Lime Jello from 52Teas. . . .

A friend of mine won a giveaway hosted by 52 Teas awhile ago. The perk of my friend winning the giveaway is that I still got to try the teas she won without adding too much to my ever growing stash of teas. Among her winnings was this Lime Jello Green Tea.

Lime Jello Green Tea is made up of a blend of green teas, lime leaves, limes, pineapples, marshmallow root and natural flavors. It smells like…well, lime jello. Now I have never been the biggest jello fan but the smell of jello powder, with its artificial and candy-like fruit scents, has always appealed to me so this tea captured my nose and with that, my attention.

As I drink the tea, I definitely get lime candy though it is not as in-your-face pungent as the smell of the dry leaf would suggest. Then again, the taste of jello is never as strong as the smell of the powder so I can’t be too upset about that. In addition to the lime, I get a touch of bitterness from the green tea base that I feel keeps this grounded while the marshmallow root makes this come off light, like any jello-inspired tea should be.

One thing that surprised me about this blend is that there is a creaminess here that I wasn’t expecting. Even more surprising is how this tea manages to stay light even with the creamy element, which is much more commonly found in heavier/richer dessert teas.

Lime Jello is not something I would have ever thought I wanted made into a tea but now that I have had it, I will say that I approve. It is bright and fun and a great treat for warmer days.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Leafy Black Colombian Tea from Simpson and Vail. . .

This Organic Leafy Black Tea from Simpson & Vail is the 2nd tea that I’ve tried (that I know of) that hails from the Bitaco Tea Estate. This is a lovely loose leaf tea that features large, twisted leaves. When steeped, this tea yields a cup that’s sweet and mellow with a soft fruity character at the end of each sip.

I did have a little time to play around with this tea, however, and it can be a versatile cuppa if you want it to be. What I mean by that is if you double the amount of loose leaf and cut the steep time in half it gives off a different flavor than described on the companies website. With this steeping method I’ve noticed it’s a much more heartier, and bold brew with a fair amount of maltiness, too!

I think I mentioned this in another tea review recently but this tea is what we call a chariTEA…

Bitaco Tea not only cultivates exceptional teas, they also are committed to their community. They created the Agricola Himalaya Foundation to develop and improve programs focusing on education, especially for local children. Activities focus on the improvement of infrastructure, recreational opportunities, local culture and access to technology.

So not only is it a good cup – it’s a good cause! An all-around feel-GOOD tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

From the mountainous region of Colombia, in an area steeped in biodiversity, along the western slope of the Andes, is the Bitaco tea estate. The gentle mist from the mountains, rich soil, and ample rainfall all stimulate the growth of the tea bushes, producing a tea with unique characteristics.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maple Creme Oolong from Adagio Teas. . . .

One of my coworkers slipped me a baggie with 3 servings of this as I walked in this morning, so I obviously had no choice in the matter but to try it. It’s just me, the new Florence and the Machine album, and tea. Obviously the key ingredients for a great morning for this graphic designer.

The first thing I noticed about the tea was how strong it smelled. I could suss out that creamy maple through a Ziplock bag held at arm’s length. MAMA LIKEY.

Second, I noticed how ogle-worthy the tea looks. It has pieces in it (likely the apple) and red leaves (safflower) to give off that Canadian feel. Bless those Canadians and their charming accents and dreamy prime minster. What a great bunch of folks.

But what about the taste? Delicious, guys.

When it’s on the tongue, you get spices. It’s like a cider-chai. But then, when you swallow, ahhhhhhhh, syrup. Apples, spices, and maple for DAYS.

BOOM. Suddenly you’re Justin Trudeau’s best friend. He calls you with hot gossip. He invites you on hikes that are exactly at your exercise level. You’re going horseback riding with his mountie friends next week. Also: there’s a sale on flannel at your favorite store, and you will never be cold again.

Thanks, Canada!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas
Description
The delights of maple are no longer bound by breakfast foods. You can now enjoy that delicious flavor you love, minus the sticky fingers! We’ve blended the smooth clean taste of oolong with the subtle sweet flavor of maple and rounded it all off with a hint of creme. Add a touch of your favorite sweetener (we suggest maple syrup!) and all you need to do is decide whether to drink this tea for breakfast or dessert!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 from 52Teas. . . .

52 Teas 12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 (SPOILERS) While I’m a huge fan of 52 Teas and their creative blends, I’ve never before ordered their ever-so-popular 12 Teas of Christmas countdown sampler. This year, I decided to treat myself! After a shipping snafu (anyone else find themselves ordering online goodies six months after moving and not until you’ve hit purchase do you go– “DANGIT, that’s being sent to my old address!” Just me? Cool.) that Anne and her team went above and beyond to fix for me, I was EXTRA pumped for these goodies to come my way. I’m going to break these mini-reviews into two, so you’ll get a 1-6 and then a 7-12 installment as I drink these tasty treats in real time! Now: let’s get sipping!

