Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
About the Southern Boy Tea Line of Iced Tea:
While I thoroughly enjoy crafting a new blend every week for 52teas, and while I realize that my customer base is comprised largely of enlightened individuals who appreciate loose leaf teas, I also know that there are scads more iced tea drinkers out there who have no desire to be bothered with the intricacies of anything that’s not already packaged in a tea bag.
For that reason, we are now launching a new brand, Southern Boy Teas, devoted entirely to premium iced teas in tea bags. Someday, we would like to be the Jones Soda of iced tea, offering truly unique flavors and premium teas. To begin, we’ve created eight blends of unique and amazing teas, all crafted with the finest ingredients we could find.
Learn more about Southern Boy Iced Teas here.
I ordered one of each of the new flavors to the Southern Boy Teas line, except for this one. This one I ordered two, because I wanted to experiment with hot-brewing vs. cold-brewing, and as this was one of my very favorite flavors from 52Teas, I knew I wouldn’t mind tasting this one twice!
The first time I brewed it, I brewed it hot, using a quart of boiling water, and steeping for 3 minutes. I then removed the teabag, poured the hot tea into my pitcher, and added another quart of fresh water, and chilled it overnight. The next day, I had a pitcher full of delicious iced tea that was refreshing and tasted almost like the Rainbow Sherbet tea from last year. Almost… but not quite. The original was definitely much more memorable … but I wasn’t disappointed, because this was still very good, and it got me to wondering how good the cold-brewed batch would be.
Cold-brewing is even simpler than hot-brewing with this tea, because 52Teas put them into large tea bags. These tea bags are very roomy – lots of space for the tea to expand so there’s no worry about loss of flavor. I dropped the teabag into my new glass iced tea pitcher and added 2 quarts of freshly filtered water, sealed the lid and stashed it in the refrigerator overnight.
The result: PURE awesomeness! THIS is the Rainbow Sherbet tea I remember from last year. Sweet and fruity, with a touch of creaminess… just as if I had dropped a scoop of rainbow sherbet into my tea and it melted.
Seriously, iced tea doesn’t get much better than this!
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Culinary Teas
Rooibos is also known as Red Bush or Red Tea. Sean O’Malley! I know you only drink black tea with shamrock cookies – but this herbal tea is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Fruity with sweet notes, a secret flavoring gives this Rooibos a sweet amaretto like taste.
Learn more about this tisane here.
I brewed this tisane knowing only that it was called “Rainbow Rooibos” so I brewed it the way I would normally brew rooibos – with boiling water for 10 minutes. I didn’t know what the flavor had in store for me.
With my first sip, I could taste a almond-y kind of flavor, with a hint of fruit in the background. Then when I read the description and saw that it had a “sweet amaretto” taste … I like it when my taste buds are on target like that!
The almond notes mingle with the natural nutty tones of the rooibos quite well, and the two flavors together offer a very rich – almost creamy! – taste. My palate discerned the nut flavors first, and then discovered the fruit tones.
The fruit notes are slightly more delicate, but they linger through to the aftertaste, and even become a little more distinct in the aftertaste. Through the sip, it tastes more like a “neutral” fruit, but, in the aftertaste, there is a luscious apricot note. Delicious!
This is really good served either hot or cold, but with the warm months ahead I think right now is the time to be brewing up a big batch of this and putting it on ice! It’s very refreshing and deliciously sweet; something that I think the kids as well as adults would enjoy.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Green Tea Lovers
A luxury Jasmine green tea with cornflower, safflower, osmanthus, calendula and sunflower petals. The cup is a heavenly mixture of sweet floral notes and grassy undertones. A fabulous blend befitting the island that gives it its name.
Learn more about this tea here.
What a lovely Jasmine. This is the kind of jasmine green tea I’d recommend to someone who has had jasmine in the past and has found it disagreeable because the jasmine tones were too strong, verging on the edge of soapy. This jasmine is so gentle and soothing, I think that it could those tea drinker’s beliefs about jasmine tea.
