Strawberry Genmaicha Green from ESP Emporium

StrawberryGenmaichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: ESP Emporium

Tea Description:

Here, we have two green teas, which were combined to an exceptional premium tea blend. The characteristic of Japanese Genmaicha is supported wonderfully by our smooth green tea. This creation is perfected by the added strawberry pieces and a finely balanced flavor composition.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Since I’ve tried a few ‘unconventional’ Genmaicha blends lately I wanted to do something different with this one, which is why I cold brewed it. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever done that before with a Genmaicha blend; I can’t easily bring an example to mind.

I have to admit it was a little weird tasting a cold brewed Genmaicha; the green tea wasn’t anything exceptional nor was it disappointing but the strong, drawn out notes of roasted brown rice – which took on a near barley taste, were more intense than I would expect from Genmaicha. More like a good mugicha than anything else, to be honest.

The strawberry  certainly is not the most vibrant strawberry flavour though. I wouldn’t even call it all that realistic to be honest; what it does taste like it strawberry candy. Some kind of cross between those fluffy strawberry marshmallow five cent candies you see in gas stations and a really nice strawberry gummy candy? I like the taste itself, but the pairing with the green tea/roasted notes doesn’t work for me.

So overall; I’d say there were definitely high and low points to this tea and if I revisit it I’ll definitely be trying an alternative prep method (perhaps something more traditional) than revisiting this one. It’s not worth a second taste.

Organic Mango/Pear Deluxe White from ESP Emporium

mangopearTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: ESP Emporium

Tea Description:

The natural friendship of “East meets West” is portrayed when we look at the flavor composition mango and pear in this organic blend. Any possible early shyness as to whether this is really the perfect match was gone the minute these two fruits met on the delicate white peony tea. A must have organic creation!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mango isn’t always a flavour that appeals to me, but I’ve tried a few paired with a white base and they’ve all been pretty enjoyable. On top of that, I really like pear though honestly I’m unsure how the pairing will do. It’s not one I’ve seen done often, and I’m worried that the mango may mask the pear if it’s not over the top.

I made this one as a cold brew, and honestly I’m not loving it though I don’t hate it either. The white base is acting as a very good blank canvas for the flavour; you can hardly taste any contributions from it except for maybe some lighter honeysuckle notes. Whether that’s good or bad would I guess depend on your personal tastes. The main reason I’m not all over this is that it might as well just be a mango tea; I can’t taste the pear at all. The mango is nice though; it’s got a light ‘spritzer’ kind of vibe to it, and is tropical but almost in a citrusy tangerine sort of way. I’m enjoying what I’m tasting, it’s just totally not what I was hoping for.

That’s alright though; you can’t love every tea and somewhere out there someone’s looking for an organic mango tea on a white base and this is probably perfect for them.

Pomegranate Dragon Fruit Green/White Tea from ESP Emporium

pomegranatedragonfruitTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/White

Where to Buy: ESP Emporium

Tea Description:

Was the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden a pomegranate tree? Until this day, the pomegranate is considered a symbol of immortality and sensibility. Combined with the exotic dragonfruit and a touch of vanilla a paradisaical taste experience is formed. The unique blend of strong Sencha, select Kukicha and finest Pai Mu Tan ensures that this truly is a premium quality. Let yourself be seduced.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Pomegranate and green tea seem to be a fairly common pairing, and I have to admit it’s not one I’ve explored often enough given how much I actually like pomegranate – but the dragonfruit in this blend? That was the nail in the coffin, and the aspect that got me really truly excited for this blend. I absolutely adore the subtle pear/kiwi like flavour of dragonfruit and I used to buy quite a lot of it, but it’s really expensive ($3 a fruit) so I had to cut down.

This cold brew definitely puts more emphasis on the pomegranate though; it’s very sweet and juicy, with a really round and robust fruity flavour that just dominates over the entire drink. There is a little ‘extra’ fruit flavour that creeps into the end of the sip and aftertaste though. It reminds me quite a bit of a mild or more tame kiwi flavour which is definitely the dragonfruit. I didn’t really taste the vanilla for most of the drink. It wasn’t until the last few swigs that I thought it stood out as more than just additional sweetness.

