Blood Orange Herbal from Simple Loose Leaf. . . .

I purchased myself a subscription to Simple Loose Leaf because I simply did not have enough tea in my house. *

* (Full disclosure: this is a filthy, no-holds-barred lie).

My most recent package had an Earl Grey tea, a genmaicha, an oolong, and this herbal tea, which I think is a nice, well-rounded mix. Lots of flavor profiles. Great intro, especially to someone who perhaps doesn’t know tea very well.

The Blood Orange Herbal contains “Rooibos, Orange peel, Hibiscus, Rosehips, Apple pieces, Safflowers, and Rose petals with Orange, vanilla, and lemon flavor.” Simple Loose Leaf says this is a summery blend, which I totally agree with, so I decided to ice it to accompany my dinner.

I’m glad I did! The sweetness of the rooibos and apple play nicely against the tang of the orange and hibiscus. A velvety sweet lemon balances gallantly atop the tableau, almost an afterthought, a kiss.

This tea is essentially a maypole dance of flavors. It has me looking forward to when the spring/summer finally comes.  This tea gives me hope that sunshine is around the corner!


Here’s the scoop!

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

Blood Orange is a melody of orange and apple with the earthy flavor of rooibos as the backdrop. It will remind you of summer no matter the time of year.

Ingredients: Rooibos, Orange peel, Hibiscus, Rosehips, Apple pieces, Safflowers, and Rose petals with Orange, vanilla, and lemon flavor

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Paris Evening from Fava Tea. . . .

When you think of Paris, do cherries and pineapple come to mind?

If your answer is, “no, don’t pineapples come from Hawaii, on the literal other side of the planet?”, you’re thinking TOO LITERALLY.

If the answer is, “Paris has lots of classy pastries with fruits inside them, I guess,” you’re ON TRACK.

This blend, Paris Evening Rooibos, is a blend that leans heavily on pineapples. The effusive sweetness creates a gentle, sugary-tasting nest for a light, spunky cherry-and-slightly-citrus taste. It’s a wonderful after-dinner treat. It’s sweet, low-to-no-calorie, AND naturally un-caffeinated.

I’m sure the Hunchback of Notre Dame would approve.

Probably.

… I’m sorry. I have no idea why this tea was named after Paris.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Fava Tea
Description

The caffeine-free version of our famous French Breakfast black tea. This rooibos-based tea has cherries, pineapple, and no caffeine. Fragrant, sweet, and delicious!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 11-Spoilers!

Day 11!

Christmas Eve already: are you excited?  The penultimate tea of the 12 Teas of Christmas is Caramel Monkey Bread Rooibos.  Monkey Bread is known for its cinnamon sugar and bouncy yeast bread base. This tea has plenty of cinnamon scent as soon as you open the bag.  But the cinnamon is sweet, not too hot or spicy, just the comforting warmth of a kitchen spice cabinet.

Brewed, the caramel notes come forward, enhanced by the natural toasted-sweet flavor of the rooibos.  If I were blind folded, I might guess that this tea flavor was snickerdoodle, with all the cinnamon sugar goodness that I taste.  There is that hint of caramel or caramelized sugar among all the spice. Is there such a thing as caramel- drizzled-snickerdoodles?  If not, this tea is making me think that maybe there should be.

The great part about this blend is that it is a decaf rooibos base, so you can drink it before bed (or as you are setting out the cookies for Santa), and still get some sleep before Christmas morning.  Well, as much sleep as you can with all the excitement and sugar plums dancing in your head!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Red Rooibos
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

This is one of the final teas (tisanes) that Frank crafted during his time with 52Teas and I have a wee confession – I hadn’t tried it until a day or two before I blended this batch. I had the tea in my stash – but it was still sealed … never opened! At the time when I received this tea in my subscription package, I was preparing to take over 52Teas: testing samples from my wholesale sources, setting up the website and blending teas. I was so busy back then I was running around like a crazy woman with her hair on fire and to be honest, I really didn’t have time to sit back and enjoy a cuppa. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed most of the samples that I was sent by my wholesale sources, and I definitely was enjoying the teas that I was blending and then taste testing – but I didn’t have any time left to sit back and enjoy a cuppa that wasn’t directly related to taking over the operations of 52Teas.

