Pacific Coast Lavender from Winterwoods Tea Company Courtesy of Amoda Tea

Herbal tea can be a great before-bed comfort, especially as the weather gets cooler.  Composed of sweet and savory herbs and naturally caffeine-free, it’s hard to go wrong.  Usually, my one complaint with herbal tea is that the flavor is mild or too delicate, but wow!  Was I proven wrong on this blend!  The lavender is so fresh, fragrant, and plentiful– it all but knocked me over when I first got a whiff of the dry leaf.  This is a tea with simple but powerful ingredients, each one vibrant and visible in the blend.  

The health benefits of these herbs are all the positive usual suspects: lavender and chamomile for relaxation, rose hips for health-boosting vitamin c, and cool, stomach-calming peppermint.  When brewed, the lavender definitely takes the spotlight, lighting up my whole room with its warm, floral scent, and filling my senses when I bring my mug up to my face.  Beneath all the lavender fragrance, the chamomile and peppermint play well together, producing a mellow, grassy, lemon-mint brew.  The rose hips are harder to pick out.  Traditionally, rose hips tend to be strong and sour, more like orange or hibiscus, but in this blend they appear only as a little fruity note at the back of each sip.  

While I might not be in the mood for this tea every night, it definitely comforted me, reminding me of herbal teas I would drink when I was home sick or staying warm on a snowy day.  Not to mention the lavender was out of this world: I have yet to find another lavender tea that can even come close to competing with this one. 

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Making this tea your evening ritual through Fall and Winter can be a great way to help naturally boost your mood if you’re experiencing wet grey days. Lavender can calm emotional stress, peppermint can invigorate your mind and chamomile will help soothe.

This tea is no longer on the site but others from Winterwoods Tea Company are here!

Milky Oolong from ChaTale- A Kickstarter going on now!

milkyoolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: ChaTale

Tea Description:

This debonair drop has all the smooth buttery goodness of an oolong base with a slick creamy aftertaste. 

Support Cha Tea’s Kickstarter campaign here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to start off this review with a comment about the logo and packaging for these teas. They are fantastic! The logo is clean and they use colors that draw you in and are so very attractive.  It is the first thing I noticed about their teas.

ChaTale currently has an active kickstarter campaign running thru December 13. They originate out of the UK and seem to know what they are doing when it comes to tea.  ChaTale will be offering a monthly tea subscription box hoping to steer consumers away from the tea bag and more into loose leaf tea.  That alone makes me happy!

I couldn’t wait to dive into the box and see what fun teas await me.  The first one that caught my eye was the Milk Oolong.  I mean the description alone makes you drool!

Brewed this up like I do my oolongs with water at about 195 deg or so for around 4 minutes. The whole time the tea was steeping, gorgeous vanilla notes were wafting thru the air.  The fragrance almost reminds me of homemade sugar cookies. . . .  and who doesn’t love that smell?

Took my first sip and I am greeted with this amazingly smooth creamy flavor with just a hint of sweetness.  This tea is charming and cozy giving you that feeling that you just want to snuggle up with a good movie or a good book.  So very good and addicting! I’m loving the smooth flavor that delivers from beginning to end of each sip.  You couldn’t ask for a better oolong on a cold rainy day like it is here today.  Rich, creamy, and smooth with a sweetness that really just reminds you of home baked cookies. Yum! Delicious!

I think I need to go back this one on Kickstarter!

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha from 52Teas

MarshmallowTreatTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Another overwhelming fan favorite! 

I’m also a big fan of this tea.  I was one of the lucky ones to get one of the pouches from the first batch which was a blend of Genmaicha plus Genmaicha Uji which is Genmaicha that’s been infused with Matcha.  So, in an effort to recreate that stunning first batch, I blended an Organic Japanese Genmaicha and an organic Japanese Genmaicha with Matcha (Or Genmaicha Uji).  I really prefer it with the Uji, the little bit of Matcha adds a really nice creaminess to the overall cup.

To this, I added marshmallow root and all-natural, organic flavors.  

It’s a cuppa yum!

