Fresa Guayusa from Fava Tea Company. . . .

Guayusa is a non-traditional type of tea, like mate.  Both guayusa and mate come from a type of holly bush and not the traditional tea plant.  While technically herbal teas, guayusa and mate both pack a big punch of caffeine so brew this tea when you’re looking to get hyped.

Fresa Guayusa from Fava Tea Company adds sweet strawberries to the guayusa base.  I think this is a great combination for tea. I find mate and guayusa to be a bit too plain on their own.  They have a pleasant dry grass scent and flavor, like standing in a field at the end of the summer with everything feeling fresh but a bit dry and toasty.  But after a whole cup of this flavor, I find myself wanting a little something else.

Adding strawberries makes this bright and happy, with natural pink fruitiness it livens up the blend.  Besides, if you’re reaching for a blend with as much caffeine as this guayusa has, you could probably use a little perky sweetness in your cup too.

This would be a great iced tea to kick off hot summer days, or a nice alternative to black tea on an afternoon where you need something sweet and highly caffeinated to get you going.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Guayusa
Where to Buy: Fava Tea
Description:

This tea has been shown to reduce physical and mental stress allowing for stronger mental strength and courage.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mango Madness from Blooming with Joy. . . . .

With a long and varied ingredients list, I have to say that the “madness” part of Mango Madness blend from Blooming with Joy is very fitting.  We have white tea, rose hips, pineapple, mango, cranberries, rose petals, apple pieces, hibiscus, blueberries and more. Whew! There are a lot of flavors going on in this tea.

Believe it or not the white tea base holds its own against all the fruit inclusions.  A pleasant, buttery, earthy undertone lingers at the back of each sip balancing the forward tropical sweetness.

With tart cranberries and rose hips along side sweet apples and mango, this tea is equal parts sweet and sour, like a bowl of fresh fruit salad.  I don’t taste as many of the blueberries or pineapple pieces, or they get hidden behind similar flavors like hibiscus or mango. The berry juiciness of the hibiscus is the most prevalent fruit flavor, so this might not be the blend for you if you are looking for strong pineapple or mango notes.

A white tea with lush fruit flavors has a lot of potential to be your next favorite iced tea.  With low caffeine and natural sweetness, it can be the perfect afternoon refreshment. I also found it to be pleasant as a hot tea, with so many fruits it almost felt like a fruit-boosted herbal tea. Not to mention all the fruits have vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy.

Dip a toe into some madness with Mango Madness from Blooming with Joy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Blooming with Joy
Description:

Ingredients: White Tea, Rose Hips, Pineapple Pieces, Mango Pieces, Cranberries, Rose Petals, Apple Pieces, Hibiscus, Blueberries, Natural Mango Flavor and Natural Pineapple Flavor

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Currant Explosion from Simpson and Vail

This tea lives up to its name. There are so many dried berries in the dry leaf it is more like trail mix than tea. Currants and rose hips galore! The blend is jazzed up with little magenta raspberry pieces as well.

The other amazing part of this tea is that it is a fruity herbal blend without hibiscus. Love it, hate it, hibiscus can sometimes be a deal breaker for tea drinkers. Rest easy and brew this berry blend instead.

The tea brews up a golden color and smells like berries and damp grass. The blackberry leaves add a softer foliage flavor beyond the fruitiness. This helps the berries taste more natural, rather than candy-sweet.

The raspberries play a bigger role in the flavor than I expected, their red berry jam flavor coming through first, followed by the deeper tart tones of the currant.

The currant seems like a formal, adult flavor to me, but if you make this tea into a sweetened cold brew it could be the hit of a kids’ summer party. Or keep it straight-laced and drink it hot from a traditional teacup to help ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description: This flavored tisane explodes on your taste buds! The exceptional blend is a huge hit with young and old alike.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Let’s Get Sassy with Pootea Tang from Modest Mix. . . .

Modest Mix has some seriously sassy tea names, often involving satisfying expletives.  If that sounds up your alley, I highly recommend browsing their store for some blends with fired up names that suit your attitude.  The blending services of BlendBee were used to craft these teas, so you know they will be flavorful and balanced.

In line with the Modest Mix theming, the Pootea Tang blend is a bold and flirty treat.  With cacao nibs and orange peel, it is equal parts smooth and chocolatey, and bright and tangy.  Juicy citrus is the driving force in this blend, powered up even more by the complementary flavors of tart rose hips. The taste of the cacao nibs and the black tea itself come to light in the back of each sip, and in the soft mouthfeel that follows the first burst of orange.

In a stroke of tea-blending genius, this blend uses an assam black tea base.  The assam is strong enough to carry the flavorful orange, but smooth enough to compliment the cocoa, dessert-like flavors. This is a tasty blend when you are feeling a little sweet and sour and want a tea blend to match your mood.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Modest Mix
Description:

You f**king love chocolate don’t you? How about some added orange for that tangy zest that your bad*ss body craves? You’re welcome.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!