Happy from Wild Leaf Active Teas

Happy blend from Wild Leaf Active Teas is described as a stress-buster meant to lift your mood and brighten your day. This herbal blend features chamomile, rose petals, and lemon myrtle as the main flavor profiles though there are other ingredients like tulsi basil as well.

This tea is driven by its chamomile base, with lots of gentle lemon-honey herbal flavors, made even sweeter with a bit of stevia in the blend.  The rose petals are gentle, much to my relief, and add just a breeze of floral tones without getting too much like perfume.

I detect a some of the greener and earthier undertones from the tulsi basil, though I might have missed it if I weren’t looking for it. I wish there was a little more tulsi to help add some variety with all the sweet lemon and honey flavor.

This is a delicate blend, gentle and easygoing.

When you want the relaxation that comes from chamomile but want a blend with a little more floral flair, try Happy blend from Wild Leaf.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Wild Leaf Active Teas
Description:

Imagine all life’s favorites that make you relaxed and content. A cup of Happy feels a lot like that. A modern blend to cheer you up or chill you out, organic whole leaf Tulsi reduces stress and lift moods while Chamomile, Lemon Myrtle and Rose Petals brighten the spirit. A happy body and happy soul makes for a happy place wherever you go. Just to be clear, Happy will not magically whisk you off on vacation. That’s a different kind of Happy. But one can dream, and we’re glad you do. Sip it in deeply. Because this life is Wild.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Have a Sweeter Breakfast Blend with Aso Black from Mellow Monk

Aso Black from Mellow Monk is technically a black tea but it is processed a little differently that most black teas.  If I understood their description correctly, Aso Black tea is made from the tea leaves that would normally go into making sencha green tea.  Picked in the mountains of Japan, these leaves are less processed and less fermented than traditional black tea.  Aso Black is also called “kocha” or “crimson tea”, perhaps due to its medium level of oxidation.  But I digress.

The leaves in my sample were small and flat, though very dark in color.  As it brewed, the tea smelled distinctly starchy like oats or bread.  It had none of the citrus brightness I associate with other black teas.

Mellow Monk recommends letting this tea cool slightly before drinking to let the flavors come forward, so I stepped away from my cup to let it cool down.

When I took my first sip of the tea, I was once again hit with the starchiness of the flavors, though this time it also had quite a bit of sweetness.  In an abstract way, the tea reminded me of oatmeal raisin cookies if they could be turned into a breakfast tea.

In the aftertaste there is a vegetal note that I expect more often from green teas.  It reminds me of the sweet and sour fermented green tea note that I often taste in kukicha green.  With all the sweetness and smooth mouthfeel of the rest of the blend, the green tea aftertaste is less grassy and more fruity, complimenting the sweet oat flavors in the overall smell and taste.

This is a unique tea, worth a taste by black tea and green tea lovers alike.  If you are tired of ceylon’s sharpness, or assam’s full fuzziness, try Aso Black for your next breakfast blend and maybe you’ll find it makes for a sweeter morning.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Green
Where to Buy: Mellow Monk
Description:

How about a nice change of pace? Aso Black™ is black tea (kocha, or “crimson tea” in Japanese) made from the leaves of green tea varietals grown in the pristine foothills of Mt. Aso. Gently harvested leaves are only lightly fermented compared to conventional black tea, for a sweetness not found in ordinary black teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cacao Shell Trio from Oliver Pluff. . . . .

The Oliver Pluff tea company focuses on colonial-styled teas, like those leaves thrown into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea party.  But is also has a variety of other products like mulling spices, pressed tea cakes, and more. Being both an American history-lover and a tea-fanatic, I’ve had my eye on Oliver Pluff products for a little while, and this post-holiday shopping season seemed like the time to give them a try.

I ordered the Cacao Shell Trio from Oliver Pluff and it arrived promptly at my doorstep. The tins were as sleek and stylish as they appeared online, with nicely embossed, heavy paper labels, and dark metal lids.  Careful when opening– these tins were filled to the brim!

