Sunny Orange Ginger from Stash Tea . . . .

Cold and flu season has been upon us and I was hit not once, not twice, but thrice with a cold! I love citrus teas to open my eyes and make me feel better when I am flagging. I don’t have a cold right now, but I am looking for a new tea to keep on hand for sore throats and stuffy noses and grumpy eyes that are too tired to open.

Ginger and I have an uneasy relationship. In small amounts, it can add sparkle to other flavors. In large amounts, it is so hot I could cry! When I first steeped this, I thought I would be crying. And when I saw hibiscus in the ingredients (Now where did that come from? This was supposed to orange and ginger!) I was especially distressed.

Pleasantly surprised, I am! Ginger is the dominant flavor here, and it is hot enough to warm my throat up very nicely without burning. The orange is more laid back and stays in the background, just present. I wish it were a little stronger, but maybe I could add a little fresh squeezed juice to this. The hibiscus…well… I am happy to say that I wouldn’t even know it was there!

I think this is a good candidate for my feel better tea, but perhaps more so for tummy trouble than colds. I bet it would be good iced and sweetened, as well.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Stash Tea
Description

Each sip of this tangy, aromatic herbal tea is a delight for the senses. Zesty orange combines with fruity hibiscus and the sharp, lively flavor of ginger, creating a tea that is perfect for all-day sipping. Delicious with a touch of sugar and refreshing iced.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

April Siesta from 52Teas. . . . .

Okay April Siesta, I see you, okay. Now I want to start off this review saying that my love of this tea was 110% unexpected. The ingredients are not my usual (aside from chamomile- because unlike a lot of people, I actually am a fan of chamomile). However, the ingredients of lemon, orange, and licorice definitely scared me. Licorice, not as much as lemon and orange. I am not usually the kind of girl that wants tart tea or citrus flavors. When I smelled the dry leaf, I could smell citrus and it definitely made me second guess trying it and just writing it off as a “no”. But- I forged on and made myself a cup. I have always loved chamomile. I just think it is a great herb, not only because I love its honeyed taste, but because it is just so soothing. I get a lot of anxiety and a lot of nausea, especially when I am stressed. Chamomile always helps, even if its in a small way, there is always something positive that I receive from a cup of chamomile tea.

I tried this tea sans agave at first, and while I don’t think that it actually needed any sweetener I still added some. I probably wont next time because it really isn’t needed (I am known for accidentally over-sweetening my teas!). The first thing I noticed was the smell of orange and lemon- lemon more so than the orange. Meh. I really dislike citrus. Thankfully the smell is more powerful than the taste. The citrus is still there, but its tolerable. The next taste I notice is definitely the honeybush and chamomile! Both have sweet, honey, herbal qualities about them. Yum! The last thing I notice is the licorice and also the star anise, which of course have qualities all their own- sweet, but in a different way. I don’t normally like the flavor of licorice, but I think it all depends on what it is. There are these Italian black licorice candies that i’ve tried and they taste horrid. But I’ve tried licorice flavors in teas and I don’t always hate them. I guess it all depends on what it is and what it’s mixed with and how it’s done!

This tea was done really, really well! I really did enjoy it and I really did find it so relaxing! I may even order a larger bag because I think this is something I would drink as part of my nighttime ritual. The citrus aspect gives it a light, fluffy, “spring” feel. The licorice and star anise give it a unique twist. The honeybush and chamomile give it an herbal/honey feel. Definite A+ from me! A must try before it is gone.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

I have a confession (although, for anyone who has read many of my reviews from back when I was a tea reviewer – this probably isn’t much of a confession) – I’m not particularly fond of chamomile. Oh, I’ll drink it (on a rare occasion) but it’s not a tea/tisane that I’ll grab enthusiastically. It’s not something I’ll brew every day – I certainly don’t like it that much.

That said, I don’t hate it either. I’m just kinda ‘meh’ about it. Not my favorite thing – you know?

