Lemon Sherbet Green from Bluebird Tea Co.

lemonsherbetTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Green tea with lemon is a classic. In true Bluebird style we have done it a bit different! Sweet + tangy like sherbet on your tounge + two types of lemon to make your mouth water with delight. Another fantastic blend to add to our traditional sweet collection.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Thank you to my SororiTea Sister Scheherazade for sending me a sample of this tea!

Personally speaking, this is one of those blends that I probably wouldn’t have chosen myself just because I’m not drawn to green blends normally and I think the pairing of citrus/lemon and green tea is a little played out, but the dry leaf smelled really strongly of sweet lemon juice or lemon candy, and I do like the simplicity of the tea so I was actually kind of excited regardless.

Because it is something I’ve kind of tried before, though, I wanted to do something a little different than usual – so I made this into a tea soda; while I wont take the time to explain my process of doing that (unless anyone would like me to) I will point out that the process uses sweetener though – and with a tea like this that’s already pre-sweetened due to the stevia in it a preparation method like this negates that aspect of the blend a little bit because when I tasted this tea I knew it would be sweet and expected that; theoretically with a more traditional tasting/preparation method I could have tasted the stevia and been more critical about it’s presence – I don’t typically like when my tea is sweetened for me; I want to have the choice to do that and pre-sweetened blends eliminate that choice.

I think the simplicity of the blend ultimately works against this tea though; the flavour was very monotone and I think the only reason that didn’t read as ‘flat’ was because of the carbonation which makes it hard to view anything as tasting ‘flat’. The green base was eclipsed and instead this had a really strong, distinct taste of lemon verbena or lemon myrtle; not exactly a ‘realistic’ lemon flavour and while strong and steady only really enjoyable if you’re big into those flavours to begin with. And you better be, because it’s all you’re going to taste.

Decent blend overall; the name’s pretty accurate so kudos for that. I just wish it had a little more to offer; I shouldn’t feel like I have to resort to creative methods like tea soda just to make this feel a little less mundane.

Sangria Matcha from Red Leaf Tea

Sangria-MatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/Matcha

Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Sangria Matcha is the perfect answer for those adults looking for a fruity platter treat that has a dash of exotic Matcha and tastes of refreshing spices. This delectable treat is a perfect after hours drink that brings its well rounded charm into the palate. It can be taken with a fine assortment of many snacks and meals to add to their overall flavor and also make things more exciting. This fine treat is great for adults who love the tangy tasty combination of many fruits on their palates.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m adding Sangria matcha to the many flavours under my belt because I thought it would make for a really great summer flavour to have stock up; and obviously it’s not a flavour that screams “try me in milk” like how I normally prepare my matcha so I made it as a Matcha Soda instead.

This is the ‘recipe’ I used:

– 1 tsp of matcha whisked into approx. 2 ounce of hot water

– Dissolve approx. 1 tbsp. of sugar into the concentrated matcha to create a ‘matcha syrup’

– Cool down the syrup, and add a can of Club Soda

Just being perfectly honest, as soon as I took my first sip I knew that I didn’t like this flavour of matcha. There was a lot that I personally felt was wrong/off about it – for one the fruit flavours are incredibly muddled on top of tasting really artificial. I know Sangria is a combination of different fruits but I couldn’t pinpoint any of the individual fruits that traditionally make up Sangria. In addition, the vegetal/grassy notes of the matcha were far too pronounced for my liking (despite this being Distinctive flavour level) and took on a ‘swampy’ kind of flavour when compared with the weird/chemical tasting fruit notes.

I’m definitely disappointed by this flavour; it’s nothing like I’d hoped it would be and if you’re looking for an accurate Sangria flavour I think you’re best off looking elsewhere. The worst part is that I’m almost certain that Robust flavouring would taste even more chemical/artificial since that’s the way fruit flavoured matcha tends to go but, while delicate level flavouring might reduce the fake fruit flavour, I think it’d make the Sangria flavour even less distinct than it already is.

Using the rest of this will certainly be a challenge for me.

