Organic Sage Superherb by Republic of Tea. . . .

I steeped this tea five minutes with one tea bag in about one cup of 190 degree water. Although I do normally use loose leaf tea, the convenience of pre-bagged tea is tempting too! Especially when it’s high-quality tea.

After steeping, it’s become a yellowish color and smells a bit pineapple-ish with an undertone of sage. The sage isn’t too overpowering, at least judging by the fragrance.

First sip: Yes, the pineapple may actually be stronger than the sage here. It’s also quite sweet. It has a bit of a stevia flavor, almost. The pineapple flavor blends with the flavor of the sage leaves and, according to the ingredients list, orange leaves as well to create a pleasantly fruity drink. It’s much more palatable than drinking an infusion of straight sage, which is important if you’re going to be drinking this on a regular basis. Yet the woodsy, flowery flavor of the sage does come through as well.

This is listed as an herbal tea for hot flashes, although I wouldn’t know anything about how effective it would be for such a complaint. It’s probably good for colds/sore throats as well; it’s comforting, soothing, and relaxing. Or if you’re looking for a more culinary use it would probably go well with cookies for a snack, although I’m not a tea pairing expert either.

It’s definitely sweet and seems well-balanced in flavor, and whether you end up drinking it on a daily basis or just as an occasional novelty, I hope you’ll be glad you tried it too!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea
Description

As women, we have the power to create and nurture life, all while juggling hormonal changes and external stresses. For centuries, women have relied upon the same powerful herbs found in our organic SuperHerb Teas to keep them balanced, and now they can easily be part of your daily life as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pure Peppermint Herbal Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

PurePeppermintRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

An exciting and invigorating herbal infusion of pure peppermint leaves to revitalise and refresh.  Peppermint has been shown to aid digestion.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Peppermint is a classic herbal if ever there was one. It’s hard to go wrong with something so simple, and it’s a good stomach settler to boot. Rington’s pure peppermint is provided in a standard square paper tea bag, each one containing a generous amount of finely shredded peppermint leaves. I gave 1 bag approximately 3 minutes in boiling water for my cup. The liquor is a mediun golden brown, the scent mildly minty.

To taste, this is pretty much a standard peppermint tea. It’s exactly as you would expect – fresh tasting mint, with the wonderful hot water/cooling mint contrast that makes peppermint tea such a refreshing choice (and particularly suited to summer, if hot tea is your drink of choice when it’s 30 degrees out, as it is for me!) It’s a reasonably gentle mint, not too strong or reminiscent of toothpaste, but still identifiably mint. A well balanced choice.

There are so many similar peppermint teas available that it’s hard to make one stand out. Peppermint is an evergreen staple of the herbal tea world, after all. This one has no bells and whistles, but it’s clearly of quality – that much is evident in the drinking.

Assam 1860 Bagged Tea

Assam1860Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Assam 1860

Tea Description:

We’ve been growing tea for more than 150 years. That’s right, 150 years of experience and expertise that goes into making a cup of tea with pedigree. And it tastes delicious.

Assam 1860 is a black tea that celebrates tea itself. It is made only from leaves plucked in the picturesque Thowra Estate, a chai bagan set up in 1860. We ensure that the phrase ‘garden fresh’ lives up to its every promise.

The leaves are plucked, processed and packed in the estate itself, ensuring quality and freshness that is unparalleled. So wherever you are, you might as well be drinking your cup of Assam 1860 on the verdant verandah of the Thowra Bungalow, overlooking graceful rolling greens on our lush terraces.

We can’t wait for you to try our new offering. The plucking of tea leaves has begun in earnest!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I sometimes wonder how serious tea purveyors take their packaging choices.  Tea drinkers are truly an aesthetic bunch of people….the ritual of tea practically begs you to be appreciative of ALL aspects of the tea that will be filling your cup next, including the packaging.  What makes us reach for a certain box of unexplored tea is arbitrary….a certain animal on the logo, a color of font… it’s a science somewhere, I’m sure, but for me, it makes a huge difference in where my eye travels to.

I would have bought this tea.

Assam1860 has a very clean visual aesthetic, with it’s white and green on black modern approach to visual marketing, the tag line “Tea As It Should Be” and the catchphrase “Still Plucking”.  It looks not like the older packaging from the well-established Assam tea plantations…it looks like something NEW.  And we all love to try something new!

The tea bag is also modern looking, with whip-stitching around the edges and a good portion of CTC assam waiting inside.  Again, aesthetically pleasing and already making my tea experience enjoyable!

