Nakazen: Hibiscus Tea Herbal Tisane from Yunomi

HibiscusTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Yunomi

Tea Description:

Hibiscus tea bags are made with high quality roselle (a kind of Hibiscus) grown in the tropical region. Enjoy hot or as iced tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hello tea friends, I do hope you are all well.

Recently I received an order from Yunomi of which they were kind to include this tisane as a free gift. While admittedly hibiscus is not something I would usually order it is nice to try something different. Plus I feel tisanes are something I should drink more of, going caffeine free every now and then sounds like a good idea.

They do offer this as two versions on their website: loose leaf and teabag. This is the teabag version.

The bags are a good quality thin polystyrene (very typical Japanese tea bag design). They are white and a little bit see through with 1/5 filled with small, chopped petals. As I sniff the bag I am met with a dry, sweet, tangy and herbal scent. Very hibiscus strong and herbal but also not overly thick.

Steeping: Popping one bag into boiling water for three minutes.

Colour is deep, deep red. Scent is floral, sweet yet sour and overall rather soft.

Flavour is stronger than the smell though it’s not as thick as I expected (or feared). The hibiscus is sweet with sour after tones and a touch of dryness, this leads to a herbal after taste. The sourness is actually rather minimal considering, likening this to sherbet. ie. More sweet than sour.

Half way down my mug I’m finding this to remain consistent with the first sip. The dryness is not increasing and nor is the herbal tang that tisanes tend to have.

Overall I thought this was nice, more pleasant tasting than I had imagined being generally a non hibiscus fan. This was of fair quality and strength which complimented the hibiscus. A simple tisane but a nice companion on this warm night.

White Lemon Lime Iced Tea by Southern Boy Teas

SBT-WHITE-LemonLimeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Here’s our sweet, hay-like organic shou mei white tea fannings paired with the delicious tartness of organic lemon and lime flavors. It might not be as complicated as some of our other tea blends, but it will definitely put a smile on your face.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about SBT’s monthly subscription here.

Taster’s Review:

I have been on such an SBT kick.  I started cold brewing tea and am completely obsessed with it.  And what is the easiest way to cold brew teas- Southern Boy Teas!

So during the last sale, I stocked up.  And I went through these awesome iced tea pouches quick!  This is one of the ones that I instantly said “Yep” and threw it in my cart.

Last night threw this one in my pitcher, added water, and into the fridge it went.  This morning I poured myself a huge glass of it, threw some ice in it, and underwent my morning routine of taking my kids to school.

I was hoping this would be one that I would fall completely 100% in love with . . .but alas no.  This tastes like a solid white tea.  That part I love. It has that delicate touch to it.    The part I am not 100% on is the lime.  I really didn’t pick up any of the lemon at all.  Just lime.  And it is more of a tart lime.  A bold lime.  A hit you in the face sort of lime.  Which is fine, but I really wanted that lemon lime taste.  I stopped drinking soda about 6 months ago and Diet Sprite or Diet Sierra Mist I still crave.  I was hoping this would take the place of those cravings and help me with my sweet tooth when I have those cravings.  Maybe if I tried again or if I brewed it up hot, maybe the lemon would come out more. I’m sure if I played around with it, they would.  Or if I added in some sugar.  That might help too.

This is delicious if you are looking for a lime tea with a delicate white tea base or finish.  Don’t get me wrong, this is very tasty.  Just not what my little ol heart was wanting at the time.

Southern Boy Teas Watermelon Flavored Black Iced Tea from 52Teas

SBT-WatermelonTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Premium Organic black tea with organic flavors. Each 14g teabag will make one 2-quart pitcher of DELICIOUS iced tea. Re-steep the teabag and you can get a full gallon out of each one.

Ingredients:  Premium Organic Black Teas, Organic Flavors.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This summer is the summer of watermelon – at least at my house, it is!  We’ve been eating watermelon like crazy this summer.  I’m not complaining … I LOVE watermelon!  And I’m enjoying this Watermelon Flavored Black Iced Tea from the Southern Boy Teas collection from 52Teas.

I was hoping for a little more watermelon flavor from this, to be honest.  I cold-brewed this and I’m not sure if that’s the reason for the more delicate watermelon flavor or not.  And that’s not to say that I can’t taste the watermelon – I absolutely can taste it, it certainly IS NOT a delicate flavor here – and it’s very tasty!  I guess I’ve just gotten spoiled with all the watermelon I’ve been eating all summer, and I want a big PUNCH of watermelon flavor.  As it is, there is a good balance between black tea and watermelon tastes.

