Sweet Peppermint in the Shape of a Heart from Tea Drops. . .

I got a sample of Sweet Peppermint from Tea Drops in some teamail from a friend.  Most of the tea I drink for fun or for reviews are loose leaf teas, with the occasional bagged tea as well.  I personally haven’t tried many instant teas, so at first I was a bit baffled with the right way to brew this sample from Tea Drops.  Simply put the tea-cake into hot water and stir. How easy is that?

Let me draw attention to the adorable fact that this Sweet Peppermint sample came pressed into the shape of a heart.  The cuteness of this tea-cake is the essential detail here, and is what makes these Tea Drops teas such cute gift ideas. They have other shapes like stars and flowers as well as the heart shape I tried.

Brewed this tea is mildly minty, very sugar and sweet, with some creamy vanilla tones.  The little compressed tea-cakes might be an easy solution to brewing tea on the go. Consider stashing a few of these in your desk at work for when the going gets tough and you only have a mug around for tea-brewing.

As a tea, this blend is okay.  The cuteness of the presentation is its true benefit and enjoyment. Definitely worth a try for the novelty of their super-cute tea-cakes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Tea Drops
Description:

A fuller bodied Peppermint tea experience that’s refreshing to the senses with a kick of genuine spearmint. Naturally caffeine-free, this is the perfect anytime tea – morning, day, or night.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yerba Mate Mint by Choice Organic Teas . . .

I steeped this tea for 4 minutes at 175 degrees with one bag in about one cup of water.

The packet says to steep for 4-6 minutes but it smells plenty strong enough at 4 so I stopped there. Plus, since mint can get bitter if oversteeped, I didn’t want to wait too long.

It smells nice and minty while brewing. I can’t really distinguish it from plain peppermint tea by the smell. After steeping is over, the tea is a yellowish cedar-like color and not noticeably viscous.

First sip: Surprise! It tastes just like mint herbal tea–to me, anyway. Or at least not different enough that you would be positive there’s something else in there rather than just a variation on the minty flavor. (Maybe if I had prepared a cup of plain mint tea at the same time to compare against, that would have helped me pick out any differences, but alas–I didn’t think of that until it was too late.)

What that means is that this could be a clever way to have something caffeinated in the morning if you’re an herbal tea drinker and don’t care for green or black tea or coffee! Or if you only drink black tea with milk (like me) and are avoiding milk because you have a cold, but still need that caffeine boost. (I know that sounds oddly specific but it happens to me more often than you’d think!)

The mate isn’t roasted, I’m guessing, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t have a strong enough flavor to dominate this tea blend (after all, peppermint is a very powerful flavor and it’s hard to overcome that). So if you like peppermint tea, you’ll probably like this!

With sugar: It’s still good and minty, nice and easy on the throat (which means that it’s both good for colds and for vocal health if you’re trying to relax your voice and stay hydrated, although I guess caffeine is a little bit controversial where vocal health is concerned).

Overall this blend is both useful and enjoyable when prepared as a hot tea beverage, and it seems to have plenty of potential as a cold brew as well, although I didn’t try it that way.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: Choice Organic Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Mint by The Love Tea Company. . . .

Today we have a wonderfully minty black tea up for review!

This company’s website states that they donate 25% of their net profits to the Flagg Foundation for Mental Wellness, so buying this tea supports a great cause!

Another great thing about this company (in addition to offering great tea) is that their tea comes in cute little plastic canisters that you can either reuse or recycle. This is great if, like me, you’re getting tired of having to throw all those loose leaf tea bags in the trash because they’re made of paper (or plastic) fused with foil so you can’t recycle them or wash them out–or even if they’re just simple plastic bags, your city won’t accept them and you have to somehow recycle them separately (biggest inconvenience ever!). So this company is socially responsible and their tea packaging is eco-friendly (or at least convenient to be eco-friendly with . . . )!

For this tea session, I steeped 1.5 teaspoons of this chocolate mint tea in about 8oz of water (at just under boiling) for about 4 minutes. It smells nice and minty even before steeping, with a smooth creamy undertone from the chocolate.

While steeping, a reddish-brown cloud settles to the bottom of the cup. It starts to smell warmer and chocolatier. By the end of the steeping process, it’s reddish cedar-y in color, darkish but still see-through.

First sip: Very minty–like actual mint tea. There’s a distinct difference between a mint flavor from mint extract/flavoring and the actual flavor of actual mint leaves (mint leaves have some vegetal undertones and the possibility of bitterness if you oversteep, which the “extracts” don’t have). And sure enough, the ingredients list specifies that there are mint leaves in this, so kudos for that–we have actual mint here. And because the tea comes with bits of chocolate in it, this is a very naturally flavored chocolate mint tea.

 The flavor profile is excellent; creamy chocolate flavor is swimming underneath, with the sharp fresh mint above–steeping stronger might make the mint bitter, so be careful about that, but it’s not bitter at this strength. It’s friendly and welcoming, and does the chocolate-mint thing quite well. I can detect a teensy bit of tea astringency and black tea flavor.

