This isn’t the first time this surprising little treat has found its way into my tea sample pile, and frankly, I am elated every time a new bag shows up. Beyond my affinity for all things British (and most things Downton Abbey), this tea is a pleasant surprise for your standard pre-bagged tea, serving up a hearty black tea in a seemingly ho-hum round filterbag. Balancing out the base are beautiful berry notes– but nothing artificial, this feels as if Bates himself freshly squeezed some berries into his morning cuppa. (Side note: fellow Downton fans, do we really feel like Bates would be the one to take the time to slip berries into his tea? He seems like more of a straight-English-breakfast man to me. But I digress.) Perfect to toss in your bag when you need some tea from your emergency stash, or a great, un-finnicky brew to keep at your desk: this one can handle varying temps and lack of elaborate home brewing setup.
Perhaps the flavor doesn’t scream Bates to me, but its no-fuss-no-muss simplicity and tastiness certain seem right on par with everyone’s favorite unassuming valet. Now if you’ll excuse me: I’ll be heading to the downstairs for tea with the rest of the service crew.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Republic of Tea
This tea is no longer on the website but click below for teas that are.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: Guayaki
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.
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.
Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA
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.
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.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Southern Boy Teas
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.
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.
Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: Parenteau’s Gourmet Foods
Ingredients: Red and black currents, raisins, hibiscus, Saskatoon berries, blueberries, seneka root, natural flavours.
Learn more about this tea on Steepster.
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.