Climber’s High from The Tea Spot. . .

Though working out isn’t my favorite activity, I can understand the uplifting physical feeling that comes with good old-fashioned exercise.  With a name that refers to an athletic euphoria, it’s no surprise to me that Climber’s High tea from the Tea Spot has yerba mate in the blend.  Yerba mate is technically an herbal tisane, not made from the same stuff as black tea, but it contains a high amount of caffeine and is often cited as a better caffeination choice than coffee, with fewer jitters and crashes.

Yerba mate on its own has a dry hay, fresh-mowed-field fragrance, and a gently earthy taste.  This blend is no exception, with the dried grass scents mellowing out as smooth and earthy in flavor.

This blend also has its fair share of chai spices like licorice root, black pepper, fennel, tulsi, and cardamom.  I love spicy chai teas so I made sure to scoop a big cardamom pod into my cup. That said, the spices are understated, very gentle and unassuming.  Personally I would have liked a little more pop, but I understand that spicy teas aren’t for everyone. Don’t be discouraged by this ingredients list if you aren’t into chai teas, this might just be the right blend for you.

I don’t always need the caffeine kick that yerba mate provides, but if you’re looking for a powerful alternative to coffee or black tea, Climber’s High is a great blend to check out.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Herbal (caffeine)
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A super-charged blend of teas, spices and herbs formulated to provide a refreshing daily lift for people with active, high-energy lifestyles. Climber’s High is a high-powered way to increase your intake of beneficial antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins, as well as a host of healthy vitamins, trace minerals, beneficial phyto-constituents, and caffeine. It was originally conceived to assist people in adjusting to higher altitudes. This spiced yerba mate chai tea is both good for you and a pleasure to drink.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jump Start You Day with This Blend from Adagio Teas

Jump start your car with a blast of electricity.  Jump start your brain and your day with this high caffeine cuppa!  For tea lovers everywhere, it’s no secret that mate tea is a powerful pick-me-up, and often cited as a great alternative to coffee.  Well Jump Start blend from Adagio teas has toasted mate and so much more.

There’s not just mate, there’s traditional black tea in the blend as well, a staple of every breakfast blend around.  But let’s take this caffeine level a step further:  kola nuts.  Kola nuts are caffeine-containing tree nuts, previously used as an ingredient in sodas, hence where we get the term “cola.”  So there’s caffeine from the mate, from the black tea, and even from the kola nut inclusion.  This tea should come with a warning, like roller coasters: don’t brew this tea if you have a heart condition.  You’ll be rocketing out of your socks in no time!

So how do all of these ingredients taste?  The toasted mate brings roasty, earthy, dry hay notes, which serve as a compliment to the more traditional boldness of the black tea.  With additions like smooth, sweet cocoa nibs, and warm, spicy cinnamon bark, it’s hard not to imagine the kola nuts adding their own kind of cola sweetness.  I brewed this blend black, how I take most of my tea, but it is bold enough to hold up its flavor, even if softened with a bit of milk.

This will be an amazing tea for those of you who just can’t seem to get enough caffeine.  Skip your espresso-laced red-eye cold brew coffee, and just brew a cup of Jump Start instead!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Herbal
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: Mate, Kola, and Black tea make up this well-caffeinated blend to make your mornings deliciously efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pomegranate Mojito Green from Zest Tea. . . .

Zest Tea, a new company to me and one that is apparently focused on getting the caffeine levels of coffee into a cup of tea. As a non-coffee drinker myself, I can get behind that since it would be nice to have a pick-me-up that I would enjoy for those days I am feeling extra sluggish.

I brewed this hot first for 2 minutes at 175 degrees. The flavor is mild but distinctly pomegranate and mint with one following after another as opposed to blending together to create the mojito. The base is hidden beneath the flavors which is my personal preference but may be a downfall for some. Lime is also fleeting, which I am more sad about because I think it would have been a nice component to round out the flavors and bring them together.

Given this is a mojito tea, I figured I should try it iced. Since the flavor of the hot tea was so mild, I decided to brew this cup just a bit longer, 2.5 minutes at 175 degrees. Though that might have added more pomegranate sweetness, it did not add more flavor. Instead, the base came out a bit more making for a sweet grass iced tea with a more generic fruit note. A touch bitter too, though that didn’t show up in the hot cup so my guess was the increased timing threw this off. Mint is more harmoniously blended with the other ingredients here but somehow that adds an earthiness to make this more grassy/medicinal.

