Smooth vanilla rooibos tea is a regular caffeine alternative of mine, though I will admit that red rooibos can be an acquired taste.
If overstepped, it can have medicine-like tones, but in a best case scenario, the rooibos has notes of caramel and nuts. Cloud Nine from Autumn Bear Herbals is driven by its vanilla rooibos base, though the ingredient list boasts a larger variety of flavors: sour jujube seeds, fragrant rose petals, lush chrysanthemum blossoms, and more.
The dry leaf is strongly scented with vanilla and rooibos, and looks bright and beautiful in the bag with rose petals and giant chrysanthemum blossoms. Brewed, the blend is still dominated by vanilla rooibos, though as the tea cools, more of the sour fruit and floral flavors are able to shine through.
This herbal blend will be a favorite for lovers of rooibos or when you need a decaf vanilla cup for a calming evening.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Autumn Bear Herbals
An uplifting organic herbal tea designed to enhance mood, soothe the nerves, and lift depression. Drink this blend to balance your Mood & elevate your Spirit!
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Roiboos
Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf
Our Mint Chamomile tea will put a smile on your face regardless of the day you are having. Brew a cup of this floral, sweet and soothing tea and enjoy a wonderfully fresh finish of this beautiful cup of tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
Mint and Chamomile seems to be an unusual combination – I think I’ve only ever tried one other similar blend. Based on that experience, I’d say that this surprises me. It sounds a little odd to begin with, for sure, but they’re ingredients that do actually work well together. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it approximately 5 minutes in boiling water. I made no additions. The dry leaf itself is very herbal-looking – there are whole yellow chamomile flowers, green shreds of peppermint, red rooibos leaves, and a smattering of creamy white chamomile petals. The scent is predominantly minty, with an underlying sweetness from the vanilla flavouring.
The main flavour to taste is, interestingly, the chamomile. It’s sweet and almost thick-tasting, with the characteristic flavour of honey and hay. It’s a flavour I find instantly calming, whatever I’m doing and wherever I am when I taste it. Underlying the chamomile is the sweet creaminess of vanilla. This pushes it almost to the point of too-sweet, and the mid-sip is slightly cloying. Thankfully, though, the mint emerges at the last moment and completely saves the day. It cuts through the sweetness instantly, adding a cooling, refreshing edge that sets this tea back to rights. The combination lingers in the aftertaste, where it unmistakably resembles the flavour of a buttermint. Delicious!
I was expecting to taste more of the rooibos base, given that the liquor is a tell-tale bright red-orange, but I actually can’t pick it out at all amongst the other flavours. I do find rooibos a little woody sometimes, so its absence is no bad thing in my book. I think it’s testament to how well blended this tea is, also, in that the flavours are allowed to shine without interference. I was also expecting the mint to be the main flavour, but I’m pleased that it didn’t take over – the three together are a good pairing, and are balanced enough that they complement rather than compete.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tea, and it’s definitely one I’d consider adding to my cupboard for late evening drinking or just times of stress. It’s a sweet, calming cup with hints of candy – a real winner in my book.
Leaf Type: Herbal/Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: PONOinfusions
Wai will refresh you with a tranquil infusion of herbs & botanicals, inspired by breathtaking waterfalls, streams, and fresh water pools, all preciously vital to life in Hawai’i. Made from certified organic and fair trade ingredients and caffeine-free, Wai immerses you in a marriage of mint & berry. Wai means fresh water in Hawaiian—a precious resource in Hawai’i’s fragile ecosystems.
To learn more about efforts to conserve wai and the native plants & animals who call Hawai’i’s wai home, such as the endangered pinapinao (Hawaiian damselfly) and the uluhe fern featured on this package, please visit the Native Flora & Fauna section of our website.
Learn more about this tea here.
PONOinfusions is a company I only very recently discovered. So far, I love everything about them from their use of organic and fair trade certified ingredients to the incorporation of Hawaiian ingredients in their blends, creative themes to their teas, incorporation of Hawaiian culture and most importantly the strong emphasis on the fauna and flora in Hawaii which are endangered or at risk. On each tin you can see some of these species highlighted in the packaging, and a portion of their sales go to support working to sustain and preserve Hawaii’s natural resources and plant and wildlife.
As described on their site, ‘pono’ means ‘the right thing to do’ and my first impression here is that Alex and Andrea are certainly doing their best to do that for Hawaii! I am very excited to get my first taste of one of their blends.
The tisane I’m trying today (and not all of the teas in their line are tisanes) is called “Wai” which means fresh water, and the feature fauna and flora on their package’s design are the Hawaiian damselfly and uluhe fern. As I taste this for the first time, I’m definitely keeping the intended ‘theme’ in mind and will be seeing how the flavour compares to it.
My first impression of the taste is that it’s very familiar in a really comforting way. Breaking down the flavours I can see why; a lot of the ingredients are ones I like a great deal individually and they’re working very well combined. The body of the flavour of comprised mostly of the mint in the blend. I know this uses both peppermint and spearmint, but the spearmint is definitely more of a dominant/concentrated flavour than the peppermint is. Layered under that is the raspberry. It’s not raspberry in a really obvious way; but a gentle, subtle soft hint of raspberry that provides contrast from the mint. The nettle leaf is a little earthy and unrefined, it seems to roll in and out of sips as a flavour that I’m noticing. Finally there’s a floral aspect that finishes the sip. It reminds me of a mild jasmine though as far as I’m aware there isn’t actually any jasmine or floral ingredients in the blend.
