Chai Rooibos from TopQualiTea. . . .

It’s getting to be that time of year again when I crave warm tea with cozy spices like cinnamon and ginger.

It’s nice to have a chai option that is also caffeine free as most are made with black tea. The first thing I noticed about this tea is that although the usual chai spices definitely stand out, I can still taste the earthy Rooibos. I’ve had a few other chai rooibos blends and usually the spices kind of takeover. I’m enjoying my delicious chai with a splash of coconut milk and a little brown sugar.

All I had was brown sugar and it actually goes really well with the tea! This would be a wonderful dessert tea since it is caffeine. But it’s also a nice tea to have in the morning. The spices help wake up your senses, and it’s a nice gentle way to bring on your day.

This is also safe for those who don’t like really sharp, spicy Chai blends. This has flavor, but it’s definitely on the gentle side. I really enjoyed this tea, and I love to have Chai in the winter.

This will definitely be in my regular rotation. This tea is also organic, free of pesticides, and fair trade which makes it taste even better in my opinion!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  TopQualiTea
Description

Masala chai (“spiced tea”) is a beverage from the Indian subcontinent made by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. By itself, chai is merely the generic word for tea in Hindi and many other languages around the world, and was adopted into British slang as “cha” or “char”. The added ginger and other spices give the Rooibos tea some warm and spicy taste nice in the cold evenings with milk and honey but also loved by many at any time of the day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas. . . .

When I see those lovely spiced teas, I always get so jealous.  Being one that just doesn’t care for overly spiced teas or chai blends, I always feel like I’m left out of some cool kid’s tea drinking club.   I look at them longingly and try them on occasion, but always find myself having to add in a ton of agave or cream to help offset the brew.  And yes, I know that is part of the chai tea latte set up, but I want to be able to taste the actual tea itself, not just the add ins.

Enter White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas.

First off, this chai tea doesn’t have your traditional tea base.  Instead of having a black or even green tea base, this blend has a lovely white peony tea base that sets the tone in a more subtle way.  No fear of having a very bitter or astringent brew where you have to add in sweeteners or cream- no, this tea base has an all around lighter feel.

Add in your traditional spices like fennel seed cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, star anise, ginger, orange peel and my favorite part- cinnamon chips- not just a dusting of cinnamon but honest to goodness large enough so you can see cinnamon chips.  I should say that about all of the ingredients.  No need to squint your eyes to see that these inclusions are high quality and might I add organic.

The brewing parameters on the package had me a bit scared-1 heaping tsp with 6-8 oz- allow to steep for 6-8 minutes at 212F.  White tea is more delicate so I was worried about brewing at boiling but after timer went off at 6 minutes worth of steeping, I was so very happy I did.  I should have know that Beach House Teas would have my back and not steer me wrong.

Right out of the gate there is this lush slightly floral silky feel and some very bright flavors that provide this wonderful first sip.  I instantly fell in love with the cinnamon flavor that has a soft twist of ginger and a hint of the fennel undertones. As this is still a chai tea, those more noticeable chai flavors like cardamom and clove notes are present but they are more apparent towards the end of each sip.  Towards the end of each sip and after the sip is over, you are left with this spicy peppercorn touch on your tastebuds.

I eagerly sipped down my first cup and went back to brew more.  I’m a huge fan (if you couldn’t tell) of this tea and highly recommend anyone who isn’t a chai or spiced fan to check this tea out.  The flavors are light and crisp and are not heavy like a traditional chai or should I say the chais I’ve experienced in the past.  Heavier chais do have their time and place, but for me- White Cap Chai has stolen my heart.  This may be my new morning tea!

If you are interested in checking out this (and I highly recommend you do!) blend or any others, Beach House Teas is offering a 20% discount for our readers- just enter tealover3 at checkout!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Beach House Teas 
Description

White Cap Chai is a lighter version of the traditional chai making it delicate and unique. This beautiful chai is made with 100% organic white peony tea leaves and organic spices. It’s a modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. The chai gives you a smooth, mellow taste with subtle layers of flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Banana Zomba from 52Teas. . . . .

