Mango Madness from Blooming with Joy. . . . .

With a long and varied ingredients list, I have to say that the “madness” part of Mango Madness blend from Blooming with Joy is very fitting.  We have white tea, rose hips, pineapple, mango, cranberries, rose petals, apple pieces, hibiscus, blueberries and more. Whew! There are a lot of flavors going on in this tea.

Believe it or not the white tea base holds its own against all the fruit inclusions.  A pleasant, buttery, earthy undertone lingers at the back of each sip balancing the forward tropical sweetness.

With tart cranberries and rose hips along side sweet apples and mango, this tea is equal parts sweet and sour, like a bowl of fresh fruit salad.  I don’t taste as many of the blueberries or pineapple pieces, or they get hidden behind similar flavors like hibiscus or mango. The berry juiciness of the hibiscus is the most prevalent fruit flavor, so this might not be the blend for you if you are looking for strong pineapple or mango notes.

A white tea with lush fruit flavors has a lot of potential to be your next favorite iced tea.  With low caffeine and natural sweetness, it can be the perfect afternoon refreshment. I also found it to be pleasant as a hot tea, with so many fruits it almost felt like a fruit-boosted herbal tea. Not to mention all the fruits have vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy.

Dip a toe into some madness with Mango Madness from Blooming with Joy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Blooming with Joy
Description:

Ingredients: White Tea, Rose Hips, Pineapple Pieces, Mango Pieces, Cranberries, Rose Petals, Apple Pieces, Hibiscus, Blueberries, Natural Mango Flavor and Natural Pineapple Flavor

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blueberry Green Kukicha from Frontier Organic . . . . .

I’ve really been looking forward to this organic Kukicha touting the same blueberry green flavor profile that got me through finals week. This kukicha style of tea includes twigs from the tea plant so it’s a bit lower in caffeine and usually a bit more woody tasting. To be honest I’m a little judgy about low caffeine teas, I have an assumption that they’ll be less flavorful but I’m more than willing to test my hypothesis, especially since this is my comfort flavors! The stars of this blend are plenty of flat greens (I’m guessing it’s Dragonwell tea / longjingcha) dotted with teensy dried blueberries.

As it brews, it smells earthy but pleasant and delicate, like walking through a forest in the summer, with teases of juicy berries begging to be eaten. Not getting as much lemongrass scent, though I see it. The different components stratify themselves by weight in my gravity strainer, producing a really neat effect in the deep caramel-colored infusion. You can blame my geology profs for that last observation 😉

The complex taste of the green tea seems to expand past my mouth! It makes a single sip seem impossibly full of flavor. It’s unexpectedly rich, and then the sweet berry aftertaste lingers for a nice long while. The lemongrass is hiding somewhere in all this, but it’s not undetectable, just subtle. My second steep included rock sugar, which eased the flavor intensity a bit and made it more my taste.

I have to say, despite my bias I’m impressed with how well this low caffeine tea passed my taste-tests. Each flavor amplified the others, but nothing is overpowered. Since I’m already committed to nerdy buzzwords here, I’m going to call this a synergy blend, where the end product is more flavorful than the sum of its parts alone. Yum!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Frontier Co-Op

Organic and Kosher loose leaf Kukicha

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

 

Ten Flavors of Kombucha from GT’s Living Foods

Kombucha appears to be all the rage right now, with stores stocking more companies and flavors than I’ve ever noticed before, even outside the shelves of my local health food store.  What is kombucha?  Kombucha is fermented black tea.  The fermentation process gives the brew carbonation and bacteria, the good kind of bacteria like in yogurt, which helps the digestive system.  Due to the fermentation process, some kombuchas are contain alcohol, and others have gone through processes to filter out this excess alcohol and make it safer for those who don’t partake.  Check on the alcohol content of the next bottle of kombucha that you pick up to make sure it’s at a level you prefer.

My favorite Kombucha brand at the moment is GT’s Living Foods, specifically their Enlightened and Synergy series.  These teas come in heavy glass bottles with well-designed labels, and those with a white cap contain only trace amounts of alcohol.  Not to mention, these teas are available in seemingly every flavor imaginable.  Each time I find a store that stock’s GT’s Kombucha, I find a new flavor I haven’t seen before.

