Summer Garden Citrus Mint Blend from Verdant Tea

summer-garden-citrus-mintTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green & Oolong Teas

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

Summer calls for a blend that’s crisp, sweet, and tangy enough to be a showstopping iced tea. We wanted to do something a little different to celebrate the season, so we sourced a beautiful Wenshan Baozhong Taiwanese oolong tea as the base of our recipe. Wenshan Baozhong is an extremely green oolong, full of grassy notes, but with floral and creamy aftertastes. Mixed with a dash of Yunnan Jingshan Green to round out the body, we think this makes the perfect green base for summer.

To bring out the fruity and floral notes naturally present in Wenshan Baozhong, we picked out creamy and sweet orange peel, rich lemongrass and a juicy bergamot. We use roasted dandelion root and licorice root to draw out the sweetness and help you make a satisfying iced tea- no sugar necessary! Finally, we make it crisp and refreshing with a dash of lavender and spearmint. Enjoy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This tea really is the perfect summer refreshment.  This summer has been so hot and uncomfortably muggy that there have been times when I couldn’t bear to brew a pot of hot tea because even though I know that hot tea tends to be more cooling than a cold drink, I couldn’t bring myself to brewing something hot to drink.  Thank goodness I had a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge for times like that.

This!  This tea would make a perfect iced tea.  I’m drinking it hot right now, and even served hot, it’s incredibly refreshing.  The base of Yunnan Jinshan Green and Wenshan Baozhong Oolong makes for a wonderful sweet and light flavor with a lovely creamy texture.  It’s lightly vegetal with just the right buttery note.

The lemon grass, orange peel and touch of bergamot adds a bright citrus note.  The bergamot does not give this an Earl Grey-ish sort of flavor, but instead just enhances the sunny citrus flavors with it’s zesty character.  I don’t know that I necessarily taste the dandelion root, although I do taste a toasty, nutty flavor which may be the presence of the roasted dandelion root.  I also don’t taste a lot of licorice.  But I do get a nice sweetness here – it’s pleasantly sweet without the addition of sweetener.

But the real star of this cup is the spearmint.  It adds just the right touch of crisp, cool minty flavor without getting too aggressive.  It doesn’t overpower … everything tastes very harmonious.  This tea is named perfectly:  Summer Garden Citrus Mint Blend.  I taste fresh leafy notes, citrus, mint.  It’s a beautifully smooth and enjoyable cup.

I can’t wait to be drinking this one chilled tomorrow!  YUM!

Detox Tea from Naked Teas Galore

Detox-TeaTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Functional Tisane

Where to Buy:  Naked Teas Galore

Tisane Description:

This is crafted ever so carefully to ensure that no one ingredient overpowers another. Wow! What a blend. Balanced spice, herbaceous nettle and a subtle apple-like flavour brought by the chamomile. Soothing mint and sweet liquorice to finish.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

I wasn’t all that excited to try this Detox Tea from Naked Teas Galore.  For one thing, it’s an herbal tisane, and for another it’s a functional herbal tisane.  Two strikes against it right from the start, and then it’s a chamomile blend too.  Yikes!

But I tried to remain positive and give it a try.  After all, Amoda Tea has been pretty good at selecting teas and even tisanes that make me happy that I’m a subscriber.  I mean, hey, if I wasn’t happy as a subscriber, I would have cancelled the subscription a long time ago.  (Speaking of subscribing, I highly recommend signing up for December’s box … it sounds like it’s going to be a winner!)

But, let’s get back to this Detox Tea, shall we?

This is actually a lot tastier than I thought it would be.  Normally, when I think “Detox Tea” or even “Functional Tisane,” I think that I’m in for a medicinal, herbaceous tasting drink.  Fortunately, this tastes neither medicinal or herbaceous to me.  The spices here are in the foreground, tasting more like cinnamon, cardamom, cinnamon and licorice than it does nettle or chamomile.

Oh sure, I can taste notes of the chamomile, and even hints of the herbaceous character of nettle and peppermint and dandelion root.  I taste notes of citrus from the lemongrass.  And all the flavors meld together in a way that is very tasty and not at all medicinal.

