Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 Oolong Blend from Butiki Teas

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Our Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 differs slightly from our previous version and has a fuller body, is creamier, and utilizes a more gentle base tea. This 2.0 version pairs our Doke Rolling Thunder oolong with pumpkin, vanilla, and cream flavors. Pumpkin and vanilla notes dominate our Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0; however, there is a sweet creaminess present that lingers. Some caramel notes can also be detected. We highly recommend adding some brown crystal sugar to transform this tea into a rich, creamy, decadent, vanilla and pumpkin desert treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t think I tried Butiki Teas’ first version of their Pumpkin Milkshake tea, but, I’m glad to be trying this Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 Oolong Blend from Butiki Teas!  It is yummy!

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a pumpkin milkshake.  But I’m liking what I’m tasting in my tea cup right now.  This tastes of pumpkin, spice, and vanilla with a very enjoyable Oolong background that is earthy.  There are some distant fruit notes that seem to accentuate the pumpkin more than stand out on their own.   There’s also … a sort of … toasty-ish flavor that I’m tasting which I can only assume is part of the Oolong’s character.  I like how this toasty note combines with the spices.  It’s a very harmonious blend.

What I’m enjoying most about this, I think, is that even though the pumpkin, vanilla and spices are strong, they aren’t overpowering the base.  Everything comes together in a very pleasing way.  It’s warm and comforting … but at the same time, I can see how this would make a really enjoyable iced tea too.

Walter Bishop Honeybush Tisane from 52Teas


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

If you are not familiar with strawberry-milkshake-drinking, red-licorice-chewing Walter Bishop, you have been missing out on a great science fiction show. Personally, I think Fringe jumped the shark shortly after it started. I thought they had a great opportunity to have a new show like the X-Files, but in my opinion, they squandered it by focusing entirely on one very convoluted story arc. Having said that, we have several customers who are fans, and our friend LiberTEAs actually approached me about a Fringe-themed blend some time back. So here we have it. Caffeine-free (because I really don’t think Walter Bishop needs caffeine) honeybush blended with real freeze-dried strawberries and organic flavors. This is a delicious treat. I can totally imagine Walter sipping and enjoying it, with or without mind-altering substances added to it.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Fringe is my absolute favorite show on television.  Or perhaps I should say it was my favorite show on television, since the week that this tea was released was the week of the series finale.  I was so sad when I found out that this last season would be the final season.  While I do agree with Frank from 52Teas when he says that the show “jumped the shark” and it could have been so much better than it was, there was one thing that redeemed this program for me, one thing that made me watch every week:  Walter Bishop.

Walter Bishop is absolutely my favorite television character of all time.  There are many great television characters, but very seldom does one character come along that manages to make me both laugh and cry as much as Walter Bishop has … and sometimes I would be both crying and laughing during the same episode.  John Noble portrayed Walter Bishop so brilliantly.  If Fringe did not have Walter Bishop, I probably would have stopped watching some point during season 1.  I mean sure, Joshua Jackson is nice to look at and all, but … at some point, this series would have lost me without John Noble’s dazzling portrayal of the mad genius Walter Bishop.

So, before the final episode, I wrote to Frank at 52Teas and told him that he needed – got that?  NEEDED! – to create a tribute tea for my beloved Walter Bishop.  What flavor to choose?  I mean, Walter Bishop has quite a sweet tooth and loves his licorice, his coffee cake, his cotton candy (blue, not pink!) but who could ever forget his search to recreate the perfect Strawberry Milkshake after his favorite ice cream shop closed? A strawberry milkshake flavored honeybush tisane seems the ideal tribute to Walter Bishop.

I brewed this tisane and allowed it to cool before drinking it, because, I wanted to experience it chilled.  I mean, milkshakes should be cold, yes?  And it is really good.  The strawberry flavor comes through during the sip – sweet with just a hint of tart, and the tartness lingers into the aftertaste.  I don’t notice a lot of ice cream/milk flavor until I get toward the finish … and there I notice a sweet, creamy, milkshake-y kind of taste.  This taste also lingers into the aftertaste … this definitely has a strawberry milkshake aftertaste.

My only complaint … is that I taste too much of the honeybush here.  Granted that seems a weird complaint, given that this IS a honeybush tisane.  And any time I am tasting a flavored tea, I want to taste the tea base, right?  But, I think that the nutty flavor of the honeybush gets in the way of the strawberry milkshake flavor just a little bit during the sip.  The aftertaste is more strawberry milkshake than the sip.

But this is a minor issue, because I don’t exactly MIND the flavor of the honeybush there … I just want to taste more strawberry milkshake.  This is really quite tasty … and it is indeed a fitting tribute to my beloved Walter Bishop.  Thank you, Frank!

