhelming with a generic fruitiness taking a back seat. The unique ingredients that intrigued me in the first place add nothing or if they do, their addition is drowned out. It’s not bad per se but it just doesn’t stand out at all in a world filled with tea.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Tisane
Where to Buy: Tea Sparrow
Description

With your Tea Sparrow subscription, you’ll receive 4 select loose-leaf teas each month: one black, one green, one rooibos and one herbal tea. You can expect about 35 cups of tea per month: more than enough to spread the love or completely hoard for yourself.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Immunity from Virginia Tea Company. . . .

As the weather turns colder, it becomes a great season for brewing warm tea.  But it also tends to become a season for germs as well. Meet both needs with a cup of Immunity from Virginia Tea Co.  With several powerhouse herbs that boost your immune system, like echinacea and elderberries, this cup is good for both your mental and physical health.

Fragrant ginger and cinnamon are the first notes I smell in this blend.  Those two herbs tend be a cornerstone of most chai blends, so their spiciness is familiar and warming, without the caffeine of black tea.  Upon my first sip, the fruitier flavors of elderberries and tart echinacea fill my senses. The sweet, dark berry flavor of the elderberries lingers the longest on my tongue, with the ginger and cinnamon just a flash of spice in the scent.  If you’re not a fan of chai flavors, don’t worry, this one is much more fruity than spicy.

This herbal tea is pleasantly earthy, and not overly sweet or artificial.  This would be great on its own or brewed with honey if your throat it is scratchy and your morale is low.  I love the idea of a more berry-based blend for those under-the-weather days. I have so many lemon and chamomile restoratives, this Immunity blend adds the perfect variety to my get-well tea cupboard.

Whether you feel a cold coming on, or you just want to be prepared for the season, order up some Immunity from Virginia Tea Co. and stay warm and healthy this cold season.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.
Description:

As our body’s first line of defense against all illnesses, it is safe to say that our immune system is worth a great deal to us. This blend of ginger, cinnamon, echinacea, elderberries, and eleuthero root are perfectly combined to give your immune system the boost it needs.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Currant Explosion from Simpson and Vail

This tea lives up to its name. There are so many dried berries in the dry leaf it is more like trail mix than tea. Currants and rose hips galore! The blend is jazzed up with little magenta raspberry pieces as well.

The other amazing part of this tea is that it is a fruity herbal blend without hibiscus. Love it, hate it, hibiscus can sometimes be a deal breaker for tea drinkers. Rest easy and brew this berry blend instead.

The tea brews up a golden color and smells like berries and damp grass. The blackberry leaves add a softer foliage flavor beyond the fruitiness. This helps the berries taste more natural, rather than candy-sweet.

The raspberries play a bigger role in the flavor than I expected, their red berry jam flavor coming through first, followed by the deeper tart tones of the currant.

The currant seems like a formal, adult flavor to me, but if you make this tea into a sweetened cold brew it could be the hit of a kids’ summer party. Or keep it straight-laced and drink it hot from a traditional teacup to help ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description: This flavored tisane explodes on your taste buds! The exceptional blend is a huge hit with young and old alike.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Daryl Dixon Fandom Blend from Adagio Teas

This is a fandom blend from the wild west of build-your-own blends on Adagio Teas.  I couldn’t find an exact match on tea flavors and fandom styling on the website, so I am going by look and taste for this tea.  (Don’t worry there are a few other Daryl Dixon blends on the site if you need to get your fandom fix).

The character of Daryl Dixon kicks plenty of zombie butt on the Walking Dead, so it is only appropriate that his tea blend is driven by high-caffeine yerba mate.  This mate is the green (unroasted) variety, and brings a little fresh citrus note into the brew alongside all its usual earthiness.

I believe this blend also contains a flavored green tea that helps brighten up the lemon undertones even further.  As is appropriate for any gory zombie show, this tea also features a dose of Blood Orange herbal tea. The proportion of blood orange is small, so it adds a bit of juicy orange flavor without taking over the blend.  The brewed tea is green-yellow in color, with only the tiniest hint of pink from the powerful hibiscus.

This is a blend that packs a punch without being too bold or bitter.  When you need an unconventional pick-me-up, try brewing a cup like this yerba mate Daryl Dixon blend.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Mate
Where to Buy: Adagio

Description:  This blend is no longer available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Raspberry Green Rooibos from 52Teas . . .

The word I’d use to describe this blend is “tangy.”

It’s a pleasing mix of tart and sweet. You can taste the bite of the citrus, the dance of the raspberry, and the wink of the rooibos. All of this flavor, none of the tireless, tedious bed-flipping evenings that come as a consequence of caffeine.

This reminds me of something moxie-bright I might have chugged as a child. It is sunshine and playing tag, bottled. It’s like Van Gogh’s brushstrokes have swirled this flavor profile into being.

All in all, this is a charming companion to sit by your bedside as you drift off to dreamland.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Rooibos/Herbal
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!