While none of these ingredients individually make me think of fresh water there’s something about the way they interact with each other that’s very calming and tranquil and reminds me of seafoam, and skinny dipping with friends in the middle of July as the sunsets. Additionally, I remember reading a poem not too long ago that compared the ocean to a womb, first and foremost giving life and that’s the kind of feeling I get from drinking this tea. I want warm waves to wash over and cradle me.
Overall, I really like the overall taste of this tisane but more importantly I love the way it makes me feel. I haven’t been this excited about a newly discovered company in a really long time, and I’m excited to hopefully try more of their blends (in particular I’m hoping I get to try Nahele) and I very, very much recommend checking out their website! Definitely a cool company, and I think they deserve a little more attention.
Leaf Type: Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Chi Whole Leaf
A beautiful blend of Indian Rose Petals, Egyptian Hibiscus and Jasmine.
Learn more about this tea here.
I keep wanting to call this matcha…
Honestly; I was a tiny bit scared to try this one. Hibiscus is one of three ingredients in this one, but frankly the entire thing looks like ground up, powdered hibiscus and unless you’re really into hibiscus in the first place that sounds pretty horrible.
That said, after the hot water hit the powder in the bottom of the mug and I had this all whisked up all of that fear melted away. The aroma is very floral and feminine but maintains a wonderful delicateness. How often do you get to call a blend with hibiscus delicate!? Not often – that’s for sure. More so than anything else I thought the rose was the most flavourful component of this tea but it’s not even close to the intensity necisarry for this blend to come off tasting chemical, artificial, or even perfumey. As a whole, it’s actually delightfully mellow.
Maybe it’s because hibiscus is so often paired with berries, but in addition to the sweet and supple floral notes I feel like there’s a hint of watered down berry flavour. The jasmine is the hardest part of this for me to taste; it’s blending in with the rose very well. I really enjoy this blend a lot. My only word of caution would be for people who dislike overly floral teas; but even they might like this because it’s been tastefully done. Even people who are generally turned off by hibiscus would likely like this. Bonus points for being quite affordable; $10.00 for 100g, and it really doesn’t take much at all to make a mug – approximately 1/2 tsp.
Also, many thanks to Will at Chi Whole Leaf tea for sending me the full range of teas currently offered on their site for reviewing! He was very quick to ship things, and in addition to the tea itself he included a very informative pamphlet that broke down the ingredients of each tea. I look forward to trying the rest of the set!
Leaf Type: Black/Green
Where to Buy: Ette Tea
Our newest tea formula of Jasmine green, black tea, cranberries, lychee pieces & lily blossoms. Sweet tasting & tangy as the Japanese jelly dessert, Lychee Konnyaku tea provides the added malty texture and body for the gourmet tea lover.
Learn more about this tea here.
This, along with the Mango Sticky Rice blend that I’ve yet to try, is the Ette Tea blend I’m most excited about tasting and reviewing. I absolutely adore lychee in just about anything, but especially in tea. Plus, cranberry is also one of my favourite fruit flavours in tea so the pairing of the two got me really, really excited. It’s also a pairing that I haven’t seen done before which was really cool too.
Dry; this has some really robust smelling lychee. It’s also fairly floral which should be expected given that there’s jasmine from the green tea and also the addition of lily, but lychee is a very floral tasting fruit too so it comes from that as well. I don’t see as many cranberries in the leaf as I want their to be, though I did make sure that what I measured out for my mug had at least one included.
Wow; this smelled heavenly when it was also steeped up! It’s a very strong lychee aroma; definitely the most powerful aspect of the tea, but there’s also a really soft, soothing jasmine smell backed up by other floral elements like lily and maybe also orchid. It’s actually hard to pick out specific notes from either the black or the green tea used though. I can also smell the cranberry, but only slightly.
Thankfully the cranberry is a bit more noticeable in the taste; it cuts through pretty clearly in the start of the sip with some sweetness but also some tartness that reminds me of cranberry jelly like you’d have around Thanksgiving. However, the very lush taste of the lychee and jasmine over takes it early on leaving me feeling just slightly cheated. I want more cranberry because while it’s so different to me to see it paired with lychee the two flavours go together really well!
The lychee is juicy and rich and reminds me a lot of actual lychee or ‘cocktail’ lychee that’s been canned in its own sweetened juices. It’s mouthwatering and strong as a flavour. I can see where, paired with the sweetness of the cranberry, this could get a little too sweet but thankfully there’s the soothing presence of jasmine that brings this back down to a reasonable level and keeps it distinctly flavoured but smooth and relaxing too.
Also, now that it’s steeped I think the base teas come through just slightly more; the first half of the mug seemed to have a really light vegetal taste to it that was brought more into focus when you concentrated on the jasmine but the slightly malty black base was more present in the aftertaste along with the lingering flavour of lychee, and especially present with the last few tiny sips from the mug when everything had cooled down.
There’s definitely room for improvement, but overall this was a really impressive and well executed tea and I’m absolutely kicking myself for just getting 10g! I’ve now tried 3/5 samples and this is definitely my favourite so far. This company has yet to really disappoint me!