But, I am enjoying the way the flavors come together here – the black tea is brisk and refreshing, and the watermelon is sweet.  Overall, this is so thirst-quenching … it’s the kind of beverage that I can keep drinking and drinking all day to keep me cool and invigorated.

Toward the finish, I am starting to notice a slight citrus-y note – which I attribute to the black tea (citrus notes in the black tea?) and I like how this contrasts with the sweet flavor of the melon.  It is not overly astringent, and not bitter at all (and this cold-brewed in my fridge for well over 12 hours!)

My biggest complaint with these Southern Boy Teas?  The pitcher full of iced tea disappears too fast!

Sencha from Hon.yama, Ôkawa from Thés du Japon

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Thés du Japon

Tea Description:

A futsumushi sencha from Hon.yama, in the mountains north of Shizuoka, grown under difficult conditions at an altitude of 740 meters (2400 feet). Yet, the difficult conditions are also the secret to a very high-quality natural tea: abundant rain, the slope of the garden, morning mists, significant temperature differences. In order to bring out the qualities of these leaves, the producer, Nakamura Toshiaki, is careful to steam them as little as possible and to keep their shape. The tea obtained in this way rewards us with a beautiful clear golden liquor that releases a deep fragrance of sugar and peat. The liquor is very airy while at the same time very sweet, rich and somehow voluptuous, and it is especially long in the mouth. This special sweetness is carried through several infusions, and there is almost no astringency.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A really lovely Japanese Sencha!  It’s been a while since I’ve had my last Japanese Sencha, in fact, as I sit here, contemplating this tea, I try to recall the last time I’ve had a Japanese Sencha, and I can’t do it.  I’ve had a lot of Matcha lately, and even flavored Sencha, but, not so many pure Japanese Sencha.  It’s very refreshing to have this cup now.

The aroma of the dry leaf initially reminded me of kelp, but after the package had breathed for a moment or two, it smelled more like freshly cut grass.  Very clean and spring-like!  A very nice fragrance to experience during these cold, wet, autumn-y days!  Once brewed, the tea smells more like vegetables than of grass, somewhere between steamed spinach and steamed broccoli.

The flavor is sweet, crisp and has a fresh, invigorating quality to the flavor. The flavor is very clean and smooth from beginning to finish, with very little astringency toward the finish – just a hint of a tangy note – and a gently sweet aftertaste that is reminiscent of dew drops.

Overall, I find this to be a remarkable Japanese Sencha – sweeter and milder than most I’ve tried.  Very pleasant to sip!

Southern Boy Teas Series, Part 5: Lime Jello from 52Teas

limejello2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Premium Indian CTC black teas blended with organic flavoring. Amazing tea with a great lime Jello finish.

Learn more about Southern Boy Teas.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve got to tell you, I am absolutely loving the iced tea series from 52Teas this year.  Last year, there were some pretty unique flavors and I loved that, but, what I think I really like about this year (and this may come as a surprise to some!) is the fact that they’re bagged!  Yes, you read that correctly.

At first, I disliked that these were bagged because I had planned to hot-brew the lot, but, after getting my new glass iced tea pitcher and started cold-brewing these teas, I am loving the how easy it is to cold-brew, especially since these teas are bagged, I wouldn’t enjoy having to strain the teas the next morning.  But even more than the simplicity, I really enjoy the flavor that comes from the cold-brew process.  The flavors seem smoother and sweeter with the cold-brew process.

When I drink a tea hot, I enjoy having all the “precise” flavors of the cup, but, when it’s iced, I prefer the tea to be smooth and easy-drinking.  And the cold-brewing process really encourages a softer, smoother tea.

This Lime Jello flavor of the Southern Boy Teas series is quite nice:  lots of sweet-tart lime flavor, a hint of marshmallow, and there also seems to be another fruit in there … pineapple?  The overall taste is very refreshing.  The black tea is not overwhelmed by the flavors, everything is really balanced well.

I must admit to preferring the Lime Jello Salad Green Tea from 52Teas that was released around Thanksgiving of last year.  I think that the green tea melded beautifully with these particular flavors, and produced a very memorable tea indeed.  But, I am enjoying this one as well, and glad that 52Teas re-fashioned the flavor for their iced tea series this year.