Leaf Type: Fruit & Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Tea & All It’s Splendor
Blueberries, meet apple, ginger and lemongrass. These fruits and herbs along with a small bouquet of other herbals are blended together to make a caffeine free blend, that will have you wishing blueberry season was here.
The blackberry leaf mixed with dried blueberries and apples provide a bold, naturally sweet blueberry flavour that reminds us of pie. The verbena, lemon grass and ginger give us the “zing”, making this the best herbal blend we’ve tried this year.
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I didn’t look at the ingredient list before I brewed this Blueberry Zinger Fruit Tisane from Tea & All It’s Splendor, but based on the name of it I figured that it had hibiscus in it. So when I measured 1 1/2 bamboo scoops of the tisane into the basket of my Kati Tumbler, I was a little surprised to not see hibiscus in the blend. It was a pleasant surprise, to be sure and I could hear a little voice in my head say, “just because you don’t see the hibiscus doesn’t mean it’s not there.”
I poured 12 ounces of 195°F into the tumbler and let the tea steep for just six minutes, thinking that there had to be hibiscus in the blend. But when I lifted up the strainer basket and saw that the tisane was a golden amber color and not a ruby color – there wasn’t even a hint of pink hue to the liquid! It was then that I thought, “Huh! Maybe, just maybe someone knows how to make a tisane without hibiscus in it!”
Then I went to the Tea & All It’s Splendor website to check out the ingredient list:
Apple and ginger pieces, blackberry leaves, blueberries, heather blossoms, melissa and verbena leaves, lemongrass, natural flavouring, blue cornflower blossoms.
Did you see that? Or perhaps, do you NOT see that! Because I’m looking at an ingredient list for a fruit and herbal tisane that doesn’t have hibiscus in it.
Oh joyful day – I knew it could be done! Other tea blenders out there, take note – you CAN make a fruit and herbal tisane without hibiscus. It can be done!
This is really quite a tasty tisane. I think that the name might be a tad misleading, only because I’m tasting more apple, ginger and lemony notes than I am blueberry. But don’t let that deter you from trying this blend because it’s really good – and I DO taste the blueberry.
As I said in the previous paragraph, the apple, lemon and ginger are the three strongest notes that I taste. The apple tastes sweet and is a nice contrast to the zesty ginger flavor. The lemon-y note is not particularly tart, but I do get a hint of tartness here and there. These three flavors come through right at the start of the sip.
Just before mid-sip, I taste a flavor that I’ll describe as herbaceous. It isn’t a distinct herbal flavor. It just tastes lightly herb-y. Just after mid-sip, I notice the blueberry starting to come through and by the finish, I do taste a clear blueberry note. It’s a sweet blueberry note and I like that this tastes authentic. I’m not getting a fake berry flavor.
I’m very pleased with this tisane. I’m very happy that there isn’t any hibiscus in this – and perhaps most surprising about the lack of hibiscus is that in just about every berry fruit/herbal tisane like this, hibiscus is used because hibiscus has a tart flavor that is often mistaken for a berry taste. I’m so happy that Tea & All It’s Splendor didn’t take the ‘easy way out’ with this blend and add hibiscus to it. And I’m even happier that Postal Teas decided to include it in this month’s box!
I received my Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club package the other day and I was excited to get started! This month, the teas are focused on ’tisanes’ – herbal blends from various Japanese tea companies.
Since this is a tisanes package and not Camellia Sinensis, I won’t be featuring part two of this series tomorrow night. This is because I don’t usually drink more than 1 tisane per day, so I need time to consume these teas and write about them!
This month’s package included Yomogi herbal tea which is a Japanese Mugwort tea, Longevity herbal blend which is a blend of 18 Japanese herbs, Mulberry leaf tea which has been prepared Sencha style, Organic hatomugicha which is also called “Job’s Tears” and finally, Organic mugicha which is a barley tea. Of the five, the Mugicha is what I look forward to most, as I’m quite fond of barley tea.
Also in this month’s package was another cute origami Crane … I’m getting a little collection of these! The usual booklet which offers some information about each of the teas was not included but we received an email from Yunomi explaining that the booklet would arrive separately a little later.
The first tea that I’m going to try is the Longevity Herbal Blend from Nakazen. I was happy to see that this tea included Camellia Sinensis in the form of Oolong tea. Here is a list of the ingredients:
Barley tea, job’s tears, sicklepod seeds, cat’s whiskers (herb), dokudami (herb), oolong tea, tumeric, guava leaves, biwa (loquat) leaves, mikan (Japanese mandarin) peels, brown rice, pine leaves, ohbako, benibana, persimmon leaves, amachazuru, sarunokoshikake (fungi), cinnamon
The aroma of the dry leaf is very herb-y. It sort of reminds me of walking into one of those apothecary shops. The brewed tea has more of a ‘medicinal’ type of fragrance, still smelling very apothecary-ish but the herbal notes are medicinal smelling.
