Mangnuo Cane Tea Raw Pu-erh (Ancient Tree Early Spring 2014) from Wymm Tea

MangnuoCaneTea1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Wymm Tea

Tea Description:

This is Wymm’s signature tea. It is a sheng pu-erh that brews bright golden with a rich and sweet flavour, and with the aroma of fresh-cut grass in the morning. For the initial 6 steeps, there is a pronounce bitter taste that lingers in back of the tongue with hints of astringency, which are slowly replaced with a bold honey aftertaste. The liquor is heady because of the ultra concentrated nutrients in this tea. Each serving of this tea can be steeped up to 20 times.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Good stuff!  This Mangnuo Cane Tea Raw Pu-erh (Ancient Tree Early Spring 2014) from Wymm Tea is really nice.

I’m only on my first cup at the moment, but I’m really enjoying the strong sugary notes to this cup.  I taste subtle notes of grass and a light astringency.  It has a pleasant, light flavor overall, with the most forward notes tasting sweet – like something in between a sugary molasses and honey.

My second infusion was even nicer than the first.  The sweet notes seem to be even stronger.  I’m picking up on some delicate floral notes.  The astringency is still there and it seems to be developing.  There is a distinct dry note toward the finish.  Vegetal notes are more defined now too, with a slight bitterness toward the finish.  Not an off-putting bitterness, but more of a savory bitterness to contrast with the sugary sweet notes.

My third infusion was very much like the second.  The fourth infusion was my favorite – the flavors became smoother and I found the astringency starting to wane.  It wasn’t quite as sweet, but there was a nice balance between sweet, hints of bitter and light grassy tones.  It was really quite pleasant.

The fifth infusion was pleasantly mellow.  Sweet and refreshing taste.  Hints of grass but very little bitterness.  Just smooth, mellow sweetness.  Later infusions began to pick up on the astringency again and since I’m not a big fan of the astringency, especially with such a mellow tea, I decided to stop with seven infusions.

Overall, a very pleasant pu-erh.  I liked that it didn’t have a strong, earthy character nor was I experiencing a briny or fishy sort of flavor.  Just a really pleasant vegetal note and some really remarkable sweet tones.  It’s quite nice.

Candy Cane Flavored Iced White Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-WHITE-Candy-CaneTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Don’t let the simplicity of this flavor fool you: this is a blend of our premium organic shou mei white tea fannings with organic peppermint candy cane flavors and it does not disappoint. Believe me when I say, you’ll have a hard time keeping this tea in your refrigerator.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

After having tried the Candy Cane Iced Black Tea from SBT last year and loving it, I had really high expectations for this white tea version.  Unfortunately, it fell a little short of the expectations I had.

Oh, this is still a really tasty iced tea.  It’s just not as amazing as I remember the black tea version.  Then again, it could be that my expectations were too high, so this was not going to reach those heights.

But this is – as I said – quite tasty.  The white tea is light and I like the crisp, refreshing flavor.  It has a sweet flavor that’s airy and hay-like and very fresh tasting.

This fresh taste melds well with the cool notes of the minty candy cane flavor.  It’s not just “minty” – there is a light sweetness in there too so this tastes more like a white tea flavored with a candy cane than it does a white tea flavored with peppermint.  There are hints of vanilla and a soft, almost ‘candy-like’ sweetness in there.  I like that I’m getting this really delicious sweetness but it isn’t too sweet.

It’s a tasty tea.  That said, if I’m going to be shopping for a candy cane iced tea, I’d probably be putting the black tea version in my cart before I’d grab the white tea version.

Please take a minute to check out Southern Boy Teas’ Indiegogo campaign and support this small business – help them take their business even further.

Candy Cane Tea from Naked Teas

Candy_Cane_teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea & Rooibos

Tea Information:

Organic! A fun tea inspired by the classic holiday candy. It’s not like drinking a candy cane though. It’s actually more on the softer side. Perfumed floral aroma, lightly minty, softly sweet with hints of raspberry. 

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

It’s also part of Amoda Tea’s Holiday Box!

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

So, I got a nice surprise from Amoda!  As their way of thanking me for not only subscribing but also for writing reviews of the teas that they send, they sent me the Holiday Box that I wished for when I received December’s subscription box!  Amoda = my Santa Claus!

And this is the first tea that I’m trying from the Holiday Box.

And YUM!  This is really good.  It’s a bit different than you might expect if you taste this without reading the above description of the tea.  The name Candy Cane is a very suggestive name and having tried several different “candy cane” teas over the years, I’ve kind of come to expect a tea called “Candy Cane” to taste a little bit like liquefied candy cane in tea.

But just as the description above states, this doesn’t taste like that.  This has a minty taste (just like most candy canes!) but the mint is balanced with a sweet-tart raspberry flavor, hints of cinnamon and whispers of sweet jasmine and rose.