Strawberry Matcha from Red Leaf Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Are you having your 5 A DAY ? What better way to have your first fruit portion of the day is there than to try our Strawberry Matcha Tea. Our Matcha Tea is blended with the best hand picked European Strawberries. It’s time to get those buiscuits out to fuse with our 100% Pure Matcha Tea with a blend of the freshest Aroma of  strawberries. 

Learn more about this Matcha here.

Taster’s Review:

Ah!  Strawberries!  Is there any fruit that says “summertime” more beautifully than strawberries?

Strawberries always remind me of my gramma, because she lived very close to one of those strawberry stands that was located right at the foot of the strawberry field – where you could go and pick your own strawberries, or you could go the easy route and simply buy a big flat of strawberries that had been picked that very morning.  So, when strawberry season arrived – and in Southern California, strawberry season is noticeably longer than here in the Pacific Northwest (rain causes the strawberries on the vine to rot, and we’re kind of known for our rain up here in the Pacific Northwest) – and all throughout the season, I could always count on having some fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert whenever I visited gramma’s house for dinner.  YUM!

So, while strawberries are not my favorite fruit, they are certainly up there in the top five (probably more like the top three), and they do hold a very special place in my memories because of my gramma.

In case you’re wondering, my favorite fruit is tomatoes.  Yes, tomatoes.  Hey, Red Leaf Teas … how about a TOMATO flavored Matcha?

Anyway, after reading the many positive reviews about this Strawberry Matcha from Red Leaf Tea, I decided I needed to try it.  The specifications for this matcha was similar to the specifications for the others that I’ve ordered from Red Leaf Tea:  Starter Matcha and the distinctive level of flavoring.  And yet again, I find that the distinctive level of flavoring is just perfect for me.  Of course, I really don’t have anything to compare it to, but I just know that I’m loving what I’m tasting, and that’s good enough for me.

The strawberry essence was evident from the moment I opened the pouch.  I could smell it, even without holding my nose over the pouch and inhaling.  I’ve learned from past errors in judgement that it is not a good idea to inhale a pile of Matcha… the powder is super fine and will either get sucked up into your nostrils (not fun) or might get blown all over the place and you’d not only have a mess to clean up but also a lot of wasted Matcha.  Matcha is for drinking, not for scattering all over the kitchen counter!

I sifted the Matcha … and here’s another thing that I’ve noticed about Red Leaf Tea versus other flavored Matcha that I’ve tried – you CAN and therefore SHOULD sift the flavored Matcha from Red Leaf Tea.  In the past, with other flavored Matcha from other sources, I found that there were little bits of flavor particles which wouldn’t make their way through the fine mesh of the strainer, and therefore would affect the flavor of the Matcha.  I don’t know what kind of flavor that Red Leaf Tea uses to flavor their Matcha, but it would seem that it is ground as fine as the Matcha itself, and therefore does not inadvertently get “sifted out” when you sift the Matcha.  And sifting does absolutely improve the end result.  So … I recommend sifting this Matcha!

After measuring and sifting the Matcha, I added the hot water and began whisking.  It whisked up nice and frothy.  And YUM!  This is so deliciously strawberry.  Strawberry from the very first sip.  And what’s even nicer is that the strawberry flavor develops as I sip … so the last sip offers an even stronger strawberry flavor than the first sip did.

Of course, I can taste the buttery, vegetative taste of the Matcha too.  It goes along very nicely with the strawberry flavor.  The strawberry is sweet and juicy tasting, and the Matcha offers a nice, earthy contrast.  Sweet and delicious – and no chalkiness or even any gritty aftertaste or texture.  Just smooth, creamy goodness!

This is actually my second time drinking this Matcha – yesterday, we were near the tail end of a heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest.  I know it was the tail end because today, it’s not so hot!  Yesterday, had you told me that the heat was almost over, I would have not believed you.  It felt like it was never ending!  It was so miserably hot.  And yes, I have read the studies that claim that hot liquids help cool the body, but, I was so uncomfortable that the thought of drinking anything hot was just as unbearable as the heat was.

So after whisking up the Matcha, I decided that even though I serve Matcha cooler than I serve most other hot teas, I didn’t want hot Matcha, I wanted something cold and frosty.  So, I poured the Matcha into my blender, added some ice cubes, milk and a little bit more of the Matcha powder and blended it until it was all smooth.  And let me just say that this was so incredible!  Strawberries and cream!  Delicious and oh so cool!  It was so refreshing.

And I was tempted to make another today, but I decided to try this the way Matcha “should” be consumed, so I drank it hot and loved it that way too.  It’s hard to say which way I liked it best – I enjoyed the additional creamy element from the milk as well as the frosty cool taste of the “matcha milkshake” that I made, but it is absolutely heavenly served “properly” in a chawan, whisked up to a frothy, creamy, delicious hot drink.

I don’t know if this is my favorite Matcha that I’ve tried so far from Red Leaf Tea (the Caramel Matcha was pretty darned amazing too!) but it’s right up there.  Amazingly good!