Siam Blend Black Thai Tea Blend from Siam Tea Shop

SiamBlendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black blend.

Where to Buy: Siam Tea Shop

Tea Description:

Siam Blend Black, an aromatic Thai tea blend based on a wild black tea collected by the local Lahu tribe in Fang province, reminiscent of Thai cuisine through an added blend of typical Thai food ingredients such as lemongrass, lime leaf, chili and ginger root.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hello fellow tea lovers,

Today I’m reviewing a blend that was inspired by the aromatic and beautiful flavours of Thai cuisine, think of this as an ode to Thai food in tea form. This sounds delicious but also a little strange at the same time, though I think it’s wonder outweighs my doubts. Thai food flavoured tea…that just sounds so creative…and delicious, right?

The loose leaf is large and hosts an array of colours, most noticeably the lime leaf. The black tea is also large and thinly rolled into long, squiggly pieces. The blend as a whole has a spicy and rather aromatic scent. Not as strong as I expected nor as Thai food strong.

So 2 teaspoons (since it’s large leaf) of blend into my steeping mug and boiling water added for roughly 3-4 minutes.

The resulting tea liquid is dark brown and in colour and has the most amazing Thai scent I have ever smelled from a tea. It truly does smell like Thai green curry, or another similar dish. It’s spicy with citrus highs and a creamy underlayer, before becoming spicy again. Wondrous indeed!

And here comes the taste test (which I can hardly control my excitement about). ..sip..sip. Holy moly, that has a spicy kick! The chilli burns the throat (well rather tingles than burns) and is quickly neutralised by a touch of cream and citrus (which matches the smell) before becoming spicy again in the after taste. The chilli is definitely the main character. I gave a sip for my husband and he stated “I’ve never had such a spicy cup of tea” and considering I’m on 1291 (including this tea) steeping notes of which I pass onto him to try; it’s saying something about this ‘unique’ blend.

I think you would either love or hate this one. As for me I like the inspiration of it and can enjoy the spicy chilli kick at the start of the sip. It’s even making me sweat a little, but it gives you that ‘warm and spicy glow’ that you get when you eat something a little hotter than what you are used to. Hopefully someone else will understand what I mean by that 🙂

So yes, for originality and a unique experience plus a spicy food (or in this case drink) glow I declare this a winning blend. I shall no doubt enjoy the rest of my 20g pouch, and with instructions to ice this tea on their website I even get a chance to experiment a little.

Until next time,

Happy Steeping!

Lemongrass and Pandan Herbal Tea from Chiang Rai Tea House

Lemongrass+Pandan1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

An exquisite, balanced blend of two fragrant herbs typical of South East Asia. The lemony flavor and aroma of lemongrass is a great match to the sweet, vanilla-like taste of pandan. If you haven’t tried pandan yet, this infusion is not to be missed. The lemongrass-pandan combination is known to relieve stress, ease constipation. detoxify the blood and, being caffeine-free, it’s also the perfect after-dinner beverage. As for all our teas and herbs, these two are also organic.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Pandan seems to be becoming a more popular ingredient in herbal tea – I’ve certainly seen it more recently than I ever have before. It has quite a distinctive flavour, but one that’s also hard to describe – it’s sweet in a way reminiscent of liquorice root, with an almost thick-tasting starchiness. Pretty unique.

This particular blend contains an approximately 60/40 split between lemongrass and pandan. The “leaves” are quite small (approximately 2mm shreds of lemongrass, with slightly larger twists of pandan), but this also means that they brew up relatively quickly. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a pale golden colour, the scent generically sweet.

To taste, the pandan is definitely the most dominant flavour. It has a rather thick mouthfeel, and it’s the kind of flavour that lingers at the back of the throat. The sweetness, particularly, is rather cloying after a while. Fortunately, the lemongrass is there to freshen things up a little. It has a hay-like sweetness of its own, but also a clean, citrus edge that cuts through the pandan and helps to end the sip on a bright, refreshing note. I drank my cup hot, but I can also see this working well iced.

A pleasant, summery cup with two classically Thai components. This one is an excellent, and unusual, herbal, and definitely worth a try if you’re in the market for a caffeine-free option.

Energize Herbal Tea by Teatoxy

Teatoxy EnergizeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Teatoxy

Tea Description:

Teatoxy Energize is a 100% organic blue detox tea blend that is absolutely unqiue and gives you the energy you need to stay fit throughout your day. Our master blenders have created Teatoxy Energize with 3 things in mind: flavour, health and energy. By combining organic Thai lemongrass, Pandan leaves, Moroccan Rose pedals with Bluechai and Lavender you get an amazingly delicious, all natural tea with a vast amount of health benefits.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was initially attracted to this tea due to its reputed energy-giving properties, and I’ve been drinking it fairly regularly since first receiving it a few months ago. The first thing that stood out about this blend was the quality of the “leaf”. Although this blend is herbal so there’s no actual tea, leaf seems an appropriate term to describe this particular mixture. The pieces of lemongrass are some of the largest I’ve ever seen – minimum 1cm square, with whole rose buds, whole bluechai flowers, and large, curly pandan leaves. The lavender is the only small thing here, with a generous smattering of buds throughout. It’s a really beautiful blend to look at – pink, blue, green, yellow, and purple. A true feast for the eyes.

When brewing a cup, I’ve been following the recommended parameters and using 2 heaped teaspoons of leaf. It would be difficult to measure much less than a heaped teaspoon in any case! This can be left for up to 8 minutes in boiling water, but in this case I went for a more conservative 4.5. I’ve found that this gives the most pleasant flavour (more on that in a moment), and means that the tea hasn’t cooled too much before it’s even finished brewing.

