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Orange Cardamom Black Tea from Aftelier Perfumes

I didn’t have much information on this tea going into my first cup, so I was surprised to see these black tea leaves unfurl into a deep, dark, red brew.  This tea almost seems like a pu erh rather than an astringent black tea.  The base is earthy, almost smoky, and much richer and more savory that I expected. Aftelier Perfumes describes the tea as “red tea rolled into pearls and roasted,” which makes sense with the musky, toasted notes I tasted. The orange and cardamom are minimal, the most noticeable on the back of each sip.  There’s something sweet Read More

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Kick Back and Relax with Hammock Blend from Plum Deluxe

Brewed hot, this tea is smooth and bright, with the fullness of black tea and crisp orange, and just enough vanilla to smooth out any astringency.  The tea is creamy even without milk and sugar, but not so sweet or over-flavored to come off as artificial orange-creamsicle.  In many ways this is definitely still a classic black tea.   With a name like Hammock Blend, this tea is meant to be a cold summer beverage, so I brewed a batch hot with sugar and let it chill.  Iced and sweetened, I will say that the sugar complements the orange and Read More

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Get a Boost with Green Tea +C Citrus Ginger

Green Tea + C Citrus Ginger from Sencha Naturals is an effervescent drink mix made with green tea, ginger, and orange flavoring.  Like other immune-system-boosting fizzy drinks, this powder bubbles and hisses when mixed with water, like seltzer tablets.  The powder and the drink smell super spicy with ginger and tangerine citrus.  Drinking this beverage, there is a tart bite of citric acid, like the sourness in chewable vitamin C tablets.  The ginger heat comes through in the aftertaste, bringing a warm and buzzy mouthfeel. As a green tea, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this product.  The green tea base is Read More

Ganymede Matcha Tea Blend

Ganymede Matcha Tea Blend by MoongleamTeaShoppe

I wasn’t sure how to prepare this tea at first. It’s matcha, so you should be able to just put it in the hot water and shake/whisk it up, right? Well, no, because there are lumps in it as well. The green lumps (I thought they might just be matcha powder caked together that would come apart in the cup) turned out to be bits of citrus peel coated in matcha, which made me realize that there was less matcha in my cup than I at first thought, so I just went ahead and dumped the rest of the sample Read More

Aria Blend

Aria blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

Immediately evident in the dry leaves are whole cloves and some seed pods that I thought at first were anise but, after looking at the ingredients, I decided must be fennel. The attractive-looking combination also includes bits of licorice and marshmallow root as well as orange peel and peppermint plus cinnamon and ginger. I used a heaping teaspoon of the tea leaves in a cup of water at approximately boiling temperature and then watched it steep for about the next four minutes. It smelled all nice and licorice-y while steeping and became a nice light yellow color, which reminded me Read More