The Holiday Box from Amoda Tea

The base of this tea is a green tea and red rooibos base – very festive!  I don’t taste a strong flavor from the rooibos, maybe a hint of nutty flavor but it’s slight.  I taste the sweet green tea peeking through the mint, raspberry and cinnamon.

The mint is a combination of peppermint and spearmint, but even though we’ve got two mint types in this blend, the mint doesn’t overpower the cup.  It’s minty without tasting too much like a swig of mouthwash.  The warm cinnamon contrasts with the cool minty tones and gives this cup it’s holiday flavor.

The rose and jasmine are very subtle.  There’s just a soft insinuation of flower in this – and it’s just enough to add a little bit of interest to the cup.  If you take a sip of this and find yourself searching for the floral notes, slurp the sip.  The aeration will bring those floral notes to life.

Raspberry is the one unexpected flavor of this cup, but I like that fruity sweetness and the hint of tart that melds with the cinnamon in the aftertaste.

This is definitely an unusual Candy Cane!  (But let me tell you, if I found a candy cane that tasted like this, I’d be a big fan of it, because this is yummy!)  It definitely has a ‘sweet treat’ kind of taste to it, but it isn’t the traditional Candy Cane.  This is a new-and-improved Candy Cane, Naked Teas Galore style!

Wonderland Custom Tea Blend from Adagio Teas

wonderlandTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Tea Description:

As part of the Wonderland series of tea, this blend mixes spearmint, cinnamon and candy cane for a refreshing – if bit mad – concoction of tea. The taste is extraordinary; minty, mad and yet crazy fun – just like Wonderland.

A Carolynne Keenan Custom Blend.

Learn more about this custom blend here.

Find more Carolynne Keenan blends here.

Taster’s Review:

The name of this Wonderland Custom Tea Blend from Adagio Teas designed by Carolynne Keenan is what interested me about this blend.  I’m a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I was intrigued by this blend.  I don’t know if I would have selected the Cinnamon, Candy Cane and Spearmint teas to create a blend called Wonderland, I guess because in my mind, they seem to go together so well, and I would think that Wonderland would be a bit more wacky.

That said, this blend is very tasty.  A really good balance of flavors has been achieved.  It’s got a zesty flavor from the cinnamon, but not too much.  There’s a fresh, minty flavor from the peppermint and spearmint, and a sweetness from the candy cane notes and it all melds in a way that is very pleasing to the palate.  It’s got a crisp, lively flavor to it.

And while I do taste the black tea, it’s more of a background note and not a real dominating force in this cup.  And given some of my past experiences with Adagio’s black tea base, I’d say that not experiencing that harshness from the black tea is all for the better.  It’s a good thing!

I drank about half a cup of this without any additions, and then I tried a full cup with about a half a teaspoon of sugar.  I found that the sugar really brought out the candy cane-ishness of this tea, and I enjoyed that.  It’s good without sugar, but better with just a little bit of sugar to bring the candy cane flavors to life.

Candy Cane Green Tea from English Tea Shop

ChristmasTinETSTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  English Tea Shop

Tea Description:

Candy Cane: Green tea, peppermint leaves, orange peels, cinnamon pieces, chicory, strawberry leaves and vanilla pods with mint, vanilla and coconut flavours.

Taster’s Review:

This Candy Cane Green Tea from English Tea Shop is another tea from the holiday package that I received from a friend this past Christmas.  The dry aroma smells like a candy cane … but there is also an artificial sort of smell to the dry leaf too.  It’s a little off-putting, but I’m hoping that it won’t affect the flavor of the brewed tea.

Yeah, I can still taste a bit of that artificial-ness, but, while it did smell a bit off, it doesn’t taste horrible.  On the contrary, this is actually tasty.  The flavors of candy cane are there:  mint and vanilla.

I taste hints of orange and cinnamon too, and they lend a holiday kind of warmth to the cup.  I like that while I can taste these flavors, they don’t interrupt the candy cane notes that I’m tasting, rather, they seem to accentuate the candy cane flavors.

And then there is the chicory and coconut which I think is what I was smelling and tasting that is so odd.  Maybe not so much an artificial scent but it’s just weird that I was smelling (and now tasting) coconut and chicory in there, you know?  It’s just … strange.  It doesn’t taste bad, just a bit unusual and a little out there, you know?

The green tea seems a little lost in this blend, and I think I’m finding myself wishing I was tasting a little less of these other flavors and more of the green tea with mint and vanilla to give it a more candy cane-ish sort of taste.

Overall, it’s not a bad candy cane tribute, and I’d drink it again if it were offered to me.  It’s sweet, minty and creamy, just like I’d expect from a candy cane and I like that.  But there are some other flavors in there that make this tea sort of stray from what it would seem should be its original intent, which is to be a candy cane tea.  The result of which makes this an average tasting candy cane tea.  Not great, but not bad either.