Gingerbread Man from BRUU Tea. . . .

 

Continuing with my apparent disregard for the non-holiday season (remember when I sipped on a Chanukah-themed tea in March?), I grabbed this sample out of my stash for our nightly tea lattes the other day. Skeptical as I was, as I usually am with red rooibos, both my fiancé (fellow nighttime tea lover) and I couldn’t get enough of this one.

All the goodness of red rooibos with none of the medicinal ick, this one is like a woodsy-orange, with hints of custard and pink peppercorn spice. Rather than a creamsicle-esque orange, this one is a bit more reminiscent of a holiday orange, dotted with cloves, smothered in warm custard cream. Mmm. Am I making anyone else as hungry as I’m making myself right now? No? Moving on.

Would I necessarily harken these flavors to a gingerbread man? Probably not. Would I sip this one nightly, regardless of name or closest holiday (I’m pretty sure this one isn’t meant to be sipped on the 4th of July, but I say it matters not)? Yes and yes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  BRUU Tea
Description

This tea was part of a monthly tea subscription box.  Click below for more info.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coastal Wonderland from Beach House Teas. . .

 

Keeping up with my birthday trend today, I thought it would be fun to share a review one of my Sisters wrote about a newer company to The SororiTea Sisters. . Beach House Teas.

Beach House Teas is a company based and founded on the love for sourcing locally and from those locally sourced items-creating amazing artisan small batch teas.  To learn more about their story click here or read the review below.  The love they have for the teas they create is noticeable in every delicious sip you take.    ~CuppaGeek

 

Some teas make you want to curl up under a blanket. Some teas demand that you ice them and serve them, punch-style, at a rockin’ summer pool party. Some teas totally defy all sense of place, bucking tradition left and right. This tea is totally one of them.

When I think of a winter tea, I think cozy. I think ‘best served with milk and sugar, adding to those five extra pounds of necessary winter padding’. I think of snow, and cold. I definitely don’t think of the coast.

And yet! This tea is not only the perfect winter cuppa, what with its hearty red rooibos and spicy cinnamon– but it’s just as fresh and fruity as it is warm and comforting. Boasting bright flavors like orange peel, juniper berries, cranberries, and hibiscus, this tea’s got it all. It does taste predominantly of red rooibos to me, but that stereotypical medicinal taste is well-tempered by the additions to the point that I can’t even really tell it’s there.

This tea was naturally sweet from the stevia leaf in the dry mix, and does best served just as it is. I will say that for as unique and tasty as this tea was, I almost wished for more of those interesting and uniquely blended flavors to come through. But for a tea that defies all stereotypical seasonal tropes, it’s worthy of a sip for sure. And it’ll be in equally good company with your Santa hat as it will your beach ball!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Beach House Teas
Description

This limited edition holiday blend, Coastal Wonderland is 100% organic loose leaf artisan tea. It captures the sweet flavor and rich crimson color of local Long Beach Washington Peninsula cranberries and blended with red rooibos, juniper berries, and orange peels to bring you in the holiday spirit. With undertones of chickory and hibiscus and a kick of cinnamon, you’ll be surprised by the smooth and calming twist of chamomile.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Coconut Honeybush-Rooibos Blends from 52Teas

When I first discovered 52Teas I got a sampler pack and among it was a Strawberry Pie Honeybush blend. I instantly fell in love. Something about the way 52Teas does strawberry honeybush is just so right. So, when I saw this blend in the teas CuppaGeek sent my way, I was really intrigued.

As per 52Teas recommendations, I brewed this low and slow and let it cool before giving it a taste. With the very first sip, I was taking a trip down memory lane. The familiar strawberry honeybush deliciousness was back. Sweet but sharp and true to the delightful berry. But what’s that? A creaminess? Must be the coconut. All of this floating on the rooibos-honeybush base that provides a solid foundation for the flavors to stand on.

