Christmas in September: Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company

I’m a bit out of season to review Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company, but today is a grey and dreary day so a cup of tea with “cheer” in the name feels like a good fit.

This blend features black tea, peppermint, and cinnamon.  Even in the dry leaf you can smell all three distinct flavors.

Having peppermint and cinnamon in the same blend is like sitting in a snowbank next to a campfire: there are both cooling and warming elements happening at the same time.  I enjoy blends that make use of these flavors. Beyond their flavor profiles, both peppermint and cinnamon bring their own type of sweetness.

Peppermint has a creaminess beneath all its icy mint, almost tasting like vanilla.  Cinnamon has a more earthy, herbal sweetness, more in line with cloves or licorice.

With both of these flavors set against the robust backdrop of black tea, you get a full-bodied brew with a very tactile mouthfeel, both cooling and warming. This is a fresh take on the “spiced black tea” trend that pops up every fall and winter.  The mint and cinnamon together really make this unique and festive.

I’m feeling full of cheer already!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.
Description:

Sit back and relax with your family this holiday season while sharing this delicious, guilt-free tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wildest Mints from Story of My Tea. . . .

Sometimes I can’t believe I haven’t tried a combination of some simple, favorite ingredients.  Wildest Mints from the Story of My Tea blends peppermint, clove, and licorice into an herbal brew.  Three simple, flavorful ingredients, no added flavoring, no caffeine. Wildest Mints is a great herbal blend to keep in your cabinet for soothing mint with little something extra.

Story of My Tea recommends this brew be iced.  Drinking it cold enhances the already refreshing rush of brewed peppermint and is just the right flavor for an especially hot day.  The licorice and cloves add some herbal sweetness and bring more texture to the feeling of this tea on your tongue and throat.

I also like this as a hot brew, maybe as an after dinner cup with plenty of peppermint to help with digestion.  When warm, the peppermint brings a little creaminess to the cup along with its familiar cool, crispness. The cloves are more prominent in a warm brew, and I adore their dark and spicy aftertaste and buzzy mouthfeel.  As always, the licorice is sweet and soothing.

Who knew there could be so much going on with just three classic ingredients?  Story of My Tea clearly did!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Story of My Tea
Description:

The main ingredient of this calming blend is peppermint, this herb has several millennia of history. There are records that show Peppermint was used by the ancient Egyptians around 1,000 B.C. The Romans grew peppermint gardens for its use as a digestive aid they also used it as a grown cover between the stepping stone pathways. The Japanese valued it so highly that they carried peppermint in small silver boxes that hung from their belt. Peppermint was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as a hybrid between water mint and spearmint. Today this plant is cultivated in many regions of the world.

The second ingredient is licorice root, a plant native to southeast Europe and southwest Asia. It brings a natural sweetness to this blend and is valued by both eastern and western medicine for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and “harmonizing” properties.
Finally, the cloves. These aromatic dried flower buds used in Asian, African, Mexican, Near and Middle East cuisine add just the right spice balance to this blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Root Down Tisane from Swallowtail Teas

The colorful label for Root Down Tisane from Swallowtail Tea features a yellow and orange sun on the horizon.  It must be a sunset, as this tea is perfect for after dinner or before bed.

This tisane is driven by licorice root.  I’m a fan of licorice in all its forms, including as a root in herbal teas.  Licorice root is a natural sweetener, adding a bit of spicy anise flavor along with its sugary perk.  Licorice is also a throat soothing herb, so it brings a very smooth mouthfeel and soothing sensation.

Beyond the bold licorice, this blend features some cinnamon warmth and just a ghost of mint and orange peel.  There are also dandelion root and nettle leaf in the blend, but they are more for color and health benefits than taste.  I wish the mint and citrus were just a little bit bolder to add more flavor texture to the brew.

Root Down Tisane would be a great blend for those who are tired of herbal teas having ginger, chamomile, or even rooibos, as none of these ingredients are included.  This blend is all licorice and herbs, and is a nice change of pace for a naturally caffeine free blend at bedtime. I’ll have to save the rest of my tea sample for when I need to set down some roots and snuggle in for the night.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea (Red Rooster Coffee)
Description:

This signature tisane was artfully crafted as a warming and supportive infusion. Perfect as an after dinner treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint from Ceremonie Tea

This tea sample came to me in an individually wrapped and sealed box featuring the beautiful Ceremonie tea logo on the outside and a jewelry-box-inspired light blue color on the inside.  Easily one of the nicest tea sample packaging I’ve seen lately.

The tea itself is simple: pure peppermint.  The flavor is cooling (“sparkling” as they put it), definitely the menthol-cold feeling of peppermint and not the sweeter green mint of spearmint.  Though I should say that the peppermint has its own sweetness, a smooth almost-vanilla creaminess alongside all the icy herbal flavors.

Peppermint is one of those herbal teas that boasts all kinds of health benefits, from aiding digestion, to increasing mental focus, and more.  Personally, I like to drink it on days when allergies or dry weather make my throat a little itchy. The sensory combination of warm tea and cooling peppermint are relaxing and soothing.  Since it’s a caffeine-free herbal blend, it’s a great night time brew, perfect to help you ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Ceremonie Tea
Description:

This sparkling peppermint infusion is a refreshing treat that delights your senses, cleansing your palate. It’s caffeine-free, enjoyable day or night.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint Rooibos (and bergamot!) from Rishi Tea

Sometimes you need a clean and fresh cup of tea to help you relax or clear your mind.  When I needed something like that, I reached for Peppermint Roobios from Rishi Tea. This was a new tea for me, though it didn’t feel out of my comfort zone.  Peppermint and roobios: I know both of these ingredients and I know they make a fine combination.

When I brewed this tea, I read the packaging and noticed that there was another flavor in the blend as well: bergamot oil.  Bergamot is what provides the citrus flavor in earl grey blends. This little citrus pop is what makes this blend appealing for me.  It adds a brightness to the earthy red rooibos and a nice counterpoint to the cool peppermint.

This is a great naturally caffeine-free flavor for a day when you need something soothing.  The citrus-mint combination makes this much more complex and enjoyable, with lots mouthfeel sensations from the sharp citrus, cool mint, and sour rooibos.  This is a great all-purpose blend to brighten a grey day or help bring some cooling inspiration to a busy day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
Description:

Peppermint Rooibos makes a deep red infusion with a smooth, rich mouthfeel and fresh minty sweetness that underlines the finer points of peppermint. The slightest touch of bergamot harmonizes these herbs, highlighting the soothing aroma of peppermint with the sweet and silky character of rooibos.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!