Ginger Beer Tisane from DAVIDsTEA

10526dt01var0028998-bi-1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tisane

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Sweet, spicy, refreshing…is there anything tastier than a good ginger beer? Since its introduction in 18th century Britain, this fizzy, golden drink has been a hit everywhere from the lunch counter to the cocktail bar. And with warming ginger and sweet apple, this tasty blend is our take on the classic. We love sipping it after a heavy meal, or to soothe a sore throat. Up for experimenting? Brew it strong and top up with sparkling water and a splash of vodka, for a twist on a Moscow Mule. Cheers!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Last week I stopped at DAVIDTEA after work around when I was starting to get sick/just realizing I was sick and I picked up some tea to drink later and grabbed a hot “To Go” cup of this as well. I picked it out because it’s the new Tea of The Month but I realized much later it was actually probably a good choice because of the ginger as well since that’s a good thing to drink when you are sick.

I was a little taken aback! I’m honestly not the biggest fan of Ginger Beer. Every time I’ve tried it it’s just been a little too concentrated and spicy for my liking. And actually, I’m also just not a huge fan of ginger in general. However, that said, I actually found this pretty enjoyable. It’s not like it didn’t taste like Ginger Beer either; the ‘zippyness’ and almost ‘bubbly’ ginger flavour was accurate to my memory of Ginger Beer and very well captured the spirit of the drink. This was just much lighter overall and didn’t have that ginger burn that comes with too concentrated ginger. I dislike that sensation so much. Instead it was more of a mild ‘tingle’.

Of course, ginger isn’t the only flavour going on in this blend. I also tasted notes of honey and apple, both of which were quite nice and provided a sweet juxtaposition from the ginger. However, the most interesting flavour I tasted was lime!? I’m not sure where that’s coming from at all because there are no ingredients that should be contributing that flavour however it’s definitely something I tasted, and I quite liked it. Maybe it’s because I was slightly sick and my sense of taste may have been a little off. I’m not sure.

Overall? I wouldn’t buy this again but I liked it and for me that’s more of a ‘win’ than I ever expected with this blend. If I did drink it again, it would probably only be to see if I could taste the lime again when I’m not sick.

Watermelon Lime Green Tea from The Tea Guys

watermelonlimebasilTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea

Where to Buy:  The Tea Guys

Tea Description:

Sweet-as-candy watermelon is paired with the subtle peppery-sweet flavor of basil, and the spice of cracked pink peppercorns, all folded into a base of smoky green tea. The result is a sophisticated and refreshing cup that will surprise and delight you.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I really thought that Watermelon Lime and Basil Green Tea was an herbal that I was shocked  when I looked up the product page for this tea that it is actually a green. I saw nary a leaf in my sample package when brewing up this tea iced. I would feel bad that I used boiling water for my brews, but all I could see was chunks of dried fruit.

The chunks of fruit smelled absolutely yummy, though. It was like a lime popsicle married a fresh watermelon. It’s been getting hotter and hotter as summer begins to actually set in the rocky mountains. This tea is perfect for the oncoming heat wave. Tossing the big ‘ole chunks into my infuser, I came across something I have yet to encounter in any tea, seeds! Like, legit dried watermelon or pumpkin seeds. I have yet to see the merit of these seeds in the taste of the infusion, but I may be missing something subtle that my tastes buds just cannot catch.

When the tea cools, I taste a pool party in my mouth. The lime popsicle is joined by a watermelon Jolly Rancher that takes me back to the playground. Some people may be put off by the candy like flavor that dominates this tea, but I am all for it. I love iced teas that taste like candy. It’s pretty much Kool-aid without the calories. Sometimes a person just needs juice tea!

Despite being mislabeled as a true tea and not delivering, I enjoyed this icy cold brew a lot more than I thought I would. The seeds did not deter me from relishing in the watermelon-y goodness.

Rainbow Sherbet Iced Tea by Southern Boy Teas

BLACK-Rainbow-SherbetTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Creamy raspberry, orange and lime sherbet in an iced tea, from our Southern Boy Teas collection. This is a great blend of finely processed (CTC) Indian black tea blended with organic flavors and sealed in an oversized teabag. Each individually packaged teabag will yield 2-quarts (a full gallon if you re-steep) of the best iced tea you’ve ever had.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is my first iced tea of 2015! I tried this one for the first time last summer, and it was so good I went back straightaway for another pouch. I was a bit of a Southern Boy Teas doubter at first, because I didn’t see how tea could taste of ice cream or sherbet, jello or bubblegum. Somehow, though, they do, and this one is no exception.

