Ginger Twist Herbal Tisane from Sloane Tea

ginger_twistTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This tea is incredibly warming and comforting. A herbal blend that’s both sweet and spicy. Lemongrass gives a dominant , but smooth, citrus flavour. Hints of mint and tropical fruit blend seamlessly, making individual ingredients subtle to detect. The sweet comforts of the liquorice root coat the throat and help the flavours of the tea linger.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I admit that I entered into my experience with this Ginger Twist Herbal Tisane from Sloane Tea with a little bit of intrepidation because I had heard from a friend of mine who is also an Amoda Tea subscriber that she was a little less than thrilled with this tea.  And after reading the ingredient list, yeah, I was a little nervous about this one.

What’s In It:  Lemongrass, mint, ginger, ginseng, licorice root, apple, papaya, citrus peel, cornflower petals, natural flavour.

Lemongrass, mint, ginger?  OK.  Ginseng … ugh.  Licorice root – in most cases, I’d be enthusiastic about it, but it’s been my experience when ginseng and licorice root are blended together the result is a flavor that … evokes thoughts of dirty socks.  The rest of the flavors seemed OK to me.  It’s the ginseng with the licorice root that was causing my anxiety about this blend.

But, despite my intrepidation, the tea beckoned to me to try it and since my friend was asking for suggestions on how best to brew and serve this tea, I figured I needed to try it.

What’s the worst that could happen?  Since I’m not allergic to any of the ingredients, an allergic reaction isn’t the worst thing that could happen and I trusted Amoda Tea not to send me poison so I didn’t fear for my life if I were to drink this tea.  I surmised that the worst thing that could happen is that I hate this and after I take a sip or two, I unceremoniously dump the rest of it down the drain.

So I brewed it.  I decided to go with a ‘light’ brew and only steeped it for 6 minutes rather than my usual 8 – 10 minutes for a non-hibiscus tisane.  Then I let it cool for a few minutes and took my first sip.

Here goes…

This isn’t horrible.  As suggested by Amoda in the above description, it is a warming drink.  The ginger is the strongest component to the cup and the peppery warmth of the ginger is accentuated by the snappy flavor of the licorice root.

Fortunately, it doesn’t taste of dirty socks.  Or what I think dirty socks might taste like if I were to brew them.  This is not something that really appeals to me so I’ve never actually attempted to brew my socks.  Plus, I usually wear wool socks and if I were to put them in boiling water, the wool might fuse.

The lemongrass and mint are very subtle to the point where it’s really difficult to identify them in the sip.  If I had been given this brewed tisane blindly – not knowing what was in it – and then asked what I ingredients I thought were in it based on what I was tasting, I don’t know that I would immediately pick up on the lemongrass and the mint.  I would definitely pick up on the ginger and the licorice.  I wouldn’t notice the apple or papaya, nor would I immediately notice the citrus peel.

Now that I’m about halfway through the cup, I do notice some light citrus-y tones to this.  I can also taste the faint earthiness of the ginseng, which I find myself wishing wasn’t there.  If I inhale sharply so that a breath of air floats over my palate after I take a sip, I can taste some minty notes, but I don’t actually get much of anything that resembles mint in the sip unless I slurp the sip, and even then, it’s more like a faint hint of mint that could just as easily be mistaken for a faint hint of basil in this tisane.

Overall, I have to say that this isn’t my favorite cuppa from Amoda Tea.  Rarely am I disappointed by a tea from Amoda (they’re my favorite subscription) and I don’t know if I’d say that I find this tea disappointing but rather, I’d say it’s perplexing and not necessarily in a good way.  I think that there are about a hundred other tisanes out there in this great big world of tea that Amoda could have chosen for the box that I would have appreciated more than I have this.

But I guess they can’t all have me jumping for joy, can they?

Jasmine Mist Green Tea from Sloane Tea Company

jasminemistTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

Classic green tea leaves possessing a natural honeyed sweetness blossom with an even sweeter aroma of freshly plucked jasmine.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve had a few questionable jasmine teas lately.  By questionable, I mean jasmine teas that were flavored with jasmine oil instead of scented with jasmine blossoms.  When a tea is flavored with jasmine oil, the result is usually not good.  I’ve tasted a few flavored jasmine teas that turned out alright but for the most part, they’re just far too perfume-y for my liking.

Fortunately, this Jasmine Mist Green Tea from Sloane Tea Company was not flavored with jasmine oil.  Instead, it was scented with jasmine blossoms.  This is the best way to impart jasmine essence onto the tea leaf!

The dry leaf smells like jasmine and it’s a pleasantly strong fragrance.  Not too overwhelming.  I also noticed that there were no jasmine petals in the blend.  This is a sign of a good quality jasmine tea!  The aroma of the brewed tea is a gentle jasmine note with notes of fresh, light green tea.

And that’s what I’m tasting too.  The jasmine note is distinct without tasting of perfume or soap.  It tastes like beautiful, exotic jasmine!  It doesn’t taste like perfume oil that’s been poured over tea leaves and then brewed into a liquid that’s much more suited for bathing than it is for drinking.

The green tea is a sweet, delicately grassy taste.  It’s soft and buttery and complements the lightly sweet, exquisite flavor of jasmine.

In other words, this is the good stuff, folks!  I’m happy that Amoda Tea chose to include this in this month’s box – if for no other reason than to remind me what a good jasmine tea is supposed to taste like!

Thank you, Amoda!

Celebration Medley Rooibos Blend from Sloane Tea Company

CelebMedTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Tea Information:

Sweet spice and delightful seasonal aromas! Meet the perfect tea to get you through the cold months. Warm baking spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg blend seamlessly with citrus and the natural sweetness of apple and rose petals. This is a unique blend destined to become one of your favourites.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I loved how apple-y this smelled when I opened the pouch.  And as it steeped, I was treated to more apple notes – it smelled a bit like apple cider!  YUM!

The apple notes are well-defined as are the spices.  The cinnamon and clove add warmth and I’m getting a hint of “spicy-hot” cinnamon, like someone added a red-hot candy or two to my cup and let it dissolve.  It’s not overly ‘hot’ but there’s just a hint of that candy-like cinnamon-clove-y hot-sweet flavor.

The nutmeg adds earthy and nutty flavors that meld nicely with the rooibos.  The orange is more of a background note, but it adds a tangy, bright taste that is rather pleasant.  The orange note also plays with the red-hot flavor of the cinnamon and clove.

I don’t taste a strong rose note, but every once in a while I get this lovely floral note.  It seems to weave its way in and out, not always making itself obvious or apparent, but this blend wouldn’t be the same without that gentle whisper of rose.

To steep, I used my Kati Tumbler and added 1 1/2 bamboo scoops of tisane to the basket and 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F.  I steeped it for 10 minutes.

I enjoyed this and would be happy to drink it again!  It’s a little spicy-hot, it’s sweet, it’s fruity, and it’s got enough going on with it to keep the palate interested.  It’s a fun and tasty blend!