Lavender Sunrise/Fava Tea Company via Sips By Box. . . .

Green teas are some of my favorite warm-weather teas. Here in Texas, we’re sort of bouncing between 20°F and 80°F and the weather can’t make up its mind. (We actually hit low 90s in late February, followed by a week of rainy 40s, then freezing weather.) Despite the fact that it’s already starting to feel like summer on some days, I still like my tea scorching hot. (But I’ve included a recipe for those that enjoy sitting out on the porch with a refreshing glass of iced tea!)

Lavender Sunrise is a nice break from your typical green tea. It’s still vegetal, a little grassy, but the hint of floral lavender and strong lemony flavor brighten it up. (I’m not usually a huge lemon-and-lavender fan, but this one’s a hit!) I think the lemongrass really does it for me—I love a lightly grassy green.

The leaves in this one are on the small side, even after they’ve had a chance to unfurl and expand, making it great for brewing in tea bags and smaller infusers. The flavor is also strong enough that it’s good for a couple of brews.

I had to let this sit in the pot for quite a while to get it as strong as I like (about 6 minutes). It lacks the astringency typical of darker teas and really brings out the lemon when you steep it longer. (Steep too long and the lemon covers up the lavender, though.) It doesn’t need much in the way of sugar—I like this one unsweet—but Fava also has a strawberry rock sugar that goes well with it .

I also tried this one iced and it does not disappoint. Brew at 180°F for about 5-6 minutes (7-8 minutes if you like your tea pretty strong). Mix in a tablespoon of honey while it’s still hot. Grab a shaker and pour over ice with a splash of lemon juice. Add some strawberry slices at the end. Great for the approaching warm-weather days!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Fava Tea Company

Description

This green tea is relaxing without putting you to sleep! It’s a smooth green tea blended with lavender blossoms and lemon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

FarmHouseTeas-Tropical Genmaicha Green Tea

Hello to my wonderful tea friends! It is finally March and we are starting to see a bit of a reprieve from the crazy cold winter we had.  This month is actually pretty special to me because, well, I turn 40 in just a few weeks.  I’m really not all that wrapped up in age, it just seems like this year is going to be a pretty big year for my family.  I’m turning 40 and my kiddo is becoming a freshman at high school.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked him to stop growing (he is taller than me).  Sigh. . . .But at least I have a fun tea to chat about from my monthly subscription plan with Farmhouse Teas (aka St. Fiacres Farm).

This month it was like my friends at FarmHouse Teas just knew what I would like because it is like they flavored up a genmaicha just for me. . . .Tropical Genmaicha Green Tea is this month’s blend.  I’m a sucker for a solid genmaicha and couldn’t wait to see what FarmHouse Teas had come up with.

This genmaicha flavored blend is a bit different than other flavored genmaichas I’ve had in the past.  Most of the flavored genmaichas I’ve had in the past were dessert like or sweet sugary.  I was excited to check out a tropical genmaicha.

Brewed up with freshly prepped water at 180F and allowed to steep for well, a bit- I sort of got distracted with a work project and forgot I had tea brewing.  I am happy to report though that this blend tastes fabulous, even though the steep was a bit longer than it really should have been, especially since there is hibiscus in the blend.

This blend is delicious and a perfect tea to drink today to enjoy this warm spell hitting our Midwestern area.  The tea is a bit tart but that is more than likely my fault due to the oversteep.  Beyond that, the tea is fresh with all of the beloved roasted toasted flavors that only a genmaicha can deliver with fresh pops of berries and a sweetness that I’m not entirely sure where it is coming from.  There is stevia in this blend but the sweetness doesn’t taste like stevia.  I’m wondering if the sweetness isn’t coming from the large peach pieces in the blend.

All in all, a pretty unique take on a flavored genmaicha.  As I look at the ingredients, I’m thinking this blend would be an amazing cold brew- hibiscus, lemongrass, coconut flakes, goji berries, peach pieces, and stevia.  I’m a bit worried how the stevia will be in a cold brew but hopefully there is just a smidge added so it won’t be identifiable. (Not in the stevia fan club)

Each and every month I so look forward to my FarmHouse Teas package.  Last month I wasn’t crazy about the blend, but the blend was completely out of the box and I appreciate the effort (plus the tea was coated in cocoa powder and I’m not a huge chocolate fan).   Highly recommend their monthly tea service if you are in the market for a hand blended unique blended tea each and every month.  I know I’ve been a subscriber for a while now and I don’t see myself cancelling anytime soon.  Especially if they keep making blends like this one.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  FarmhouseTeas

Description

This blend is part of the month subscription plan.  Click below to hear more about FarmHouse Teas plan.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bananas! from 52Teas. . . .

Banana is a flavor that 52 Teas does well. Very well. So when I saw they had a new banana tea, Bananas!, I was itching to buy it. Lucky for me I did not have to since I won a Steepster giveaway and got this tasty sounding tea in a subscription box. Thank you, 52 Teas!