So I stashed this tea away in my tea cupboard and – forgot about it! Yes, I forgot about this blend completely until someone mentioned that they’d like this tea to be reblended as part of this year’s 12 Teas of Christmas box. So a few weeks ago, I dug out that pouch and tried it out before I attempted to reblend it – so that I could get a fairly good idea of what I was going to do with this blend.

And as I sit here now, sipping on the results of that blending session, I must say that I’m a little bit impressed with myself. I often worry that I’m just not good enough to be a tea blender – but it’s times like now that I realize that I AM good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I’m worthy of my self-appointed title of “Mad Tea Artist” because this is REALLY GOOD. It’s sweet, caramel-y, with a nice cinnamon note and a bread-y note that tastes a lot like … well, it tastes like freshly-baked monkey bread!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas. . . . .

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas is a delicious decaf herbal blend with rooibos, ginger, and honeycrisp apples. I love the fall, and sometimes I love extra honey sweet apple teas with lots of cinnamon and flavoring, but Hood River Rooibos has me re-thinking what I want in my herbal apple teas this season.

This tea is simple and delightful.  The woodsy rooibos is flavorful without caffeine or bitterness. A touch of ginger root adds just enough sweet spice to make you think you’re drinking something special and seasonal.

The honeycrisp apples are really the ingredient that shines. The naturally sweet fruit flavor of the apples doesn’t need any sugar or honey to taste indulgent and refreshing.  Because there aren’t any powerful spices like cinnamon or cloves, you get to taste all the apples for themselves. Even a chai-lover like me doesn’t miss the cinnamon in this blend.

This tea makes me nostalgic for the fresh fall apples in the orchard of my hometown.  This is the perfect blend to warm you up when your picking apples off the tree, or when you’re just daydreaming about fall and all its wonderful flavors.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Beach House Teas
Description:

Hood River Rooibos is 100% organic rooibos tea blended with ginger root and Pacific Northwest Honeycrisp Apples. This combination of sweet apple mixed with the heat of ginger and the earthy flavor of rooibos is perfect for the winter season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Woodland Trek by Beach House Tea Company. . . . .

I steeped this tea for 8 minutes at 212 degrees with 1.5 teaspoons of leaf in about 6-8 ounces of water.

After steeping, the tea is an interesting peachy color-pinkish-orangeish-amber. It smells mostly of honeybush and a little of hops. The flavor combinations available here are quite intriguing!

First sip: SUPER sweet. It has a light, airy quality to the flavor. It’s not as “earthy” as I’d expect with so much honeybush in it (honeybush and rooibos usually ground a flavor pretty well in my estimation).

The flavor is also much more complex than the fragrance, rather than being dominated by the honeybush and hops flavors. It has the sweetness and woodiness of honeybush, but also a touch of lemony/citrus flavor (which brightens it considerably), just a hint of minty or piney freshness maybe, and some other difficult-to-describe notes.

After consulting the list of ingredients (it’s a relatively long one for a tea blend, although not super-long like a processed food or something) I’ve worked out that the sweetness is probably boosted by the marshmallow leaf (although honeybush is sweet on its own too) and the licorice; the bee pollen is probably what I see dancing in the tea liquid, giving it this peachy color; and the cedar is probably what I was mistaking for minty/piney freshness. All taken together, these notes make a fascinating flavor that’s worth exploring!

I’m really glad I got to try this tea–the dried leaf didn’t smell nearly as appetizing as the tea liquid turned out to be, and I’m glad I gave it the chance to bloom (figuratively speaking, that is–this wasn’t what they call a “blooming tea”).


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush/Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Beach House Tea Company
Description

Woodland Trek 100% organic loose leaf tea is crafted with honeybush tea with a rich undertone of licorice and sage and snap of organic Oregon hops and a hint of sweetness from bee pollen. This outdoor-rich blend with organic cedar tips invites you to reminisce memories of evenings spent camping or hiking the cascades.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!