Product Review: Sweetened MatchaBooster from Maeda-en

matchabooster-sweetenedProduct Information:

MatchaBooster is a ready-to-use matcha-based powder. It mixes easily in your favorite drink and can used as a cooking ingredient.

Boost up your lifestyle with Maeda-en MatchaBooster♪

Where to Buy:  Maeda-en


Refreshing green tea flavor with a light sweet taste!

Learn more about this MatchaBooster here.

Taster’s Review:

Not long ago, I reviewed the Unflavored MatchaBooster.  Now, I’m going to try the sweetened version of this tea product from Maeda-en.  The sugar to sweeten this MatchaBooster adds 60 calories to each serving (a serving size is one tablespoon), whereas the unsweetened MatchaBooster has no calories per serving (a serving size of the unsweetened version is 1/2 teaspoon).

I outlined the versatility of this product in that previous review, so for the purposes of this review, I decided to start simple and add 2 tablespoons of product to my favorite water bottle (which holds 16 ounces of water) and give it a vigorous shake.

Even with the sugar addition to this product, it still mixes up easily.  But because you need to add a bit more of the powder to the water bottle, I recommend starting with half a bottle, pouring in the 2 tbsp. of MatchaBooster and then shaking it (this leaves plenty of room for the shake!) and adding more water after the powder is well-integrated.  I was actually surprised at how easily this amount of powder mixed into the water – I expected sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle quickly but it didn’t.

Not surprisingly, it’s sweet.  The sweetness is a little jarring, really, because I think that there’s too much sweetener in this.  I’d be happy with about half the amount of sweetener used.  Then again, I have often said that I prefer to sweeten my tea – or not sweeten it, if I so choose – and on the rare occasion that I do sweeten my tea, I usually go with a light hand.  It almost reminds me of a cane sugar soda – it’s that kind of sweetness but without the fizzy bubbles.

But even though this is sweet and I can actually taste the flavor of “sugar” here, I can also taste the green tea goodness of Matcha.  It is light and vegetal, buttery with notes of cacao.  It’s an invigorating drink.

FrappeWhere this product would really excel – I think – is in recipes, like the Frappe.  This is going to be like the coffee shop’s Matcha blended ice drinks – only for a fraction of the price.  Really, the price of this package at $5.90 is probably about what you’d pay for a “tall” drink at the coffee shop.  (It’s been a really long time since I’ve bought one of those drinks so I really don’t remember how much they cost!)

In my opinion, this Sweetened MatchaBooster really is a little sweeter than I like my Matcha to taste, so, I recommend mixing this with the Unsweetened MatchaBooster to “boost” the sweetness of the unsweetened without going super sweet.  I prefer it with about 1 tbsp of this Sweetened MatchaBooster and 1 tsp of the Unsweetened MatchaBooster in my water bottle with 16 ounces of water.  This has been my favorite way to enjoy both of these products.  I like the combination of the two products better than I like either one on its own!  It’s sweet but not too sweet and I get more of the Matcha flavor that I adore.

Product Review: Organic Lime Pomegranate Lightly Sweetened Iced Green Tea from steaz

LimePomsteazProduct Information:

It starts with certified organic and fair trade green tea sourced from around the world – we then brew our tea with the most flavorful fruits that are rich in antioxidants and finished with a hint of organic cane sugar for a healthy and delicious refreshment that will enhance your senses.  And becuase our farms are Fair Trade Certified™, we ensure equal pay, better health care and equal opportunities for our farmers – so they too can reach new heights as well.  

Learn more about this product here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve said before that I’m not the biggest fan of RTD (Ready to Drink) teas that are available in just about any convenience store or grocery store.  Most of them are crafted primarily of sugar or other sweeteners.  They tend to be so full of sweetener and flavoring that the drinker can’t even taste the tea!

Occasionally, I come across one that’s different or at least, I come across one that seems to promise to be different.  This can of Organic Lime Pomegranate iced green tea from steaz says “Lightly Sweetened” on it, and that’s what immediately caught my attention about it.  Other eye catching features:  “Organic” and “Fair Trade.”  Two other things that I appreciated.

