Leaf Type: Herbal Tisane
This tea does exactly what its name promises – brings serenity to your day. Ingredients like chamomile, jasmine and lavender really do have that affect. We taste the apple-like flavours of chamomile, a perfect lemon squeeze and smooth mint. There’s tart and sweet florals playing off one another and hints of relaxing lavender that come out mid-sip.
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After my first few sips of this Serene Herbal Tisane from The Honest Leaf, I found myself contemplating whether or not I actually liked it. I didn’t dislike it but I wasn’t too sure whether or not I was enjoying what I was tasting.
That is to say, it’s quite unlike other teas I’ve tried.
Now that I’m about halfway through the cup, I can say that yes, I do like this. It’s different, it’s tasty and I like it.
The flavor starts out quite subtle. I notice a soft lemon-y note from the lemon peel and flavoring. This flavor develops over the course of the sip – starting off with a delicate whisper of lemon. The finish is bright with lemon notes and the aftertaste is quite lemon-y, as if I had just taken a sip of lemonade. The aftertaste lingers a while.
After the subtle introduction of lemon, I pick up on flowery notes of jasmine, lavender and passion flower just before mid-sip. These floral notes are also quite subdued. They don’t develop the way the lemon does, but I do pick up on a few more floral notes mingling with the lemon notes in the aftertaste.
Just after mid-sip, I notice the crisp peppermint. I like that the peppermint follows the example set by the flowers and lemon and is understated. The cool peppermint is a nice contrast to the lemon-y flavor, but the mint doesn’t slap you in the mouth with it’s minty presence. It’s just a slight ‘peppy’ sort of flavor that perks up the flavors of the tea without tasting like someone spilled a little bit of mouthwash in my teacup.
I didn’t really notice the chamomile until I reached mid-cup. The chamomile is more of an undertone, offering a indistinct apple note and hint of honey. I can smell more chamomile in this than I can taste. After the mid-cup point, the chamomile notes develop somewhat, but they never become a strong, prominent profile to the cup.
Happily, I notice no hibiscus in this, unless the hibiscus acts as a ‘tart’ agent to help amplify the tartness of the lemon, because the aftertaste does have a tartness to it. Not too puckery, though, but as I said, I do get a lemonade-y sort of experience in the aftertaste.
Overall, I found this to be a relaxing, enjoyable cup. It’s certainly different than the typical ‘nighttime’ type of tisanes, and different is good!
Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy
Sweet orange peel roasted in honey, real grade-A Madagascar vanilla beans, actual peaches! California Sweet Peach is our signature herbal infusion. We are proud to roast our own orange peel in local honey and use peaches straight from California! Our natural peach flavor is supplied by Silver Cloud Estates and is a blend of different natural extracts and oils, enabling us to boost the taste of peaches. This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends. Note: California Sweet Peach contains no tea, as it is an herbal infusion. We chose to include the term “herbal tea” in the title due to its categorical popularity.
Learn more about this tea here.
This California Sweet Peach Herbal Tea from M&K’s Tea Company is an interesting tisane. As I sit here, sipping it, I’m trying to determine whether or not I like it. I can’t say that immediately upon taking my first few sips that I was blown away by it. At the same time, I can’t say that immediately upon taking my first few sips that I wasn’t intrigued. I felt the need to keep on sipping. It’s interesting enough to keep me sipping but there’s something about it that hasn’t yet ‘won me over’ – at least not yet.
I like that the hibiscus is not a strong presence in this cup. Normally, when I am about to taste a tea or tisane with hibiscus, my thought is “why?” Why hibiscus? But, after drinking about half a cup now, I can see why the hibiscus is in this blend. It adds a little bit of body to the cup (but I wouldn’t recommend steeping it longer than 6 minutes or so to avoid having a thick or syrupy body) and the little bit of tartness that it brings to the cup adds balance to the warm notes of the licorice and the sweetness of the peach, honey and vanilla notes.
The star of this cup is – obviously – the peach. I like the flavor of the peach here and I think that’s what’s keeping my interest. The peach is a genuine peach-y note. It doesn’t taste chemical or artificial. It tastes true to the fruit. I also like the orange in this. The orange adds a touch of bright flavor to the sweet peach notes.
Now that I’ve finished the cup I can say that I enjoyed this. It had a strong peach flavor but there was enough other stuff going on in this that it didn’t end up being all about the peach. I liked the different flavors going on. And even though this does have hibiscus in it – like so many other fruit/herbal tisanes to – this is not your ordinary tisane.