Day One: Foggy Coconut Black – Let’s just say I am… a less-than-enthusiastic earl grey drinker. I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of “blergamot” (i.e. bergamot in tea makes you go “blerg!”), which hit the nail on the head for me. But while I was skeptical when I opened this package, its delightful creaminess was intriguing. I’m so pleased to say that this is one Earl Grey I’ll be enthusiastically sipping! Like my favorite London Fog lattes, the creamy coconut and vanilla balance out the floral and blerg-y undertones of traditional earl greys, making this one a winner– especially as a latte!

Day Two: Candy Cane Marshmallow Green – Ever since becoming pregnant (baby tea lover, due June 2019!), I’ve been… off my tea drinking game. Most teas just haven’t been sounding good to me! But peppermint has totally been the one element that ALWAYS sounds good to me in this pregnancy, so I was thrilled to see this one in the mix. It’s a delightful, creamy Genmaicha, with light minty notes in the background. This preggy peppermint-lover would have adored the peppermint flavor to be more of a POW, but if you’re looking for a gentle, creamy mint holiday tea, this one is a winner.

Day Three: Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush – I opened this package, and was immediately sold by those tart, mouthwatering raspberry notes. Brewed, the raspberry loses some tartness, but is balanced really wonderfully by some beautiful, creamy marizipan-esque undertones. Delightful with cream!

Day Four: Ginger Cola Black – I was Skeptical-with-a-capital-S of this one (cola?! In my TEA?) but friends, it is KILLER on ice. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it hot yet (warm cola is not sounding great to this mama-to-be), but it’s spicy and cola-esque without all that syrupy sweetness. I can see why this one is a popular blend!

Day Five: BlackBerry Custard Tart Green – While some teas haven’t sounded great to me this pregnancy, berry teas have sounded delightful across the board. This one hit all its promised notes– fresh and fruity berries, creamy custard and flaky pastry. I (gasp!) served it with some milk and found it brought out ALL the flavors even further, while muting some of the green grassiness. Yum!

Day Six: Banana Pancake Black – I have shocked myself in recent months with a love for banana flavored teas. I’m pretty neutral on bananas themselves, and even more negatively-skewed on banana flavoring, but for whatever reason, I cannot get ENOUGH of them in tea lately. This blend delivers on the banana and bready, malty, maple-y pancake goodness of a breakfast treat, all whilst not being overtly banana-in-your-face (think banana bread, rather than banana candy). I served this one with a touch of maple syrup and cream, and had to stop myself from chugging the whole cup. Delightful!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

The majority of these 12 Teas of Christmas are sold out but some of them are still available below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Austin Breakfast from Zhi Tea

Austin Breakfast is an organic Indian black tea. I have the sachets and – BONUS! – they are biodegradable. I love the company’s vision statement.

“We’re a homegrown Austin, Texas company composed of a few die-hard tea freaks, lovers of fine foods, stewards of sustainable agriculture, and passionately dedicated to the human experience.”

I made this for my daughter and myself to have with breakfast. I noted that the website says this will offer some good resteeps, and not to toss the bag until it has given up all of its goodness, so that is what I intend to do.

First steep – My word, this is a super aromatic black tea. At this point, I had noted that the tea was from India as stated on the packaging but I had not looked up the specifics of origin. No matter, there is no mistaking right off the bat that this is a Ceylon tea from the aroma alone.

And it is one of the more aromatic I have tried. There are lovely, deep round dark raisin notes, a nice middle creamy thick feel, and swirling higher notes of orange and lemon. While eating my oatmeal, I detected no astringency at all. After my bowl was empty, I held the tea in my mouth and swirled it around, and there it was! The classic Indian tea briskness.

I take my tea sans additions, and I have a very dodgy stomach that often rebels at tea of Indian origin, kicking me in the gut as revenge. Nicer Indian teas do not have this effect. Dodgy ones get smoothed with milk if I drink them at all.

Happily, my stomach is quite at peace with this tea. Not so much as a burble. I feel like I am drinking a high quality Irish breakfast tea. No milk nor sugar needed, but if that’s how you roll, it can take it.

Steep 2 – While it is piping hot, I think that the low notes have utterly disappeared and the brisk, high lemony notes are mostly what remains. After a couple of minutes cooling time, I find this tea to have its thick and creamy body restored and the briskness is now slightly muted compared to the piping hot sip. Still a good cup of tea, though different from the first steep. I will definitely be trying a third steep.

This would be a great morning tea at work, with the first bracing cup preparing one for the day and tasks ahead, and the remaining cups serving as an easy peasy resteep as you simply add hot water to continue through the morning,


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea
Description

Our Austin Breakfast honors the intensity and laid-backness of Austin. The Ceylon black tea is at once bold and smooth. It has a deep character and clean finish like a great Irish Breakfast tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!