Celebration Medley Rooibos Blend from Sloane Tea Company

CelebMedTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Tea Information:

Sweet spice and delightful seasonal aromas! Meet the perfect tea to get you through the cold months. Warm baking spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg blend seamlessly with citrus and the natural sweetness of apple and rose petals. This is a unique blend destined to become one of your favourites.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I loved how apple-y this smelled when I opened the pouch.  And as it steeped, I was treated to more apple notes – it smelled a bit like apple cider!  YUM!

The apple notes are well-defined as are the spices.  The cinnamon and clove add warmth and I’m getting a hint of “spicy-hot” cinnamon, like someone added a red-hot candy or two to my cup and let it dissolve.  It’s not overly ‘hot’ but there’s just a hint of that candy-like cinnamon-clove-y hot-sweet flavor.

The nutmeg adds earthy and nutty flavors that meld nicely with the rooibos.  The orange is more of a background note, but it adds a tangy, bright taste that is rather pleasant.  The orange note also plays with the red-hot flavor of the cinnamon and clove.

I don’t taste a strong rose note, but every once in a while I get this lovely floral note.  It seems to weave its way in and out, not always making itself obvious or apparent, but this blend wouldn’t be the same without that gentle whisper of rose.

To steep, I used my Kati Tumbler and added 1 1/2 bamboo scoops of tisane to the basket and 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F.  I steeped it for 10 minutes.

I enjoyed this and would be happy to drink it again!  It’s a little spicy-hot, it’s sweet, it’s fruity, and it’s got enough going on with it to keep the palate interested.  It’s a fun and tasty blend!

Earl Grey Tea from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants

Earl GreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where To Buy:  The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants

Tea Description:

The fresh fruitiness of our medium-bodied Earl Grey is sweet, not soapy. Aromatic and balanced, Earl Grey is excellent both hot or served over ice. Traditionally, Earl Grey is made with black tea as a base – we use Chinese Keemun (Qimen), from the Anhui Province in east-central China, and Ceylon, from the major tea-producing island of Sri Lanka.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

While shopping at Chuck’s Produce, I noticed that they had some Earl Grey tea offered by The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants in the bulk section.  I love getting tea in this section because:

  1. The teas are sealed air-tight in tins (not glass or plastic jars).
  2. I can get a sampler size of the tea rather than buying a full 2 – 4 ounces of the tea.
  3. Chuck’s has never let me down when it comes to freshness or quality of products, so I feel confident that I can trust them with tea.

And this Earl Grey is excellent!  I’m glad that I got a little bit of this to try!

When I opened the tin to measure some tea into a small cellophane bag, I was overjoyed by the aroma – a STRONG bergamot fragrance!  It smells amazing.

And I couldn’t wait to try it.  I brewed up a pot later that same evening when I brought it home.  LOVELY!

This is a really wonderful Earl Grey.  I love that the base black tea is a blend of Ceylon and Keemun teas.  This offers a rich, flavorful background that isn’t overly aggressive, but is still bold and full-flavored.  It is a very smooth, well-rounded taste.  It’s not bitter and it’s only very mildly astringent toward the tail.  I like that what little astringency there is here seems to accentuate the tangy qualities of the bergamot flavor.

The bergamot used here is a high quality bergamot.  Full of citrus-y flavor that is highlighted with subtle floral notes, but not at all perfume-ish.  The burst of citrus flavor lasts well into the aftertaste.  The taste buds really perk up from the bright bergamot notes.

So I find that this Earl Grey leaves me in a bit of a quandary.   I have my hierarchy when it comes to Earl Grey.  I have my favorites, to be sure!  But this one is seriously good and it belongs right near the top – at the very least in the top five (if not closer to that number 1 spot!) Should I feel sad that one of my other favorites is becoming displaced by this newcomer, or should I feel overjoyed that I have found a new favorite?  I think the latter rather than the former.

An exceptional Earl Grey – a MUST TRY to those of you who love Earl Grey like I do.

Australian Daintree Black Tea from McIver’s Tea & Coffee Merchants

DaintreeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  McIver’s Tea & Coffee Merchants

Tea Description:

The Daintree Tea Company is located on the Cubbagudta Plantation, situated in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest and Wilderness area in North Queensland.  The plantation was established in 1978 by the Nicholas Family who still own and operate the business.  Daintree tea is grown pesticide free.  Low in tannin and caffeine, this is the perfect afternoon cup.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Australian Daintree Black Tea from McIver’s Tea & Coffee Merchants is a tea that was sent to me by a friend and I was happy to try it.  I’ve not tried any tea from this company, and I love trying new teas from new-to-me companies.

According to the description of this tea, it would seem that this is a tea that is grown in an Australian rainforest without pesticides.  Cool!

Very tasty!  This is a robust tasting tea, but as the description above suggests, it’s not a tannic flavor.  No bitterness here.  It is sweet with a molasses-y type taste and notes of freshly baked bread.  I also taste notes of malt and raisin.

I really like the flavor of this tea.  It reminds me of a bold, breakfast-y type black tea.  However, I don’t know if this truly has a low caffeine level and for those of us who need that caffeinated energy thing in the morning, this might not be the right choice for a breakfast tea.  Instead, I envision that this might make a great afternoon tea for a high tea type of occasion when you want to add milk and honey to your tea and drink with your pinkies up.

Then again, I’m finding it quite lovely without the milk and honey, in my tea mug, with both hands cupped around the mug to enjoy the warmth.

A really good tea, I’m happy I got to try it.

Licorice Green Tea from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants

licoricegreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where To Buy:  The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants

Tea Description:

Licorice root, fennel, anise, and gunpowder green tea, with a touch of cloves brews up sweet to the taste and full of licorice loveliness.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I’ve mentioned Chuck’s Produce several times on this blog.  I love this store!  It not only offers great produce, but other high quality foods as well, including some great teas from local vendors like The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants.

In the bulk section of Chuck’s, I can get these teas bulk, which means I can get as little or as much as I want.  I like that flexibility, because as I’ve said before, I’m a tea taster.  I like to try a little bit of every tea rather than having a large quantity of a favorite.  And the bulk section lets me get just enough for a pot full of tea, but not so much that I’ll have more than I need.

So, when I noticed this Licorice Green Tea from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants, I was excited!  I love licorice!

This has a powerful licorice flavor from not only licorice root, but also fennel and anise.  It tastes licorice-y, reminiscent of a strong black licorice candy.  The clove comes in and cuts through the licorice a little bit to keep it from tasting like those licorice cough drops.  The clove is just the right touch for this blend.

With my first couple of sips, I found myself wondering where the green tea was in this blend, because I really couldn’t taste it.  All I was tasting was licorice and clove.  But after a few sips, the smooth flavor of the Gunpowder green tea came though.  The green tea notes are a little overwhelmed here.  I taste the nutty flavor of the green tea, and a soft buttery note which is something that I don’t usually note in a gunpowder green.  I find it interesting how different ingredients in a blend like this can bring out different qualities in a tea that I haven’t really experienced (or rarely experienced.)

Even though I feel like some of the green tea flavor is lost here, I really do like the licorice-i-ness of this tea.  This tea is a licorice lover’s delight, but this isn’t that wimpy fruit flavored licorice stuff that they sell at the concession stand in a movie theater.  This is REAL licorice flavor, so if that’s not your thing, this is not the tea for you.