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to 52Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

This was one of my favorites from the old 52Teas. I remember not liking the reblends as much and I guess that I grew tired of it. I was excited to see that this new version had both genmaicha and matcha as I had missed out on the very first blend of this tea which happened to have both. I notice that the cup turns much more green and vibrant than the old versions. It smells sweet and toasty. Can’t wait to sip!

Sipping… mmm this is quite delicious. The first thing I taste is the toasted rice followed by a lovely, sweet, almost creamy flavor. I’m not sure if this is marshmallow exactly, but the combination of sweetness and the toasted rice does given the impression of a marshmallow treat. The sip finishes with a brisk and astringent ‘green’, slightly grassy note.

This is a very calming cup of tea. While this cup is soft in flavor, the combination of rice and sweetness keeps me quite satisfied. If you enjoyed the old version of this tea, I think that you should try this one!

Hot, Buttered Banana Bread from 52Teas

BananaBread2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

The original blend was a black tea base with freeze-dried bananas, walnuts and natural flavors.  Because walnuts are a tree nut and there are some people out there who are allergic, we’ve decided to take the walnuts out of the equation.  The actual nut didn’t add anything to the flavor, it just made the tea look pretty.  We’re all for pretty teas but not at the expense of an allergic reaction.  Because the flavorings we use contain no actual nuts, we were able to keep the delicious nutty flavor of banana bread without the allergens of the tree nuts.  You get the best of both worlds with our tea!  

And because we’re an all-new team heading up 52Teas now and the tea bases are all new too!  For more information about that, click here.

So we started with our all-new, go-to all-organic black tea base, added all-natural, organic flavors and tossed in some freeze dried bananas.  And since we took out the walnuts, we decided to add a few marigold petals, just to pretty it up.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about the Tea of the Week Program from 52Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this tea in its original form. I didn’t like the tea base and didn’t think that it was all that much like banana bread. I remember it tasting a bit fake and overwhelmingly like nuts and a bitter black tea. I’m hoping that this reblend will give me the delicious cup I want!

Once I open the pouch I notice the immediate difference of there being much more banana than in the past. I felt like with the old blend that I had to hunt around for the banana slices. There are multiple pieces in this pouch so it looks like I won’t have any trouble getting some banana into my cup.

Sipping… hmm.. it seems like this is a little bit on the weak side for me. I find that if I take larger sips that the banana bread comes out. There is a soft banana note, a hint of nuts and something that reminds me of a crumbly bread. While the tea base is a bit more tame, there is still a bit of astringency that reminds me of walnut skins. I’m disappointed to not taste that buttery element of the buttered banana bread, but it doesn’t ruin the cup for me.

I do enjoy this tea even though it’s not my favorite from the new 52Teas. I think I might experiment with future cups to see if I can get a stronger banana bread flavor.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Honeybush from 52Teas

RaspberryCreamCheeseDanishTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Frank’s description of this tea went like this:

“Our caffeine-free African honeybush blended with real freeze dried raspberries and all natural flavors. This blend is the complete danish in a cup: raspberries, cream cheese, even a hint of icing thrown in there.”

And really, could I say anything more to make this tea sound any more delicious than that?  This is one of my favorites, so I stuck close to the recipe.  

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ Tea of the Week Program here.

Taster’s Review:

I am so excited to try this blend as 52Teas is under new ownership! With upgraded tea bases and new, fun recipes, it looks like 52Teas has a wonderful future. The description makes this tea sound like complete dessert in a cup… raspberries, cream cheese and icing! Plus, the honeybush makes it an easy blend to have during the day and night.

The dry blend smells like a sweet raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. Yum! I have a good feeling that the flavors will come through after water has been added. Once steeped, the tea smells much more.. like tangy raspberries and spicy honeybush.

Sipping… mmm. The strongest notes are the honeybush and the raspberry. I do taste a little bit of something like vanilla in the background. I wouldn’t say that I taste cream cheese or icing specifically, but there is something there that makes it more than raspberry and honeybush.  The finish also offers something from the honeybush that reminds me of graham crackers or flaky pastry. It’s not strong, but is a nice ending to the sip.

I’m so glad that this blend was my first from the new 52Teas company. If you enjoy dessert teas, definitely add this one to your shopping cart.