Black Forest Cherry from The Tea Merchant. . . .

This tea traveled all the way from South Africa to join my tea stash in Toronto. Better than that? It arrived with two other Tea Merchant teas in tow: Cranberry and Strawberry Cream. They were all intriguing but my family unanimously determined that this was the best smelling of the three, an interesting decision given that everyone else in my family doesn’t like cherries. I, on the other hand, am a cherry fiend and couldn’t wait to dive in.

I have now had this tea a few times since it first arrived and I think I like it best cold brewed. There is a lot of hibiscus here and when prepared hot it can get rather tart. Cold brewing tames that hibby tartness and provides a chance for the other flavors to come through. That’s not to say it isn’t tart, because it is, but there is also sweetness here and the combination is reminiscent of cherry. Underneath everything, the currant acts as a foundation and though I am not entirely sure what elderberries taste like, this blend has a fairly juicy yet generic berry/cherry flavor that I am sure captures the taste of them.

If I am being totally honest, I do enjoy this tea and it makes for a flavorful juice-like drink but it is a bit of a disappointment in light of how good it smells. The scent is quite distinct but the flavor is far less specific. Plus, when you name a blend something like “Black Forest Cherry” it creates a certain expectation of baked goods and chocolate cake that is just not present here. So, as much as I do like this tea from time to time, it is not quite what I hoped it would be.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tea
Where to Buy:  The Tea Merchant

A rich cherry infusion to blow your taste buds away. Packed full of flavour, this blend of cherry, black currants and elderberries is simply wonderful.

Ingredients: Hibiscus, Currants, Grapes, Elderberries, Chopped Almonds, Natural Flavourants, Safflower, Cherry Pieces

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hibiscus Fruit Punch from Hackberry Tea. . . . . .

I either love or hate hibiscus tea. Some I find way too tart, and others are perfect. I was excited to try this blend because it had fruit punch in the name. It seemed like it would be fruitier and less tart. This blend includes apples, orange peel, raspberries, lemongrass (my love) and other fruits and berries. I made a pitcher and iced it because i think iced is the only way to drink hibiscus tea.

I was not disappointed at all. It still has the typical hibiscus tartness, but the fruits balance it out. I made it with just water, no sweetener and it really doesn’t need any. I closed my eyes and sipped and imagined myself on a warm sunny beach somewhere. I may never be able to drink plain Hibiscus tea again!

The fruit makes it naturally sweet, but in no way is it cloying. And the sweetness from the fruit does not totally mask the tartness of the Hibiscus, it just compliments it. Right now we’re in the middle of winter where I live, but this tea made me feel warm and summery. I feel like this would be a very refreshing iced drink on a hot summer day.

This is also a perfect tea for anyone who wants the many health benefits of hibiscus tea, but finds it too tart. It really does taste like a very natural, organic refreshing fruit punch!! And it needs no sweetener so that makes it even better in my opinion!

If you’re like me and feeling so over winter, brew yourself some of this delicious tea, close your eyes and imagine a warm, tropical paradise!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Hackberry Tea

Fruit Punch with a kick. Or maybe Fruit tea with a punch? No, Fruit Punch with a hibiscus kick. This is the best fruit tea I’ve sampled (Don’t tell Ruby Zest). It has a great blend of sweet and tart and has so much going on fruit-wise that I just had to call it fruit punch. I want to pour a glass of it iced, sit on my porch and watch the sunset.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Downton Abbey English Rose Herbal from The Republic of Tea

I sipped this last night as an accompaniment to this dessert . The flavor is a vivid magenta berry-rose-hibiscus blend. Its sweetness complimented the chocolate nicely.

This tea packed a ton of flavor without requiring a black tea base. A lot of herbal teas seem to be lacking something to me, like they’re watery or sad somehow. They’re like children, floating around Disney World, looking for their parents. Incomplete; a little desperate.

Not here, though. This is a very robust little number. It Keeps Calm And Carries On, undaunted by the challenges facing herbals.

