Nakazen: Hibiscus Tea Herbal Tisane from Yunomi

HibiscusTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Yunomi

Tea Description:

Hibiscus tea bags are made with high quality roselle (a kind of Hibiscus) grown in the tropical region. Enjoy hot or as iced tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hello tea friends, I do hope you are all well.

Recently I received an order from Yunomi of which they were kind to include this tisane as a free gift. While admittedly hibiscus is not something I would usually order it is nice to try something different. Plus I feel tisanes are something I should drink more of, going caffeine free every now and then sounds like a good idea.

They do offer this as two versions on their website: loose leaf and teabag. This is the teabag version.

The bags are a good quality thin polystyrene (very typical Japanese tea bag design). They are white and a little bit see through with 1/5 filled with small, chopped petals. As I sniff the bag I am met with a dry, sweet, tangy and herbal scent. Very hibiscus strong and herbal but also not overly thick.

Steeping: Popping one bag into boiling water for three minutes.

Colour is deep, deep red. Scent is floral, sweet yet sour and overall rather soft.

Flavour is stronger than the smell though it’s not as thick as I expected (or feared). The hibiscus is sweet with sour after tones and a touch of dryness, this leads to a herbal after taste. The sourness is actually rather minimal considering, likening this to sherbet. ie. More sweet than sour.

Half way down my mug I’m finding this to remain consistent with the first sip. The dryness is not increasing and nor is the herbal tang that tisanes tend to have.

Overall I thought this was nice, more pleasant tasting than I had imagined being generally a non hibiscus fan. This was of fair quality and strength which complimented the hibiscus. A simple tisane but a nice companion on this warm night.

Earl Grey by Pipers Loose leaf Tea

PipersEarlGreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Pipers Loose Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Made with the finest China teas including a large portion of white tips (the most prized leaf of the plant) and blended with the highest quality Sicilian oil of bergamot available.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have had Earl Grey teas in the past and they are certainly not one of the first I reach for when looking to fill my cup. I have found them rather lackluster, and have found myself suspecting tea companies of using the bergamot to hide 2nd rate teas underneath. This is obviously not the case with Piper’s Earl Grey White Tips.

Dry, this tea is lovely long full leaves with long white tips interspersed.  The white tips have picked up more of the bergamot scent and the smell is quite heady indeed! In the cup, the tea is bold, matching the lush bergamot head to head. The Chinese tea a brings nuances of a deeper flavored black, in this case notes of plum and earth. The light formal flavors of the bergamot (yes, for some reason I’ve always considered bergamot to be a “formal” or “fancy” flavor!) gives lift to the deep flavor of the chinese black tea base and rounds out the profile to be not a tea for afternoons on sunny days, but….well, for anytime really! It would hold it’s own against a continental breakfast with gusto…and a bit of fancy, of course. This tea was a welcomed change in my cup, and I will look forward to to trying the other offerings that Pipers has!

Iced Tea Blend from Tetley

TetleyTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tetley Tea or where Tetley Products are sold.

Tea Description:

Round, stringless tea bags are made with our unique Perflo tissue—sturdy, yet soft and porous, for faster tea infusion and better flavor release. 2 tea bags make 2 quarts of iced tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t usually buy bagged teas off the supermarket shelf – and by this I mean to say, I just don’t do it.  I guess I’m a bit of a tea snob.  But when Tetley sent me a box of their Iced Tea Blend to try, I was willing to do so because a) that’s what I do, and b) tea.  Tea makes me happy.

And really, when it comes to iced tea – especially cold-brewed iced tea – I really do prefer a bagged tea to a loose leaf tea.  When drinking hot tea, I’m all about the loose leaf but when it comes to cold-brewing tea for iced tea, I prefer the convenience of a bagged tea because less mess = happier me.

So, I was actually happy to have this tea sent to me to try.  I’m getting a little low on my cold-brew tea options (time to shop) and this helped to postpone my shopping for a little while, anyway!

To brew it, I filled my half-gallon glass iced tea pitcher full of freshly filtered water and then I dropped in two of the large tea bags from Tetley into the pitcher.  Then I put the lid on the pitcher and stashed it in the fridge overnight.

Note:  This is essentially “sun brewing” the tea too, because the sun doesn’t actually heat the water sufficiently to ‘brew’ the tea when you put out a jar of sun tea.  By cold-brewing the tea using my above described method, you’re doing the same thing that you’d be doing to make sun tea except that my cold-brewed tea is now chilled.  Eliminated a step!  Yay!