The best flavor I’ve tasted is their Synergy Trilogy flavor, which I see most often on the shelves.  Trilogy features a trio of fruits and spices, blending raspberries, lemon, and ginger with the bubbly black tea base.  This is the perfect balance of sweet and tart that compliments the sour bite of the fermented tea. The fizziness makes this feel like a sweet treat, but it has far less sugar than a can of soda, and more natural ingredients.  With black tea, bubbles, and that perfect touch of tartness, this kombucha always makes me feel like celebrating.  I can’t speak to how the good bacteria has helped my stomach, as I haven’t noticed a drastic change, but drinking the tea does do wonders for my morale.

Some of the other flavors I’ve had an opportunity try include:

  1. Trilogy – I’ve already waxed poetic about this flavor, see above.
  2. Gingerade – Less fruity, with more lemon and a spicier ginger kick, a great flavor for fans of ginger beer soda.
  3. Limited Edition Liberty – This blend came out for 4th of July, and features a blend of watermelon, cherry, and lime.  It’s a fun limited edition, but the fruit is a bit too delicate to hold up against the bold tea base.  I think it would have been better with a stronger lime-ade presence.
  4. Guava Goddess – Tasty, tropical, and pink, this was one of the sweeter blends available with the guava powering through the black tea base.
  5. Gingerberry – Very similar to the Trilogy flavor, but slightly sweeter with blueberry instead of raspberry, and still a hint of ginger spice.
  6. Cosmic Cranberry – The tartness of the cranberries work well with the sour tea base.  It’s similar to the Trilogy flavor but with more tart zing.
  7. Multi-Green – Surprisingly nutty and not too grassy at all. Much more savory than the other flavors.  Definitely an acquired taste.
  8. Lavender Love – The brew is almost purple in color from all the lavender. The soft, fragrant florals dance over the top of the sweet/sour tea.
  9. Lemonade – Most of the blends feature some lemon notes, but this blend is all-lemon, the sour citrus pairing perfectly with the tart tea.
  10. Mystic Mango – This blend is bright and opaque, full of fresh mango fruitiness.  This is like a kicked-up orangina, with hearty sweetness and a burst of bubbles.

Even looking at their website now, I see additional flavors I’m intrigued to try.  They even have a whole chia-seed series I haven’t seen before.  I’ll have to keep an eye out at my local stores.

If you’re intimidated by the idea of kombucha, give one of GT’s Living Foods many delectable flavors a try and see what new avenues of tea await you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: GT’s Living Foods (or at your local grocery/health food store)
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Blueberry Green from Fava Tea. . . .

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics. There are so many funky and unique tea blends when it comes to flavored tea that sometimes I crave something simple. In this case it’s blueberry green tea. Sencha, gunpowder green, white tea, and elderberry, eucalyptus leaves all come together to form this blend. In truth I was nervous when I saw two ingredients. Can you guess which? Eucalyptus leaves and gunpowder green! Eucalyptus can taste kind of medicinal sometimes and the last time I had gunpowder green tea I thought it tasted and smelled like old cigarette smoke. Weird, I know. So I was a bit hesitant but I forged on, curiosity peaked.

I’m telling you, if I hadn’t read the ingredients I wouldn’t even had known that my two “scary ingredients” were in this. In fact, I wouldn’t even have know that this was a blueberry flavored tea. The main quality I noticed in both smell and taste was vegetal sencha green tea. Through and through that’s what I got from this one. That’s not to say that this was a bad blend, the green tea was delicious and would have been great iced! But as far as blueberry goes, it just wasn’t very present. However if you’re a fan of bold green tea, this one’s for you!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Fava Tea
Description

Enjoy the taste of fresh blueberries in your cup! This is a smooth, flavorful cup of healthy green tea. Delightful!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Blue from 52Teas

I usually imagine earl grey tea with a little bit of a bite, the kind of proper tea that staunch old ladies sip from fine china teacups in British dramas.

Once my mother sent me to an old-timey etiquette class led by a strict old woman. The tea we drank from teacups had a bite, black and tart, and a squeeze of lemon on top made my mouth pucker.  

It was more palatable by the second cup with milk and sugar cubes but I always associate a bit of bite with that first cup of earl grey.

Earl Blue from 52teas would have been a better first cup for my childhood self. The darjeeling base minimizes astringency, making for a smoother, gentler cup of tea.  Whole blueberries are sprinkled throughout the loose leaf and add a rich, berry sweetness.

There’s still bright citrus in the palette of flavor, but it’s easy and creamy, making for a drinkable cup even without milk and sugar. Citrus and blueberry are a well-balanced combination, not too sweet or sour, with enough traditional bergamot to earn the title of earl grey.

Earl Blue from 52teas is the perfect blend to drink out of a porcelain teacup when I’m feeling more playful than proper.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Darjeeling
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!