VariaTea’s Thoughts on Alice in Wonderland from First Edition Tea Co. . . .

I love teas inspired by pop culture and media. Fandom teas are a thing of beauty because they can take flavors that may not be otherwise appealing and make them all the more interesting by naming them for a beloved book or tv show. This tea, for instance, is not one I would ever buy myself since I don’t usually love marzipan and I am indifferent to rose, but name it after a classic book like Alice and Wonderland and you got me signed up for a taste. Perhaps I am easily sold by a gimmick but somehow connecting teas to pop culture just makes the experience more exciting.

As far as the tea goes, the smell of marzipan in the dry leaf was incredibly powerful and had me worried that it would take over but in the brewed tea, it is quite balanced. Present and flavorful but not in-your-face. The rooibos imparts a bit of a medicinal taste while the black is almost smokey in flavor. It is a bit astringent but not terribly so, though I will say it gets more bitter as it cools so best to have this hot. The rose is a little more perfumey than I would like (probably since this cup has cooled quite a bit) but also candy-like in its sweetness which compliments the marzipan nicely.

All in all, this was an alright tea. Not my favorite though I did enjoy it more than I expected I would. Like I said, this is not the flavor profile I would normally pick for myself so at the end of the day I am probably not the target audience here. I will be passing this on for the other sisters to try though so hopefully this will be more to their tastes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Rooibos
Where to Buy:  First Edition Tea Co.
Description

It’s always tea time. Indulge with this sweet and floral blend of rooibos and black tea, filled with rose petals. A candy sweet blend that just says “Drink me!”

Ingredients: Rooibos, black tea, papaya, almond pieces, rosehip pieces, rose petals, blackberry leaves, natural flavours. CONTAINS NUTS!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blueberry Lemon Cake from Curiositea. . . . .

When I was in high school, I worked part-time as a barista at Starbucks. Besides the sweet street cred it afforded me (helloooo, frappucino hookups for all my fellow teen friends), there were tons of perks for 16-year-old Mary to enjoy. We’d spend quiet evenings inventing new drinks and sampling pastries for our customers– and by customers, I clearly meant my coworkers & me. (Wait, I mean…)

By far, my favorite thing to sample was the iced lemon poundcake. Dense and sweet, with tart and sticky lemon glaze– mmmm. I can still taste how delicious it was, particularly at 10:30 on a school night as you’re closing up shop. This rooibos blend from Curiositea brings back those same sweet lemon-pound cake-memories from back in the day.

The dry leaf is beautiful, with bright blue cornflowers intermingling with the rooibos. Scented strongly of lemon and red rooibos, this tea brewed up into a fairly strong cup for an herbal. And brewed, it’s tasty! Sweet berry undertones come out a little bit more, along with a light note of pastry to round out the tart lemon. While the red rooibos is a little more noticeable than I’d like, it’s not overwhelming or medicinal in the least. And bonus! I’m pretty this a cup of this has about four thousand calories less than my beloved lemon poundcake from days gone by. Mmmm. Tasty!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Curiositea
Description

This tea doesn’t seem to be available at the moment but click below for the teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chai Sansibar Rooibos from Aromatica Fine Teas. . . . .

Chai Sansibar Rooibos sounds like it came from a far away land, doesn’t it? Chai Sansibar Rooibos from Aromatica Fine Teas is a chai flavored red rooibos tisane.

It’s described on the company’s website as a delightful vanilla rooibos chai. They also mention that its an outstanding alternative when brewed in apple juice or cranberry juice. Now THIS I might have to try in the near future! But first straight-up, stand-alone, as-is, by itself!

Less is more with the ingredients in this one as it only contains Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, red pepper, bruised peppercorns, vanilla. As you can see many of your stereotypical chai spices but paired with a naturally caffeine-free red rooibos base making it ideal for evenings!

I would say that the red rooibos is the primary flavor in this one then you can taste the mishmash of spices followed by the sweet, smooth, and creamy vanilla. Overall I did like this chai alternative but it wouldn’t have been the same if it was missing the vanilla. It’s what seemed to make it all come full circle! YUM!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Aromatica Fine Teas
Description

A delightful vanilla rooibos chai.  Outstanding alternative when brewed in apple juice or cranberry juice.  Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, red pepper, bruised peppercorns, vanilla.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Horchata Rooibos from Old Barrel Tea Co. . . . .

IBack in my single girl days, three important facts prevailed: I lived with one of my bffs (thus, hijinks often ensued), we ate a lot of Mexican food, and we watched a lot– A LOT of Downton Abbey. For the purposes of this story, only the first two are applicable. But still. One night, we were craving tostadas something fierce, so we ordered dinner from our favorite local taqueria. On a whim, we added a to-go order of Horchata to our meal, thinking we’d just get a few cups’ full.

Upon picking up, we were greeted with our brown bag of food… and a literal giant Sno-Cone jug filled with horchata. Well then. Apparently if this was the best way to transport our creamy, spiced beverage home with our tostadas, who were we to say no?

As soon as I sniffed the loose leaf in my bag of Old Barrel’s horchata rooibos, I was immediately transported back to that delicious (and slightly confusing) memory. The dry scent is spot-on creamy vanilla and warm cinnamon. Brewed, it’s even better– absolutely none of the medicinal bitterness that can sometimes accompany a rooibos, and it’s made even more delicious and authentic by the addition of some cream and a touch of honey.

Would I drink a Sno-Cone jug sized cup of this tea? Probably definitely yes. Although I think I’ll just stick to a tea cup for now– but it would taste great with tostadas.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Old Barrel Tea and Spice
Description

Vanilla rooibos with cinnamon.  Delicious with a splash of cream and sugar.  Rooibos is caffeine free but you can try Horchata Oolong if you prefer something caffeinated!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!