Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas. . . . .

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas is a delicious decaf herbal blend with rooibos, ginger, and honeycrisp apples. I love the fall, and sometimes I love extra honey sweet apple teas with lots of cinnamon and flavoring, but Hood River Rooibos has me re-thinking what I want in my herbal apple teas this season.

This tea is simple and delightful.  The woodsy rooibos is flavorful without caffeine or bitterness. A touch of ginger root adds just enough sweet spice to make you think you’re drinking something special and seasonal.

The honeycrisp apples are really the ingredient that shines. The naturally sweet fruit flavor of the apples doesn’t need any sugar or honey to taste indulgent and refreshing.  Because there aren’t any powerful spices like cinnamon or cloves, you get to taste all the apples for themselves. Even a chai-lover like me doesn’t miss the cinnamon in this blend.

This tea makes me nostalgic for the fresh fall apples in the orchard of my hometown.  This is the perfect blend to warm you up when your picking apples off the tree, or when you’re just daydreaming about fall and all its wonderful flavors.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Beach House Teas
Description:

Hood River Rooibos is 100% organic rooibos tea blended with ginger root and Pacific Northwest Honeycrisp Apples. This combination of sweet apple mixed with the heat of ginger and the earthy flavor of rooibos is perfect for the winter season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Organic Greek Mountain Tea by Klio

Steeping time 4 minutes, 1/2 cup boiling water, 2 g of tea leaves and stems.

I have always been an avid herb gardener (although not, alas, always a successful one) and today I noticed what exactly it is about this type of tea that I found familiar. The leaves are similar in appearance (silvery and fuzzy) and even similar in shape to Lamb’s Ear, and I think the fragrance may be similar as well, although Lamb’s Ear  is not actually well-known for its smell. (Plus, I can never manage to keep it alive so I don’t actually have a Lamb’s Ear plant to compare right now). When I looked it up, I discovered that the two plants are in the same family, i.e. the Mint family . . . but then so are hundreds and thousands of other plants, so that doesn’t mean they’re actually closely related. I guess it’s just the type of family resemblance that sometimes shows up unexpectedly between distant cousins.

The other thing that the leaves remind me of is licorice, or at least those licorice-flavored herbal teas that you drink when you’re sick with a cold. (Actually I may be thinking of the combination of licorice and slippery elm flavors? But I’m not positive.) It’s not an unpleasant fragrance, and I can imagine this tea being pleasant to drink.

As I steep the tea, the fragrance emerges more, but not at overpowering levels. The tea liquid itself does not appear to change color greatly, and after steeping appears slightly yellowish but not extremely so. The fragrance hasn’t gotten much stronger in the last couple of minutes.

The first sip is not quite as flavorful as the fragrance, but it does support my impression of this tea as being similar to an herbal tea used to treat colds. It tastes slightly sweet in the back of the mouth. It doesn’t seem all that viscous, but it’s probably giving my throat a nice protective coating as I drink it. It doesn’t need sugar, which is a good thing because if you’re going to drink it every day for your health then you wouldn’t want to add sugar or you’d counteract the health benefits, right? It definitely tastes healthy, but in a good, gentle way, not in a bitter-green-smoothie type of way.

I’m not going to say that I want to replace my regularly scheduled tea breaks with this herbal tea, but since it’s caffeine free I bet it would be a great nightcap. Plus, it does have quite a soothing and calming effect, so add that to its other benefits (such as its health benefits) and it turns out to be quite a valuable beverage!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Klio Greek Tea
Description

This variety, Sideritis Scardica, comes from the legendary Mount Olympus, in the Balkans, situated between Thessaly and Macedonia.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

April Siesta from 52Teas. . . . .

Okay April Siesta, I see you, okay. Now I want to start off this review saying that my love of this tea was 110% unexpected. The ingredients are not my usual (aside from chamomile- because unlike a lot of people, I actually am a fan of chamomile). However, the ingredients of lemon, orange, and licorice definitely scared me. Licorice, not as much as lemon and orange. I am not usually the kind of girl that wants tart tea or citrus flavors. When I smelled the dry leaf, I could smell citrus and it definitely made me second guess trying it and just writing it off as a “no”. But- I forged on and made myself a cup. I have always loved chamomile. I just think it is a great herb, not only because I love its honeyed taste, but because it is just so soothing. I get a lot of anxiety and a lot of nausea, especially when I am stressed. Chamomile always helps, even if its in a small way, there is always something positive that I receive from a cup of chamomile tea.

