Tea and Toast from Bird and Blend Tea. . . .

Bluebird Tea went through a name change and now they are Bird and Blend Tea.  Regardless of the name, they are still making delicious tea flavors.

Recently I tried a new summer blend called Tea and Toast.  This is a black tea with raspberry jam notes. I’ve been enjoying this tea as my summertime breakfast brew, hot or iced depending in the morning temperature.

The black tea is robust and balanced, very much the backbone of this blend. The raspberry is very fragrant in the dry leaf but mellows out slightly in the brew. The blend also includes raspberry pieces and the ever-polarizing hibiscus petals. The hibiscus is used sparingly, and adds just enough juiciness to help the raspberry pop with sweet and tart red berry flavor.

This is a delightful way to spice up you daily breakfast brew. The raspberries taste like summer, but don’t overpower the familiar traditional black tea base. Tea and Toast blend feels as delectable as trying a new flavor of jam on your breakfast toast or in your favorite PB&J. Get a sweet, fresh take in your morning brew this summer before this blend retires at the end of the season.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend Tea
Description: Traditional English breakfast tea with sweet raspberry jam!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ten Flavors of Kombucha from GT’s Living Foods

Kombucha appears to be all the rage right now, with stores stocking more companies and flavors than I’ve ever noticed before, even outside the shelves of my local health food store.  What is kombucha?  Kombucha is fermented black tea.  The fermentation process gives the brew carbonation and bacteria, the good kind of bacteria like in yogurt, which helps the digestive system.  Due to the fermentation process, some kombuchas are contain alcohol, and others have gone through processes to filter out this excess alcohol and make it safer for those who don’t partake.  Check on the alcohol content of the next bottle of kombucha that you pick up to make sure it’s at a level you prefer.

My favorite Kombucha brand at the moment is GT’s Living Foods, specifically their Enlightened and Synergy series.  These teas come in heavy glass bottles with well-designed labels, and those with a white cap contain only trace amounts of alcohol.  Not to mention, these teas are available in seemingly every flavor imaginable.  Each time I find a store that stock’s GT’s Kombucha, I find a new flavor I haven’t seen before.

The best flavor I’ve tasted is their Synergy Trilogy flavor, which I see most often on the shelves.  Trilogy features a trio of fruits and spices, blending raspberries, lemon, and ginger with the bubbly black tea base.  This is the perfect balance of sweet and tart that compliments the sour bite of the fermented tea. The fizziness makes this feel like a sweet treat, but it has far less sugar than a can of soda, and more natural ingredients.  With black tea, bubbles, and that perfect touch of tartness, this kombucha always makes me feel like celebrating.  I can’t speak to how the good bacteria has helped my stomach, as I haven’t noticed a drastic change, but drinking the tea does do wonders for my morale.

Some of the other flavors I’ve had an opportunity try include:

  1. Trilogy – I’ve already waxed poetic about this flavor, see above.
  2. Gingerade – Less fruity, with more lemon and a spicier ginger kick, a great flavor for fans of ginger beer soda.
  3. Limited Edition Liberty – This blend came out for 4th of July, and features a blend of watermelon, cherry, and lime.  It’s a fun limited edition, but the fruit is a bit too delicate to hold up against the bold tea base.  I think it would have been better with a stronger lime-ade presence.
  4. Guava Goddess – Tasty, tropical, and pink, this was one of the sweeter blends available with the guava powering through the black tea base.
  5. Gingerberry – Very similar to the Trilogy flavor, but slightly sweeter with blueberry instead of raspberry, and still a hint of ginger spice.
  6. Cosmic Cranberry – The tartness of the cranberries work well with the sour tea base.  It’s similar to the Trilogy flavor but with more tart zing.
  7. Multi-Green – Surprisingly nutty and not too grassy at all. Much more savory than the other flavors.  Definitely an acquired taste.
  8. Lavender Love – The brew is almost purple in color from all the lavender. The soft, fragrant florals dance over the top of the sweet/sour tea.
  9. Lemonade – Most of the blends feature some lemon notes, but this blend is all-lemon, the sour citrus pairing perfectly with the tart tea.
  10. Mystic Mango – This blend is bright and opaque, full of fresh mango fruitiness.  This is like a kicked-up orangina, with hearty sweetness and a burst of bubbles.

Even looking at their website now, I see additional flavors I’m intrigued to try.  They even have a whole chia-seed series I haven’t seen before.  I’ll have to keep an eye out at my local stores.

If you’re intimidated by the idea of kombucha, give one of GT’s Living Foods many delectable flavors a try and see what new avenues of tea await you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: GT’s Living Foods (or at your local grocery/health food store)
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

RYCBAR by Fandom Teas. . . .

I’m a Doctor Who fan and, even with the information that this is an “impossible girl” inspired tea, it still took me several seconds to figure out what the name of this blend meant. Maybe my brain was just really slow today? Hopefully you can figure it out faster. 😉

I steeped two teaspoons of this tea in ten ounces of 175-degree water for three minutes.