According to Oliver Pluff, cacao shell tea was a big hit with our first First Lady, Martha Washington.  Neither black tea nor coffee, cacao shells make for a roasty blend with chocolate overtones.  I’ve reviewed other cacao shell tea on SororiTea Sisters before, and I’ll reiterate that I think they taste like chocolate-drizzled popcorn.  The cacao shells are surprisingly more buttery and savory than you would expect.  (Also, be aware that while the cacao shells don’t contain caffeine, they are technically stimulants, so make sure you brew this at a time that works around your sleep schedule).

The Cacao Shell Trio has three different blends, plan cacao shells, cacao and mint, and cacao citrus.  The plan cacao shells were comparable to other cacao teas I’ve tried in the past, a nice change of pace for the coffee-lover, or a lower-calorie take on a warm, chocolate beverage.

In the cacao mint blend the mint was very strong, like a less-sweet peppermint mocha.  It was a great blend to drink around christmas time, when everything is flavored like candy canes.  I would advise not over-steeping this blend, or else the mint really takes over.  Keep the steep times short to let the cacao shine through.

The cacao citrus  blend had both cacao shells and orange peels.  This was my favorite blend of the trio.  The orange peels were mild, but helped add dimension to the chocolate cacao.  This reminded me a bit of those chocolate oranges that come out around this time of year, or like some chocolate and orange pu erh teas I’ve tried in the past.  The buttery cacao shells were a nice pair with the tart and fruity orange peels.

Overall this trio was a great purchase and I’ll have to give more Oliver Pluff products a try in the future.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Oliver Pluff
Description: Martha Washington enjoyed steeping the shells of roasted cocoa nuts from the cacao tree for the interesting flavor and health benefits.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peach Melba from Traillodge Tea. . . .

Caffeine doesn’t bother me as much as it does for some people but now that I have to go to sleep at a decent hour most nights to get up early for work, I try to make sure I have a selection of caffeine-free teas for the evenings. So now I am always on the lookout for good caffeine-free options. That is why when I saw this Peach Melba tea by Traillodge Tea in a traveling teabox, I had to give it a try.

This tea is made of organic rooibos, organic honeybush, organic apple bits, organic raspberry bits, organic marigold, and natural flavor. I decided to cold brew it overnight because more often than not, cold brewing tames the base flavors and allows the other ingredients to shine. That was my hope for this tea.

That doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case because there is a lot of honey notes from the rooibos and honeybush. The flavorings are subtle so they are taking back seat to the base which luckily is not medicinal or woody. I do get some raspberry but honestly I am just left wanting more. More raspberry. More peach. Just more flavor overall. If I had blindly tasted this tea, I don’t think I would have determined it was Peach Melba.

As far as rooibos and honeybush teas go, this is not bad but the flavors leave something to be desired. It was an okay drink but by no means Peach Melba. I don’t think this will be added to my line up of caffeine-free teas but it was fun to try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos/Honeybush
Where to Buy:  Traillodge Tea
Description

This is a Trail Lodge Exclusive tea. The inspiration for this herbal tisane came from eating a peach melba sundae, and just like the desert, this tisane is a refreshing treat. The sweet taste of fresh peaches combines perfectly with the tartness of raspberries. It’s as if summer has been captured in a cup of tea. This tisane is great hot or iced. Ingredients: organic rooibos, organic honeybush, organic apple bits, organic raspberry bits, organic marigold, and natural flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Soothing from Balcony Teas. . .

Between my stressful job and predisposition to be a night owl, I’m always looking for a good calming or bedtime tea. This one seems like a good candidate because I like all of the ingredients individually. It comes in convenient pyramid sachets, which I actually like for herbals because herbals generally don’t need much room to expand and I often prefer easy prep at bedtime.

The dry blend smells like equal parts chamomile and rose. I would totally wear a floral perfume that smelled like this! The hot brew smells of apple, rose, and a hint of lavender. It is, indeed, a soothing scent. Unfortunately, the flavor is less complex than I had expected. The dominant note is the apple-like chamomile, to the point that I can’t make out any floral or other flavors at all.

The chamomile is sweet and calming but the absence of floral flavor is disappointing. I made this three times on two different days just in case the problem was user error but I got the same results each time.

Still, I have to give this blend credit for living up to its name. I happily drank all three cups before drifting off to sleep.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Balcony Teas
Description

Feel transported to a beautiful evening in the Mediterranean. All is calm and you can smell wild flowers. Perfect for a moment to yourself or to wind down after a busy day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!