Grandma’s Apple Strudel from The NecessiTeas . . . .

My grandmother was more of an apple crumble lady herself. My dad’s grandmother, however, could apparently make a mean apple strudel. Now I never met his grandmother but I have gone to a Hungarian restaurant, Old Country Inn, with my Dad who has told me that the strudel there taste’s just like she used to make so that’s my basis of comparison here.

In order to recreate Grandma NecessiTea’s strudel, this tisane is a blend of apples, raisins, cinnamon, chicory, almonds, vanilla, and natural flavoring. I brewed this hot, steeping about 3 teaspoons of tea in 16 ounces of 200F water for 5 minutes.

The first thing this tea brought to mind was the Forever Nuts blend by DAVIDsTEA. Both teas have that warming and sweet nutty flavor to them that takes over. At first when I tried Forever Nuts, I loved the flavor but it is strong and I was quickly turned off of it to the point that even the smell was off-putting. However, whether it be the long time I went without a tea like this or the subtle differences between this and the DAVIDsTEA version, I don’t mind this so much.

The apple is definitely the foundation flavor of this blend, coating your tongue with its sweet and fresh cinnamon-apple note. At first it is a bit of light vanilla that sits atop the apple but that quickly is taken over by the heavier and nutty almond and chicory flavors. There is a baked good vibe here and though the different components all together sound like an apple strudel, I find in actuality this tea doesn’t come together quite how it should so instead it is a jumble of flavors. In fairness, that could be due to my negative experience of Forever Nuts and the similarity to that but as I sip, I just can’t help but think that this is not the Apple Strudel tea for me.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

This tea does not appear to be available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bonita Peach Rooibos Herbal Tea from The Spice & Tea Exchange. . . .

I bought this tea because it allegedly contained strawberry flavoring in addition to peach. Strawberry peach? OH MY GAWD RIGHT? Unfortunately, I can’t really taste strawberry. The peach flavor is Batman, with orange/citrus notes as Robin.* The strawberry is, I guess, Alfred, back at the mansion? Poor Alfred never goes anywhere.

* (Robin is not as large or important as Batman, but still factors in the plot.)

Despite strawberry’s mysterious absence, I still tend to reach for this as an iced choice on days I’m trying to avoid soda/caffeine. It’s very sweet. The peach/orange, as previously mentioned, are the main players. The green rooibos adds a light, woodsy, sweet background. There’s something slightly astringent about the mix, but I don’t mind that.

There’s nothing about this blend that I’d clamor for you to try. I probably won’t re-buy it. However, it’s a solid, dependable workhorse for decaf iced tea, and I appreciate its presence in my cupboard.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos/Herbal
Where to Buy:  The Spice & Tea Exchange
Description

Green rooibos redbush plant is flavored with summer fruits and flowers, to produce a refreshing caffeine-free blend. Delicious served either hot or iced.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bellasia: Once Upon A Tea. . . .A FairyTale Tea Book Along With Dragon Berry Tea!

With having twin two year old nieces, sharing tea with them has always been top on my list.  One of the first presents I bought for the girls was play tea sets.  I was so happy when I heard they played with them all the time.

So the other day when I asked them to have a tea party with me, they both said “We are ‘cited!” When I told the that I had a princess book to go along with our tea- well squealing was their reaction with lots of clapping.

Bellasia: Once Upon A Tea is a book with an incredibly lovely message.  The story more or less is a story about a queen and king who couldn’t have a baby on their own but with the help of some magical friends they are able to achieve this dream.  The story is based on the author’s (Mercedes) real life story.  Her and her husband struggled to have a child on their own and decided to adopt a little girl into their lives to provide them with their fairy tale ending.  When it was time to read princess books to her daughter, Mercedes noticed along with her daughter, that there was a lack of stories about adopted princesses. Hence, Bellasia Tea was born.

As far as the actual story goes, the story is quite heart warming and knowing the background of the creation of the story just makes the experience even more so.  The princess is grown from a magical brew that the magical friends created.  As the princess grows up, she learns she has special powers to make her the defender of their realm.  I will say that my twin nieces did have trouble sitting through the story since the book is on the longer side but these girls are more on the go kinda gals so I probably should have waited until nap time instead of smack dab in the middle of play time.

But, they did love drinking their tea while listening to the story.  I cold brewed Dragon Berry to accompany the story time and the girls flipped out over this tea as well as most of the adults that tried the tea. Dragon Berry is a fruit tisane consisting of berries, cherries, hibiscus and other flavors.

Yes, this tea has a tart flavor but not an overwhelming one, which surprised me.  It was more of a fresh tasting fruit punch with a tart background.  The hibiscus was not overwhelming and the sour cherry flavor was a delicious twist.  Everybody loved the tea and I had to brew up more.  I think next time I would throw in some orange slices to really dress the tea up.