I like that the apple-y notes of the chamomile marry with the citrus tones of the lemongrass and the bright goji berry to create more of a “fruity” quality than distinct individual notes of each of these.  The same is true of the spices.  It doesn’t taste too much like any one of the spices, instead, I taste a medley of warm, zesty spice.

One of the nicer Detox tisanes that I’ve tasted … this is a detox I can stand behind, because this tastes really nice!

Organic Energizing Chai Blend from Zen Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh Tea & Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Zen Tea

Tea Description:

Velvety, mellow and deep, this chai is an enticing blend of energizing pu-erh tea, shade-grown yerba maté, and cacao. Made even more inviting by creamy vanilla, nutty coconut and fruity, pungent and uplifting Ayurvedic long pepper. It is the most sophisticated take on hot cocoa.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was skeptical.  A chai blend with a pu-erh and yerba maté base?  Sounds way too earthy for my liking!  But, this Organic Energizing Chai Blend from Zen Tea is really quite smooth and tasty!

I don’t know if its really “fair” to call it a chai, because the only “chai” spices it has is pepper (and this is long pepper, not the usual black pepper) and cardamom.  But OK, since, chai technically means “tea” and not spiced tea, I’ll accept that this is a chai.

But, that criticism notwithstanding, this is still really tasty.  It’s not overtly spicy, and not nearly as spicy as I would like a “chai” to be, but, I like this for what it is.  And what it is is a smooth, sweet, warm blend that brings together the flavors of chocolate, coconut and vanilla in a really exciting way.

As I mentioned before, the base of this chai is a pu-erh tea and Argentinian Yerba Maté.  Both of these ingredients contribute to the earthy notes of the cup, and this is a very prominent taste to this drink.  But, I am not finding it off-putting, and I’m not sure if it’s because the coconut and vanilla give it a pleasant smooth, creaminess that seems to soften the earthy tones or because the earthiness complements the chocolate notes so well (or perhaps a bit of both of these reasons!)  The Pu-erh is more pronounced than the Yerba Maté, but I can taste both in this cup.

The chocolate is really nice here.  It has a deep, rich, almost toasty flavor to it, and this is nicely accented with the sweet, creamy notes from the vanilla and coconut.  Overall, this is a really tasty cup – certainly different from the typical chai!  But, I like this one for its differences.  This is not one I’d recommend to someone looking for a good, spicy chai, but, rather, someone who was looking for something that is a departure from that spicy chai.  This is not spicy … but it is tasty!

I like it!

Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast 2012 from T-Oolong Tea

Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast 2012 from T-Oolong Tea
Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast 2012 from T-Oolong Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:

Where to Buy: T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

This quality Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast Oolong is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Alishan oolong. Use only the charcoal made of either Taiwan Longan wood or Taiwan Acacia wood to roast the tea (NOT by electric roasters), and follow old traditional method. This tea has a strong charcoal aroma and taste mixing with flavors of Alishan oolong. The aftertaste is enjoyable and long lasting. It tastes very smooth, sweet, rich and complex, and stands up very well to multiple infusions.

Learn more about this tea here.


Taster’s Review:

Today I reached into my grab bag of teas to review, and was thrilled when I pulled this, Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast 2012 from T-Oolong Tea! Not only has my tasting from T-Oolong Tea been sorely underdone, but an oolong, Yes! Not only an oolong but a fire roasted oolong, yes again! This sounds so good that I hope it meets my high expectations!

I sneak a sniff as it steeps. I smell roasted fruitiness, and the aroma of a very clean spring from the mountains. Granted I do use good bottled water, but this aroma is not simply the water I use, its different, and reminds me of the natural stream I used to sip from with friends when I was younger, back in the days when I rode horses, daily. We knew of a stream – the best tasting water I have ever had, that we would ride to when we were parched.