While steeping, it starts smelling fruity right away. This is a flavored tea (raspberry-pomegranate flavored) and the tea liquid is much darker than an unflavored green tea would. That might be from the raspberry, although it’s not really pink; it’s a sort of clear and handsome brown color with a reddish tinge.

First sip: It’s definitely fruity and sweet. Pomegranate and raspberry are both quite tart fruits, but the tartness isn’t coming through too strongly here, although yes, there is quite a bit of astringency. The fruity flavors complement each other well, and the green tea base sings backup; I’m hard put to it to distinguish its flavor components separately, yet I can still tell it’s there.

With sugar: Sweeter, of course. But surprisingly, I can taste the green tea base a bit more now. The sugar tames the astringency but doesn’t really bring out the fruity flavors like I hoped/assumed it would.

I bet this one would be great as iced tea too, but wouldn’t want to try milk with it because it might be too acidic for that.

All in all a fun tea, and one that I’d like to try iced (or as cold-brew) if I ever have the chance to try it again!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Fandom Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sunset in Seattle from Market Spice. . . . .

Wow! This tea is so cool tasting. It tastes like cream soda. Ingredients include rosehips, vanilla, chamomile, spearmint, raspberry, lemon grass, hyssop and herbs. This blend is very soothing, and very mellow. The taste is so unique and interesting. I want to keep taking another sip because there is just so much going on and I want to keep trying to figure it out. I can see why this tea has won awards and is a “fan favorite” at Market Spice

The first thing I noticed was that it smelled really sweet, so I skipped the agave (this is happening a lot lately! So unusual for me). I’m glad I went without sweetener because naturally it is already sweet enough. The second thing I noticed was vanilla and herbal flavor- spearmint, chamomile, and lemongrass. I could taste the raspberry at the end- but it really just added extra sweetness and nothing tart, which is great in my opinion because I don’t like tart. When I saw spearmint and lemongrass in the ingredients, I got nervous because I really dislike anything minty or lemony. I found that these ingredients were not overpowering and I quite enjoyed the little symphony they created, even if I don’t generally enjoy them on their own.

One thing I would like to mention- as a breastfeeding mother I am apparently not supposed to ingest the herb “hyssop”. It also shouldn’t be ingested if you are on any kinds of medications, like antidepressants. I realized this after I had finished about half the mug. Once I read the warnings on a few different medical sites, I dumped the remaining tea (sadly, because I really wanted to drink it). Please check with your doctor (or at least google interactions) before ingesting any herbs, it can be really dangerous. However- if you aren’t breastfeeding, pregnant, or on medications- go ahead and enjoy! This blend is dang good!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Market Spice
Description

One of our sweetest and most popular herbal teas, Sunset in Seattle is a blend utilizing a myriad of herbs that are soothing and mellow. Ingredients: Rosehips, Vanilla, Chamomile, Spearmint, Raspberry, Lemon Grass, Hyssop and herbs. Contains no sugar and is caffeine free.
This tea is a 3rd place winner in the North American Tea Championship for Flavored Herbal Blends category.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Matcha from Tea’s Me

There were a few days recently where winter temperatures let up and I was able to go out in the sun with fewer layers and coats. Sunny days like that really put you in the mind for spring. When the weather gets warmer, I trade in my hot morning cup of black tea for a refreshing cup of iced matcha green tea.

Matcha teas come in powdered form and can be used in milk for frothy lattes, in smoothies for a healthy boost, or whisked in a bowl for a traditional style.  Raspberry matcha from Tea’s Me Company is pre-sweetened with cane sugar and real fruit flavors, and is the perfect matcha for desserts, lattes, and smoothies. Even with the included sugar, the tea is not too candy-like, and it stays true to form, truly tasting like fresh raspberries. There’s not much in the way of green, grassy matcha in this tea, the green tea stays in the background and lets the raspberry take the lead.
If you’re looking for a traditional matcha experience, this may be too sweet for you, but if you’re in the mood for something refreshing and berry-sweet, it will be a great tea to try. I drank this, shaken, with just iced water, but it could easily be made into a dessert with milk and raspberry syrup. Or this would add a sweet, fruity kick to a morning smoothie or shake. I’ve seen a lot of vanilla or chocolate flavored matchas, but raspberry is a bit harder to come by.  It makes Raspberry Matcha from Tea’s Me Company a nice sunny-day treat!

 

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: matcha green tea powder
Where to Buy: Tea’s Me
Description: Whether you want a boost of energy, refreshing drink or healthy cooking ingredient, Tea’s Me raspberry matcha is here for you. Matcha is one of the healthiest drinks on earth and now boasts an amazing taste. All of our Matcha is sourced from Japan, the birth place of Matcha 500 years ago. Great for cooking, lattes, smoothies and of course tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!