Southbrook Berry Blend Tisane from Pluck

Southbrook_Berry_BlendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Pluck Tea

Tea Description:

A blend of dried grape skins from Niagara’s Organic and Biodynamic Southbrook Vinyards, layered with hibiscus and berries for a delicious fruit tea.  Enjoy hot or iced.  Caffeine – free

Learn more about August’s Postal Teas shipment here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

Of the three teas that I received in this month’s box from Postal Teas, this is the tea that I was putting off trying.  I was not looking forward to it.  I can see the hibiscus!  UGH!  And because it’s dried grape skins, berries and hibiscus (all dark red) … it just looks like pure hibiscus!

So, needless to say, I didn’t have high hopes for this blend.  To steep this, I got out my Kati tumbler and added 1 bamboo scoop of the dark, burgundy red leaves into the basket of the tumbler and poured water heated to 195°F into the tumbler and let it infuse for 4 1/2 minutes.  Normally, I’d steep a fruit/berry/herbal tisane like this for 5 – 6 minutes, but because this looked like pure hibiscus to me, I went with slightly less time.

The thing about hibiscus is that the longer you let it steep, the tarter the flavor.  Tarter?  Tartier?  More tart?  In addition to a more tartness, the hibiscus turns the liquid into a thick, almost viscous syrup that is quite tart and not very enjoyable to sip.  At least, not for me.  I guess there are some people that dig that sort of thing.

Anyway, this tastes much better than I anticipated it would.  Because of the short steep time, I don’t have a tisane with an unpleasantly thick texture.  And because of the short steep time, I’m not tasting an overwhelmingly tart, hibiscus-y drink.

I can taste the berries!  I can taste the grape!  In fact, the grape is what I taste most.  This tastes a whole lot like warm grape juice.  I suspect that this tisane would taste really good iced and would go over well with children, and it’s a caffeine free alternative to all those sugary sodas.

The “berries” in this blend, because they meld in such a seamless way with the grape and the hibiscus, it’s difficult to discern what type of berry I’m tasting.  It tastes like a berry/grape medley.  The hibiscus is still there, of course, but it melds with the flavors of grape and berry in such a way that it doesn’t taste “hibiscus-y”.  It tastes like a grape and berry juice that’s both sweet and tart.  I am not one who particularly enjoys tart flavors so I added about half a teaspoon of raw sugar to the cup and this toned down the tartness to a tolerable level for my palate.

This is alright.  It’s not my favorite tisane, but given how much I thought I’d dislike it, it turned out to be much better than I thought it would.

Overall, I enjoyed this month’s box from Postal Teas.  And after perusing Pluck’s selection of teas, I’m finding a whole lot more that I’d love to try.  Hey, Postal Teas, if you’re reading … you should feature Pluck again, soon!

Red Peach Vineyard from Fusion Teas


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Fusion Teas

Tea Description:

Red vineyard peach: an incomparable delicacy with a unique taste. Together with the strawberry it awakens the desire to visit the slopes of the beautiful vineyard regions where it is grown!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The sample packet that I have for this tea just says “Red Vineyard” not Red Peach Vineyard, but when I compared the ingredient list on my package to the online ingredient list, they are identical so I think I’m pretty safe in assuming that this tea that I’m sipping right now is indeed Red Peach Vineyard.

This is LOVELY!

I know I probably sound a bit like a broken record when I state that I’m not one to imbibe alcohol, but it’s true, and it always seems like a relevant fact when I encounter teas that are wine inspired.  I don’t really care much for the taste of alcohol … every once in a while, I take a sip of something, but, I just don’t care for the taste of it.  Even alcoholic beverages that supposedly have no taste, like vodka, I can taste something there, and I’m not fond of it.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not tempted to try something every once in a while – I mean when I see something like “caramel flavored vodka” or “Almond Roca Wine,” I’m intrigued.  But, I think that is more about my sweet tooth than about the actual alcoholic beverage.  And I will on a very rare occasion indulge in a mixed cocktail that taste more of sweet fruit than of fermented spirits, but these occasions are indeed rare, and again, the sweeter they are (and the less like alcohol they taste) the better I like them.

But for whatever reason, I usually enjoy wine inspired or wine infused teas.  And I don’t know if this tea is actually wine flavored, or if it’s just inspired by the idea of a California Vineyard (Strawberries make me think of California … peaches don’t, however, peaches do grow quite well in California!)  Either way, I do taste a sort of wine-y element to this cup.  Like a sweet red wine.  Slightly grape-y flavor with a hint of fermentation and the slight astringency to this tea play to the wine-like characters of this tea.

The black tea has a very pleasing quality to it.  It is a well-rounded tea, it is strong but not what I’d call “bold,” really, and it has a hint of flowery intonation and an undertone of earthiness that also play to the wine-y character of this tea.

But the real stars of this particular show are the flavors of peach and strawberry.  I love this combination, and it is one that I think I’d like to see offered more often in tea blends.  The sweet, luscious flavor of the peach complements the sweet berry very well, there is just a twinge of tartness to the cup from the berry, but overall, this is a sweet, fruity tea that is really quite enjoyable.

Another great cuppa from Fusion Teas!