Queen Elizabeth Black Tea (Organic, Fair Trade) from CaryTown Teas

queenelizabethTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where To Buy:  CaryTown Teas

Tea Description:

An elegant blend of Assam, Darjeeling, and Nigliri, with exquisite warm and nutty notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A very nice tea blend – it’s hearty enough to serve as a breakfast tea, but it would also be quite nice to serve to guests at a luncheon (or tea party!) or, as an afternoon pick-me-up when a lighter black tea just won’t cut it.

There is definitely some heft to this cup.  It has a strong, rich flavor, but the Darjeeling in the blend keeps the bolder notes under control just a bit, so that it doesn’t become too much.  Just a touch of light to what I might otherwise consider a very dark blend … like a candle in an an otherwise pitch black room.

There is a really lovely undertone of sweetness here that is like honeyed caramel.  This is further accented by the notes of malt in the tea, as well as the fruit-y notes that are scattered throughout the sip.  The description above suggests warm and nutty tones, and I get those as well.  The finish is astringent, but nothing too overwhelming.  I tasted no bitterness, but, this isn’t a tea I’d recommend over-steeping.  In other words:  don’t forget to set your timer with this one!

This would make an excellent latte, but I find it quite enjoyable served straight as well … a drizzle of honey is also quite nice in this.

Tummy Tonic from CaryTown Teas

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type: Medicinal Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  CaryTown Teas

Tisane Description:

Organic Tummy Tonic is an herbal tea blend designed to help sooth an upset stomach, stimulate digestion, relieve bloating and is delicious and safe to drink any time of day, every day!

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I feel that I owe the kind people at CaryTown Teas a bit of an apology.  They had sent me a sampling of this tea some time ago for me to review.  But because of it’s purported stomach soothing properties, I wanted to wait until I had an upset stomach before I tried it so that I could review the tisane on more than just its taste.  Well, time went by, and I’m quite sure that I’ve had at least one or two tummy aches between now and then, but, I had forgotten about the tea until a couple of weeks ago when I came across it as I was going through my cupboard.

Well, tonight is the night.  I actually do have a bit of an unsettled stomach, as I’ve been enjoying some rather spicy (VERY spicy) jalapeño snacks (you can learn more about these on my foodie website) and as delicious as the snacks are, my stomach now feels a bit uneasy.  So, I’m hoping that this Tummy Tonic from CaryTown Teas will help soothe my stomach … and hopefully I won’t end up with a case of heartburn. And while I’m not so sure that this is the type of upset stomach that CaryTown Teas had in mind when they developed their Tummy Tonic, it would be nice to have a natural tisane remedy for such a case, as I tend to eat spicy food rather often.

This blend is a melange of ginger, licorice, peppermint and chamomile, so I expected a strong minty taste with peppery notes and hopefully that snappy sweet taste of licorice.  And that’s pretty much what I’m tasting.  The chamomile is a light flavor here – primarily I taste the ginger, licorice and peppermint.  The peppermint is a bit lighter than I expected it to be, but it is crisp and cooling, and I’m enjoying it.

The ginger has a peppery taste, and I like the way the peppermint and ginger compliment each other.  I don’t know that I really noticed how well these two ingredients go together before, but they make a winning combination.  It is zesty without being too peppery or minty, they balance each other out, cutting through the powerful flavors of each so that the overall result is more mellow and soothing. The licorice is quite pleasant here too, sweet and yet spicy in its own way.  It lends a very enjoyable taste to the overall cup.  Yes, the flavor is a bit medicinal, which should be expected from a medicinal herbal blend.

However, it isn’t an unpleasant flavor, and yes, it is indeed soothing my stomach.  I will have to finish this review in the morning, after I’ve had time to determine whether or not I’ve suffered from heartburn … but, I’ll let you know!

The Next Morning:  No heartburn last night, and this morning my tummy feels good as new!  Hurray for Tummy Tonic!

Flu Fighter from CaryTown Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  CaryTown Teas

Product Description:

Organic Flu Fighter Blend is a soothing medicinal blend that is designed to help your body fight infection.

Reputed ingredient properties: Ginger root and Lemon Verbena to calm an upset stomach, Elder berries & flower, Cardamom, Chrysanthemum and Holy Basil to boost your immune system and fight infection and reduce fever, Chamomile to sooth an aching body, Linden flower for nasal congestion and Hibiscus, which is extremely high in vitamin C.

Taster’s Review:

My husband has been sick for a few days; he has the flu.  I don’t want the flu; but I don’t like needles, so I avoid shots whenever possible.  Flu shots are optional so I don’t get them.  I think I’d rather risk the flu than get a shot.  That being said, I still don’t want to get the flu, so I am hoping that this tea will help out!

The first time I brewed a cup, I steeped it for only five minutes, which is my usual maximum steep time when it comes to teas with hibiscus.  However, after those five minutes, I can barely taste the hibiscus.  There is a hint of tartness that accents the elderberry flavor.  This tisane has a very light taste and texture – and usually with a hibiscus blend, the texture is quite thick.

Which leads me to think that this tisane is safe for a longer steep time!  For my second cup, I steeped it for a full eight minutes, and the flavor is much stronger.  Even so, the flavor of the hibiscus is not the most dominate flavor here.  There is – of course – some tartness from the hibiscus, and a little more thickness to the body than with the first cup, but the hibiscus did not overpower the cup the way I thought it might!  What a delightful surprise, this tisane!

There is a bright, lemony flavor in the background of this tisane, and a sweet-tart berry taste in the foreground.  I can taste hints of a minty-like taste from the tulsi (holy basil) that sort of weaves its way in and out of the sip.  There is a slight warmth from the ginger and cardamom – not much! – and it gives it a very soothing effect.  Adding to that sense of calm is the chamomile.  The ginger and cardamom flavors develop as I make my way down the cup, but even by the end of the cup, the taste is not strongly spiced.

Before I tasted this, I expected it to taste quite medicinal, but it doesn’t.  It does have a herbal-y taste to it, which is to be expected, but, it doesn’t come off as medicine-y, it is more like a pleasing chamomile tea that one might enjoy at the end of a long day to encourage a feeling of tranquility.

I do recommend a little drizzle of honey with this blend – honey is not only loaded with antioxidants, but it also enhances the flavor as well, which is a little bland without the honey.  But with just a little honey, I am finding this to be a really enjoyable drink.