North from Metolius Artisan Tea

If you would have told me a few weeks ago that North from Metolius Artisan Tea would be an herbal tisane that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about I would have called you CRAZY.

I mean…I’m pretty finicky when it comes to herbal tisanes. Let’s face it…they’re NOT really tea. I’m not saying that as a slam it’s the technicality of it, folks! North from Metolius Artisan Tea is a REALLY AMAZING Herbal Tisane. One that blew me away and I will not be able to say enough about.

North from Metolius Artisan Tea is Fresh, organic, vibrant, and hand-blended. It’s a sweet and spicy blend of coconut, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, licorice, and pink peppercorns.

I have a confession to make. I was terrified of the licorice in this. I know – I need to get over that. I have now sipped on many wonderful licorice flavored teas and tisanes since a few I tried years ago and couldn’t stand. But I have to say that North from Metolius Artisan Tea is in a class of its own!

The coconut and licorice pairing is something of an enlightening outer body experience of sorts. Call me dramatic if you will but I’m trying to express my surprise and delight with this blend of flavors! Its licorice and cinnamon ‘stave off sugar cravings and tone down energy-bonking’ according to Metolius so it’s perfect for evenings or after dinner when you don’t have anything for dessert or later on in the night when you have that sweet tooth going. The spices are present at the ideal ratio, too!

I wouldn’t change one thing about this herbal. It’s truly amazing! I LOVE it! I find myself revisiting it time and time again!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal/Tisane
Where to Buy: Metolius Artisan Tea

A sweet and spicy blend of coconut, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, licorice and pink peppercorns.

Beyond North tea’s warmth and flavor, its licorice and cinnamon stave off sugar cravings and tone down energy-bonking.

Fresh, organic, vibrant, and hand-blended.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

North Winds from Whispering Pines Tea Co.

NorthWindsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Whispering Pines Tea Co.

Tea Description:

My house black tea for good reason — North Winds is the essence of northern Michigan. A blend of a malty and chocolaty black tea from Fujian and a rustic high mountain dian hong with subtle fruity notes, this tea brings me home every time. Sweet fruity notes of apricot and white grape bring you to Traverse City while heavy dark chocolate notes allow you to have that Mackinaw Island fudge desert without having to take the ferry. Notes of toasted rye with cherry preserves show up mid-sip with a beautiful malt and wildflower honey finish. Light hints of sweet potato and clean white pepper mingle through the malt. These velvety smooth, decadent notes combine into a medium-bodied tea with a bold and rustic feel that makes for a perfect breakfast tea — but you’ll want to drink this all day long!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is Whispering Pines’ house black tea, and it’s become one of my house teas as well. It sits in a little tin at the front of my tea cupboard, and I drink it several times a week. When I feel like I’m beginning to run low I place an order for a couple more ounces because I never want to run out of this one. Given that I love trying new teas there aren’t too many teas that I say that about! It’s a delicious blend of Yunnan Dian Hong and Fujian Black Tea that makes me happy each time I drink it.

When I first sip this tea I get a nice mix of dark chocolate and malt. The chocolate note is deep but has a sweetness that makes me think chocolate rather than cocoa. There is also a sweet, fruity, cherry note that is eye rollingly good combined with the chocolate and malt notes. The mix of flavors reminds me of the braided cherry chocolate tarts I sometimes buy at Redding Terminal in Philadelphia.  Both the tea and the tarts are sweet but not overly so. There is an underlying earthy flavor to North Winds which I appreciate since it grounds some of the brighter flavors and makes this a tea that’s good both in the morning and the afternoon. I’ve paired this tea with eggs and biscuits for breakfast. I’ve also served it with sour cream chocolate chip cake at a tea party, and my guest really enjoyed it. Overall it’s a nice, versatile, and down right tasty blend.

Whispering Pines recommends Gongfu Style brewing for this tea. I have always brewed this Western Style using 1/2 a tablespoon of leaves in 8 ounces of 205°F water, steeping the leaves for  3 minutes.  I am curious to try the Gongfu Style brewing to see if it’s possible for me to enjoy this tea more than I already do. If you use different brewing styles with this tea leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

North Winds is a winner for me and one that I’ll happily repurchase again. I’d recommend this tea to black tea lovers and anyone who enjoys or is curious about Chinese black teas.