This tea is sweet, but not too sweet and the perfect to end off the evening. Though if you are in the mood for something a little sweeter, this also makes for an awesome tea smoothie. I blended this up with some frozen strawberries and bananas, a little chocolate pudding, some milk, and two teaspoons of a banana, bourbon & vanilla bean jam from a local jam shop, Kitten and the Bear. It’s a mason jar full of liquid dessert. The coconut helps elevate the overall creaminess of the blend and mixes perfectly with the vanilla bean of the jam. The strawberry, just as it was in the hot cup of tea, is the true star here though. Juicy and ripe and dipped in milk chocolate is the berry flavor the smoothie is highlighting. Amazing!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: 52Teas
52teas3_1430856114__73092Description

I had originally planned for this to be just a honeybush blend – but when I got to my tea studio, I realized that I didn’t have enough honeybush in stock so it became a honeybush-rooibos blend. I actually think I like it better as a blend because I really like how honeybush and rooibos complement each other. They seem to bring out the best in each other!

So here is a naturally caffeine free blend of organic honeybush and rooibos – together they create a sweet, nutty, slightly honeyed tasting base to support the flavors of a sweet-tart strawberry and creamy, delectable coconut. The brewed tea is sweet, smooth and delicious with a finish that’s offers a tingly berry tartness – evoking thoughts of fresh berries!

Taster size is approximately 1/2 ounce

organic ingredients: honeybush, rooibos, coconut, freeze-dried strawberries and natural flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rooibos Mango from Adagio Teas

I was lucky to receive a fairly large sample of this tea. That meant I could try it a whole variety of ways. I landed on three different brew methods: a standard hot cup of tea, a cold brew, and a teapop. It was fun to drink them all side-by-side to see just how different each one was.

The hot cup worked as my control sample, since it is the method that follows Adagio’s suggested brewing parameters of steeping 1 tsp/cup for 5 minutes in boiling water. This is how I believe Adagio intends their tea to taste and thus it was the logical place to start off with my sampling. The tea brewed up a dark amber and had a full, rounded mouthfeel. With that comes some nice honey notes from the rooibos base and just a subtle hint of mango sweetness. Unfortunately the mango flavor dissipates as it cools so this is best drank when hotter, something I don’t usually find with other teas.

The cold brew I set up last night, leaving the tea to sit in the fridge overnight (approximately 12 hours). Since the tea is never actually heated, different flavors tend to come out when using this method. Normally I find that with rooibos and honeybush blends, cold brewing tames the base, leaving the flavor to stand out more than it would in the hot tea. This cold brew didn’t really work out that way. It is honestly quite bland. It’s predominantly water with some sweet/wood at the end of the sip. The aftertaste is just a generic sweetness that lingers after the drink is done. Definitely not as good as the hot cup and really not that good in general. So cold brewing this tea is not something I would recommend.

Finally, we have the teapop. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is when you brew your tea really strong, ice it, and then top it up with a carbonated beverage to make the tea more like a soda. I topped this tea up with Nestle Purelife’s Mango, Peach & Pineapple Sparkling Water. I figured that would help highlight the mango of the tea itself. The end result is a pretty juicy teapop. The mango is really drawn out more and tends to take center stage while also mixing nicely with the other flavors of the water. I should mention there is a little bit of an artificial sweetener component to this, though that is a result of the sparkling water and not something the tea is contributing. The whole thing is bright and refreshing and has a distinctly tropical vibe that is interestingly juxtaposed with the cold and rainy weather outside. However, I think that tropical element may be more from the sparkling water than the tea itself. Nonetheless, I do think the tea is contributing to it all and elevating it just a teensy bit.

All in all, this tea is simple but nice. It isn’t an in-your-face/”WOW!” sort of flavor but I don’t think it is trying to be. Plus, sometimes its nice to have something more subtle and relaxed. Of the methods I tried, the teapop was probably my preferred but the hot cup was pleasant as well. As I said before, cold brewing is a method I would stay away from because I think the flavors of this tea are just too faint to really stand out when prepped in that way. Still, if you are looking for a more plain tea to have every now and then when you just want something tame, this isn’t a bad one to have around.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
downloadDescription

A lush, fruity and mellow cup of caffeine free goodness. The tropical aroma pairs perfectly with the naturally sweet organic rooibos. Delicate deep fruity notes from the rooibos, against the creamy texture and floral nose of the mango. Juicy and soft, dry finish. A lovely tropical escape any time of day, or season!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!