The flavor is part of a Downton Abbey collection, and I wish I could say something intelligent about the show here to tie in the tea. But alas, I’ve never seen this British mega-hit. It’s on my huge pile of TV Shows To Maybe See Someday.

And that pile is daunting. I miss the days when people would say things like “Have you read [book x] or seen [movie z]? YOU SHOULD.” Now it’s TV shows. Entire series of TV shows. “You should watch the 8 seasons of Once Upon A Time!” or “Have you seen Doctor Who? YOU. WOULD. LOVE. IT.”

I could easily chug through a book or dedicate an evening to a movie. But shows are a challenge. They’re easily 10 hours per season. And, of course, most shows get more than a season.* So you’re in it for 20-100 hours of your life.

*(Note: this does not include Firefly. Firefly’s short life is both wonderful and manageable. I would recommend Firefly to you, except I don’t want to burden YOUR TV list. That would fly in the face of this entire digression).

I’m just going to recommend this tea to you on its own merits. It’s tasty. It does exactly the job you want it to. A cup will take 5-10 minutes to consume. This will not burden your time in any way.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Republic of Tea

This vibrant, ruby-red infusion of rose, raspberry and hibiscus has fruity, floral notes and a touch of sweetness. Inspired by traditional British desserts, this caffeine-free, luscious tea is perfect as an afternoon treat. Enjoy hot or cooled over a tall glass of ice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hibiscus Red from Care Tea

To be honest, hibiscus tea is not my favorite. I find the tartness a little much at times. But I drink it because it’s so good for you. It’s very high in vitamin c, and it’s very hydrating. I recently moved to Salt Lake City from Seattle, and it’s taking some time getting used to the extreme heat, so hydration is important.

I’ve learned that the only way I can drink hibiscus tea is iced. I just think it tastes best that way. I usually mix it with some green or white tea to help balance it all out, but for the sake of this review I drank it straight.

It’s hibiscus all right. It is tart and tangy, and this blend wasn’t so shockingly red. What can I say, if you like hibiscus tea, you will like this. And, if you’re like me, and drink it more for the amazing health benefits, you won’t hate it. This blend is a bit more balanced than other hibiscus teas I’ve had. The tartness is a bit mellower. All in all it was a refreshing, hydrating iced beverage on a hot, hot day!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal/Tisane
Where to Buy: Care Tea

A fresh breezy tropical blend of hibiscus and red rooibos is a tangy treat, hot or iced.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Skinny Minnie’s Ginger Hibiscus Herbal Tea from Mountain Witch Tea Co.

SkinnyMinnyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Mountain Witch Tea Company

Tea Description:

This special herbal tea combines the powerful goodness of ginger and hibiscus flowers for a potent herbal brew with a tart, spicy flavor. Made with hibiscus petals, chopped ginger root.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am not a huge fan of hibiscus but it also doesn’t scare me away from blends like it does other tea drinkers.  I sometimes enjoy the tart taste that it gives a blend but I do not care for the unsweetened kool-aid like flavor it can give others.

I was a bit hesitant when I saw this blend on Mountain Witch Tea Company’s site but just about everything I have had from Kelly has been dynamite.  So if anybody can do a hibiscus blend right, it would be her. I was also nervous with the ginger that was in the blend.  There were some pretty large chunks of ginger in the sample bag she sent me.  I’ve never had a blend where these two elements are together.  Wasn’t sure how this was going to play out.

Steeped this one up like a traditional herbal and starting getting nervous when the water started to turn that deep red color.  I took in a whiff and was shocked when I wasn’t over taken with the smell of ginger.  Took my first sip, and I am impressed.  This is really tasty.  The two ingredients actually compliment each other and give this blend a tart semi sweet spicy profile. I can’t really describe this any other way.  This is a unique blend for sure.

I know how that flavor profile sounds, but I really like this.   So much so that I plan to pick up a 4 oz bag of it the next time I’m making an order with Mountain Witch Tea.  I didn’t try this iced but I can’t wait to.  I want more of this one and am rating this one pretty high.

Mountain Witch tea Co has done it again.  Kudos Kelly!