In the cup, Assam1860 is dark amber and smells of malt with a touch of citrus.  A 2.5 minute steep brings a lovely malt flavor that Assams are known for.  This is not a powdery CTC but a true CTC that gives a well-rounded mouthfeel with a touch of astringency.  This tea would be a wonderful “toss in your purse/pocket” to replace the usual suspect teas at your favorite restaurant. Bold, but not overwhelming, Assam1860 is a solid citizen in the Assam world.  If you are a fan of hearty black teas, this tea is a good bet. Quite honestly as the packaging says, “Tea As It Should Be”.

Sencha Green Tea by Whittard of Chelsea

WhittardSenchaTea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy:  Whittard of Chelsea

Tea Description:

Beloved in Japan, this is a tea of spontaneity made for friends and strangers. Spring-picked, the leaves of our blend are steamed and rolled to keep their colour and capture their verdant herb-like taste. Pale gold when brewed lightly it can be drunk hot or poured over ice.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Sencha is one of my favourite varieties of green tea, so I was interested to try these tea bags from Whittard of Chelsea. I used 1 bag (approx. 1.5 tsp of leaf), and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. As with many bagged teas, this one looks to contain primarily fannings. They’re a very dark green (almost black) in colour, which seems odd for a Sencha, but the resulting liquor is a more characteristic medium yellow-green. The scent is mildly vegetal and a little musty.

To taste, this one comes across as a smooth, mild green tea. There’s a hint of pepperiness in the initial sip that’s very pleasant and distinctive, but this fades quickly to a light, sweetly vegetal flavour. There are hints of fresh cut grass, and a vague hint of spring greens, but the overall flavour lacks definition. A longer brew time doesn’t solve this problem; one cup I left for 3 minutes to try and eek out some extra flavour, but it resulted in bitterness and astringency. This one is clearly on the mild end of the flavour spectrum by nature.

This one isn’t a complex tea, and it doesn’t have many layers to its flavour. It is light, mild, and refreshing, however, and so would makes for a refreshing cup on a warm day. It would also make a good introductory green tea for those just starting to explore. There are undoubtedly more flavoursome and higher quality Senchas out there, but this one is very palatable and fairly forgiving. Unless you leave it far too long, it’s hard to mess up the brewing of this one. Personally, I would like more flavour, but it’s a pleasant cup nonetheless.

Jasmine Green Tea by Whittard of Chelsea

whittardjasmineTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Whittard of Chelsea

Tea Description:

The gently perfumed taste of Jasmine Tea makes it one of the most popular scented teas in China. It is a hugely elegant drink that fills your mind with oriental splendour every time you take a sip.

Believed to date back to the Song Dynasty, Jasmine tea was originally a tea for China’s elite, drunk only by members of the Imperial Court. It’s beautiful taste is achieved through its very precise preparation. The beautifully aromatic jasmine flowers are picked at dusk, just when their scent is headiest. At night-time they are layered with the long leaves of fine green tea, the petals infusing the tea with their perfume. The result is a sweet, aromatic tea that captivates the senses.

Jasmine tea is a naturally flavoured green tea with an unmistakable floral taste. It is a great-tasting and reviving tea to drink throughout the day.

Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

Warm and spring-like weather, to me, is perfectly suited to Jasmine tea. Hence, today was the perfect opportunity to give these tea bags a try! I used 1 bag (which looks to contain maybe 1.5tsp of leaf), and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. While tea bags have the advantage of convenience, they can suffer in terms of the quality of the leaf. This looks to be the case here, as the bag contains primarily very fine-shred fannings. No variety is specified for the green tea, either, so I can only assume it to be a blend. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow, the scent lightly floral.

To taste, this one comes across as a very mild, light, jasmine flavoured green tea. The initial sip is a primarily a smooth, slightly buttery green. There’s a tiny bit of bite towards the end of the sip, almost verging on bitterness, but it’s actually quite pleasant in that it gives what is a very mild-tasting tea a little texture and depth. It doesn’t impact on the overall flavour, which is fairly sweet and floral, too much.

The jasmine emerges in the mid-sip, and adds a sweet, floral accord. It’s not a heavy, perfumey jasmine, and it’s by no means overpowering. It’s still possible to taste the green tea base underneath, and it really just gives a taster of what jasmine as a flavouring can add to a tea. It fades fairly quickly and doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.

I think this would make a good introductory Jasmine tea for those who are uncertain or who are just beginning to explore this category. It would also be an excellent choice for someone who likes jasmine in principle, but who doesn’t like overly strong, overpowering jasmine that can be found in some varieties. As someone who falls into the latter category, I have to say that this one is a touch too mild for me, but it still gives the impression of jasmine without too much lingering floral. The green tea base is pleasant, if unremarkable, and the cup as a whole is eminently drinkable. It makes for a refreshing cup on a warm day, its only failing being that it’s a little lacking in flavour.