Red Hot Hibiscus from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co. . . . via Sipsby Box

Happy Monday morning tea friends! Hope your weekend was a great one. Mine was mainly because my Sipsby Box arrived for February.  I’ve been a subscriber to Sipsby for sometime and I have to say, their selections just keep getting better. This month I only received one tea that I know I won’t be able to drink and that is mainly due to medical reasons.  I was super happy to see one of my favorite tea companies in my box, The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

If you haven’t had tea from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co, I encourage you to check them out. Flavored and Straight Tea drinkers alike can find delicious offerings.  This particular blend, Red Hot Hibiscus, was the perfect way to enjoy some subtle Valentine vibes before the big day later this week.  Consisting of organic cinnamon, hibiscus, and orange peel, this blend had my name written all over it.

I brewed up with water prep at boiling and allowed to steep for about 5 minutes and cooled for an additional 4.  I was slightly nervous this tea would deliver a super tart punch first sip in, but that wasn’t the case at all. The main flavor that really comes across is the cinnamon and this cinnamon isn’t overly spiced.  Just a delicious solid flavor. The tartness from the hibiscus and citrus notes from the orange peel really pull together and mingle gorgeously with the cinnamon, providing you almost with this sweetly spiced orange punch tone.   A delicious evening treat and a nice change of pace from the traditional chamomile evening blends I usually enjoy.

Overall, an incredibly delicious herbal that is simple and to the point.   I ended up drinking my entire pouch of this tea in one night and sadly wish I had saved some to try as a cold brew.  Nevertheless, this blend reminds me just how much I do enjoy The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co and appreciate my Sipsby Box.

Can’t wait to dig into the other goodies I received later today!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.
Description

Sweet cinnamon and tart hibiscus are blended to a perfect balance. Orange zest provides a fruity background. This tea is fantastic hot or iced and actually deserves extra steep time for its full flavor to shine!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lava Licorice Spice from St Fiacres Farm. . .

I’ll start off by saying this. Lava Licorice Spice surprised me. Normally, licorice root is one of my no-go ingredients. I don’t like it, it usually comes off as sickly-sweet to me and I can’t drink it. However, this tea from St. Fiacre’s farm is unlike any other licorice tea I’ve ever had.

I steeped this one up hot, for about five minutes. It did have a sweet taste, but it wasn’t overpowering. The licorice root doesn’t sit at the back of your throat as it sometimes does with similar teas. The oolong, licorice and ginger come together to round out this unique blend that is really pleasant overall. This isn’t one that I feel the need to stock up on, but if you like spicy teas, this could be a good choice for you. It is worth noting that this tea is a little dry, and not everyone will enjoy that mouthfeel.

Nonetheless, if you’re a spicy tea lover or a licorice hater, I encourage you to try this. It was unexpectedly good. Teas from this company are also all natural, organic and hand-blended. I could tell that everything from the packaging to the tea itself that it was crafted with care.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  St Fiacres Farm
Description

Licorice Spice and everything nice! This black tea is paired with our Herbal La Pine Licorice tea for those who are looking for the extra kick that black tea has to offer. Perfect for sipping on a cold winter day and naturally sweet from the licorice root. Paired with lovely spices such as fennel, clover, ginger, cinnamon and anise this yummy tea uses only 100% organic ingredients. Take to the mountains with this bold warming tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Winter Spice / Tease Tea

Whole Star Anise!

What a surprise it was to open the 30g pouch and find that!

It makes it a bit more festive. The dry aroma is faint. Somewhat creamy, spicy, and nutty. My first cup of this was a bland mess but I didn’t want to give up. It’s a unique tea blend; slight creaminess hinted once the tea enters your mouth which turns into a peculiar spicy flavor; which I’m assuming comes from the ginger and the cinnamon. Calming is generally not a descriptor I use when talking about black tea, however, with the chamomile this tea has a nice calming effect.

Everything in this tea blends well together and yet I’m finding myself somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps because they say spice in the name I expected more kick. The first cup was steeped between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes so the next cupping was upped to 5 minutes. I’m currently on a third cup also brewing 5 minutes but adding a 1/2 tsp more of tea. The first taste at 5 minutes was the same as the second cup so the brewing time was upped to 7 minutes. Unfortunately, this removed the creaminess and the spices seemed to have disappeared altogether. The tannins have taken over a bit more and there is a definite astringency in the after taste.

Overall, a nice blend but one that needs at least 4 minutes for full flavor and is not suggested for those who don’t appreciate a light tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tease Tea
Description:

This festive favourite is back for a limited time! A naturally flavoured black tea featuring notes of cinnamon, spice & everything nice. The perfect way to get into the winter spirit!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Chili from MEM Tea. . . .

To put it simply, I first picked up Red Chili tea from MEM Tea because it involved chocolate.  What can I say, I have a sweet tooth! This black tea blend is made up of a healthy dose of cacao shells, and smelled so lush and sweet in the tin I had to try it.

When I got the tea home, I really began to notice how beautiful and enticing the loose leaf looked: with shiny, blood-red ancho pepper skins, pale pepper seeds, the warm sienna tones of the cacao shells, and the dark, twisty black tea leaves.  As you might know, I’m a fan of chai teas, so I love to see lots of variety in color and shape in my blends. Red Chili is another great entry into the spicy black tea category on my shelf.

