Darjeeling Black Currant Tea from Russian Tea Time

russianteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Russian Tea Time

Tea Description:

Unique blend of the finest Dareeling and black teas infused with Black currant aroma. The delicate and flavorful taste of this blend will keep your palate satisfied. Drink and enjoy it hot or Iced, all year around.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

russianteaglassRecently, Russian Tea Time sent me a tea party in a box!  They shared with me their amazing Darjeeling Black Currant Tea that I’m going to review here, plus they sent me this gorgeous tea glass from which to drink the tea and they even sent me yummy, buttery shortbread cookies!  Like I said, a tea party in a box!

What makes this particular tea so unique is that it’s Russian Tea Time’s own, unique blend of Darjeeling and Black teas with black currant essence and currant leaves.  Most tea rooms out there are brewing up tea to serve to their customers.  They usually get that tea from other vendors (nothing wrong with that!) but Russian Tea Time is not just brewing up tea to serve to their customers, they’re brewing up their own blend that they created and serving it up with scrumptious treats.

Since I’m not in Chicago, I can’t visit the Russian Tea Room in person, so I’ll just have to imagine what it might be like as I sit here, sipping on this Darjeeling Black Currant Tea from this gorgeous tea glass that they sent to me.  (They also have some other gorgeous tea cups available in their online shop!)

RussianTeaCuppedSo, I brewed up the tea in my Breville One Touch Tea Maker.  When I opened the tin of Loose Leaf tea – they offer this tea in both Loose Leaf and Sachet form, and since I prefer loose leaf, that’s what I chose to try today – I could see that the tea was a CTC leaf.  It’s not a super-fine chop though.  Because the leaf has been cut, I opted for slightly less time for the steep, and set the timer for 2 minutes.  I measured 2 bamboo scoops into the basket of my tea maker and poured 500ml of tea into the jug.  I set the thermometer for 195°F (my go-to temperature for Darjeeling) and let it steep.

The tea is delicious.  I like the base tea.  I can definitely taste the Darjeeling tea – it has a distinctly crisp taste that’s undeniably “Darjeeling-esque”.  The Russian Tea Room doesn’t go into details about the “black teas” that also comprise the base of this tea.  I definitely taste the Darjeeling, but I am also tasting a more substantial tea in there too.  This tea has that crispness and even a hint of muscatel that I’d expect from a Darjeeling, but there is a thicker texture to the tea too and that’s something that I’ve tasted in only a very few Darjeeling teas.  It’s usually a characteristic that I experience from other black teas.

It’s not an overly astringent tea.  This could also have something to do with the fact that I set the tea to steep for only 2 minutes.  But whatever the reason, I am finding this to be really smooth and easy to drink.

The black currant flavor is a subtle taste – it doesn’t overpower the cup or the black tea.  It adds a pleasant, mild fruit flavor that’s a little grape-like and it melds beautifully with the Darjeeling tea’s natural muscatel notes.  It’s not overly tart, but I do experience a slight tart tingle on my tongue in the aftertaste.

This is a really delightful tea.  It tastes great served hot and I suspect it would be a really excellent iced tea too.  (For the record, the cookies were quite tasty too!)

What a lovely day for tea – thank you Russian Tea Time for the chance to enjoy tea time with you!

Organic Georgetown Peach Black Tea from The Steeping Room

steepingroomTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Steeping Room

Tea Description:  

If you’re looking for a fabulous black peach tea, this is it!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Organic Georgetown Peach Black Tea from The Steeping Room is a very subtly flavored peach tea.  I can still taste the peach, but the black tea is definitely the star of this show.  And … that’s just the way it should be, right?  I’m drinking tea, after all, not peach juice.  I want to taste the tea!

The black tea is a brisk tea.  It is a bit more astringent than I would like, and I think that is what is really keeping me from getting overly excited about this tea.  It tastes alright, but, it’s not the best peach tea I’ve ever encountered.  It is a pleasant tasting tea, though.

The peach flavor is delicate and sweet.  I find that as the tea cools, the peach notes develop a little bit and the astringency seems to soften it’s edge somewhat, making this a nice choice for iced tea and that time of year is here again!

If this tea weren’t so astringent when served hot, I’d be a lot more happy with it.  As it is, it does make a fine choice for iced tea, because as I said, the astringency becomes milder as the tea cools.  There are some things that I really like about it:  I like that it’s organic, and I like that the flavor of the black tea base is the focus of this tea.

Overall, this is alright.

Good Morning Maté from Fusion Tea Room

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté & Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Fusion Tea Room

Product Review:

Rich Argentinean roasted mate is combined with rooibos, cocoa bits, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cloves, cornflower blossoms and flavor to give you a burst of energy without the jitters, that will last the entire day. Enjoy as a latte for a healthier alternative to coffee without sacrificing full, rich flavor.

Taster’s Review:

I have tried a few of the blends from Fusion Tea Room thus far (and there are still quite a few more to try!) and I must say that I have been very impressed.  They certainly have a way with bringing flavors together to create a delicious cup, similar to the way a masterful chef has a way with combining ingredients to create a delicious dish.  True artistry at work when it comes to Fusion Tea Room!

The flavor of this Good Morning Maté is delightful.  The richness and robust character reminds me very much of that morning cup of coffee that I used to enjoy many years ago (and even though I’m much happier with the switch to tea, there are times when I miss that deep, robust flavor of coffee, especially on those sleepy mornings).

The Yerba Maté seems to be the main component of this particular blend, and it is the Maté that provides the aforementioned deep, rich flavor.  There is a pleasant roasted flavor from the Maté, but it isn’t overwhelmingly earthy the way some Yerba Maté tisanes can be.

The cinnamon and cloves enhance the background and every once in a while arrive to the forefront with their warm spice.  But it’s just a touch of spice – certainly not what I would consider a spicy cup.  The chocolate and coconut are also not particularly prominent in this cup – rather this is more like a well-balanced combination of each ingredient which allows each flavor to be represented without being overwhelmed by another.

If there is one ingredient that seems to be lacking in comparison to the rest, it would be the rooibos.  That being said, I do get a distinct rooibos taste in this cup, although it is not strong or what I would consider one of the main flavors in this blend.

This tisane offers a very happy way to wake up with its hints of cocoa and coconut, as well as its deep, rich character and myriad of contemplative flavors.  If I were to offer any complaint about this at all, it would be that I would like for the chocolate to be a little stronger – but then, that’s the chocoholic in me talking.  Otherwise I’m finding this to be a rather exceptional tasting Yerba Maté blend!