So I have taken my first sip and oh my goodness, this is delicious! As I taste fruity notes, smokiness, and mineral notes. There is a wonderful sweetness to this tea, a brown sugar or German rock sugar sweetness, somewhere in between the two. I am not getting as deep of a sweetness of a brown sugar, but there is something a little more to it, like a caramel perhaps.

I also get a lovely white flower note as well as a green note, but not green like vegetal, more green like greens themselves, almost like dandelion leaves.

The after taste is clean, clear, and very refreshing! The sweetness gives way leaving a wonderful rock mineral note, floral, and that green bite, not bitter but tart.

The sad thing about this tea is that T-Oolong Tea is currently out of stock, I assume waiting on the 2013 batch, I am going to have to keep my eyes peeled for this one, this is absolutely a reorder worthy tea, and permanent stock worthy as well!

This tea is a must try for anyone who loves oolongs, especially darker roasted oolong tea.

Yes it certainly did meet my expectations, soared over them! I love this one.

Dandelion White Tea from Nature’s Tea Leaf

Dandelion White Tea Nature's Tea Leaf
Dandelion White Tea Nature’s Tea Leaf

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: White

Where to Buy: Nature’s Tea Leaf 

Tea Description:

Dandelion Leaf White Tea is our own blend of Dandelion leaves with select white tea leaves. White tea is well known for its significant levels of antioxidants and is becoming more popular in weight loss programs by helping to block the absorption of fat. The Dandelion has been used for food and as an herb for much of its long history. Among the many benefits of the dandelion is its ability to aid in weight loss by acting as a mild diuretic and reducing excess fluids in the body. Other valuable benefits include acting as a stabilizing agent against extreme high and low blood sugar levels, stimulating the production of digestive juices, and aiding in reducing inflammation in the liver. Dandelion leaves contain significant numbers of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and K, and are also a good source of calcium, potassium and iron.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I saw Dandelion White Tea from Nature’s Tea Leaf I nearly squeed and I KNEW I HAD to have it!

I love dandelions, yes that’s right love them! I will not turn this review into the myriad of reasons why I love them but lets just say this, I love them so much I have a tattoo of one on my ankle with the dandelion roots going right onto my foot. Dandelions are wonderful gifts of nature.

With that said … This tea … it tastes just like buttery sweet simmered veggies. It reminds me of my veggies from my stir fry before I add one of the many sauces I usually add.

This tea is not bitter as one may fear or think.

It really tastes just like a succulent green tea! Buttery, savory in some ways with herbal type flavors throughout. There is also a slight taste of fenugreek as well. The lingering after taste is reminiscent of avocado. Specifically the part of the avocado that is very close to the skin, a little earthier than the heart of the avocado.

I am so happy to have found that Nature’s Tea Leaf has this tea and will even say, regardless of my love of dandelion, is one of the better white teas I have had in a very long time. I almost said “flavored” white teas but its not even flavored which makes it all the better! Its a beautiful thing what nature can capture in tea, then to add to that a wonderful, beneficial herb like dandelion which is simply not used in enough things, we have perfection!

I am fairly new to Nature’s Tea Leaf as a tea company but I have been looking over their site more since I obtained this tea along with two others from them and I have to say it is wonderful to feel this type of excitement over a tea company.

Dandelion White Tea is creamy in the mouthfeel with a velvet like feeling, more than silky, thicker than that. Its so very naturally sweet I would think adding sugar would make it just too sweet.

This tea calls for a steeping of up to five minutes and I steeped it for a good 4 minutes and got plenty of flavor. I only found one other review on this tea which is on the Nature’s Leaf Tea site and that person said it was bitter to them. While I suppose all of our taste buds are slightly different I have to say I do not detect even the slightest amount of bitterness in this tea. Perhaps this person’s experience was bitter due to over steeping or using the wrong water temp but I don’t want to assume that because this other reviewer may be quite knowledgeable about tea. The point is – remember water temp and steep times are important and I think even more so when dealing with delicate herbs like the dandelion.

So overall – being the dandelion lover that I am I am 100% approving of this lovely tea! Thank you Nature’s Tea Leaf for providing us with some very unusual and wonderful blends!