I brewed this one up the way I usually do – the bag gets 2 minutes in 1/4 litre of boiling water, which is then topped up to 1.8 litres with cold water and put in the fridge overnight. I usually drink half a jug a day (so just under a litre), and as the tea bag is good for a second brewing, these teas represent great value for money. More important than that, though, is the flavour!  This one is out of this world! The sherbet is creamy, fruity, and even a little effervescent tasting. I can detect flavours of raspberry, orange, lemon and lime by turns, although they’re not particularly distinct. Just tiny flashes that skip across my taste buds and are gone. Ultimately, the individual fruit flavours merge together into a generically sherbet-y taste. However it’s done, it’s truly amazing.

It’s also worth mentioning that the black base here, although remaining firmly in the background, is beautifully smooth, and neither too heavy or too light for the flavourings. It gives the tea a decent amount of body, so you know that’s what you’re drinking, but it’s never overpowering, and it’s not at all bitter of astringent.

To sum up my thoughts, then: this tea is magic. You need to try some.

Lemon-Lime Iced White Tea from 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 about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

Lemon-Lime Iced White Tea from Southern Boy Teas … not the most innovative flavor combination out there, but, I do like the combination of lemon and lime.

There is a delicate, creamy, lightly sweet flavor to the Shou Mei tea that gives the tart, tangy notes of the citrus some contrast.  The lemon and lime flavors are strong enough to be tasted, but delicate enough to allow the white tea to shine through.

It’s crisp and refreshing.  It’s tart and a little bit sweet, too.  Is it my favorite iced tea flavor from SBT?  No, I can’t say that it is.  But, it is tasty.  It has a really light, refreshing taste that I enjoy and I think that this would be a real crowd pleaser – perfect to serve at your next family BBQ!

Honey Citrus Raspberry Green Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

HoneyCitrusRaspberryGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

M&K’s own unique blend! We take Chinese green teas, blend them with three citrus fruits, licorice root roasted in honey, and actual raspberries! Not too fruity, not too simple, it’s a perfect blend of green tea and fruit. We use local honey from California beekeepers and local California orange peel.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After having tried quite a few different teas from M&K’s Tea Company, I must admit that this one isn’t my favorite.  And I thought it would be one I like quite a bit because the name offers quite a bit of promise!  Citrus, Honey and Raspberry flavors in a Green Tea?  Yes, please!

But the execution is a little off for me and I can’t really pinpoint it yet, so maybe in the process of writing this review, I can figure it out.

To brew this tea, I measured 1 bamboo scoop of the loose leaf tea into the basket of my Kati Tumbler.  Then I added 12 ounces of 175°F water and let the tea steep for 2 minutes.

The green tea base is pleasant:  it’s a combination of two Chinese green teas:  gunpowder and Huangshan Maofeng.  Together they give the tea an enjoyable texture – soft and creamy – and a smooth, lightly buttery taste with hints of smoke and vegetation.

The citrus note is subtle to this and most discernible when the tea is slurped (this helps aerate the liquid on the palate and it “enlivens” the flavors for your palate).  I taste tart and tangy notes of citrus with a light sweetness of the honey.  I also get a hint of bitter from the citrus peel.

Then I pick up on the sweet notes of licorice.  Because the licorice root has been roasted in honey, the flavor of the licorice has been softened – I’m not getting that sharpness that I often get from licorice root.  I think that this works for this particular blend because if the licorice root hadn’t been softened somewhat, it might have taken over the blend and we’d have Licorice Citrus Raspberry Green Tea instead of Honey Citrus Raspberry Green Tea.

Instead the licorice just adds a hint of almost candy-like sweetness to the cup that I actually enjoy.  It might be my favorite thing about this particular blend

The raspberry is also quite subtle and I think that is what I’m thinking is off.  I feel like I’m tasting more hibiscus and raspberry leaf to accentuate the raspberry than I’m actually tasting raspberry and that’s unfortunate.

So, there you have it, I’ve pinpointed my issue with this tea:  I’d like the flavors of citrus and raspberry to be a little more prominent in the blend.  I do like that the green tea is a dominant flavor here and I like the little contrast that the licorice root adds, but I think that because this tea is called Honey Citrus Raspberry Green Tea that I’m wanting a little more focus on the citrus and berry notes.

It’s not a bad tea but it’s not as great as I thought it would be.  I’ve enjoyed many of M&K’s blends though, so I won’t hold this against them, because while it’s not my favorite tea that I’ve had from them, it’s tasty.  It’s good, just not as great as some of the other M&K’s experiences that I’ve had.