The taste is actually quite enjoyable. It has a roasted flavor to it. It’s toasty and warm. Very nice on a chilly night!
The roasted flavor I attribute to the barley in the tea. I also taste the brown rice, it lends a warm and nutty flavor to the cup. I taste the resinous notes of pine leaves and I taste the warm spiced notes of cinnamon. I taste hints of tumeric and I don’t know if I actually taste the Oolong, but I can feel it’s contribution – the texture of the tea has that wonderful, thick Oolong-ish mouthfeel.
The other herbs of this tea, I’m not sure what flavor profile to fit with which herb because they are herbs that I am – for the most part – quite unfamiliar with. I would like to say, though, that even though the aroma strongly suggests an herbaceous, medicinal flavor, I smell more of that herb-y medicine-y flavor than I taste. For the most part, what I taste is the barley’s contribution to this tea – I taste that warm, roasty-toasty flavor and that’s quite fine with me – I’m really enjoying this!
The second tisane that I’ll be sampling – and the last for this, part 1 of the Yunomi Discoveries Club, Volume 17 review – is the Japanese Mugwort Tea from Yomogi-Cha. The word “Mugwort” makes me think of Harry Potter and Nightmare before Christmas. It sounds like something that Professor Snape would put in a potion or something that Sally would put in Doctor Finklestein’s soup.
This particular herbal doesn’t appear to be available on Yunomi’s site at the moment.
The dry leaf looks a lot like a dried salad. The leaves are large and fluffy and there are some stems in there too. The steeping parameters suggest using 1 tablespoon to 2 cups of water. I brewed this in my Kati tumbler which holds 12 ounces (so 1 1/2 cups of water) so I figured, close enough. Because these leaves are so fluffy and large, I eyeballed what looked like a tablespoon of leaf and put that in the basket of my tumbler and poured in 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F and let it steep for 4 minutes. (The suggested parameters are 3 – 5 minutes.)
Having never tried Mugwort tea (at least, not to my recollection), I was not sure what to expect. The aroma of the brewed tea is very grassy/leafy, evoking thoughts of what it might smell like if I were to steep some fresh lawn clippings.
The taste is very much like what the aroma suggests. It’s an interesting combination of bitter and sweet. It’s very herbaceous but not so much in an herbal sort of way, it’s more a grassy sort of herbaceous. There is a light buttery note which is kind of nice. There is some sweetness. Overall, it’s not an unpleasant tasting drink, it’s just quite different from what I’m used to tasting and I’m not finding myself really enjoying it.
In other words, I don’t hate it but I don’t really like it either.
From what I understand, Japanese Mugwort tea is useful for detox and weight loss. I don’t know if that’s true or not because I’m just drinking one cup of the stuff and that’s hardly enough to gauge whether or not it will work in this capacity. I am noticing a warming sort of effect though.
Overall, it’s alright. If I were going to drink this on a regular basis, I think I’d want to add something to it, perhaps a thin slice of lemon or some mint – something to perk up the flavor a little bit so that I’m tasting less of that strong grassy sort of flavor. Not my favorite.
Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy
Sweet orange peel roasted in honey, real grade-A Madagascar vanilla beans, actual peaches! California Sweet Peach is our signature herbal infusion. We are proud to roast our own orange peel in local honey and use peaches straight from California! Our natural peach flavor is supplied by Silver Cloud Estates and is a blend of different natural extracts and oils, enabling us to boost the taste of peaches. This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends. Note: California Sweet Peach contains no tea, as it is an herbal infusion. We chose to include the term “herbal tea” in the title due to its categorical popularity.
Learn more about this tea here.
This California Sweet Peach Herbal Tea from M&K’s Tea Company is an interesting tisane. As I sit here, sipping it, I’m trying to determine whether or not I like it. I can’t say that immediately upon taking my first few sips that I was blown away by it. At the same time, I can’t say that immediately upon taking my first few sips that I wasn’t intrigued. I felt the need to keep on sipping. It’s interesting enough to keep me sipping but there’s something about it that hasn’t yet ‘won me over’ – at least not yet.
I like that the hibiscus is not a strong presence in this cup. Normally, when I am about to taste a tea or tisane with hibiscus, my thought is “why?” Why hibiscus? But, after drinking about half a cup now, I can see why the hibiscus is in this blend. It adds a little bit of body to the cup (but I wouldn’t recommend steeping it longer than 6 minutes or so to avoid having a thick or syrupy body) and the little bit of tartness that it brings to the cup adds balance to the warm notes of the licorice and the sweetness of the peach, honey and vanilla notes.
The star of this cup is – obviously – the peach. I like the flavor of the peach here and I think that’s what’s keeping my interest. The peach is a genuine peach-y note. It doesn’t taste chemical or artificial. It tastes true to the fruit. I also like the orange in this. The orange adds a touch of bright flavor to the sweet peach notes.
Now that I’ve finished the cup I can say that I enjoyed this. It had a strong peach flavor but there was enough other stuff going on in this that it didn’t end up being all about the peach. I liked the different flavors going on. And even though this does have hibiscus in it – like so many other fruit/herbal tisanes to – this is not your ordinary tisane.