With milk: it’s creamy, no surprises here. I use whole milk, which tames the mint quite a bit. It doesn’t bring out the chocolate as much as I was hoping, but it’s still quite yummy. I think next time I’ll need to be more careful to actually include chocolate bits in my spoonful of tea leaves.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this tea and we’re basically friends now. And I really appreciate the Love Tea Company’s social efforts and recyclable tea packaging, not to mention that their branding is really cute–I love the colors! 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Love Tea Company
Description

Did you know that February 19th is chocolate mint day?  The combination of chocolate and mint is one of the most delectable pairings known to human kind.   Its origins are unknown, but surely it was created a long, long, long time ago.  This scrumptious Black Tea Blend is a real treat, just don’t steal all of the chocolate pieces before steeping!  Brew up a nice hot pot and add a splash of milk and a dash of sugar and enjoy all of that chocolaty, minty goodness.  Surely February 19th must be the tastiest day of the year!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Creme De Menthe from Clearview Tea Co. . . .

Clearview Tea Co’s Creme de Menthe. Black Tea. Vanilla. Mint. Sounds like the perfect makings for an after-dinner latte to me.

Preparing this latte, I noticed that the dry leaf even had a creamy smell to it, probably thanks to the vanilla. The mint, though abundant, did not take over scentwise but rather balanced the sweet creaminess. As I steeped the tea for 3 minutes in 200F water, I hoped that quality would transfer over to the taste as well.

Sipping on it now, I can say that this is quite lovely. It is a touch more muted than I expected given the large quantity of mint in the mix. However what you do get in the forefront, besides a touch of malt from the black base, is that smooth and creamy vanilla. It is a soft vanilla so if you aren’t paying attention it would be easy to miss but it is definitely there. The mint actually lingers underneath everything else and presents itself more in the end of the sip/aftertaste. The whole thing, despite being made as a latte, is very light and fresh, which makes for a great evening treat as it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy after you’re done.

This is not in-your-face by any means and the flavors are gentle but still very much present. I would say high quality ingredients were used here because the vanilla has more of a fluffy vanilla bean quality to it and the mint is by no means harsh or medicinal, which can sometimes be the case with teas such as this.

With that said, it is worth noting that there are a lot of vanilla mint teas on the market, some amazing and some less so. This leans more towards the former though I will say that although this is very good, it doesn’t stand out among the rest of the pack so much that I would go out of my way to have this particular vanilla mint tea. If this is easily accessible, I would say this is a great option but I would not go as far to say that this is the “gotta have” vanilla mint tea. Basically I would add it to a cart but I would not specifically place an order to have this stocked.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Clearview Tea Company
Description

This tea isn’t on the website but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Waterfall Mist Honeybush Tea from Plum Deluxe . . . .

Waterfall Mist Honeybush Tea, a relatively Plum Deluxe blend made of honeybush, orange peels, and peppermint. Now I am familiar with this brand but have never personally ordered from them and when I came across this sample in a traveling teabox, I was intrigued.

Since the sample was generous, I decided to experiment with this tea though all cups were steeped in 200 degree water for 3 minutes.

First, I brewed it hot, my typical go-to method for all new teas. The hot cup tastes first and foremost of mint. Cooling peppermint, in fact. Honeybush is the next thing I pick up, tasting a sweetness typical of this base but also a slight wood note. Finally, if I focus, I can catch a bit of orange pithiness here and there but mostly it is drowned out by the other ingredients.

Next, given the summery and cool flavors of orange and mint, I thought this would make for a nice iced tea. Giving it a try now, I can say mint is still the most prominent note but it is certainly toned down when compared to the hot cup. That allows for some more bright orange/citrus flavors to come through. The base is also more subtle in the iced tea, though still contributing its trademark honeybush sweetness.

Finally, as per the recommendation on the packaging, I made a second iced tea and added a splash of lemonade. Since this was my first time adding lemonade to tea, I was excited to see how it would turn out but if I am being honest, I am not a fan. The lemonade makes the tea flatter, or I suppose it weighs it down making for a thicker mouthfeel that is less refreshing and more heavy. Plus, while I was hoping for some zing from the lemonade to pull out the orange in the tea, it was no where to be found. The lemonade lost its usual tartness while the tea lost most of its flavoring besides mint. Combined with the lemonade though, that mint is more medicinal than in the other two cups. To me, it seems the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Perhaps my “splash” of lemonade was more than what Plum Deluxe had in mind?

Ultimately, this was an alright cup of tea. Well cups, I suppose. Nothing mindblowing but still quite solid. I think it is best iced and can see it being a delightful companion on a hot and humid day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

First featured in July 2016, the Waterfall Mist is an gentle, exacting combination of orange and mint. This tea has a similar feeling of refreshing simplicity. Enjoy it iced, as a sangria infusion, with a splash of lemonade, or frozen into tea popsicle!

All Organic ingredients. Honeybush Tea, Orange Peel, Peppermint. No caffeine. Steep 1 tsp in boiling water 3-5 minutes or cold brew overnight.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!