Cranberry Creme Black from 52Teas

CranberryCremeSSTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

I wanted to create a cranberry flavored black tea – but I didn’t want to go for a straightforward cranberry black tea because that’s been done. At first, I was going to go with a cranberry custard pie flavor but my initial taste tests of that blend proved to be underwhelming. So instead, I went with a cranberry tea with a creamy custard-y flavor. It has a tangy cranberry note but the edgier, tartier flavors of the cranberry are softened by the sweet, vanilla creme notes. It’s tasty!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about subscribing to 52Teas’ Tea of the Week program here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of Anne’s 52Teas creations, and one I was really excited about when I saw it because I absolutely ADORE cranberry tea! This is a pretty good, simpler cranberry black tea. I really, really get a good amount of natural semi-sweet cranberry notes and that flavour gets a bit more depth from the flavour of warming cinnamon and the brisk black base, which is also just slightly malty. It’s a good, medium body and well rounded flavour. However, I when I drank this I definitely did feel like the “creme” aspect of the tea was lacking. Sure, this was SUPER tasty as a simple cranberry black tea but nothing about it was necessarily soft or silky in the way that you’d expect cream/custard/vanilla to be – and that’s definitely what Anne seems to have been trying to achieve here.

To be perfectly honest though, as someone who really likes cranberry teas I’ve tried a lot of them so the range of blends I can compare this one too is pretty large. My personal favourite is Harney & Son’s Boston Blend which _really_ nails the creamy cranberry component. However, this one does a much better job conveying the natural, realistic flavour of cranberry.

Totally worth tasting, but for the cranberry notes over the ‘creme’.

Cranberry Immune Booster by Tea Drift

cranberryimmuneTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Tea Drift

Tea Description:

This tea has just as pleasing of an aroma as it does flavor. Delightful over ice, the fruity and bright flavors are sure to tickle the tastebuds of any tea drinker. Enjoy it all day long, as it is free from caffeine.

Ingredients: Pineapple, papaya, peach, passion fruit, mango, hibiscus, cranberry and apricot.

Health Benefits:

  • High in antioxidants
  • Can help lower blood pressure
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Contains no caffeine
  • Aids in digestion

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

‘Tis the season… The cold season. The flu season. The never-enough-tissues-in-the-house season. For those days when a warm blanket, a nice bowl of chicken soup, and a comforting cup of tea are are called for it’s nice to have an herbal tea like this waiting in the cupboard.

Cranberry Immune Booster is a fruity herbal with a slightly tart bite from the hibiscus and cranberry. This actually taste more like a tropical tea. The pineapple is the main flavor while the papaya, mango, and passion fruit mix together in a delicious tropical punch flavor that I think kids of all ages would enjoy. I can smell the peach note in the dry leaf and infused tea, but I don’t taste it. The hibiscus shows up at the end of the sip. Now to be fair, I am not a big fan of hibiscus. I find that teas with hibiscus can turn into a bitter mess in a hot minute. This is especially true the closer hibiscus is to the top of the ingredient list. Thankfully it’s pretty far down on the list for this tea, so while there is some tartness it’s not too bad. Adding sugar would lessen the tart flavor, but I didn’t find that necessary here.

I am not qualified to write about the possible health benefits of this tea, so I’ll leave that for the experts. I will say that tea is always a comfort to me. When I’m feeling under the weather I appreciate a nice cup of tea even more. A caffeine free herbal tea is nothing short of a gift on those days when I need to rest so I can get better. It’s like a little hug in a cup, and who couldn’t use that now and then?

If you’re looking for an herbal tea that’s full of tropical flavors then this is a nice tea to try. It’s delicious and worth a sip whether or not you’re looking to fight off the latest cold virus of the season.


The Holiday Season Approaches!


ChristmasLogo1This isn’t a review but an advertisement (sorry guys!)  No, we don’t usually advertise here on this site – this is an anomaly – but because one of the founding SororiTea Sisters is now the Mad Tea Artist behind 52Teas, she gets the privilege of deviating from the norm.

And 52Teas has a Holiday Pre-Sale going on right now on Kickstarter!  This isn’t a typical “fundraising” Kickstarter campaign, instead, this is a chance for you to get some Christmas shopping done early while it helps us keep things just a little more organized by keeping our pre-sales separate from our day-to-day sales activity.

52Teas is offering 5 unique, limited edition teas for this promotion – these teas will be available only during the season and once they’re sold out, they won’t be reblended until next Christmas!

Here’s the specs on those five VITs (Very Important Teas):

  • Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – This is a special blend of black teas with a hint of Lapsang Souchong to give it that smoky touch that you’d experience from an open fire.  Flavored with chestnut and caramel and just a hint of spice to give it that winter-y kind of appeal.
  • Gingerbread Houjicha – I love the flavor of gingerbread and I think that the roasty-toasty, nutty flavor of houjicha would offer a delightful base to these flavors.
  • Eggnog Chai – A Chai blend (black tea with a touch of honeybush) flavored with notes of custard-y eggnog with an extra dash of nutmeg to enliven the cup.  This would make a great latte to serve Santa on Christmas Eve!
  • Cranberry Orange Cider – A blend of red and green rooibos that’s been flavored with cranberry, orange and apple with a medley of holiday spices.
  • Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate – For this blend, I chose a special black tea blend (crafted with teas from our friends at Verdant Tea) for the base that has a rich, natural cacao flavor with hints of malt.  Peppermint, marshmallow and even more chocolate-y flavor to create a deliciously delightful cuppa.