Brewed, this tea is sweet and decadent on its own, no sugar or milk required.  There are surprising amounts of both creamy vanilla and deep chocolate, all wrapped up with a warming buzz of hot pepper heat at the end of each sip. This is a great blend if you enjoy mexican-style hot chocolate, both creamy and spicy all at once.

Despite the hot pepper notes, this is very much a dessert tea, and I would recommend it even to those tea lovers who aren’t too excited about spice.  I find myself gravitating towards Red Chili tea after a meal when I want a little something devilish and sweet. It is a delicious blend for any chocolate and tea lover.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  MEM Tea
Description:

This beverage is smooth, creamy, and well-balanced with a pleasantly lingering heat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Day 7-Day 18-Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar Countdown. . Spoilers!

I’ve missed a few days here and there posting my thoughts on the Plum Deluxe’s Tea Advent Calendar and thought I’d do a quick summary of the last few days. . .

Day 7- Honey Dust- This is an example of some of the goodies that are tea related that you can find in the countdown.  I’m not a huge fan of adding sugar to my teas and typically don’t use honey except for on biscuits but I’m sure I’ll find the right tea to try this lovely delight on here in the upcoming weeks. Not necessarily something I would personally pick up myself, but its cool that I’m able to try the honey dust.

Day 8- Chocolate Hazelnut Chai Tea- This black and honeybush based tea was delicious! I loved the nutty and chocolate notes way more than I thought.  This is one of those teas that I didn’t think I would like but wanted something with a hint of spice so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Really delicious and another example of a chai tea that doesn’t go overboard on the spice which I really appreciate it.  Big fan of this one and would be a tea I would like to have more of for sure, especially with the cold winter months still ahead of us here in the Midwest.

Day 9- Gratitude Blend Black Tea- This black tea based earl grey tea sounds amazing but I am not a fan of earl grey and actually have trouble even drinking earl grey teas. I’ll be passing this tea along to someone I know will love it.

Day 10- Snowman Ornament- This little ornament is very charming and would be a great addition to a desk size tree or one of the miniature trees.  I have a feeling I’ll throw this guy onto a bow to dress up a package for the holidays.

Day 11- Snowy Mountain Black Tea- Black Tea, Orange Peel, Chestnut and Vanilla flavors. . .if that doesn’t scream holiday flavors, I don’t know what does.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried this tea just yet only because I wanted to enjoy this tea with my dad on Christmas.  I thought I’d whip us up some Snowy Mountain Black Tea Lattes while we watch the kiddos open presents. I can just tell this blend is going to be a winner.

Day 12- Nice Vanilla Spice Herbal Tea- I’m literally finishing up this sample right now.  If this tea isn’t available on the Plum Deluxe site, then I’m going to beg Plum Deluxe to blend me up a ton of this herbal.  Ginger root, cinnamon chips, fennel seeds, and vanilla extract.  This tea doesn’t look like a whole lot but wow this tea is as soul soothing as you can find.  Wonderful crisp ginger marries perfectly with the sweet cinnamon and the fennel and vanilla add to that lovely playful taste.  This is one of those mugs you just wrap your hands around and sit back.  Absolutely perfect!

Day 13- Reading Nook Blend Black Tea- I have a confession to make. I am one of those tea drinkers that dislikes lavender. . .a lot.  I actually blend up my own teas and do  have a lemon lavender tea that I adore but that is literally the only lavender tea I’ve ever liked.  This blend looks to have a lot of lavender in it so I’m going to pass this tea along to someone that will thoroughly enjoy it.

Day 14- Caramelized Mango Black Tea- I’m bummed. This tea sounds amazing but I see the second ingredient is Red Rooibos.  I wish honeybush had been used, but alas, I can’t complain.  Unfortunately red rooibos and I do not get along so I will be passing this tea off to one of my Sisters who I think will love this blend.

Day 15- Slowly Unwind Herbal Tea- Wow, this tea is amazing! Sweet, fruity, with a hint of floral and earthiness. . . I don’t know why I’ve been digging herbals so much lately but this one is another stellar example of an herbal tea done right.  You’ve got your honeybush base which gives this sweetness almost vanilla touch, berries which provides a bit of a tartness with the familiar berry flavor, and you’ve got your rose which gives you that elegant floral touch.  I actually added in more rose petals because I just love rose petals that much and wanted to really kick this tea up.  Really delicious and really comforting during this busy season.

Day 16 (posted earlier this week)

Day 17- Creme Brulee Grey Black Tea- Again, another wah wah moment for me.  I know I mentioned this earlier but  I’m not a fan of earl grey and actually have trouble drinking teas that have Bergamot Oil, so this tea is another blend not for me but again I know just the right person who I think will dig this blend way more than me.

Day 18- Lift Your Spirit Black Tea- I’m one of those tea drinkers that smell the blend before they brew the tea up.  Thank goodness because I didn’t fully read the label on this blend and unfortunately for me, I see red rooibos in the ingredient list and can totally pick up on that red rooibos aroma just from the dry leaf.  I know I should probably just be a big girl and try it, but I’ve had several red rooibos blends including a few Plum Deluxe and I just know for a fact that I won’t care for this blend.  Instead of wasting the tea, I’d rather send along to someone who I know will enjoy it.

Here’s hoping that Days 19-25 contain some amazing goodies for me!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Advent Calendar
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!