All in all, this is such a great book and one with such a lovely story.  I think the story may be better suited for older kiddos than my 2 year old sweeties, but it is a wonderful story to share with children, the illustrations are gorgeous, and the tea is delicious!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy:  Bellasia Tea
Description

My name is Mercedes, Yep the queen in the book and as you’ve might of guessed I have a beautiful daughter named Isabella. I started Bellasia for a few reasons. My husband and I could not conceive so we adopted the most beautiful little girl in the world, she’s a shining star that completes our lives. I grew up on Fairytales and Happily Ever After’s so naturally so did she. I noticed that she was quite distraught that there were no adopted princesses and even in some case shed a not so flattering light on non-birth parents as a whole. I felt pretty bad for her, so I would think of fairytales that had adopted princesses and that made her smile.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rhubarb Cream Soda from DAVIDs Tea. . . .

I want to start off by saying that one of my favorite things about this blend, without ever having tried it, is that this blend doesn’t have stevia in it. If you want to make it sweeter, that is up to you but this is a stevia-less blend. A rare find at DAVIDsTEA these days.

When I smelled the blend, I was impressed that the scent had an effervescence to it that captured the fizz of soda. Not sure how that’s a thing but the blend had a sparkle to it and I was interested to play with that which meant a teapop was in my future. However, I also wanted to know what this tasted like on its own so I also cold brewed the tea.

I set up the cold brew and then maybe forgot about the tea so this brewed for over 24 hours. What immediately caught my interest was that this does actually taste like cream soda. It’s creamy and vanilla and also fruity. Sometimes I find DAVIDsTEA fruit blends can taste a bit like waxy dried fruits and this is no exception and I think that is a result of the candied pineapple/mango. So at times it tastes tropical and at times it tastes artificial.

The teapop, made with Strawberry Perrier, takes this to a whole new level. The fizz of the perrier mixes with the vanilla creaminess to help really sell cream soda. Also the strawberry flavoring and carbonation flavor that comes with sparkling water helps drown out the artificial wax fruit flavor while still playing off the tropical fruit vibes. So that means the good parts of the tea are highlighted while the bad components are drowned out.

One thing not really mentioned above is the rhubarb. That’s because I don’t really get rhubarb from this at all. On the plus side that means this isn’t loaded up with hibiscus like a lot of fruit teas are. On the down side, no rhubarb means this is not a rhubarb cream soda tea and that could be disappointing for some. As for me, I don’t miss it. This is one of the better DAVIDsTEA blends that have come out recently and it is one I certainly enjoyed.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea 
Description

Let yourself get carried away with this totally poppin’ tea. With bright rhubarb, sweet apple and a fizzy tartness we can’t get enough of, our creamy and nostalgic blend will take you back to when things were simpler – and just a little sweeter. Add a splash of club soda and a scoop of lemon sorbet for a treat that’ll leave you feeling bubbly all day long.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Jujube from Teasenz . . . . .

This is the tisane I was most excited for in my review box! As a child I LOVED those Jujyfruit candies, big win for nostagia. But also a health win since instead of processed candies, these are the Cure-All “Red date” fruit that’s popular in Eastern medicine, purported to help with anemia (perhaps vitamin c to help iron absorb?) and insomnia (hmm the scientist in me thinks any nice warm drink should help your body sleep, but we’ll see.)

The dry tisane smells like kettle corn and looks like baby bagel chips about the size of a dime! They feel spongy to the touch, the only other thing I’ve consumed with this texture was… ha well a candy, man my sweet tooth is getting outed in this post, BUT this is a plus for my “less added sugar” new year’s resolution.

So I left in the dry fruits in my cup to brew, trying a very eastern approach, not at all because I was traveling and my filter was to small… They were big enough pieces that it was easy to filter out while I drank, without the fear of tiny pieces getting stuck in my teeth, only to be discovered after smiling a lot at someone important (cringe).

The infusion is a wonderful cider color and it smells of caramels like a distant campfire. It tastes like streusel, a sweet buttery goodness, even though I didn’t add any sweetener… or butter (not a trend for me). Welp, one sip and I’m done for, might as well just order more now. There’s also a hint of Asian pear flavor this medium bodied drink. This would taste so, so great with shortbread cookies, pity there’s no oven in this hotel.

Insomnia verdict: I’m sleepy afterwards but I’m not sure if it’s correlation from binge watching SYFY’s Magicians in the wee hours or causation from the tea. Another experiment is called for, woohoo!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Dried fruit
Where to Buy: Teasenz

China’s most popular herbal tea made from wild jujube fruits from Ning Xia. The jujubes are dried while fresh and afterwards cut in slices with an optimal thickness for a perfect & healthy infusion.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!