The second thing that stands out about this blend is the colour of the liquor. It’s bright blue. This is due to the inclusion of the bluechai flowers, which give this tea its energising properties. As an added novelty, lemon juice will turn the liquor from blue to purple. Lemon has the added bonus of lifting the flavour a little, making it sharper rather than sweet, and more refreshing, which might be quite welcome depending on your personal taste.

As it is, the flavour of this blend is another fairly unique thing. It’s certainly not like anything I’ve ever tasted before! The main note I can detect is rose, but underlying this is a thick almost-maltiness, reminiscent of some of “sleepytime” style herbal tea blends or hot chocolate. It reminds me a bit of Lush’s Twilight shower gel, as a matter of fact. The lavender obviously plays a part in this, but I suspect the pandan may also play a part. I’ve no previous experience with pandan to draw on, however, so I can’t say this too confidently. The aftertaste has a very natural, almost “green” flavour, which puts me in mind of a summer garden in full bloom; grass, chlorophyll, and the scent of flowers. This isn’t a tea for someone who really dislikes heavily floral flavours, because there’s a lot of that here, although adding lemon juice can minimise this to some extent. It cuts through what can become a very cloying tea, and makes it sharper and more refreshing. Definitely worth a try if you’re finding a full cup of this one a bit too much.

Since I’ve been drinking this one, I have noticed a slight improvement in my energy levels and ability to focus. I’ve taken to drinking a cup just after lunch at work, when I often start to flagg. It’s not a massive boost, but I’ve found it to be a good mild pick-me-up, without the associated problems of a caffeine slump. This is an interesting, unique, and intriguing blend. It’s definitely worth a try if you like herbals, want to try some new and unusual tea ingredients, or are looking for a natural boost. My first experience with Teatoxy was definitely a good one!

Mango Sticky Rice Green from Ette Tea

MangoStickyRiceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/Black

Where to Buy: Ette Tea

Tea Description:

Mango Sticky Rice is a blend of genmaicha, black tea, roasted barley, mango dices & candied coconut. Very much inspired by the Thai local dessert, the tea brews like a platter of roasted glutinous rice with the coconut and mango coming in towards the finish on the palette.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is the tea that got me interested in Ette tea in the first place! The idea of mango and genmaicha is definitely very, very appealing. Really, any genmaicha with a twist gets me excited – it’s the first variety of green tea I ever really liked, and I’m still incredibly partial to it.

Dry, this is very roasty smelling with a distinct, and very fresh coconut aroma. I’m not getting much of the mango yet, but I can see several chunks of it in the dry leaf so I have faith that it’ll shop up in the flavor. For my preparation, I did a very quick 1 minute steep Western style in boiling hot water; I find that’s long enough to draw out the flavour, especially the roastier notes of a good Genmaicha, but not long enough for the brew to get bitter.

This method has worked well here; this has a very strong toasted rice flavor with absolutely no bitterness. It’s also accented by a lovely, clear toasted coconut flavour that pairs phenomenally with the rice and subtle vegetalness of the green tea. There’s also a slight creaminess to the coconut as well. There are some very light nutty notes as well, imparted both from the toasted rice and the green base. The black tea in the blend is a little less pronounced than the green; but I think that’s how it should be.

The mango is less obvious than anticipated, but still very much present and distinct; true to Ette Tea’s description of their blend it’s more show cased in the end of the sip and aftertaste and the sweet, tropical and fruity flavour it provides alongside the coconut does make me think of Thai food, though I don’t know if it specifically conjures up images of sticky rice. It’s delicious though!

This is an incredible tea, and while it’s not totally what I imagined it to be at this point I don’t think there’s a thing I’d change about it either. It’s very comforting, and because of the gentle wave of flavours both sweet and slightly savory I think it makes a really nice tea to curl up with at the end of the day. That said, unlike I would do with a conventional Genmaicha I think this would also work very well iced as something to take with you on a day out and about: the unconventional fruit flavors give this a little more life and lend themselves well to cold prep.

This is definitely my favourite Ette blend so far (something I feel like I’ve said with nearly all the Ette Teas as I’ve had them) and I would definitely buy more of this one!

Black Tea & Lemongrass from Chiang Rai Tea House

Black+tea+lemongrassTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:   Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

Enjoy your black tea with lemongrass, another great ally of your body with a lemony flavor that soothes and tastes delicious! Sip it hot after a meal for an easy digestion, or pour it over ice cubes for a refreshing summer treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Another interesting tea from Chiang Rai Tea House!  This time, it’s a combination of black tea leaves from Thailand and the curly pieces of Lemongrass that I enjoyed so much in their Lemongrass & Ginger blend.  I don’t know if the cutting process that produces the curls in the lemongrass makes a difference in the flavor or if it’s because this is lemongrass from Thailand – but the lemongrass that I’ve tasted in both these blends has been a substantial lemon-y flavor – much more so than I’ve experienced from the typical chopped pieces of lemongrass.

The lemon-y notes are sweet and tart, but not pucker-y tart.  Just tart enough to make this taste like lemon has been added to the tea rather than a sweeter lemon curd type flavor.  Just tart enough to perk up the taste buds and really brighten the cup!

The black tea base is a very mellow tasting black tea.  It’s not particularly robust, so I’m happy to have the sunny flavor of lemon in this tea.  It’s invigorating from the refreshing lemon notes with a background of smooth, sweet black tea.

A really nice blend – not quite as strong as I’d want from a breakfast tea, but this would make a wonderfully refreshing iced tea or a great afternoon tea.