The green tea base is light. It has a sweet overtone and just a hint of grassy taste. It is smooth with a creamy note that melds quite nicely with the floral tones. It is not bitter and there is very little astringency to the cup. A very nice, mild tea to meld with the exotic flavor of jasmine.
As I’ve already indicated, the jasmine notes here are quite gentle. It doesn’t come across as soapy or aggressive, instead it is smooth; a very harmonious match for the creaminess of the green tea base.
The osmanthus flower is probably the next flavor that I notice, and it offers a whisper of peach-like flavor that weaves its way in and out of the sip. Adding a bit of contrast is the sharpness of sunflower. The other flowers – calendula, cornflower and safflower – do not affect the flavor as much as the affect the appearance of the dry leaf, giving it a gorgeous look to match its beautiful flavor.
Overall, a very smooth floral tea, where the jasmine is the most pronounced of the flowers, but it is not so strong that it overpowers the other floral notes. A very nice cup; this is one of those jasmine teas that jasmine lovers as well as those on the fence about jasmine are likely to enjoy.
Back in October (I think?), 52Teas posted in the Steepster Forums asking which teas that “we” Steepsterites would like to see in the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler. I responded that I’d like to see my Tomato, Basil and Black Pepper blend in there (and I would still like that!), and then went on to list some that I thought he’d include as well as some of my favorites.
This tea – today’s tea – happened to be on that list. Yay!
So … for the Fourth Day of Christmas, 52Teas sent to me …
If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews of 52Teas this past summer, you know that they had a couple of iced tea series … and those were great. But NONE of them made as good an iced tea as this. In fact, I think that this may just be my #1 favorite iced tea.
It is also very good hot. It has the flavors of lime, orange and raspberry, as well as a hint – the faintest hint – of vanilla to give it a sense of creaminess. And it tastes as though someone put a scoop of rainbow sherbet in my black tea and let it melt. So incredibly YUM!
Here is the review I wrote for this tea back in August. It is as good now as it was back then!
Ho! Ho! Ho! This is shaping up to be a great 12 Days of Christmas sampler!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
We’ve blended our premium Indian black teas with real freeze-dried orange sections, freeze-dried raspberries and natural lime, orange and raspberry flavors (with just a touch of natural vanilla flavor to give it that smooth sherbet essence).
This tea SMELLS simply INCREDIBLE, like you just popped open a carton of rainbow sherbet, and the flavor is like someone melted a scoop of rainbow sherbet in your tea. Lime, orange, raspberry–who knew such an unusual combination would prove to be so delicious?
The moment I tore open the pouch of this tea, I was blown away! This smells AMAZING! Not like amazing, but Ahhhh-MAZ-ing! But, I must disagree with the above description about the aroma, because this smells way better than any rainbow sherbet I’ve ever opened. It smells like rainbow sherbet times 10!
And it tastes as incredible as it smells. I brewed my first cup of this to drink hot, because I generally taste all teas hot first. Then I brewed a pitcher full of it to enjoy for iced tea the next day. And as stunning as it is hot, I like this one better iced – it is so refreshing and delicious.
Everything is in pleasing harmony with this tea. The combination of black teas (52Teas uses a blend of Nilgiri and Assam as their base) is strong and delicious; it melds well with the fruit flavors.
The fruit flavors are very well balanced: while I can taste notes of raspberry, lime and orange, they aren’t too aggressive and they do not attempt to overpower each other. The raspberry is sweet with a berry tartness, the lime is citrus-y sour, and the orange is sweet and juicy. YUM!
The vanilla note is very slight here, it is more of a slight creaminess and sweetness rather than a strong vanilla essence, and it does give the overall cup a sherbet/dessert-y kind of taste.
This is definitely another winner from 52Teas. I absolutely LOVE this one!