I steeped this tea for 8 minutes at 212 degrees with 1.5 teaspoons of leaf in about 6-8 ounces of water.
After steeping, the tea is an interesting peachy color-pinkish-orangeish-amber. It smells mostly of honeybush and a little of hops. The flavor combinations available here are quite intriguing!
First sip: SUPER sweet. It has a light, airy quality to the flavor. It’s not as “earthy” as I’d expect with so much honeybush in it (honeybush and rooibos usually ground a flavor pretty well in my estimation).
The flavor is also much more complex than the fragrance, rather than being dominated by the honeybush and hops flavors. It has the sweetness and woodiness of honeybush, but also a touch of lemony/citrus flavor (which brightens it considerably), just a hint of minty or piney freshness maybe, and some other difficult-to-describe notes.
After consulting the list of ingredients (it’s a relatively long one for a tea blend, although not super-long like a processed food or something) I’ve worked out that the sweetness is probably boosted by the marshmallow leaf (although honeybush is sweet on its own too) and the licorice; the bee pollen is probably what I see dancing in the tea liquid, giving it this peachy color; and the cedar is probably what I was mistaking for minty/piney freshness. All taken together, these notes make a fascinating flavor that’s worth exploring!
I’m really glad I got to try this tea–the dried leaf didn’t smell nearly as appetizing as the tea liquid turned out to be, and I’m glad I gave it the chance to bloom (figuratively speaking, that is–this wasn’t what they call a “blooming tea”).
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Honeybush/Rooibos
Where to Buy: Beach House Tea Company
Woodland Trek 100% organic loose leaf tea is crafted with honeybush tea with a rich undertone of licorice and sage and snap of organic Oregon hops and a hint of sweetness from bee pollen. This outdoor-rich blend with organic cedar tips invites you to reminisce memories of evenings spent camping or hiking the cascades.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Sweet Dreams is part of AstroloTea’s Transformative Loose Tea range, which combines ingredients with specific properties to create teas designed to have an effect on either mind or body. Sweet Dreams, true to its name, is supposed to be a relaxing blend, with the intention of promoting sleep or rest. Like many blends of this kind, it contains a selection of herbal ingredients known for their calming properties, including rose petals, hops, jasmine, lemon balm, and lavender. It also contains more unusual ingredients, such as poppy, catuba, gotu kola, dogwood, yarrow, brahmi, kava kava, and mullein. Many of these I’ve never come across before. All of the ingredients are organic, except the kava kava which has been cultivated without the use of chemicals.
I followed the recommended parameters and used 2 tsp of leaf for my cup, added to boiling water for 5 minutes. The resulting liquor is a bright orange-brown, with a mildly herbaceous scent. The flavour is more delicate than I expected, initially quite generically “herbal”, but with clear flashes of rose and lavender. There’s a distinctive thick sweetness from the hops in the mid-sip, and a touch of aniseed-like fennel. A light lemony-citrus note rounds off the sip.
The proliferation of ingredients made me wonder whether it would be possible to distinguish any one of them at all, but in actual fact it is possible to pick out the stronger, more dominant, flavours. Many of the ingredients are unfamiliar to me, though (and probably to most people), and it’s fair to say that the overall effect is herbal with an edge of floral. I’m pleased the the floral doesn’t edge over into perfumey, and it’s not too strong, so you might get along with this even if floral teas are not typically your thing. In flavour terms, its reminiscent of a lot of similar blends, only with more unusual, carefully selected, ingredients.
I didn’t notice much of an effect straight after drinking, but I can certainly appreciate having another caffeine-free pre-bedtime blend in my cupboard. With its light, delicate flavour, it’s a pleasing choice for late night drinking whether you buy into the “sleep-aid” aspect or not. I’d happily seek out more AstroloTea blends in the future.
And since today is #MusicandTeaMonday, we couldn’t help but pair this tea with this song! Don’t forget to join us on your favorite social media of choice with #MusicandTeaMonday!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: AstroloTea
Sweet Dreams Organic Loose Leaf Tea is only available as an herbal tea blend. It is a powerful sedative tea for nighttime relaxation and sleep. It has been used to help relieve insomnia and sleep disturbances.
This soft and dreamy tea is the perfect way to close every day. Slip into comfort and notice how gently everything floats away as you easily drift off to dreamland. Sweet Dreams tea is a luxurious gift to give yourself for a day well lived.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Herbal/Functional Tisane
Where to Buy: Algonquin Tea Co.
Peace Tea instills the tranquility, patience and beauty of the earth. This rich, bittersweet blend grounds us in a flowing meadow of healing herbs. Peace tea is ideal for calming down before, during or after any busy period.
Learn more about this tea here.
Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.
So, my Postal Teas box arrived the other day! Yay! A beam of happiness shines like a ray of sunshine when tea is in the mailbox! And I do really enjoy the Postal Teas subscription. So far, with every box that I’ve received from them, I’ve tried teas from companies that are new to me. I like that. I like that a lot!
I’ve never really made a big secret of the fact that I prefer camellia sinensis blends over herbal teas/tisanes. Not a big surprise, right? So, I was a little less than enthused when I opened the box this month and found not one … not two … but ALL THREE teas in the box were herbals.
So, it probably goes without saying that this month’s box was a little bittersweet. I was not thrilled about receiving three herbal teas in the box BUT I was happy to be trying teas from a new-to-me company: Algonquin Tea Co.
And while I do prefer camellia sinensis, I am willing to try herbal blends, and I actually do like to have an herbal tisane later in the evening to encourage some peace and quiet so that I can get a good night’s rest.
Which is why I chose to try this Peace Tea first. The ingredient list suggests that there are quite a few calming herbs in the blend.
Ingredients: Blue Vervain, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Oat Straw, Red Bergamot, Chamomile, Hops, Motherwort, Valerian, Skullcap and St John’s Wort.
To brew this tisane, I used my Kati tumbler and measured 1 1/2 bamboo scoops into the basket. I heated 12 ounces of water to 195°F and then let it steep for 8 minutes.
As the description suggests, there is some bittersweet going on here. This is a tisane that I recommend adding a dollop of honey (raw, locally harvested honey if you’ve got it!) to help tame the bitterness a bit. After I added a little bit of honey, I found this to be an enjoyable cup.
The vervain and the hops is where a lot of the bitterness is coming from. I taste hints of mint-like flavor from the catnip and there is a touch of citrus flavors from the lemon balm and bergamot. I was really hoping to taste more of the bergamot in this.
Mostly, what I’m tasting is a very herbaceous flavor. It is bittersweet. Almost medicinal. There’s a light floral note that is nice and it develops as I continue to sip. I pick up on more of the chamomile flavor as the tea cools and guess what? I was actually happy to discover the chamomile! I think that the reason for that is because it’s more of a familiar flavor amid the medicinal notes.
All that said: this isn’t a bad tisane. I’m not hating this. It’s not horrible. It’s alright. But this is not something I’d want to reach for on a regular basis. The citrus notes and the hint of mint are this tea’s saving grace, because without those notes, I don’t know that I’d enjoy this.
The pros: there is no hibiscus in here. I enjoy the citrus-y notes and the touch of mint. The floral notes are pleasant. With a bit of honey this tastes much nicer and I am noticing myself relaxing and calming down a bit – I feel the peace that the name of the tea promises. These are good things!
The cons: It does have a strong bitter tone to it and while I can appreciate a contrasting, savory bitter note in a tea or tisane now and again, this is a stronger bitter taste than I’d like it to be. It has a medicinal quality that makes me feel like I’m drinking something functional or “good for me” – which I am, but I don’t like to feel like I am. I like to get my functional, good for me teas in sweeter, better tasting blends.
I think I’d like this a lot more if it had more citrus-y flavors, or more flavors that I don’t normally associate as “herbaceous.” As a drink, it’s alright. As a source of peace and calm, I appreciate how this tea is inspiring those things in me at the moment. I feel noticeably more relaxed now than I did before I started sipping.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Handmade Tea
For this blend I wanted to bring together something sweet, fresh, and light. Taking a cue from the beer industry, I wanted to create something very seasonal. I’ve been wanting to use hops in a blend for months and it took a lot of experimenting but I believe we have a hoppily delightful April blend. PLease, enjoy Hoppiness is Happiness from Handmade Tea.
Happiness is Hoppiness consists of a pan-fried green tea which is subtle, sweet, and fresh. Next we added apricots for a fruity, sweet flavor. Lastly this blend contains common hops for a bright, grassy, and bitter punch to the palate. The hops and green tea work together to build that super fresh and bright flavor with the apricots sweeten the blend up and help round out the flavor.
Learn more about this tea here.
When I received Hoppiness is Happiness from Handmade Tea I nearly squealed. Some of you may know I love hops in tea. I have had a couple custom blended just so that I could get my hop fix in a tea blend. I was thrilled to see that I am not the only one who loves a hoppy tea!
Now this is a good tea. Its a bit on the lighter side than I would prefer but its not lacking in flavor, I would just have liked it a bit stronger in the flavor department. One thing that is bothering me to no end however is the term “common hop”. Call me a hop elitist but there are so many wonderful types of hops, each imparting a different flavor into beer, or tea, or whatever it is used in. I am just not sure if this is a mixture of many different hops, or if it is a specific type of hop. Generally the term “common hop” is used to describe any number of hops used in beer brewing, and now sometimes tea blending. I would love to know specifically which type was used in this blend. Caleb of Handmade Tea is a nice guy and almost always available for chat on his website, so I may have to pick his brain on this one soon.