I’ve crafted one blend with chamomile during my time as the Mad Tea Artist of 52Teas – At Play in the Fields of Love – which I blended as a VIT for a special customer. Now, I’m crafting my second chamomile blend – and I’m blending it with one of my very favorite flavors: Licorice! I absolutely love licorice and all herb-y things related to licorice, like licorice root, anise and fennel. But interestingly enough – this is my first time blending a licorice blend. (Although, I did use licorice root in the Butter Beer reblend.) I have refrained from using licorice as a primary flavor in my blends up until now because I realize that it is a somewhat polarizing flavor – most people either love it or hate it – and it seems like it’s a even balance between those that like it and those that don’t. It’s kind of hard to create a winning blend with a featured flavor that is so polarizing.

But I’m hoping that with this blend – I’ve done just that.

One day while cruising through the internet – I stumbled upon a recipe for a cocktail called “April Siesta.” The cocktail features Absinthe which is a licorice-y liqueur and Curacao which is a citrus-y liqueur. These two liqueurs are combined with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and simple syrup and topped off with a lemon twist.

So this is my take on this cocktail that I’ve never actually tasted but was inspired by. I started with organic honeybush, added some chamomile (because when I think ‘siesta’ – the first herb that comes to mind is chamomile), added licorice root, star anise and some citrus (orange and lemon) wedges. I didn’t want the citrus to be too intrusive because I really wanted the licorice-y flavors to be the star of the show but I didn’t want the licorice to be so sharp that those who aren’t particularly fond of licorice might appreciate this beverage too.

I love this! I can honestly say that this is my favorite blend with chamomile in it – mostly because I can’t really taste the chamomile. Instead, I get sweet licorice with light citrus background notes. Yummy!

organic ingredients: honeybush, chamomile, orange, lemon, licorice root, star anise and natural flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tulsi Orange Cranberry Ginger Organic Tea from Simpson and Vail

tulsiorgcrangingerTea Information:

Leaf Type: Herbal

Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail

Tea Description:

This Tulsi tea blend is caffeine-free and combines herbs that have vitamins and anti-oxidants. This organic herbal blend of Tulsi, orange peel, hibiscus, rosehips and ginger root brews to a reddish amber cup with a mellow minty, fruity taste and light, sweet ginger notes. A well rounded brew that’s great for afternoon or evening enjoyment.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have been on a herbal kick as of late and loving it.  Herbals are something that I think you either love or hate depending on the ingredients.  I know chamomile and hibiscus blends are sometimes referred to as vile, but I love them.  About the only tea I don’t care for is red rooibos blends, but beyond that I’ll try anything.

Work has been nuts lately and I wanted something to be refreshing yet soothing so I grabbed my sample of this Tulsi blend from Simpson & Vail.  I was crazy impressed with their Cozy Comfort blend that I tried the other day (tasted like monkey bread!) I had high expectations but once I took in the fragrance from the dry leaf mix, I had my hesitations. The ginger smelled like it was going to be strong.

Brewed this up in my Sei Sei Tumbler and allowed it to steep for about 5 minutes in boiling water.  Poured the brew into my cuppa and sat down to go over what I needed to to for the day.  As I took my first sip, I literally thought, nope, I will not be reviewing what I need to do today.  I am going to sit right here with my feet propped up on my desk and enjoy my tea. And that is exactly what I did!

This tea hit the spot in so many ways.  I wanted a soothing blend that touched the soul, so to speak.  Once that would refresh and calm me but also be vibrant enough to deliver that kick I would need to keep going.  This tea did all of that. No, I’m not going to say it will cure what will ail you, but in that moment of time, this tea delivered everything I needed.

What I loved the most was the citrus flavor that had a tart twist at the end of the sip with the ginger floating in and out.  The ginger wasn’t overwhelming like I was worried about and actually became the flavor I was seeking each sip I took.  Which is very surprising to me.  I am not a huge ginger fan.  This tea had such a cozy charming feel to it with the tart and sweet contrast that I found myself wanting more of this tea right after the cuppa was gone.  I ended up drinking this tea for the remainder of the day, letting the flavors really give me that cozy feeling I was wanting with that kick I desperately needed.

Tea #2 that I have tried from Simpson & Vail and another tea I am adoring!