I brewed up this black tea per the recommended steeping parameters, 3 minutes at 200F. I let it cool as I read the ingredients and wrote a yelp review about a burger joint I tried the other day. The ingredient list is short and simple: single estate black tea, banana, and natural flavors.

Just like the list of ingredients, the flavor is simple too. Black tea with banana flavors. Neither in-your-face and both nicely balanced. This has a fresh banana flavor that is not too sweet and pairs nicely with the gentle malt of the black base. It is a flavored tea that is not so flavored you could grow tired of it quickly. A nice everyday sort of tea you can skip on while doing other things since it does not demand much attention.

Some of my favorite banana blends from 52 Teas have been Banana Pudding, Anne’s Gone Bananas…and a Little (Coco)Nuts, Buttered Banana Bread, Banana Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha….this list goes one. However, what this list has in common is that they are banana blends with a little something else. This tea is just bananas and while I definitely recommend it for purists who might want more simplicity, I think personally I prefer some of the other blends more.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Love In The Afternoon from Kipers Lil Tea Shop. . .

Well, I should have taken the name of this tea a bit more literally! I saw on the website that they have many movie themed blends, but I didn’t realize just how accurately they try to blend the tea to match the name!

I will list the ingredients of this tea for you here, as it is not available at present on their website. This blend contains green tea, peppermint leaf, spearmint leaf, calendula, cinnamon, and catuaba bark. All of these ingredients were familiar to me save one – the last one. Naturally I did a google search to find out more about this ingredient. Oh me oh my! It is widely used as an aphrodisiac, a treatment for low libido in males, and for neuralgia, including neuralgia following shingles. (Good to know should I ever meet up with that malady.)

So, literally this tea is trying to enhance your “Love In The Afternoon.” All righty then!

Since I will only be drinking one to two cups of this tea, I do not expect to have any medical reports for you, but I can report on the taste of the tea!

The dominant aroma was spearmint, which suits me because I prefer it to peppermint which is actually listed before spearmint on the package.

As for the taste…the mint is actually a little more muted than I would like. The green base was not terribly distinctive, the mint flavor was milder than a Moroccan mint, for instance, and I couldn’t taste the cinnamon at all. I have no idea what catuaba bark tastes like but either it or the green base was lending a light metallic aftertaste.

It wasn’t bad but it isn’t something I would seek out unless I was looking for the herbal benefits rather than just taste. If you love mint tea and want something that isn’t screaming in your face level mint, it might be a good tea for you!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Kipers Lil Tea Shop
Description

This blend is not listed on the website but click below for teas that are!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Light Side from Geek+Tea. . . .

Tea just goes with geeks. Or maybe geeks go with tea. Either way, if you get a bunch of tea lovers together you are likely to find a high proportion of geeks, or at least people who are really passionate about more than just tea.

Geek+Tea caters to this group of tea lovers with fandom blends for nearly everyone. Being a Star Wars geek myself and mother to a 501st member, I was pretty excited to try Light Side, even though the Dark Side allegedly has cookies and would probably be more up my alley.

This is an organic Bai Mu Dan with blueberries, blue cornflower, Scotch heather, and elderberries. Of all those ingredients, there is only one that is completely new to me – Scotch heather. It can be a bit of a challenge to describe an ingredient you have never tasted when it is blended with other ingredients, but I will do my best.

First of all, I have had a few blueberry teas that are quite delicious but taste like grape Dimetapp. While this well-known antihistamine is indeed delicious and candy-like, it is not quite like real blueberries.

I found this tea to be more…believable. The white tea is organic, the blueberries are the real deal, the elderberries I recognize from my sambucus concoctions, so… that remaining hay flavor must be from the heather. Although many white teas have a hay flavor, Bai Mu Dan is more floral, so I must credit the heather. I searched sites selling pure heather tea for a description and didn’t get an adequate one, just a statement that it tasted like regular tea but milder, which I am not finding here.

Fun fact: The tea steeped up blue, and surprisingly with such light and natural ingredients, it resteeped quite handily and the second pot was as strong as the first. I also tried it cold since they remark that it makes a naturally sweet cold drink and I enjoyed it that way. It is a light sweetness and nothing like the Southern sweet tea I grew up on, which is nearly syrup. This is something light and natural, and thanks to the natural ingredients, you can drink up without guilt, more like the ready made unsweet or lightly sweetened teas that are the rage now in health food stores.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Geek + Tea
Description

… and 43,300 light years from the Galactic Core covered in dense woodlands, tall mountains and savannah, you will find a foreign forest moon filled with fresh, crisp scents and floral breezes in the morning fog of Endor.

 

An infusion of Bai Mu Dan white tea and organic herbs, the Light Side is an exotic blend of blueberry and scotch heather and is relaxing as a hot tea, and comes out wonderfully sweet when iced

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!