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!
It’s always good to have a chamomile blend or two in your tea cabinet for those when you need something extra comforting and caffeine-free. Francesca from Sicilian Tea Co. could be the perfect choice for your evening cup of tea.
Some people consider herbal teas to be medicinal, with herbs like lavender and chamomile to help combat stress. Both of these fragrant blossoms are in abundance in this blend, bringing their lovely color and shape to the dry leaf, and the lemony and floral scent of the brew.
There are also cinnamon sticks, Saint John’s Wort, and licorice root in this blend. The cinnamon adds just a hint of spicy warmth, rekindling thoughts of spiced baked goods. A touch of licorice root adds smooth sweetness to the brew. As an added bonus, licorice root can help soothe a scratchy throat, so the ingredient helps make the brew extra restorative.
I’m not sure that Saint John’s Wort adds much flavor, but the herb is rumored to help heal against depression. I’m not sure if I felt those effects or not; brewing a cup of tea is always my happy place, and helps me out of a dark mood.
This tea is all herbs and blossoms, so it’s completely caffeine-free and full of natural flavors. If the licorice root isn’t sweet or soothing enough, it wouldn’t hurt to add a dollop of honey to your mug for a little extra sugar. After brewing a cup of Francesca blend, there’s not much left to do but sit back, relax, and have a sip of tea.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Sicilian Tea Co.
Naturally caffeine free, this chamomile blend won’t keep you up all night like some other sleepy time treats.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Oh! Look! It’s Really Root Beer from Nelson’s Tea! This is an herbal tisane and I really like it! If you have read my reviews in the past I am very persnickety about herbals. To give you an idea of what this tastes like it’s basically a non-carbonated Root Beer flavor. The aroma is what really smacks you in the face right off the bat but the flavor on the tongue isn’t too shabby either!
I have tried Really Root Beer from Nelson’s Tea piping hot but it makes me wonder what it would be like iced. Based on what the package says – if you are doing it iced – you are to use double the amount and steep for 8 to 10 minutes and then pour over ice. I’m betting it’s pretty solid!
I’m chalking up this Really Root Beer from Nelson’s Tea in my ‘herbals I enjoy’ cabinet!
What to learn more about this tea?
Leaf Type: Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Nelson’s Tea
Ingredients: Sassafras bark, sarsaparilla root, birch bark, burdock root, dandelion root, licorice root, fennel seed, anise star pods, ginger root, and flavoring
Blended & Packaged in Indianapolis, IN USA
Learn even more about this tea here.
Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: Chi Whole Leaf
A perfect addition to your morning routine, Yerba Mate is beginning to catch on as a extremely healthy substitute to coffee. This tea has a sweet, earthy taste that will keep you coming back for more!
Learn more about this tea here.
The last of five samples from Chi Whole Leaf!
I’ve been on a bit of a Yerba Mate kick these last few weeks, so I’m both very excited to try this blend but also kind of feeling like I’ve overdosed on yerba mate and need to take a break from it for a few weeks. What’s better than a powdered caffeine buzz though? Hell that’s half of why I love matcha so much – so I’m ignoring those feelings of being all yerba-d out, and excitedly trying this!
The dry leaf doesn’t smell anywhere near as fragrant as the other four samples have been; just subtly grassy. My observation thus far is that the blends from Chi Whole Leaf fall on one side of a spectrum, either “very intense” or “surprisingly muted”. I’ve yet to really find a blend offered by them that rides the middle, and if I had to guess I’d wager this is going to be a bit more muted.
Like anticipated, this is pretty mild as far as Yerba Mate tastes; it’s grassy and earthy with a touch of natural sweetness. However, the licorice root and ginseng are definitely stronger – actually, they do a great job of finding a happy medium between tasting mild or robust. The combined sweetness of both begin to creep in at the end of the sip in a typical licorice root fashion. It almost has a honeycomb taste to it. However, if someone dislikes licorice root, ginseng or both they’re really going to be turned off by that taste.
Interestingly, I found that of all five samples I had the biggest issue with the dry powder for this one. It was really, really clumping together but it wasn’t as sludgy at the bottom of the cup as I was drinking it.
Again, I have to really thank Will from Chi Whole Leaf for the samples! I had a really fun time exploring them, and while I definitely didn’t love them all I was surprised by a few which I thought I’d dislike but where really, really good. Namely Floral Herb!
Oh, and just an FYI; right now you can check out the Chi Whole Leaf website and click the “free samples” button there, fill in your address and you can receive a free sampler to try out as well! Since you’re not even paying for shipping it’s definitely worth checking out!
Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
Creamy, rich textured and inviting, this pu-erh based chai is unlike any other. Its delicate balance of silky and luscious vanilla bean, bright and soothing peppermint and sweet cinnamon transform this chai into something magical.
Learn more about this chai here.
Wow! I really like this, although I don’t know that I’d agree with calling it a “chai.” Yeah, yeah, I know that chai means tea and so therefore all tea is technically chai … but I’ve come to recognize the word “chai” as meaning a masala (or combination) of spices. And since this Vanilla Mint Chai from Rishi Tea only has cinnamon, licorice root and vanilla that truly qualify as “spices” (I’d categorize peppermint as an herb, wouldn’t you?), I don’t think that’s enough “spices” to call this a chai.
Regardless, it is tasty!
The Pu-erh base offers an earthy background, although with the strong peppermint notes and the creamy tone of vanilla, the earthy notes do not overwhelm. It truly is a “background” note in this blend. And since I tend to shy away from the overly earthy teas, the fact that the earthiness here is subtle is quite alright with me.
The combination of peppermint and vanilla offer a taste that’s quite like the creamy center of a peppermint patty candy bar. YUM! The licorice root is subtle but adds a nice snappy contrast to the peppermint, and the cinnamon gives a hint of spice to the overall cup. All these notes are subtle compared to the vanilla and mint … these two dynamic flavors are the stars of the show here.
Even so, the mint isn’t TOO minty, it doesn’t taste toothpaste-y, it just has a crisp, cool taste that contrasts with the silky, creamy notes of the vanilla. The flavors of the spices and herb soften the earthy tones of the Pu-erh … providing a very smooth, satisfying cup for even those of us who tend to suffer from Pu-erh anxiety. In fact, there isn’t one flavor here that really overpowers the others … this is really a nicely balanced cup and a very interesting combination of flavors!