Continuing on with my birthday reviews, I thought I’d finally sit down and write a review on this beauty-Banana Zomba from 52Teas.

It’s no secret.  We love our Anne and her masterfully crafted tea creations.  Not just because she is one of our co-founders, but because of the quality and passion she brings with each blend she creates.  Her and I have had some amazing tea chats regarding tea and you would be hard press to find anybody with more love for the tea community.

I have always loved 52Teas Blackberry Zomba and the tea is a staple in my tea stash.  Brewed hot or cold brewed, this tea never disappoints. I’ve served this tea at many a baby and bridal shower -more than any other blend I have and we always run out.  So whenever I see Zomba in the tea blend title, I know its going to be a winner.  Add in banana chips and flavoring. . . I’m all in.

This tea brewed up at 190F and brewed for 3 minutes yields an amazing rich brew.  Fresh crisp green sweet yet vegetal notes combine beautifully with the banana, almost to the point that I might have to say, this tea is heavenly.

Even though this tea has banana flavoring, the real star is the Zomba green tea base that I have grow to adore, love, and gobble.  Sweet, rich, silky, with a simple yet long serving flavor.

A perfect tea to cold brew or enjoy a few hot cuppas, this tea has my heart and even though it is sold out and we probably won’t see this blend again, I’m happy to say I was able to enjoy some soul soothing gorgeous cups while I had this tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic. . . . .

My family carries on the old school art of drying flowers to “preserve” the heartwarming memory from when they were given, and this bag of Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic is a full on bouquet of petite yellow love from Mount Olympus!

The thick flowering stems smell of basil, and crushed mint, but feel fuzzy like sage leaves versus the roughness of traditional camellia Sinensis tea leaves. Quite a bit smaller as well, with dozens of tiny pale flowers, light green buds and silver glistening leaves.

I brewed at 175 F and immediately the scent morphs towards the hints of sage I got earlier. There are a lot of essential oils on top, and a good amount of natural sweetness in this veridian brew that would probably be fine for most folks, especially given the light citrus aftertaste. My sweet tooth, however, preferred to add a few drops of plain stevia.

Being naturally caffeine free, this is a mind clearing tea, as it’s unique flavors make you step away from the daily grind and focus on the surprise in your mug.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Klio Organic

This variety, Sideritis Scardica, comes from the legendary Mount Olympus, in the Balkans, situated between Thessaly and Macedonia. It has been tested for antioxidants by Brunswick Labs, (www.brunswicklabs.com) the leader in bio-analtyical testing. It has a mild and very pleasant taste and aroma.

One ten ounce serving of our certified organic Mount Olympus Greek Mountain Tea has an ORAC 5.0 antioxidant score of 6,600 and 160mg of polyphenols.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Berry Bushel Bounty from Plum Deluxe. . . .

There’s something magical that happens whenever I get a new tea from Plum Deluxe. It’s like Andy and his fantastic tea blenders just have a wire straight to my brain and know JUST what kind of tea I’m craving at any given moment. (Seriously, you guys. How do you do it. HOW.)

When this fruity, fragrant tea of the month showed up at my doorstep, I was a tiny bit cranky from this random week dreary getting close to spring time kind of days — and little did I know, a fresh cup of fruity iced tea was just what the doctor ordered to cure me of my let’s get winter over -crankyness.

This delicious oolong & black blend brews up with mild, fruity sweetness in the brewed cup, and is a perfect combination with a splash of lemonade (my favorite way to serve it) or paired with a hint of sparkling water. But you guys, if we’re being honest? I’ve been hoarding the dry leaf to sniff instead of brewing it because it smells OH SO VERY GOOD. Do you remember the sweet and delicious tang of strawberry fruit snacks as a kiddo? This tea is a DEAD RINGER for that delightful flavor-memory, but sans any of the chemical-ick.

Frankly, it’s the only cure I’ve found to remedy the crankiness that is born of cold dreary days. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pour a cup and stick my nose in the dry leaf and enjoy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong & Black
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!