North Pole Estate Tea from Tippy’s Tea

NorthPoleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tippy’s Tea

Tea Description:

A magical tea. Reindeer bitten and handpicked by elves in their off season, this tea is beloved by Santa Claus himself! 

Our North Pole estate is a dark, malty black tea blend with hints of cinnamon, gingerbread, cloves, and a touch of chocolate. A delicious holiday tea to keep you warm. Recommended to slightly sweeten. Adding milk or brewing as a latte will add an extra dreamy creaminess.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yeah, I know that the holiday has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still be enjoying holiday tea blends!  I, for one, love the warm, spicy flavors that seem to be a consistent theme for the holiday teas and I think they’re perfectly relevant to be sipping any time you want to feel that warm, cozy feeling!

newteacupThis is the first tea from this new-to-me company that I’ve tried and I’m trying it in a brand new teacup!  Last year, I broke my beloved Starry Night (Van Gogh) teacup and I’ve been using others that I have but I really needed a new big mug teacup that I loved as much as that Starry Night because I love tea – you know I do!  But tea tastes so much better when it’s served in something you love to drink out of!

And yes … I’m a Harry Potter nerd.  And while there are many parts of the books/movies that bring tears to my eyes, no five words from the Harry Potter world bring tears to my eyes more effectively than these:

“After all this time?” “Always.”

Yep, I’m tearing up right now.

So, let’s talk about this tea.

My initial couple of sips were not quite as spiced as I expected them to be.  I let the cup cool for a few minutes, hoping that some time would help bring the flavors forward.

And it does!  I am tasting more spice now.  I taste subtle notes of cinnamon.  The clove is even more subtle.  I taste a background note of gingerbread and a hint of chocolate.  The spices are not strong here – this isn’t a chai! – it’s an “estate” tea.  A North Pole Estate.

Single Estate teas tend to take on the flavors that surround the estate, but usually subtly.  The leaves absorb the essences that fill the air.  In the North Pole, I’d imagine the scent of warm spice, gingerbread and chocolate permeate the air.  And that’s what this cup brings to this cup.

The black tea is a strong blend of black teas from India and China (Assam and Keemun teas).  Bold, malty, rich.  There are wine-like notes to it along with the notes of malt.  The finish is dry.

The cinnamon is the most pronounced of the flavors, with hints of clove dancing in the background.  The chocolate is subtle but every now and again, it weaves its way into the sip in a very pleasing way.  The gingerbread becomes more noticeable when I slurp the sip and aerate the liquid on the palate.

A really interesting cuppa.  I like it.

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.

Moroccan Mint Herbal Tisane from Numi Organic Tea

moroccanmintTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Numi Organic Tea

Tisane Description:

Our organic Moroccan Mint, known as “nana mint,” flourishes in North Africa. With a flavor as light and lively as a newly picked leaf, it has a sweet spearmint flavor that is refreshing and soothing any time of day.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I received a bag of this Moroccan Mint Herbal Tisane  from Numi Organic Tea in my May Goodies box.  And while I was happy that Goodies sent me tea (I love it when I get tea in my foodie tasting boxes), I’m a little disappointed too … as it would seem to me that the people at Goodies don’t seem to realize that tea should be loose leaf.  *sigh*

When I opened the pouch holding the tea bag, I could smell the fragrant mint.  It reminded me of the aroma I’d experience if I opened a package of Doublemint Gum.  Very fresh, very minty!

The flavor is very minty too.  No big surprise there, right?  It has a vibrant, crisp and cool taste that leaves the palate feeling fresh.  But what I’m liking is that it’s not … hitting me over the head with minty flavor … which is kind of surprising because my experience with pure mint has been a very strong minty taste.  This is lighter … more subdued.  Nice … but surprising.

Then I read the description from Numi which states that this is Nana mint … which is a cultivar of spearmint.  (Learn more about it here)  The Nana mint is a milder variety of mint … which explains why this is more subdued.  I don’t recall having tried Nana mint before … so this might very well be a first for me.

I liked it … didn’t love it … but it makes me curious about Nana mint and I think I’ll be seeking out other teas with Nana mint so that I can have more experience with this herb.