YUM!  So please take a moment to visit the 52Teas Kickstarter Holiday Pre-Sale and get some of that early Christmas shopping done early!  The campaign closes on October 27th so your card won’t be charged until that date, and the teas will be shipped in plenty of time for gift giving!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this . . . now let’s get back to the reviews!

Cranberry Matcha from Red Leaf Tea

Cranberry-MatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/Matcha

Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Cranberry matcha is an excellent drink for those who need a splash of brilliant flavor in the even-toned drink. The bitter aftertaste of the cranberry is toned down by matcha’s velvety goodness to bring about a tea that has a hint of excitement and exquisite flavor. Cranberry matcha is ideal for any official or social gathering where people appreciate nature’s abundant choices and varied charms. This is the tea that cannot go wrong as far as savvy crowds are concerned.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Recently, Red Leaf Tea has started to offer a sampler of their flavored matcha. You can chose from a selection of preselected flavors,  This is definitely a very cool way to let new and returning customers try different flavours before purchasing a larger 30 gram amount and, with my latest order, I included the smaller size of this sampler in my order. I will be reviewing each of the samples I received.

This is the first of five flavors, all with the default basic grade of matcha and flavouring.

I’ve never really thought of cranberry as a flavour that I needed to experience as matcha; however when I saw it as one of the options for the sampler I knew I had to try it out. Cranberry is a consistent favourite flavour of mine in teas. Opening up the sample packet, it definitely smells pretty strongly of cranberry – like an unsweetened cranberry juice.

I prepared 1/2 tsp. of the matcha in my chawan, but with cold cashew milk instead of regular milk or water. The cashew milk doesn’t froth very well, but it gets very thick and it takes a long time for the matcha to resettle and separate.

This definitely nails cranberry right on the head, but with a very floral and perfume like component. I think this is in part from the matcha itself, but also from the flavoring used. Sometimes Red Leaf Tea’s fruit blends have a tendency to taste somewhat chemical or artificial and I think that’s happening a little bit here. While I don’t mind the floral notes, the “perfume” is very fake tasting and detracts just a little from the overall flavor. I would absolutely be nervous trying this one as a flavor level like “Robust”. I can’t even imagine what it would be like at the “There’s matcha in there!?” level – probably bad.

It is weird experiencing the flavor cold and paired with the light flavor of cashew (from the milk) but in a pleasant way. Harney & Sons has a blend called Boston which is the pairing of cranberry and almond, and the pairing of flavors here reminds me of that tea. This aspect of the matcha works well for me; though obviously not everyone is going to have access to cashew milk to try it this way.

I think I’ll have fun tinkering around with this blend; there’s room for improvement for sure, but if you like the taste of cranberry it’s absolutely worth giving this one a shot!

Colonial Cranberrry from Mountain Witch Tea Co

colonialcranberryTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Mountain Witch Tea Co

Tea Description:

This holiday favorite is a delightful blend of our finest black tea, dried cranberries, tart cranberry flavor and other berry essences. A perfect holiday treat to warm your spirit. This 4 oz. bag makes 50-60 cups. Enjoy hot or iced.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Ever want to have a tart tea?  I think I have found the as- close-to- perfect tart tea to make an amazingly tart iced tea that I have come across so far.

Mountain Witch Tea Co has some of the best flavored black teas that I have had in a long time.  I can’t say enough about Kelly’s Blood Orange and Mojave Desert Prickly Pear blends.   No matter how I brew them, they are simply amazing and not finicky.  The easiest flavored black teas I have ever brewed up.

So I knew that I would like this one.  I was actually surprised tho.  Brewed up hot, I didn’t care for this one.  The black tea is still delicious but the cranberry tartness is a bit overwhelming.  I think if there was a touch or two of vanilla to mellow out the tart this tea would be out of this world.  Without it, it just seems like the tea is lacking. Hmm . . that sounds amazing.  A cranberry vanilla black tea.

When I brewed this one cold- Oh my! That is what I was hoping for.  The tartness pops and isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t dominate and takeover the brew.  It is like this tea was made to be an iced tea. The cranberry flavor is delightful and really rounds out the cup.   I don’t feel the need to add any sugar or sweeteners.  Exactly what I was looking for and needing.

This isn’t my favorite offering from Kelly’s line of teas, but it is good. I can’t wait to brew up a pitcher of this for those hot summer days that are rapidly approaching! This one would also be awesome to serve up during the holidays with maybe some mulling spices added in or some vanilla beans.  Oh! I can see it now.  We are going to get “fancy” this holiday!