Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy
Sweet roasted sloe berries doused in honey and liquid hibiscus, tossed with fresh spearmint and 3-distinct green teas, paired with real pine needles. That’s Mintberry Pine. It’s our limited-edition green tea holiday blend that offers a more complex, subtle taste (as opposed to mint exploding in your mouth with the force of a white hot sun). If you’re a green tea lover, mint lover, berry lover, or all three, this tea is perfect for you. Get it while it’s here!
Learn more about this tea here.
When I saw that M&K’s Tea Company had some really intriguing holiday blends, I decided that I needed (yes, needed) to try them! Fortunately, they understood this need and they offered a Wintertime Tea Sampler! This sampler offers five different teas: Moroccan Mint, Pine Needle Tea, Winterwolf Tea, White Vanilla Peppermint and this Mintberry Pine Green Tea. These samples were all packed into a special sampler package that’s just the right size for stocking stuffers. It’s a handsome package, something that Santa would be proud to give!
Before I received my package, I received a message from Marty (the “M” of M&K’s, I think!) explaining that the Mintberry Pine (and the Pine Needle Tea) are both very subtle teas. He recommended steeping them a little longer than the package directs and to allow plenty of steep room for the leaves (let them steep loose in the teapot instead of using an infuser tool).
To steep, I grabbed my small teapot (4 cup size) and dusted it off – it’s been a while since I’ve used this! I have gotten spoiled with my Breville! I warmed the teapot and poured the contents of the sampler into the teapot and heated 16 ounces of water to 180°F. Then I poured the water into the teapot and let it steep for 3 1/2 minutes. The package suggests 2 – 4 1/2 minutes, but I couldn’t bear to let a green tea steep longer than 3 1/2 minutes. I was willing to sacrifice a little of the mint, berry and pine flavors but I didn’t want a bitter green tea.
Yes, the flavors are a little subtle, but I like that I’m tasting all the elements of this tea and that the green tea doesn’t taste bitter.
I like the subtle flavor of the mint here. I like that I have a crisp, cool minty taste without it tasting like I added a shot of mouthwash to my cup of green tea.
The berry notes add some sweetness and not a lot of tartness (which I was a little apprehensive about because I saw liquid hibiscus up there in the description). There is a light, tingly tart tone that tickles the tongue (try saying that five times fast) in the aftertaste, but that’s to be expected with berry blends. I’m also picking up a delightful honeyed note from the honey roasting process. Nice touch.
The pine needles are the softest flavor component of the three elements in the name of this tea. I do get a very slight, resinous pine note to this that hits the palate right at the start and then it quickly disappears and reappears just after mid-sip, just to remind me that it is there. It’s very faint and it’s something that I think I’d have missed if I didn’t search for it.
However, as I continue to sip, I taste more and more of the pine, and by the time I’m halfway through my second cup of this tea, I’m getting a nice pine note. It never becomes a strong presence, but it certainly is a noticeable presence at this point.
And let us not forget that we’re drinking tea here. There’s a soft, buttery note of green tea. It’s lightly grassy (and I think that the grassy tones accentuate both the pine and the mint notes in a positive way), and it has a nice mouthfeel. It’s not bitter nor is it overly astringent, even though I steeped it longer than I typically would steep a green tea. I think that this could have even gone another 30 seconds to 1 full minute longer without bitterness!
Overall, a very unique blend. Certainly festive and definitely different from the other teas that everyone else is producing out there! Bravo M&K!