Revel Berry Yerba Mate from Guayaki

GuayakiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Mate

Where to Buy: Guayaki

Tea Description:

Revel Berry has a delicious raspberry and blackberry flavor.  It’s easy drinking and clean tasting, and not too sweet.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

For those who don’t know, I work in a grocery store. It’s not uncommon for us to start carrying different, less common drinks but it is uncommon for them to be tea-related so when we picked up some of this brand’s flavors of iced/canned Yerba Mate I got really excited! I knew I’d seen at least one of this brand’s products reviewed on Steepster so I took the plunge and a bought a can of each flavor to try out.

I don’t know what I expected when I tried this one, maybe a little more yerba mate flavour? But this threw me off a little bit; it definitely tastes distinctly of raspberry and even has a tinge of sharper tartness however I can’t taste anything specifically blackberry flavoured. If anything, I almost want to say there’s more of a blueberry flavor present. Regardless, this does seem pretty watered down and I’m missing any distinctly earthy notes from the yerba mate – which is kind of the best part of mate other than the caffeine. I absolutely appreciate that this is not overly sweet though!

I don’t know if I’d personally buy this one again because I know I enjoy a stronger Yerba Mate flavour but I do look forward to trying the other two flavours I picked up and I’m all for the idea of this if it gets a more “mainstream” consumer experiencing Yerba Mate – which I know it’s been doing at work since some my coworkers have taken to drinking this during break instead of other popular and more “conventional” energy drinks. Plus, the convenience of it being canned it always a plus.

Strawberry Colada Tisane from DAVIDsTEA

Strawberry ColadaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy:  DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Picture it. You’re sitting poolside, basking in the sunshine and sipping something cool and refreshing out of a coconut. Okay, so maybe the pool is a bit of a stretch. But with this sweet and fruity, retro cocktail-inspired tea, at least we’ve got that exotic drink covered. With strawberries, pineapple and coconut, it’s like a perfect summer getaway in a cup. Try it over crushed ice with a splash of rum. The only thing missing is the little paper umbrella.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is part four of a five part review of the DAVIDsTEA Summer Collection.

I think this was secretly the one I was most looking forward to, despite the abundance of hibiscus in it. I just can’t get enough pineapple in my life, and Pina Colada is one of the best flavor pairings to ever be thought up, in my not so humble opinion. It’s better than Peanut Butter and Jelly! I think the only thing that could rival it is Ham & Pineapple; and I’m going on scent alone (because I don’t eat meat and haven’t actually tried the pairing) there…

I actually don’t know how DT managed to pull off a collection with only one hibiscus inclusive blend. Well, now that I think about it maybe I do; they stuck coconut in everything. As a company, they’re definitely guilty of over using those two ingredients. Mmm, the dry leaf smells exactly like promised; rich Pina Colada with fresh strawberries. It’s got a faint tartness to it because of the hibiscus. I’m preparing this one as a cold brew; I’m worried that if I make this one hot than the hibiscus will take over too much.

The taste is… It’s amazing.

There’s nothing overly fancy about this blend, if I’m being honest. But it’s exactly as advertised and that’s a pretty rare thing; it’s Pina Colada with semi-tart strawberry juice, and the hibiscus actually blends really naturally into the strawberry. When you get past bold, vibrant strawberry top notes there’s a really solid, fresh coconut foundation and sweet, candied pineapple notes that are taking me back to DT’s Tropicalia Blend – which is one of my all time favourite blends from them. This is definitely my favourite of the five Summer Collection teas; and I don’t know if that’s really predictable, because of how I feel about Pina Colada, or surprisingly given how I feel about hibiscus.

I’ll certainly be picking up more, though.

 

Cantaloupe & Berries Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-GREEN-Cantaloupe-and-BerriesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

This super refreshing and delicious iced tea will definitely get you in the mood for spring. We’ve blended our sweet organic Chinese sencha fannings green tea with organic cantaloupe, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry flavors. Be warned, this will disappear out of your fridge really fast!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

If you’re a frequent reader of our site, then you’ve probably already read a review of this Cantaloupe & Berries Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas!  A few of the sisters are fans of Southern Boy Teas!

I recently acquired a new iced tea jar.  I’ve been looking for either a half gallon or gallon sized glass jar (not a pitcher but a jar) and I’ve finally found one.  This search started several years ago when I was still yearning to make sun tea – before I discovered the joy of cold-brewing tea.

Note:  sun brewing tea is essentially the same thing as cold brewing tea.  The big difference is that with cold-brewing tea, you don’t leave the jar out in the sun, you stash it in the fridge.  This bestows one obvious benefit onto the brewed tea:  it’s COLD when it’s finished brewing.  I don’t think the sun actually ‘brews’ the tea.  The steep in the water brews the tea.  I don’t know that the sun actually does anything to the flavor.  But, I don’t think you could have convinced me of that a few years ago before I actually tried cold-brewing tea.

So I don’t know why it was still important for me to have a jar.  I have an awesome iced tea pitcher that works great for cold-brewing tea.  And to be honest, I prefer my awesome iced tea pitcher over the new tea jar, primarily because this jar has a very annoying lid.  It screws on, the way most jar lids screw on, but the threads don’t line up as easily/nicely as I’d like them to, making it more of a chore to screw on/unscrew the lid than it needs to be.  It’s a minor annoyance, certainly, but, because my awesome tea pitcher doesn’t have this annoyance, it makes it the preferred iced tea vessel.