As for the base, I struggled to taste the white tea, but the green was slightly present as a crisp, clear vegetal background note. It did a good job of being subtly present without cutting into the flavourings, which are definitely meant to be the focus of the blend.

This is definitely an enjoyable blend, well suited for summer.

Enchanted Forest Blend from ESP Emporium

EnchantedForestTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea & Yerba Mate

Where to Buy:  ESP Emporium

Tea Description:

This blend of mellow Sencha and spicy, green mate is a real surprise. Richly decorated, it captivates not only with its striking look, but also develops a completely new and aromatic taste. The tempting aroma of Black Forest Cherry cakes, refined with a little sweetness and attractively decorated, make this blend a much sought-after specialty. An exceptional creation which proves that tea always has something new to offer.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This Enchanted Forest Blend from ESP Emporium is a tasty blend, but, even though I’m not hating what I’m tasting … I’m a little disappointed.  The description suggests “Black Forest Cherry Cake” and I’m not getting that from the aroma or the taste.

What I do taste is a sweet, vegetative green tea, and the earthy notes of yerba mate.  It has a refreshing taste to it and I can definitely feel the invigorating effects of the yerba mate.  It has a fresh, crisp flavor, and I taste very subtle hints of floral tones.  It is a pleasantly sweet, vegetative cup with a light brothy texture.

But, if I’m supposed to be tasting cake-y flavors, well, I’m not.  No black forest, no cherry, no chocolate, no cake.  And there’s nothing in this blend that even suggests at these flavors except for a vague, indistinct tart note that could be very faint insinuation of sour cherry flavor.  But even that note is something that is so barely there that doesn’t even seem worth mentioning.

So, I was hoping for a chocolate-y, cherry Black Forest cake dessert-y type tea blend … but what I got was a blend of earthy yerba mate and refreshing Sencha.  Tasty, yes … but not something I’d recommend to others.

Winter Solstice Herb Tea Blend from ESP Emporium


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane & Spice Melange

Where to Buy:  ESP Emporium

Tisane Description:

Winter solstice, also called midwinter, is the pendant to midsummer and symbolizes hope: it marks the longest night of the year after which the days slowly become longer! The period of the Zodiac signs of Capricorn to Gemini. However, since the four elements of the twelve astrological zodiac signs – air, earth, fire and water – comprise the second half of the year, we are certain that the warm flavors of caramelized pomegranate in combination with the wintry spices are also a real indulgence and bright spot for the signs of Cancer to Sagittarius! The stars are in your favor!

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I am usually hesitant to try fruit and herbal tisanes such as this Winter Solstice Herb Tea Blend from ESP Emporium, usually because hibiscus scares me just a tad, but also because I really just prefer TEA … as in the leaf of the Camellia Sinensis plant.  Fruit and herbal tisanes aren’t bad, but, they just aren’t as interesting to me as tea.

However, I am enjoying this blend.  It is heavier on the fruit than it is on the herbal, and there is a nice touch of spice to this that makes it very palate pleasing.  The hibiscus is not a heavy component to the tisane – there is some and it adds to the color (the liquid brews to a beautiful ruby color), the texture (which is thick but not too thick or syrupy), and just a hint of tartness to the flavor (which offers a nice contrast to some of the sweet and spice of this blend).

I like that I can taste the pomegranate, the orange, and the cranberry.  I like the combination of these fruits.  Together they are sweet, tangy and verging on tart but not so tart that I find it off-putting, and I tend to be very sensitive to tartness.  (I don’t like to pucker when I’m drinking tea!)  Of these three fruits, I think that the orange is the strongest, and perhaps the orange (together with the apple, which offers more of a “sweetness but not so much of a distinct apple flavor) is what tones down the tartness to a drinkable level for me.

I don’t taste a whole lot of the Star Anise here, and I find myself wishing there were more of that licorice-y note that anise is known for.  I taste the cinnamon, and I feel the cinnamon!  Toward the end of the sip, and in to the aftertaste, I feel it toward the back of my mouth and the top of my throat.  It isn’t a strong cinnamon note, but it is enough to keep things interesting.

Overall, this is a very interesting blend of fruit, herb and spice.  And even though it’s called “Winter Solstice” it is one that I’d drink year round … it would be excellent served iced, and one that I think kids would really enjoy.