Just as an aside: it’s something when I finish the tea before I finish the review. Take that for what it’s worth, but it doesn’t happen often. I must have enjoyed what I was drinking!
Yeah. I’d drink this again. I enjoyed it. This one has earned my approval. Even if it does have hibiscus in it!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: 52Teas
If this tea doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, you might just be the Grinch. With premium shou mei white tea, almonds, ginger, orange peel, cinnamon chips, a few cloves, marshmallow root and organic flavors, combine this tea with a nice crackling fire in the fireplace and someone to snuggle up to on the couch, and you’ll be in holiday heaven.
Learn more about this blend here.
Learn how to subscribe to 52Teas’ Tea of the Week program here.
Yum! It’s no big surprise to me that this tea is already sold out! With a name like “Christmas Cookie” – who could resist, right? And it’s oh so tasty!
The aroma of the dry leaf was a little off for me. I could smell the spices and those were very pleasant to the nose, but I also picked up on a slight chemical-y note to the dry leaf fragrance. I hoped that this would disappear after brewing (usually, that flavor oil smell does dissipate in the brewing process).
To brew this, I used my Kati tumbler and added 1 heaping bamboo scoop to the basket and 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 170°F) and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.
The brewed tea smells warm and gently spiced. I’m not picking up on any of the aforementioned chemical-y notes – a good thing! It smells like gramma’s kitchen at Christmastime when she’s baking all those magical cookies that she used to bake. I smell spice cookies and almond cookies. I smell hints of orange. My mouth is watering and wishing it was eating cookies right about now!
And the flavor is delightful. I don’t know that I’m actually tasting cookies as much as I’m smelling them from this tea. I think that there should be more of the buttery, cake-y, pastry flavors that 52Teas does so well here. Maybe a tad more marshmallow root to emphasize the cookie aspect rather than the spiced aspect of this tea. As it is, it tastes like a mild chai made with a white tea base rather than a cookie.
I find that as it cools, the flavor improves a bit and the baked goods flavor seems to develop a little. However, it never becomes fully realized. I find myself wanting to taste something more “bake-y” – brown sugar? Buttery cookie? Pastry/cake flavors? Even a hint of icing might help bring the “Christmas Cookie” to life just a little more.
The white tea has a smooth and silky texture. It’s not bitter or overly astringent. It’s sweet and has a delicate flavor that is lightly vegetal (more like hay than grass or steamed veggies). I appreciate that I distinctly taste TEA here and those flavors have not been overpowered by the presence of the strong spice and other flavors.
Since this is a white tea, I decided to resteep it and see how it turns out. YES! There it is! That cookie flavor! This tea MUST be resteeped to get to that yummy cookie flavor. I even taste a hint of frosting!
As I said before, it’s clear to me why this flavor has sold out – not only is the name of the tea tempting but the taste is delightful!
We’re getting there! This 24 days has gone by so quickly – it’s already day 21! Can you believe it? This year is almost gone – a new one about to begin!
For today’s artistic inspiration, I sorted through some of my old photos online and I came across some altered dominoes that I created. I altered a bunch of dominoes (the back of the domino is a really neat surface to use as a canvas for artwork) and I turned them into little ornaments and sold them one year at the Christmas Bazaar in Ridgefield, WA. That was more years than I care to count at this point! Wow! I can’t believe how long ago that was.
Anyway, here is one of the dominoes that I altered. I drilled a hole in the domino to be able to add a jump ring and a loop to the domino, then I added the star and swirl design, painted it, and then I added some rhinestones to the piece for some extra sparkle. Then I protected the surface with a resin that adds a glass-like surface to it. The final piece was bright, sparkly and shiny – just the kind of thing you want for your holiday tree!
I sold a bunch of these things – back then, I was also selling tea and that was my primary purpose at the bazaar, I wanted to sell my teas but I decided that since I was paying for the booth, that I’d take full advantage of it and sell some other stuff too. I did pretty well, I managed to sell enough to pay for the cost of the booth plus buy a few holiday gifts for some of the more expensive people on my list. It was a day well spent.
Tranquil Spa Blend
Leaf Type: Rooibos (Green)
Where to Buy: Teanzo 1856
Tranquil Spa Blend is a relaxing ginger mint orange herbal blend. Rejuvenation at its tastiest. We wanted to take you away to a spa with our teas, so we put together a brand new Spa Trio: Dream Spa Blend, Tranquil Spa Blend, and Bliss Spa Blend. Each of these is caffeine free and blended to perfection to give you a spa feeling and taste. Each of our spa blends comes in a green latch tin with 2 oz of tea. You can also purchase them as a Spa Trio. Add a little spa to your day!