So, I’ll give it a try.

The description above states that there is a “hint of organic cane sugar.”  However, the ingredient list tells a slightly different tale:

INGREDIENTS: Filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, natural pomegranate & lime flavors, organic lemon juice, fair trade certified™ organic green tea.

When the ingredient is second on a list five ingredients, that suggests to me that maybe there’s a little more than just a “hint” of sugar in this.  Also, after reading the ingredient list, I’m a little disturbed by the fact that the green tea is the LAST ingredient on the list!  What?!?

And unfortunately, with this tea, you can taste the ingredients as they’re listed.  I taste more sweetener and flavoring than I do green tea.

That said, this drink does have some redeeming qualities.  It is a tasty drink.  The lime is the strongest of the flavors, but I taste a sweet-tart pomegranate note in there too.  While I do taste more sugar than I do tea, it isn’t TOO sweet or cloyingly so.  This isn’t as sweet as say … the typical soda pop would be.  My teeth don’t feel as though they’ve been coated with sugar as I drink this beverage.

It’s a tasty, refreshing beverage.  I do wish I could taste more tea than sugar or pomegranate and lime.  I feel like this has been marketed as a tea product and as an organic product for the health appeal without any real focus on the tea.  Those who are trying to make “healthier” choices while shopping would probably buy this.  This isn’t a drink for tea drinkers, it’s a drink for those who probably have never really tried green tea and think that this is what green tea is supposed to taste like.

Product Review: Stur Liquid Water Enhancer Black Tea & Lemon

SturBlackTeaLemonProduct Information:

Where to Buy:  Stur

Product Description:

Brewed Black Tea + Lemon – a mouthwatering and naturally sweetened blend of real, brewed black tea and fresh lemons! It just tastes natural, not chemical or processed. Add Stur to your tap water, bottled water, Sodastream/ sparkling water, even cocktails.

Learn more about this product here.

Taster’s Review:

During a recent shopping trip to my favorite produce market, Chucks, I came across a end-cap display of Eternal Bottled Water.  Attached to several of these bottles were little trial size packets of Stur products.  Most were fruit flavored, but I found a couple of Black Tea & Lemon trial packets, so I grabbed one of those.

These Stur products are similar to the popular “liquid water enhancers” that you can find in most grocery store aisles where juice is sold (or alternatively, where bottled water is sold.)  My daughter has recently “discovered” the liquid water enhancers because I’m not fond of her drinking a lot of sugared sodas or fruit juice (which has a lot of natural sugars and really isn’t that much better for her than soda, in my opinion).  Sure, I do make tea for her on occasion, but she doesn’t want tea that often, so, I find that these liquid water enhancers – many of which do not contain any sweetener in them – are something I’d prefer for her to drink over the over-sugared soft drinks.

This Stur product does have a sweetener in it:  stevia.  I would rather that not be in there, because … there’s something off about the stevia in this.  Either there is too much stevia in it or the stevia used in this product is a lower quality stevia because I’m tasting chemical-y taste … not just “aftertaste” but chemical while I’m tasting and then chemical that is lingering in the aftertaste.

It reminds me a lot of the drink mix that my step-mother would sweeten with saccharine.  Not my favorite taste.

And unfortunately, because of the off tasting sweetener, it’s hard to really talk about the black tea flavor or the lemon.  The lemon is there – and it’s a tart, acidic flavor (as if someone squeezed lemon juice into my water bottle).  The lemon is actually the best part of this “liquid enhancement.”

I don’t taste a lot of the black tea flavor, and that could be because the sweetener flavor is blocking my ability to really taste the black tea.  I don’t know, but I’m finding it hard to enjoy this particular beverage because of the stevia in it.

There is either too much stevia in this or the stevia product used is not a high quality product.   I wish I could say that I like this, but I just can’t … because … I don’t.  And I feel as though I ruined a perfectly good bottle of Eternal Water.