White Berry from Naked Teas Galore. . .

I keep calling this tea Berry White, perhaps because I think it should be named for the singer or just a fun pun. However, its White Berry which is more descriptive than anything given this is a tea made up of White Peony, Silver Needles, rosehips, blue cornflowers, flavoring.

I had just enough in my sample pulled from a traveling teabox to try this both hot and iced. Both methods were steeped for 4 minutes in 175F water, as per the company’s recommendation.

I started with the hot tea since that is the more standard brewing method and thus my control for flavor. Though it is a pretty smooth, summery tea, it lacks the berry flavor I hoped for. Instead this, to me at least, tastes vaguely floral.

Iced, this is even more floral and that I attribute to the white peony base. In fact, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought I was drinking a glass of iced white peony tea as opposed to a flavored white tea. Though that might not seem like a bad thing for those who enjoy this type of tea, it is not what I have been promised and so I find myself disappointed.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Naked Teas Galore
Description

Smooth, light & refreshing berry tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

French #7 from Blue Hour Tea. . .

Don’t let the flowers fool you: this Earl Grey blend is POWERFUL. It’s packed to the gills with the Earl’s trademark bergamot, plus lavender and cornflowers. This blend packs a punch. DO NOT OVERSTEEP IT.

Tired? The smell itself is so strong that it will wake you up immediately. Cranky? The flavor will get your gears in motion. Dead on the inside? The caffeine will give you a shove.

This is like Earl Grey’s spunky hippie sister got into his tea stash and started messing around with it

“I picked these today,” she whispers, dropping a handful of blossoms into the mix. “These will make it pretty AND align his chakras. He’s so UPTIGHT sometimes.”

And then the Earl gets in there and he’s like “OH MY GOD, MOONBEAM, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

Then he sips it and says, with a sigh, “Oh. It’s pretty good.”

And goes back to bureaucracy or whatever it is Earls do all day. She’ll wander back into the fields, going on a walkabout, not to return until the winds and the moon usher her back to the castle. He never knows when she’ll drop by, but he’s secretly glad when she does. She keeps him on his toes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Blue Hour Tea
Description

This is by far our most fragrant tea, just one sniff and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the beautiful streets of Paris! Our French No.7 blend uses a base of rich Earl Grey tea and has been mixed with a generous portion of lavender & cornflowers to create its wonderful floral aroma and flavour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Movie Night from Pluck Teas. . . .

A little while back, Pluck Teas was kind enough to send me a selection of their teas to try. They were very generous and allowed me to pick what interested me and as someone who has a low key obsession with genmaichas, this Movie NIght tea was at the top of my list. It was only after it arrived that I realized I actually tried this tea once before at a brunch restaurant in Toronto, which is weird given I don’t usually order teas at restaurants because I don’t trust them to make it properly. Nevertheless, I recall liking it well enough so I am excited to revisit the tea now.

When I got to prepping the tea, I noticed the recommended steeping parameters seemed a bit much for a green tea. The package calls for a 3 minute steep in 194 F water. I went by this method as I would hope the company knows best on how their product should be prepared but for my own comfort I brewed a second cup using my more typical steeping method for green teas of 2 minutes in 175F water.

Since it was done steeping first, I started drinking the the cup using my steeping parameters first. The flavor is quite light but with a bit of a toasty top note from the rice. It is more of a popcorn flavor as opposed to a roasted rice kernel given the airy lightness. The vegetal note from the base, which is barely noticeable initially, slowly builds. It is smooth and lingers under the tongue long after you finish drinking. It is a nice tea prepped this way but definitely light on flavor.

As I neared the end of the first mug, I moved on to the tea brewed per Pluck’s recommendations. The color of the steeped tea is noticeably darker and more bold than the mug steeped for less time, which makes sense because more infusion would occur when more heat and time is added. There is distinctly more flavor as well. I guess Pluck knew what they were talking about because my worries of a burnt tea given the higher temperature and longer steep time were unwarranted. The green tea base is clearly a high grade tea since it handles the heat perfectly and contributes a beautiful grassy/vegetal flavor. The popped kernel here is also more noticeable than in the cup I had before and rather than shyly hoovering atop the tea and giving off a light and airy popcorn vibe, it confidently contributes a burst of roasty flavor that seamlessly flows from the base tea.

Genmaichas are such simple teas, being made of green tea and toasted rice (usually) and yet each variation can be so different based on the quality of ingredients. I have no question that Pluck Teas used some high quality stuff in this blend. More than that, the tea can be so drastically different based on how it is prepared and when prepared properly, this is a winner.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Pluck Teas
Description

Popped and toasted rice kernels, blended with premium high grown sencha tea. Toasty, malty, umami, with a slightly sweet finish. Pairs well with Asian dishes and is a classic with sushi. Enjoy hot, or over ice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Citrus Hibiscus Herbal from Simple Loose Leaf. . . .

This is a hibiscus and rooibos blend with one of my favorite flavors, lemongrass! It also has orange and lemon peels so it definitely packs a citrus punch!

I made this into a big pitcher of iced tea. It’s a really pretty red color, and definitely has a really nice citrus flavor. I enjoy rooibos teas that either have spices or citrus flavors to help with the earthiness of rooibos.

This tea is light and crisp and very refreshing. It’s slightly tart and very citrus-y. I had some on a very warm day last week after doing quite a bit of walking and it helped cool me down right away. Hibiscus is known to be a cooling tea, and can actually help lower blood pressure so it was a perfect choice to sip on. Rooibos and Hibiscus teas both have really amazing health benefits. The more I drink tea and learn of the benefits, the happier I am that I gave up coffee for tea.

This is a great spring and summertime tea. Like I said it’s cooling and very hydrating which is very beneficial on those warm summer days when it’s so easy to get overheated. Even though it has a nice tartness from the hibiscus. it also has a slight sweetness and needs no sweetener in my opinion.

I really enjoyed this tea and plan on it making regular appearances in my iced tea rotation this summer as the temperatures rise.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Rooibos
Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for more information about their tea subscription plan.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hazelnut by Adagio Teas. . . .

Aha! A morning tea to appease coffee drinkers. The loose leaves of this hazelnut (also known as filbert if you’re botanically savvy) tea smells earthy, warm and dare I say sweet!?! It creates a rich, henna colored infusion. Seriously, I want my hair this color… you are what you drink, right?

Oh, somehow a milky taste snuck in for a full rounded, creamy mouthfeel. I had my rock sugar on standby, wary of bitter tannins, but no sweetener was needed, which is really saying something. It is bold and at the same time, smooth, with a lingering earthy nutty aftertaste.

This tea is the highlighting and contouring of tea, emphasizing what’s already amazing in a way that seems natural. Still tasty after 3 steeps, this is definitely making its way into my regular stock, for my coffee snob friends.


 

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description:

This flavor combines the full, bright taste of Ceylon black tea with the cozy creaminess of hazelnuts. Very nutty and aromatic, slightly roasty with a rounded, sweet flavor. Toasty dryness. A mellow, very well-blended cup of tea. Great with just a touch of brown sugar.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!