I was surprised that this was better hot than iced since the flavors are inspired by a beverage best served over ice. It has a nice enough flavor but I don’t think I will personally be seeking this tea out again. It was fun to try though and I certainly am intrigued to investigate Zest Tea a bit more.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Zest Tea

Description

At Zest, we start every morning with a Mojito. This aromatic blend of young hyson green tea, peppermint, lime, and pomegranate will bring back memories of lounging on a beach, or maybe whatever memories you have left of college. Either way, our Pomegranate Mojito Green Tea is an amazingly refreshing blend, great for any time of day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Black Tea from Zest Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black TeaEarl_Grey_800_x_650_grande

Where to Buy: Zest Tea

Tea Description:

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles “Chaz” Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil. Don’t thank us. Thank Chaz.

Tea Base: Flower Orange Pekoe

Base Region: South India

Ingredients: South Indian Flower Orange Pekoe Black Tea, Bergamot Flavor, Natural Caffeine

20 pyramid bags per tin!

Caffeine: Approximately 150 mg/ cup – About the same as a cup of coffee!

 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Earl Grey Black Tea from Zest Tea is more than just a black tea.  It’s more than your average Earl Grey tea.  What makes this different from others is the caffeine content.  Zest Tea prides themselves on being the most caffeinated tea on the market.  They have 3 times the caffeine than other standard black teas.  This fills a nice niche for those who like tea but also need that caffeine buzz early in the morning (or any time of day, really.)

With this specific tea – being as highly caffeinated as it is – you may be surprised that there is little to no jitters or crash like with other caffeine crazed beverages.  Zest Tea is packed with amino acids, including L-Theanine, which has a synergistic relationship with caffeine and helps to moderate caffeine’s effects according to their website.

I have to say the first time I tasted this tea I wasn’t sure my opinions at first but long term results shows I ended up enjoying the tea because my tin is near empty.  I’m actually holding on to the last bag for a day when I REALLY need it!

The taste was a bit hardcore at first.  It kind of reminded me of those chocolate covered caffeine balls I had years ago and/or chocolate covered coffee beans.  I’m not saying they actually TASTED like coffee but the taste of pure caffeine, I guess.  Anyhow…After I got past that initial shock of flavor I noticed the strong black tea base which was pretty good.  There was the Earl Grey flavor, yes, but it wasn’t your standard Earl Grey that you have come to know and love.  I would say 60/40 caffeine to Earl Grey flavor ratio.

The draw to this tea is that it DOES provide you with that pick-me-up and that is EXACTLY what I used it for an kept it on hand for.  Overall I appreciate this tea as a NovelTEA and ended up really liking it on those hard-to-get-into-mornings!

 

Jungle Ju Ju Guayusa from DAVIDsTEA

junglejujuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Guayusa

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Head for the Ju Ju Jungle, made with a guayusa herb and fruit blend that’ll make you feel like swinging from the vines and hanging from the trees. No wonder. Guayusa contains a combo of the natural stimulants also found in green tea and dark chocolate. People claim it protects you against snake bites, gives you courage, and helps you spiritually connect to nature. With its smooth flavour and natural buzz, we’ll just say it makes for a deliciously stimulating cup of tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Uh-oh.

So I picked up some of this a couple weeks ago ’cause I had sipped down Main Squeeze (also from DT), which has been a cupboard staple of mine for daily use a little over a year now, and I wanted to switch things up a little bit because drinking too much of the same thing can definitely get boring or begin to feel too routine. Well, I think I may have spent a year missing out because this was really, really good.

Overall I tend to prefer guayusa over mate; I like the wet, mossy, earthy flavour of guayusa a lot because it makes me think of petrichor so this tea already had that edge over Main Squeeze; dry it smells very fresh with a more raw, unrefined peach flavour. It’s not a soft, creamy peach: it’s peach fresh from the orchard with the skin and a bit of dirt. The papaya comes through in the scent as well, but it’s definitely not the focus despite the surplus of very large candied papaya pieces in the leaf.

And the taste was awesome; the guayusa was everything I could have asked it to be and the peach I got to experience in the dry smell translated perfectly into the taste. The papaya is stronger in the taste as well, and adds this lovely roundness to the flavour that highlights the peach, petrichor, and plush earthy notes as well as a tropical and exotic kind of vibe. And it tastes so fresh; it’s weird that it tastes both tropical and like it could’ve come fresh from a local orchard.

It’s sweet enough that I can’t ever see why you’d add anything to it but it’s still got a mellowness to it too. The mouthfeel was very full as well. I’m totally picturing myself drinking this on the walk to work and I think that’s an A+ idea. Really, I have zero complaints about this one other than my own idiocy for drinking it at 6PM and now being way too wide awake.

This could easily, and I predict will easily, make its way into my cupboard staples so long as it proves to provide a consistent brew. It’s not one of the fanciest/highest quality teas I own – but for every day drinking and that extra caffeine boost before going to work I think it’s perfect! Plus, it’s a totally fun summer kind of flavour!