Sage Wellness from Plum Deluxe

I love brewing up tea with fresh herbs from the garden or from the kitchen.  With all the turkey and holiday meals in the wintertime, I feel like sage is an especially appropriate herb to be brewing this time of year, so I ordered a bag of Sage Wellness tea from Plum Deluxe.

 

This is a tea with a green rooibos base, which provides the perfect, gentle background for the other herbs and flavors.  In the dry leaf, there are plenty of fuzzy, grey-green leaves from the sage, a pleasure to touch and smell.  Rose petals and lemon peel add to the dreamy fragrance.

 

Beyond the rooibos and sage, this blend also features fruit pieces like strawberry and rosehips, and fruit flavoring from strawberries and peaches.  The sage feels like Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, but the strawberry feels like a summer harvest.  With the two fragrant, flavorful factors of sage and strawberry, the whole blend is reminiscent of a fresh, blooming herb garden.

 

Not too sweet and not too savory, the fruit and herbs come together to make an atypical take on familiar flavors.  With a blend so beautiful to look at and so tasty to brew, I like to pretend that I was wandering in a fantasy garden, plucking bits of sage and picking perfect strawberries to add to my perfect cup of tea.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe
Description:

Nourish body + soul with the wisdom and healing of fresh herbs and fruits!  Our sage + green rooibos herbal tea artfully blends lemon and orange with a pinch of strawberry and peach to make a delightfully refreshing, flavorful tonic wonderful for when you have those emotional blues or just want a cup of something calm and restorative.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Thunder from The Love Tea Company. . . . .

What a bold and dramatic name for a white tea: White Thunder.  So many white teas get paired with desserts, like ice cream flavors or berries, so I was intrigued to try out this flavor just from the brash name alone.  Besides, it doesn’t hurt that this tea is from Love Tea, one of our ChariTea companies.  Learn more here.

The White Thunder blend features white tea, peony, spearmint, and peppermint.  I brewed it both hot and iced, and preferred the flavors chilled.  There’s something about drinking an iced mint tea, like Moroccan Mint, that just feels best suited over ice on a hot day.

Back to White Thunder, for a tea without any fruit ingredients, there is a delectable peachy flavor mingling with all the mint.  This is a well-balance blend, despite mint making up half of the ingredients list.  The white tea and peony really get a chance to shine and be tasted, and bring forward that bright stone-fruit taste.  The white tea adds a sweet, mild, earthiness, and the peony compliments those tones with floral, blossoming notes of its own.

The spearmint and peppermint add a touch of frost to even out all the flowers and fruit.  The balance of sweet and crisp feel like sitting on fresh green grass that has been cooled by the shade.  White Thunder might be my new favorite summer iced blend, bringing just the right balance of cool mint and breezy florals.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Bai Mudan, also known as White Peony is a type of white tea made from pluckings of one leaf shoot and two immediate young leaves. Bai Mudan is sometimes preferred by white tea drinkers for its fuller flavor and greater potency than other major types of white tea. For an extra kick, peppermint and spearmint are added to this blend.  Boom, crack, that’s the sound of your taste buds loving this blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A Trio of Peach Teas from Beleave, Rishi, and Teavana. . . .

Who knew I had so many peachy teas in my cupboard?  Let’s look at a spontaneous peach tea trio!

Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave Teas

Leaf type: white tea

This is a white tea with peach pieces and added flavors.  The dry leaf smells fruity and juicy without being artificial.  When brewed, the white tea base is smooth and buttery and pairs perfectly with the bright sweet peach overtones.  White tea and peach are a winning combination.  Black tea blends tend to get too tart or overbearing against the sweet fruit.  Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave would make a great summer iced tea.

Peach Blossom White from Rishi Tea

Leaf type: white tea

Wow, blossoms indeed!  There are plenty of buds and petals in the dry leaf, and the blend smells a flower box.  Brewed, the fragrance is even stronger with jasmine and peony.  The peach takes a back seat in this blend, and taste a bit more peach candies than fresh fruit.  The peach tones pop up in the aftertaste, alongside citrus notes like mandarin orange.  This wasn’t a very peachy tea, but it was a unique floral blend that surprised me.

Peach Cran Tango from Teavana

Leaf type: black tea

Even before Teavana closed its online shop, I believe the Peach Cran Tango blend was discontinued.  So it’s a bit of a moot point for me to review it now.  To help soothe the Teavana ache, I tried to replicate this blend on Adagio’s custom tea builder.  Give my Peach Cran Tango and try and see how it stacks up.

The last of the Teavana sample I tasted was simple but enjoyable.  Sweet peach is balanced with a bit of tart cranberry, all atop a solid black tea base. This is technically a peach blend, though it also features a good dose of cranberry. Cranberries are sweet, tangy and versatile, and seem to tango with just about any fruit partner. The red-berry tartness help the peach from being too cloying and make for a balanced fruit blend.

Well I’m feeling just peachy after all these peach teas.  All this sweet fruit makes me feel like warmer weather is on its way already…

 

 

Peach Crostata from a Quarter to Tea

What is a crostata?  Apparently, it is a type of tart or pie, or it might even include a crumble-like dessert.  Either way, imagine buttery crust, sugar and spice, and plenty of fruit.  This tea blend looks to capture the the essence of a peach crostata, with sweet stone fruit and warm pastry.

The tea leaves are yunnan black tea, but they were so tightly rolled I almost mistook them for oolong leaves.  Brewing this blend, the tea is dark and rich and brews up quickly.  Both the dry leaves and the hot tea are very fragrant with natural peach flavor.

When taking my first sip, my nose is full of fruity peach, but the brew is much more robust.  The taste of the tea has more roasty, caramel notes than it does fruit, and its boldness overshadows the peach.  The tea is smooth at first, finishing with a tart, mineral dryness in the aftertaste.  It’s possible the boldness of the tea has to do with my brewing techniques, so I would brew this a little cooler and shorter next time.  I found that adding milk helped make the brew more gentle, which brought out the best of the peach notes.

Even if this wasn’t my favorite tea lately, I’ve had other blend from a Quarter to Tea that I absolutely loved, like their Carrot Cake or Peeps Krispies genmai cha teas.  Give any of their flavors a try for a quality brew.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea
Description:

A take on a late medieval version of a peach crostata, with warming spices and a rich peach flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!