I tried this tea sans agave at first, and while I don’t think that it actually needed any sweetener I still added some. I probably wont next time because it really isn’t needed (I am known for accidentally over-sweetening my teas!). The first thing I noticed was the smell of orange and lemon- lemon more so than the orange. Meh. I really dislike citrus. Thankfully the smell is more powerful than the taste. The citrus is still there, but its tolerable. The next taste I notice is definitely the honeybush and chamomile! Both have sweet, honey, herbal qualities about them. Yum! The last thing I notice is the licorice and also the star anise, which of course have qualities all their own- sweet, but in a different way. I don’t normally like the flavor of licorice, but I think it all depends on what it is. There are these Italian black licorice candies that i’ve tried and they taste horrid. But I’ve tried licorice flavors in teas and I don’t always hate them. I guess it all depends on what it is and what it’s mixed with and how it’s done!

This tea was done really, really well! I really did enjoy it and I really did find it so relaxing! I may even order a larger bag because I think this is something I would drink as part of my nighttime ritual. The citrus aspect gives it a light, fluffy, “spring” feel. The licorice and star anise give it a unique twist. The honeybush and chamomile give it an herbal/honey feel. Definite A+ from me! A must try before it is gone.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

I have a confession (although, for anyone who has read many of my reviews from back when I was a tea reviewer – this probably isn’t much of a confession) – I’m not particularly fond of chamomile. Oh, I’ll drink it (on a rare occasion) but it’s not a tea/tisane that I’ll grab enthusiastically. It’s not something I’ll brew every day – I certainly don’t like it that much.

That said, I don’t hate it either. I’m just kinda ‘meh’ about it. Not my favorite thing – you know?

I’ve crafted one blend with chamomile during my time as the Mad Tea Artist of 52Teas – At Play in the Fields of Love – which I blended as a VIT for a special customer. Now, I’m crafting my second chamomile blend – and I’m blending it with one of my very favorite flavors: Licorice! I absolutely love licorice and all herb-y things related to licorice, like licorice root, anise and fennel. But interestingly enough – this is my first time blending a licorice blend. (Although, I did use licorice root in the Butter Beer reblend.) I have refrained from using licorice as a primary flavor in my blends up until now because I realize that it is a somewhat polarizing flavor – most people either love it or hate it – and it seems like it’s a even balance between those that like it and those that don’t. It’s kind of hard to create a winning blend with a featured flavor that is so polarizing.

But I’m hoping that with this blend – I’ve done just that.

One day while cruising through the internet – I stumbled upon a recipe for a cocktail called “April Siesta.” The cocktail features Absinthe which is a licorice-y liqueur and Curacao which is a citrus-y liqueur. These two liqueurs are combined with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and simple syrup and topped off with a lemon twist.

So this is my take on this cocktail that I’ve never actually tasted but was inspired by. I started with organic honeybush, added some chamomile (because when I think ‘siesta’ – the first herb that comes to mind is chamomile), added licorice root, star anise and some citrus (orange and lemon) wedges. I didn’t want the citrus to be too intrusive because I really wanted the licorice-y flavors to be the star of the show but I didn’t want the licorice to be so sharp that those who aren’t particularly fond of licorice might appreciate this beverage too.

I love this! I can honestly say that this is my favorite blend with chamomile in it – mostly because I can’t really taste the chamomile. Instead, I get sweet licorice with light citrus background notes. Yummy!

organic ingredients: honeybush, chamomile, orange, lemon, licorice root, star anise and natural flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peace from A Quarter To Tea. . . . .

April’s A Quarter to Tea monthly tea box certainly had an interesting selection: Rose Water Shortbread, Strawberry Rhubarb Salad, Cacao Cashew Beet Cake, and this tea, Peace.

This tea is a herbal but one that is based on Olive Leaf, which I personally have never seen before, though that would explain the name. In light of that, I was certainly intrigued. In addition to the olive leaf, this tea has ginger, lemon, and rose “for a calming experience”.

Now that I am actually drinking the tea, I will say it is both familiar and unique. The lemon, like that of lemon zest, is by far the strongest flavor. The ginger is contributing to the taste as well, though it lingers in the back of the sip. However, there is no ginger spice/kick in this tea, which seems to actually work better with the other ingredients. There is a little sweetness from what I imagine is the base, or maybe the rose, and also a touch of dryness from those components as well.

If I didn’t know any better, I would probably think this was a lemongrass and ginger infusion, with something added to keep it smooth and slightly sweet. This is because the lemon and ginger flavors are by far the most prominent and bright.

It is good for a herbal blend and definitely fun to try something new. Like I said, this tea is simultaneously unique while also remaining familiar.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

A slightly sweet and floral full-bodied tisane featuring olive leaf and brightened with lemon and ginger.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!