Today for the Vegan MoFo prompt it’s “Comfort Food” and since here at Sororitea Sisters we post about teas and tisanes I have chosen Roasted Chestnut Rooibos from Simpson & Vail to be featured today. This Rooibos offering surprised me on so many levels that I just HAD to share my experiences with you!
Not only is Roasted Chestnut Rooibos from Simpson & Vail one of their holiday blends that I could totally see myself sipping on while under a blanket and/or near a fire but it’s super tasty and comforting on the flavor level, too! Right off the bat I can tell you that the color of Roasted Chestnut Rooibos from Simpson & Vail infuses to an exciting and vibrant orange-golden-light-brown color that really draws me in!
It’s smells wonderful with the sweet yet creamy notes, the orange pokes, and the nuttiness! There is a butteriness that I haven’t tasted in other rooibos offerings that I am super stoked about in this S&V creation. This just might be one of my favorite flavored rooibos tastes of this year! Roasted Chestnut Rooibos from Simpson & Vail is a terrific comfort cuppa. I think the reason I am overly excited about this one is because I am not a Chestnut Guru or a Rooibos Rabid Fan! Which makes this even better, I think!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail
Description: Usher in the holiday season with this joyous brew. If you like chestnuts roasted on an open fire you’ll love this caffeine free tisane! The dry leaf has the aroma of nutty, heavenly goodness and the brewed cup explodes with this flavor followed by a light buttery taste. So curl up by a fire with this delicious cup while you read your favorite book and listen to holiday songs. We dare you to try not to sing “that” song!
Ingredients: Red Rooibos, orange blossoms and flavoring.
Brew tea at 212º – steep for 5 minutes.
Caffeine free. Certified Kosher
I can’t remember the last time I drank a Tie Guan Yin, which is something of a surprise as it’s become one of my favourite oolong varieties. I was more than pleased when I came across this one, not least because it’s a good opportunity to reacquaint myself. This particular Tie Guan Yin is from the Anxi Nature Reserve in Fujian Province, a major Chinese tea growing region (although one I seem to associate more with black tea than with oolong, strangely enough!)
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water slightly cooled from boiling. The resulting liquor is a clear, pale green with a light yellowish tinge. The leaves are beautifully variegated, encompassing pretty much all shades of green from the palest to the darkest, and just a hint of brown. It’s like walking through a forest in the sunlight! The leaves are rolled, and after three minutes they haven’t entirely unfurled, suggesting that this one might be good for at least another couple of steeps.
The scent of the brewed tea is light but noticeably floral. It reminds me primarily of orchids, lilies, and jasmine – heady, scent-heavy flowers. This carries through into the taste, which initially is very heavily floral. So floral, it almost tastes thick. It doesn’t cross over into territory that’s too perfumey or cloying, but it’s definitely distinctively floral. The mid-sip brings a green beany sweetness that helps to freshen up the overall flavour profile, and towards the end of the sip there’s a hint of nuttiness that puts me very much in mind of hazelnuts. It’s an interesting flavour combination, but one that ultimately works well.
I’m also pleased to find that it very smooth in terms of mouthfeel, with an almost-silkiness about it. There’s no bitterness or astringency at all, even though the water was quite hot and the brew time reasonably long. As the cup cools, it develops a creaminess that complements the flavours (and particularly the lingering nuttiness) beautifully.
