Vanilla Bean Honeybush from California Tea House

VanillaBeanHoneybushTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  California Tea House

Tisane Description:

Honeybush is made from the Cyclopia sessiliflora plant from the mountains of the South African Cape.  It is very similar to Rooibos in taste and health aspects, yet it is naturally a little more sweet.  We took the highest grade Honeybush and blended in vanilla bean pieces and marigold petals to create our naturally caffeine-free Vanilla Bean Honeybush.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I had my doubts, but this Vanilla Bean Honeybush from California Tea House is really tasty.  It is sweet and it is loaded with real vanilla flavor.  I love that the vanilla notes here don’t taste artificial.  This tastes like true vanilla.  It’s sweet and creamy deliciousness!

The vanilla is the strongest flavor that I’m tasting here.  And like I just said, it’s deliciously sweet and creamy.  But the honeybush can be tasted too, and it adds a hint of honey and a nutty tone to the background.

I love the simplicity of this blend – it’s just vanilla and honeybush (plus a little bit of marigold petals to add some pretty color to the blend.)  But it’s also a really smart pairing, because honeybush –  as well as it’s South African cousin, Rooibos – tend to produce a somewhat thin textured liquid, but with the creaminess of the vanilla … it doesn’t feel thin.  This feels pleasantly soft and smooth to the palate.

To get the most out of this tisane, I recommend steeping it at a just below boiling point (195°F) for 10 minutes.  I go with the slightly lower temperature because this helps to avoid the sour wood taste that sometimes accompanies rooibos and honeybush … while still achieving the maximum amount of flavor out of a honeybush (or rooibos) blend.

Vanilla fans … this is your answer for those late at night cravings!  This will satisfy those sweet tooth cravings without any caffeine!

Moroccan Mint Herbal Tisane from Numi Organic Tea

moroccanmintTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Numi Organic Tea

Tisane Description:

Our organic Moroccan Mint, known as “nana mint,” flourishes in North Africa. With a flavor as light and lively as a newly picked leaf, it has a sweet spearmint flavor that is refreshing and soothing any time of day.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I received a bag of this Moroccan Mint Herbal Tisane  from Numi Organic Tea in my May Goodies box.  And while I was happy that Goodies sent me tea (I love it when I get tea in my foodie tasting boxes), I’m a little disappointed too … as it would seem to me that the people at Goodies don’t seem to realize that tea should be loose leaf.  *sigh*

When I opened the pouch holding the tea bag, I could smell the fragrant mint.  It reminded me of the aroma I’d experience if I opened a package of Doublemint Gum.  Very fresh, very minty!

The flavor is very minty too.  No big surprise there, right?  It has a vibrant, crisp and cool taste that leaves the palate feeling fresh.  But what I’m liking is that it’s not … hitting me over the head with minty flavor … which is kind of surprising because my experience with pure mint has been a very strong minty taste.  This is lighter … more subdued.  Nice … but surprising.

Then I read the description from Numi which states that this is Nana mint … which is a cultivar of spearmint.  (Learn more about it here)  The Nana mint is a milder variety of mint … which explains why this is more subdued.  I don’t recall having tried Nana mint before … so this might very well be a first for me.

I liked it … didn’t love it … but it makes me curious about Nana mint and I think I’ll be seeking out other teas with Nana mint so that I can have more experience with this herb.

Royal Golden Safari Black Tea from Butiki Teas


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description: 

Our truly exceptional Royal Golden Safari originates from a small scale farm in Kenya and has long golden leaves that mingle with milk chocolate and cacao colored leaves. Toasted walnut and oaky notes are prominent with a light pear undertone. Cocoa notes are also present. This orthodox tea does not contain any pesticides. Our Royal Golden Safari is part of the “Teas 4 Trees” line of teas that pays tribute to Professor Wangari Muta Maathai by donating a portion of profits to environmental initiatives of small-scale tea farmers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

OH… this Royal Golden Safari black tea from Butiki Teas is absolutely divine!

There is a prominent note of cocoa with a delightful undertone of caramel that dances on the tongue.  And yes, the description does not lie:  I also taste warm, toasty walnut and a delicious fruity undertone.  I also taste notes of spice and oak.

The cup is sweet and so wonderfully complex.  I love that with each sip I notice something different.  The spiced notes I mentioned before are not what I’d call “spicy” but instead, it’s sort of a gentle warmth that you might liken to the flavor of a sweet potato that has been lightly seasoned with cinnamon.  It doesn’t taste  of a distinct spice, just that warm sort of flavor that is comforting and cozy.

It comes as no surprise that this would be a really delicious tea – after all, Butiki Teas continually impresses me with their outstanding quality and exceptional tasting tea.  This tea is no different – the flavor is amazing and the quality is second to none.  They are definitely one of my favorite tea companies for this reason.  I highly recommend this one if you’ve not tried it yet!

Malawi White Peony from Butiki Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Malawi White Peony originates from Thyolo, a southern town in the southeast African country of Malawi. This rare and truly unique white tea has gorgeous dried leaves that range in color from chocolate to mahogany to rainforest and has a delicate floral aroma. This smooth-bodied white tea starts with light vegetal notes and has mild sweet lime and rose notes that linger.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I’ve said this before, but it is something I don’t mind repeating:  Butiki Teas is one of my favorite tea companies.  This tea is an example of why … it is extraordinary!  That is to say … this is not your ordinary White Peony tea!

It still has some of the qualities that I’d expect from a White Peony – it has a delicate nature, with hints of flower and vegetation.  But the flavor is more intense than a typical White Peony, and there are lovely notes of citrus – bright, beautiful citrus! – which is something I don’t generally experience with a White Peony tea.

The overall cup is JUICY … it tastes sweet and mildly vegetative.  After reading the description, I found myself searching for the rose note that is mentioned but I couldn’t find it … until I reached mid-cup!  At that point, right as the sip comes to a finish, there it is:  ROSE!  It’s a very distinct rose note, too!  Stunning!

I found this tea to be full of surprises:  wonderful, delicious surprises!  If you are a fan of white teas, this is one that you need to put on your MUST TRY list.  And even if you aren’t a fan of white tea, I think you should try it … it is so different from other white teas!

Vanilla African Redbush Tea from MarketSpice

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Tisane Description:

The addition of Vanilla flavoring and Chamomile to our standard African RedBush provides a rich and satisfying cup of tea. Add honey for that extra zing. High in anti-oxidants and naturally caffeine free.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really nice vanilla flavored rooibos blend.  Normally, chamomile is not my favorite thing, but, I like the addition of chamomile here.  It adds just enough of something different to the cup to keep it interesting.

The aroma of the dry leaf is quite distinctive.  It smells of tobacco – like the pipe tobacco that my step-mother would buy for my dad as she attempted to encourage him to smoke a pipe.  She liked the smell of pipe smoke.  I am not particularly fond of the smell of the smoke, but I liked the smell of tobacco (is it called “raw” tobacco when it’s not smoked and still in the package?)

But I’ll be honest, it throws me off a bit when I smell that fragrance in a tea.  I find the smell of pipe tobacco pleasant but it doesn’t smell like something I want to consume, you know what I mean?  But, once it started brewing, the aroma became much more like rich vanilla and less like tobacco.

The flavor is very pleasant.  It has a smooth, creamy vanilla taste with a hint of nutty rooibos in the background.  The woody tones of the rooibos come out as well, and I like the way they meld with the vanilla notes.  The chamomile is very light, but I can taste that hint of apple-like flavor from the chamomile.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable tea.  I especially enjoy it later in the evening while watching TV, it’s got such a relaxing quality to it.  Very nice!