Just as an aside: it’s something when I finish the tea before I finish the review. Take that for what it’s worth, but it doesn’t happen often. I must have enjoyed what I was drinking!
Yeah. I’d drink this again. I enjoyed it. This one has earned my approval. Even if it does have hibiscus in it!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Tealee
There’s something magical about this aromatic combination of soothing ingredients. Perfect for the moments you find yourself day dreaming about Neverland.
Learn more about this tea here.
The dry leaf aroma is absolutely beautiful! I smell strong notes of lavender and I love the way they meld with the lime leaves. Lovely!
To brew this tea, I used my Breville One Touch – yeah, I don’t usually use my Breville to brew white teas, but because the leaf is a little smaller here, I felt comfortable using the Breville this time. I measured 2 heaping bamboo scoops into the basket of the tea maker and poured 500ml of water into the kettle. I set the timer for 3 1/2 minutes and the temperature for 165°F. Then I let the machine do it’s thing.
The brewed tea is almost as beautifully fragrant as the dry leaf. This is a tea that you want to inhale deeply when you lift the cup to your lips – smell it first! – and then take a sip. It will make the experience even more enjoyable!
Nice! I was a little worried when I smelled the strong lavender – I worried that maybe the lavender had been overdone. Too much lavender ends up tasting too perfume-ish or soapy and even though I love lavender, I don’t want to drink something that tastes like I should be bathing in it instead.
Fortunately, the lavender is just right! It is strong enough to offer a powerful aromatic experience but not so powerful that I am not able to enjoy the flavor as much as I enjoy the fragrance. This is really lovely!
The lavender is the strongest flavor of the cup, and it has a sweet flavor that is distinctly lavender. Sweet and floral, but not perfume-ish. When I drink teas with lavender, I feel an almost instant “calming” effect and I don’t know if that’s because my brain knows that it just drank lavender and lavender has that effect on me, but I’m starting to feel that – I feel relaxed and as I continue to sip, I feel myself becoming more and more calm.
The lime leaves taste light and citrus-y, and this citrus note is especially noticed in the aftertaste. I can feel a distinct “lime” note on my tongue – as if I just had tasted a tiny bit of lime. I like the way the lime notes play with the lavender – it’s an unexpected but delightful flavor combination.
The white tea is a delicate flavor. It’s soft and sweet. It’s a nice base for these flavors, because a more aggressive tea would be less “calming” and I like the way the lavender is soothing me.
A really pleasant blend! Tealee has some really enticing tea blends on their website. Lots of teas to explore!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Lemon Lily
While the first tea was floral and earthy, this little blend goes full throttle on the floral. A blend of leaves from raspberries and strawberries with dusting of rose and rosehip, this tea is a natural relaxant. While some may say these herbals all hold some amazing capabilities in the world of natural healing, lowering blood pressure or relieving bloating and cramps, we like it because it’s full of flavour without tasting like a bar of soap. You can actually taste all the subtle notes of each leaf and flower as the sip develops on your taste buds.
Learn more about the eighth edition of Postal Teas shipment here.
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The three teas that were showcased in the eighth edition from Postal Teas all had several things in common. The first and most obvious is that they were all three from Lemon Lily. The second (and also pretty obvious) is that they were all white tea blends. The third is that they are all blends that focus on floral flavors.
They were all unique too: the Maple Leaf is indulgent and maple-y and Beauty & The Beet has a pleasant earthy tone with the beetroot powder and this blend delights with it’s soft hints of berry. But all three have strong floral overtures.
I like that while they are very flowery, they don’t taste soapy. I don’t feel like I’m drinking Aunt Matilda’s perfume. The flavor of the white tea is delicate but discernible and keeps this cuppa tasting like TEA.
This particular blend focuses more on the rose notes than do the previous two blends from this edition. But I like that the sharper floral notes are softened with mellow fruit flavors from the strawberry and raspberry leaves. These components add a soft, sweet fruit note without overwhelming the beautiful floral notes.
And the softness accentuates the lovely floral notes of rose perfectly. I like that all the flavors seem to unify in a very seamless way, but each note is discernible. I experience the nuances of each component in the blend. A sweet, earthy, hay-like note from the white tea. Mild fruit notes from the strawberry and raspberry leaves. And of course, the beautifully sweet, soothing flavor of rose.
I steeped this tea in my Kati Tumbler, using 2 bamboo scoops of leaf (again, this is a highly flowery loose leaf blend and I find that a little more leaf is appropriate when steeping it). I heated 12 ounces of water to 165°F and steeped the tea for 3 1/2 minutes. And again, I am in agreement with Postal Teas: you really should allow this tea 10 minutes to cool after steeping. The flavors really pop after the 10 minutes.
The eighth edition from Postal Teas was a big WIN in my opinion. Thank you, Postal Teas for putting together this remarkable box of tea joy!