But one advantage that the new tea jar has over my awesome iced tea pitcher is that the tea jar has a 1 gallon capacity.  Therefore, I could hot-brew a whole GALLON of this tea all at once and didn’t have to stash the tea bag in the fridge to resteep.  I got my full gallon during one brewing session.  (Well, technically, it took four infusions to fill the gallon tea jar.)  Plus, it freed up my iced tea pitcher for another tea so I can have 1 1/2 gallons of iced tea in the fridge for the warm weather ahead.

So, yes, I brewed a gallon of this tea.  I steeped it one quart at a time, bringing the water to 170°F and then allowing the bag to first steep for 1 1/2 minute and adding 30 seconds to each subsequent infusion.

Refreshing!  I like the combination of cantaloupe and berries.  The berries offer the strongest flavor – with strawberry and blackberry dominating, but not by much.  I also get a nice amount of blueberry flavor.  The berries are sweet with that familiar berry tart note.  The cantaloupe offers a sweet, delightful melon note that contrasts nicely with the tart and tangy berries.

The green tea is a little lost in this – but I do get a hint of buttery flavor as well as a hint of that buttery mouthfeel.  I also get just a hint of a fresh, grassy taste.  These notes are subtle and even though I think I’d like the green tea flavors to be a little more distinct, I found this tea very enjoyable overall.

Saskatoon Berry Tisane from Parenteau’s Gourmet Foods

SaskatoonBerryTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy: Parenteau’s Gourmet Foods

Tea Description:

Ingredients: Red and black currents, raisins, hibiscus, Saskatoon berries, blueberries, seneka root, natural flavours.

Learn more about this tea on Steepster.

Taster’s Review:

So this tisane is locally made and sold, and it features the Saskatoon Berry which isn’t as well known as it ought to be. I happen to live in Saskatoon Saskatchewan – and the berry is so popular around here that the city is named after the berry, and not the other way around. As such, any tea that features Saskatoons (of which there aren’t enough) very easily get my attention.

I decided to do a cold brew for my first try; sadly there’s a lot of hibiscus in the blend so a cold brew seemed like the best way to hold back some of the expected tartness I’ll likely be experiencing. Thankfully, there’s also a lot of berries in the blend as well but even still, not thirty seconds after I’d poured the water over the leaves the water was already the colour of McDonald’s mascot Grimace. The hibiscus in the blend was working quickly.

By the time the brew was done, it was a deep, dark almost maroon colour – but just slightly more purple. It reminded me of the colour of red wine. The smell is mostly hibiscus. That’s not very promising, but I’m still holding out that this’ll deliver the Saskatoon berry flavour I know and love anyway.

And the moment of truth; taste test!

The initial flavour here is a tart hibiscus flavour as anticipated; however, thankfully this isn’t all hibiscus. Similar to other berry/hibiscus teas I’ve had before like Rum Cream, from another local company (McQuarrie’s Tea & Coffee Merchants), this starts tart and softens into a more mellow berry drink; it’s quite juice-like. I can definitely taste Saskatoon berries myself, but I also really taste the blueberries and black currants in the blend. Thankfully, I don’t get much flavour from the raisins – I’m not a raisin person, so it’s no loss for me.

For people unfamiliar with Saskatoon Berries picture something sort of like a blueberry and cranberry cross. They’re great straight, in pies, in jam or jelly, and as syrup. Really, they’re just great in general. It’s that simple.

I am enjoying this cold brew a lot though I’m craving a richer, more full Saskatoon berry flavour. If they used more Saskatoons and cut down a little on the amount of other berries in the tea, I think this could be amazing without having a more monotone and flat flavour. As is, I’m concerned people not familiar with Saskatoons are mainly going to focus in on the other berries in the blend and the hibiscus and miss out on the great flavour.

And what a loss that’d be.

Cantaloupe & Berries Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-GREEN-Cantaloupe-and-BerriesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

This super refreshing and delicious iced tea will definitely get you in the mood for spring. We’ve blended our sweet organic Chinese sencha fannings green tea with organic cantaloupe, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry flavors. Be warned, this will disappear out of your fridge really fast!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

I love cantaloupe.  At family gatherings, my mom and I fight over the last piece on the fruit plate.  My sons will yell at me if I come home from the grocery store without one.  Thank goodness my grandpa is a farmer.  He supplies us with the most amazing fresh cantaloupe (and other fruits and vegetables) throughout the summer months.  He is 80 years old and still goes out in the fields and hand picks everything while drinking his coffee from the thermos. Even in the crazy hot days of summer!

This tea reminds me of him and hanging out with him in the fields during summer break.  Brings back so many fantastic memories of my childhood.  I love it when a tea gives you what I call “Warm Fuzzies” and takes you back to happy times.

I didn’t brew this up per the packaging.  Since I am the only one that drinks tea in my house, I break the larger pouch into smaller tea bags so I can enjoy them on the go or at my office.  I’ve tried to brew up a pitcher all at once, but I wasn’t able to drink the tea fast enough.  This way works for me and from what I can tell, it doesn’t affect the outcome of the tea at all.

This is a perfect spring/summer tea.  The cantaloupe flavor is the first that hits your taste buds.  The green tea gives the tea a rich buttery feel.  You can taste it more after you’ve had a sip or two, adding in a slight grassy note.  Very slight.  Its more of an after thought.  I’m not picking up any of the berries or even a hint of them.  Which is fine with me.  I’m good with an iced cantaloupe green tea.  Overall, I really dig this one.  I wish I could taste more of the berries and I’m hoping additional steeps will bring those flavors out.