Currant Explosion from Simpson and Vail

This tea lives up to its name. There are so many dried berries in the dry leaf it is more like trail mix than tea. Currants and rose hips galore! The blend is jazzed up with little magenta raspberry pieces as well.

The other amazing part of this tea is that it is a fruity herbal blend without hibiscus. Love it, hate it, hibiscus can sometimes be a deal breaker for tea drinkers. Rest easy and brew this berry blend instead.

The tea brews up a golden color and smells like berries and damp grass. The blackberry leaves add a softer foliage flavor beyond the fruitiness. This helps the berries taste more natural, rather than candy-sweet.

The raspberries play a bigger role in the flavor than I expected, their red berry jam flavor coming through first, followed by the deeper tart tones of the currant.

The currant seems like a formal, adult flavor to me, but if you make this tea into a sweetened cold brew it could be the hit of a kids’ summer party. Or keep it straight-laced and drink it hot from a traditional teacup to help ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description: This flavored tisane explodes on your taste buds! The exceptional blend is a huge hit with young and old alike.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Passion Berry Jolt from Tiesta Tea. . . .

With a name like Passion Berry Jolt, I almost expected an electrifying yerba mate tea, but this is a black tea blend from Tiesta Tea.  Don’t worry, it still packs plenty of caffeine to wake you up on those early mornings.

This blend pairs black tea with passion fruit, pineapple, and raspberry.  The juicy raspberry and passionfruit flavors come forward the most, reminiscent of breakfast black tea with breakfast jam on toast.  The pineapple is more noticeable as the tea cools, or on the aftertaste, bright and tropical.

I must applaud this tea for being bold and red-berry without any hibiscus.  There’s a time and a place for that herb, but it gets mixed in to so many tea blends and takes over the flavor, it is refreshing to see a fruity tea without dominant hibiscus.

While there are tropical fruits in this blend, the raspberry keeps the flavor naturally sweet and grounded.  The passionfruit can offer its more subtle tartness, and the pineapple its golden deliciousness. This would make a great tea to experiment blending with sangria or lemonade to compliment or enhance its juicy flavors.

Passion Berry Jolt is one of those super-drinkable all-purpose blends, no need for sugar or milk, and tasty hot or iced.  A great fruity tea to keep in your tea cabinet for any occasion.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tiesta Tea
Description:

Packed with passion fruit and raspberry, this black tea blend gives you a jolt of pineapple energy to keep you charged.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!