The flavor:  it tastes like black iced tea.  This is an enjoyable unflavored black tea blend.  I think I would prefer this to most other readily available grocery store blends.  It’s refreshing and thirst quenching and the flavor is there.

This tastes like a pleasant iced tea.  It doesn’t taste “dusty” the way some of those supermarket teas can taste.  It’s smooth – not astringent and not bitter.  It is brisk without an overly aggressive flavor.  It’s a medium to full flavored tea, I suspect it’s a Ceylon or since it’s a blend, it’s comprised of mainly Ceylon leaves.  It has that very clean, moderate, no-nonsense type of flavor that Ceylon tea is known to deliver.

If I were in need of an iced tea fix and I wanted a good, unflavored iced tea, I could see myself grabbing a box of this tea off the shelf.  And since it is an unflavored tea, it allows for many interesting possibilities:  try adding a few thin slices of lemon to the iced tea pitcher when you’re brewing it, or perhaps some crushed mint leaves or a couple of cinnamon sticks!

Tequila Sunrise Iced Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-GREEN-Tequila-SunriseTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Tequila-, orange- and cherry organic flavors blended with our awesome organic Chinese sencha fannings make this iced tea bliss. Blow your guests away with this awesome iced tea!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

As I mentioned in my review of 52Teas Tequila Sunrise Black Tea – it’s been quite a while since I’ve had the cocktail.  To be honest, tequila isn’t my favorite alcoholic beverage – but as far as cocktail inspired iced teas go, this Tequila Sunrise Iced Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas is a refreshing drink.

I don’t really taste ‘Tequila Sunrise’ here.  Then again – it HAS been a long time since I’ve had one, so don’t rely upon my memory of what a tequila sunrise should taste like.

During the sip, I taste green tea with hints of citrus.  In the aftertaste, I taste cherry and orange more distinctly and occasionally, a flavor crosses my palate that reminds me of tequila.  But that doesn’t arrive until the aftertaste.  During the sip, I taste green tea and notes of bright, sunny citrus flavors.

What I do like about this particular iced tea is that it’s refreshing and it’s quenching my thirst without tasting overly sweet.  I’m enjoying that I taste more green tea than flavor.

It’s a pleasant iced tea.  Not my favorite from SBT, but they can’t all be my favorite.  Even so, I like it enough to say that I might buy it again.

Strawberry Lemonade Iced Honeybush Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-HONEYBUSH-Strawberry-LemonadeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush/Herbal

Where to Buy: Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Premium organic caffeine-free honeybush with organic flavors. Each 14g teabag will make one 2-quart pitcher of DELICIOUS iced tea. Steep teabag in enough boiling water to cover the teabag (and to allow it a little room to expand) for 4 minutes or longer (honeybush cannot be oversteeped). Then combine with ice and water to make a 2-quart pitcher. It couldn’t be simpler–OR more delicious!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about SBT’s subscription here.

Taster’s Review:

Strawberry Lemonade. . yes please! Any tea that has that combination that doesn’t have red rooibos in it, I’m all about.  And oh mama. . .this one did not disappoint!

I have been cold brewing like mad lately! I love it.  I throw a pitcher in at night with either loose leaf or one of these SBT pouches (which are just too handy!) and in the morning before I head out to take the kiddos where they need to go, I have my tea all set.  It is fantastic! For some reason, I always shied away from these in the past, not sure why.  Maybe I was just not sure about the whole cold brew thing. But not anymore!

I am a huge fan of lemonade.  So I thought this one I would enjoy.  I think I cried when I finished this one up and wasn’t able to steep it anymore ( I think I got about 3 infusions out of it).  This is probably my favorite of all of the SBT offerings.  The strawberry flavor is spot on. Sweet but not overly so.  The lemonade has that fresh squeezed lemon taste to it. No chemical taste or artificial tastes to this delightful treat.  Only berry lemon goodness.    Neither flavor dominates the other either.  The honeybush provides the a touch of sweetness and a hint of creaminess to the iced tea.  As I am typing this up I am wondering if I can justify to myself ordering about 10 pouches of this stuff right now. . . just so I have my own little stockpile.

I am really happy with it.  And highly recommend it.  This tea is going to be perfect for the awesome weather coming our way in a few weeks.