Learn more about this tea here.
Having already tried the Dream Spa Blend and the Bliss Spa Blend from the “Spa Trio” and really enjoying them, I was hopeful that I’d have a similar experience with this Tranquil Spa Blend. Then I read the ingredients and saw that eucalyptus was in the blend and I’m hopeful that the eucalyptus wouldn’t ruin this blend for me. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and go into it with an open mind!
To steep this tisane, I used my Kati tumbler. 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch into the basket of the tumbler and then added the water. I steeped this for 6 minutes. Usually I would steep a tisane for a little longer but I was a little cautious this time with the eucalyptus.
Now it’s time for a sip!
OK, this isn’t bad! It’s actually quite tasty. Yes, I taste the eucalyptus, but, I am getting stronger notes of orange and ginger and the eucalyptus seems to enhance the ginger notes a little bit here. Rather than causing the whole cup to turn to a bitter, medicinal mess, it is actually enhancing the blend. That certainly is an unexpected turn of events!
The eucalyptus seems to soften the ginger a little bit. Ginger usually has a lot of peppery bite to it, but the eucalyptus has soften the blow of the ginger bite here. It’s still warm and ginger-y pleasant, but the ginger has a smoother flavor now.
I don’t taste a lot from the mint, but there is a background minty taste. I like the way that peeks through. The green rooibos is the perfect base because it adds a light, fruity sweetness to the cup.
Everything is balanced here. The orange is bright and juicy. The ginger is warm without being too spicy. The eucalyptus isn’t overpowering (yay!) and the mint is a soft, subtle flavor. It’s soothing without tasting medicinal. It all works with the ‘tranquil’ vibe that the name of this tea suggests.
A SURPRISINGLY good tisane. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I am.
It’s day 13 with this wonderful Holiday Countdown with tea from Teanzo – I have enjoyed trying the different teas that they offer through their Advent Calendar! (All of which is also available – separately – on their website!)
For today’s bit of holiday art, I chose a really nifty ornament made by Regina Zyry! One of the things that I love MOST about this ornament is that its crafted using an upcycled ribbon spool! You know, when you go to the craft store and you buy the spools of decorative ribbon for your projects? She kept her empty spools and turned them into creative ornaments!
I love the color scheme of these too! It really stands out on my tree. And while this first side offers a ‘modern’ appearance, the reverse side has more of an ‘old fashioned’ look to it.
See what I mean? Clever, right?
This ornament was a gift in one of the 12 Days of Christmas mail art swaps that I was involved in a few years ago. It was a very inspiring thing to be working with such artistic ladies.
And speaking of creative, I find today’s tea from Teanzo to be rather creative! It’s one of the teas that is offered in their Spa Trio collection along with two other Spa tea blends, including one that I’ve already reviewed as part of this countdown: The Dream Spa Blend.
Bliss Spa Blend
Leaf Type: Tulsi
Where to Buy: Teanzo 1856
Ingredients: Ginger Root, rose hips, tulsi, orange peel, lemon peel, lemon myrtle, lemon grass, with ginger and citrus flavors.
Learn more about this tea here.
Yay! Another tisane without hibiscus! And this one is a Tulsi tisane – extra bonus points! It’s been a while since I’ve had a Tulsi blend!
This blend is actually quite lovely! I love the citrus-y flavors! The notes of lemon and orange are strong in this blend and it adds a bright, vibrant flavor that is energizing and yes … blissful!
To brew this tisane, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and added 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F and I let it steep for 10 minutes. Remember, with no camellia sinensis leaves in the tisane, I don’t have to worry about the brew becoming bitter (no tannins!) and with no hibiscus in the blend, I don’t have to worry about the brew becoming too syrupy, thick or tart.
The ginger and the tulsi add a sort of warm, spicy note to the cup that contrasts nicely with the bright, juicy flavors of citrus. This isn’t overly spicy, though, it’s a gentle, cozy warmth. I like the undertone of spice that comes from these two ingredients.
But the real ‘star’ of this cup is the invigorating flavor of the citrus notes! The orange is juicy and sweet, and the lemon isn’t too sour. I’m not puckering when I drink this.
I really enjoyed this. The last two tisanes that I’ve consumed from Teanzo (this and the aforementioned Dream Spa Blend) have been so delightful that they are renewing my faith in tisanes! I have become so … blasé when it comes to nearly all tisanes that I’ve encountered as of late. Sure, I might find the flavor agreeable, but truly exciting? Not a lot of them have interested me to the point where I felt I was excited about what I was drinking. These two blends are excitingly different!