I will say the hops in this blend are large, some whole. That may or may not be a good thing, depending upon the type of hop being used. Some hops may require a bit of breaking down to release the potential flavor. Regardless, the tea does have hoppiness to it but it by no means too hoppy, or so hoppy that the average tea drinker would wrinkle their nose at the flavor imparted in this tea.
The apricot in the tea is what really shines. I can taste its sweet fruitiness well, and the pan-fried green tea is lovely as a base. I have found I prefer this tea when cold and it will make a lovely addition to my summer iced tea stash.
A big thanks to Caleb for always thinking out of the box and making us some unique blends to savor!
You can check out his monthly tea subscription plans here.
Leaf Type: Organic Guranse
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Azzrian’s Custom Blend via Butiki Teas.
This blend was inspired by a beer I used to love drinking.
It was a lambic beer sweetened and flavored with peaches.
Thus we took an organic guranse and mixed in cascade hops, peaches, and peach flavoring.
All organic, all delicious!
Learn more about this tea from Steepster reviews here.
Request your own custom blend via email by clicking here. Just tell Stacy you would like to create your own custom blend and shoot her your general idea – she will get back to you to continue the communication!
Peach HoppiTea Custom Blend from Butiki Teas is exactly what I wanted in my blend! This review is not only for this tea but also for Stacy of Butiki Teas and her amazing customer service when it comes to custom blending!
Stacy of Butiki Teas and I communicated via email for weeks developing my dream tea. I knew I wanted a tea modeled after my favorite Lambic brew. It was a peachy, sweet, and hoppy beer. What Stacy created not only brought back that exact flavor but she did so in a natural, organic way that makes this tea just BURST with ripe juicy flavors! Now I know many of us tea drinkers love to eat our tea! We pick out the pieces of fruit, nuts, herbs, etc from our steeped leaves and chew on them. Often times we end up spitting it out due to being either bitter, or chemical tasting, or whatever but when I pick out the big, sweet, juicy peaches from my spent leaves, they are so very very good! Just like I picked them from a tree in an orchard! This flavor is not only noticeable in the aroma of the cup but in every single sip! Big, ripe, juicy, natural, bursting with flavor peaches!
The hops, they are not bitter as many people think of bitter, they don’t make you pucker up like eating a sour candy. They are herbaceous, a tart sharp note on the middle back part of the tongue. Granted it is probably going to be a note that not everyone loves but even those who did not love that specific note have really enjoyed the blend and have made note of the freshness of the peaches. You can see other’s reviews on this tea on steepster which is linked above.
I could go on and on forever about my special custom blend and yes you can order it if it speaks to you but what I want to point out even more in this review is Stacy, her tea company, and the process of your own custom blend.
Now there are several companies that do the custom blend thing. Only a couple that do it in an interesting way. Most custom blends are made by selecting some elements from a drop down menu and thats it. Now not to knock those types of custom blends as I actually have made quite a few from various companies and have loved them! The difference here however is that Stacy will really work with you one on one over a period of time, until the exact idea of your blend is captured and you agree with the outcome!
From the moment I sent Stacy my request we were in communication about every element from the flavoring, the base tea to be used, and so on. Then on top of that Stacy sent me samples of different base teas to try to help me choose which one to use in my blend. Then she would send me samples of various stages of the blend itself! Sometimes more than one mixture using different bases with the peaches and hops or different flavoring components for me to consider. I think it took about a month from the time of inception to the finished product but what the outcome became is perfection!
There is a sweetness that was imperative in this blend yet the only sweetener in this tea are the peaches themselves! The hops are the exact species I had asked for, and the base works in perfect harmony.
I received my custom blend months ago and loved it then but what I am surprised at is now, months later, it is even better! Almost as if it needed to age to come to full maturity and show me everything it has to offer! Anytime you have a custom blend there is a period of time you should wait before drinking it all up as flavors do need to meld a little but I think by waiting even longer the peaches really were able to share their sweetness, meld together with the bitter hops, and thus bring forth everything desired in this blend.
The blend is all organic and also vegan! I quote Stacy of Butiki Teas: “Yep, gluten-free. It has gluten-free flavoring, gluten-free peach bits and hops. The facility is not gluten-free but we are careful not to cross contaminate.”
I would absolutely ask Stacy to make me a custom blend again in the future and I will always want this tea in my permanent stash!