This reacquaintance with a Tie Guan Yin has reminded me why I enjoyed these teas so much in the first place. I’m impressed with the quality of this tea, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Teasenz’s offerings in the future. Impressed!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Teasenz
An all-time favorite of Chinese oolong tea lovers. This beautiful emerald green tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin. Poets of the Middle Kingdom have described this premium tea for its purifying taste, bringing you into a peaceful, meditative state of mind.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Chocolate
Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA
Looking for a rich and decadent pick-me-up? Check out this deliciously creamy chocolate bar, a combination of the finest imported white chocolate and our java-spiked Jumpy Monkey tea. With yerba mate, cocoa nibs and coffee beans, it makes for an exotic taste of the rainforest at its finest. Made in partnership with a Montreal chocolatier.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve had this tea before as a latte, and as far as I can remember it wasn’t too impressive. Kind of run of the mill, actually? However I was still pretty pumped to see it in chocolate bar format at the store yesterday because, first off, I love white chocolate though also because even though I’m not a huge fan of coffee I have a special place in my heart for white chocolate coated coffee beans. My Dad used to buy them in bulk, and late at night I’d sneak into the kitchen (when I was around eleven) and eat small handfuls out of the bag in the pantry. And of course, I’d have problems falling asleep after that…
However, this is a slight let down if I’m being honest. I mean, the white chocolate is really good! I love the white chocolate that DAVIDsTEA uses for these chocolate bars. The problem, for me, is that it really over powers the flavour of the tea/coffee. It doesn’t help part of the profile of this tea is white chocolate in the first place. I’m conflicted by this. One thing I dislike about DAVIDsTEA’s chocolate bars is that the infused chunks are often too large but in this rare occasion I really wanted more large pieces because without them the tea is lost. I wish there was a better way to ensure a more consistent size for the pieces used in these chocolate bars, but I don’t know what the best way to go about finding it would be. However, it does at least seems like DAVIDsTEA is trying to do that because these newer bars do at least seem to consistently use smaller pieces and I know that was something that was really being criticized prior to the change. So I commend them for that.
But without the flavour of the tea, this is just a super expensive white chocolate bar.
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: Green
Where to Buy: Udyan Tea
Rohini has been planted with special green tea clones which have very less *tannin content in them. The teas made from these bushes taste smooth and sweet, with pronounced vegetable flavour. They aren’t bitter unlike their counterparts from the district. Rohini Emerald Green Tea is made from single leaf and a bud.
Learn more about this tea here.
Rohini Emerald Green is a First Flush Darjeeling tea, a variety I’m particularly fond of. I’m intrigued by this one, though (more so than usual!) because the leaf is different from any I’ve seen before. It’s a fairly uniform mid-green in colour, with one or two lighter leaves and some yellow mottling. What’s surprising is that the leaves are large and curly, partially rolled but not tightly. I’ve never seen a first flush Darjeeling that looks quite like this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow-green, the scent reminiscent of a green tea. After an initial hit of orchid-like floral, there’s a distinctive vegetal scent. The leaves, once unfurled, remind me a little of oak tree leaves.
To taste, this tea is also unlike any Darjeeling I’ve tried before. In some ways, it’s far more like a green tea or an oolong than anything else. The initial flavour is lightly floral, in the sweet, heady way of orchids. It’s not an intensely perfumey floral, but rather like crushing the petals of an orchid or lily flower in your hand and then translating the scent into a taste. It’s difficult to describe, because it’s like the wrong sense is being used, but that’s as close as I can get to identifying the kind of sensation the floral produces. There’s a mild “green” flavour lurking underneath the floral, but it’s more chlorophyll than vegetal – not a flavour I’ve come across very often, but it works well here, continuing the floral theme. The texture reminds me a lot of an unflavoured milk oolong, in that it’s buttery and mildly creamy. It’s not thick tasting, exactly, but it has a sort of dairy cream feel to it that’s pleasant and unusual – almost a little “flat” tasting, but with a richness at the same time. The aftertaste is a little mineral, again reminding me of a green oolong. It’s a little like wet rock; a tiny bit metallic, but also fresh and clean.
This one was an experience for me, and I really savoured every sip. I’ve not come across a Darjeeling like this before, either in terms of taste or appearance, so it really made me think about, and question, my expectations. I enjoyed the flavour, even though floral teas aren’t usually my thing. Clearly I can still surprise myself on occasion! I’d happily recommend this one to most people, whether they’re fans of Darjeeling, green, oolong or floral teas. This tea certainly offers a unique experience, and its placed Udyan Tea more firmly on my personal radar.