Review: Yogi Tea Berry Antioxidant

Acai Berry Tea, Blueberry Tea, Boysenberry Tea, Coffee Berry Tea, Elderberry Tea, Ginseng Tea, Goji Berry Tea, Gotu Kola Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Jiao Gu Lan Tea, Raspberry Tea, Rooibos Tea, Stevia Leaf Tea, Yogi Tea 1 Comment »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"I probably wouldn't turn down a second cup of this, but the artificial element of the berry flavor was a bit disappointing."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 5.5/10
Other Teaviews: Lea gave it 5/10, Numi gave it 5/10
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yogi-berry-antioxidant.jpgLike most of the free world, I have a serious love of berries, almost bordering on an obsession. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, acai berries…the type doesn’t matter, just bring on the berries! So of course I was excited to sample Yogi Tea’s Berry Anti-oxidant. From the start, this tea had my curiosity piqued because, as with other Yogi Teas, the Berry Anti-oxidant blend appears to suffers from a case of “everything but the kitchen sink”-itis. The ingredients listed on the packet are numerous, including many berries (although disconcertingly the ingredient was more often listed as “berry flavor” than the actual berry itself), rooibos, and assorted herbal ingredients. I steeped my teabag for three minutes and the result was a DARK blend that resembled Coca-Cola (minus the fizz, of course) or a pretty strong cup of coffee. I must admit the appearance didn’t do too much for me. The scent was sweet and fruity, reminscent of raspberry-flavored bubble gum I ate as a child. There was also some almost-medicinal/ Robitussin-esque component to the scent too which I could have done without. But tea is more about taste than it is about appearance and aroma, so I moved on and took my first sip. This tea is undoubtedly (and unsurprisingly) heavy on berry flavor, but some part of it just tasted unnatural to me (perhaps the result of Yogi Tea using “berry flavor” rather than the berries themselves). Although the primary flavor that comes through is berry, there is also a floral-herbal element to this tea too. The tea was sweet on its own, and in my opinon, required no added sweetener. In all, this tea was just barely above average for me. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly won’t be shouting its praises from the rooftops, either. I probably wouldn’t turn down a second cup of this, but the artificial element of the berry flavor was a bit disappointing. For sure, there are better berry teas out there, but Yogi Tea’s Berry Antioxidant is decent as a widely available and fairly inexpensive option.

— To purchase Yogi Tea Berry Antioxidant, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Rishi Tea Dong Ding Oolong

Oolong Tea, Rishi Tea 1 Comment »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Light and crisp, with a creamy and nutty/soy aftertaste... tastes more like a green tea than an oolong. Rishi has done it again!"
Vanessa’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Other Teaviews: Shelly gave it 7/10, Babette gave it 7.5/10, Numi gave it 7/10, Kari gave it 7.5/10, Shane gave it 9.5/10
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rishi-dong-ding.jpgRishi has done it again. This being my fourth or fifth Rishi tea review, I am convinced that Rishi is one of the highest quality tea companies around. From my experience, they really excel in green and oolong teas (although I haven’t sampled any of their black tea products), so if you have developed a taste for these types of tea, I highly suggest you give them a try. Anyway, on to Ding Dong Oolong, the subject of this review. The tea has a very green appearance, and the dried leaves take the shape of large clusters. The scent is overwhelmingly floral, and although pleasant, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed, as I assumed (wrongfully) that this tea would be a simple floral ti guan yin-ish oolong. The tea brews to a pale yellowish-brown color, a good bit lighter than the formosa oolongs with which I am more familiar. The leaves unfurl to considerably large size, so as with many of their teas, a small scoop of leaves goes a long way. There is a definite vegetal scent to the brewed liquid, and a very strong scent of what I can only describe as a graininess, as if rice or wheat or some other grain had been infused in the mix. Because the scent of the brewed liquid differed so much from the scent of the dried leaves, I figured this would be a pretty complex tea, and in fact, it was. The tea tastes more like a green tea than an oolong, as if this oolong tea just barely stepped across the boundary line separating green teas from oolong teas. It is light and crisp, with a creamy and nutty/soy aftertaste. About a month ago, I reviewed Rishi’s Ancient Emerald Green Lily, which I gave rave reviews based on its creamy nuttiness. Rishi Ding Dong Oolong could be considered Ancient Emerald Green Lily’s first cousin…this tea shares all of the wonderful properties of my beloved Ancient Emerald Green Lily, with a slight oolong twist. In all, this tea was top-notch, and as soon as I am done writing this review, I plan to brew myself a second pot (since I don’t care much about saving face, I will add that I just inhaled my entire first pot of this tea in about 10 minutes). On a final note, Rishi states that these tea laves can be brewed three or more times, so even though these tea could be considered a tad pricey ($6.00 for 1 ounce), when you consider that each spoonful of leaves can be brewed three or four times, it really isn’t too expensive. This is a great tea, and one I plan to have on stock in my tea cabinet.

— To purchase Rishi Tea Dong Ding Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Teatulia Bengal Breakfast

Bengali Tea, Black Tea, Teatulia 2 Comments »
Stephen’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A smooth, clean-tasting black tea with a bit of natural sweetness in the finish... a fantastic tea I will certainly be drinking again."
Stephen’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Nicole gave it 9/10, Erika gave it 8/10, Dave gave it 6/10, CJ gave it 9/10
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tetulia-bengal-breakfast.jpgTeatulia is a relatively new company that’s been generating a lot of buzz lately.  All of their teas are grown in their own tea garden in Northern Bangladesh.  Apart from being 100% organic and making heavy use of biodegradable and recycled packing materials, Teatulia is also committed to improving social conditions for the men and women who work their tea fields through the Teatulia Co-op.  You can learn a little more about Teatulia via their short promotional video, below:


Tetulia Tea Garden from Tetulia Tea on Vimeo.

Bengal Breakfast was the first Teatulia tea I sampled and I was impressed straight away.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from a “Bengali Tea,” and had no idea what the differences in climate and soil composition might make between this and a traditional Indian/Darjeeling tea.  But the results speak for themselves.  Bengal Breakfast is a smooth, clean-tasting black tea with a barely perceptible sweetness in the finish.  Its about halfway between the maltiness of an English Breakfast tea and the slightly vegetal twang of a traditional Darjeeling.  The tea leaves are big and beautiful, and you can watch them unfurl into nearly complete tea leaves as they brew.

I definitely look forward to sampling more of Teatulia’s teas in the future – this one was a winner for me.

— To purchase Teatulia Bengal Breakfast, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Stephen Stephen
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Review: Thunderbolt Tea Arya Ruby First Flush 2008

Darjeeling Tea, Thunderbolt Tea No Comments »
Stephen’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A complex earthy/sweet/vegetal Darjeeling that continually transforms itself on your palette... I don't know that I've had a better Darjeeling than this, ever."
Stephen’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9/10, Kari gave it 7.5/10, DL gave it 8/10
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thunderbolt-arya-ruby.jpgI received a wonderful little package from Thunderbolt Tea the other day, shipped direct from India.  It was wrapped in a light cotton fabric and was almost entirely covered with customs and export stamps.  I’ve really never received a package like it – quaint, unusual and exotic… it looked almost as if it were from another era. Inside were four samples of Thunderbolt’s 2008 crop.  I knew the first one I would try was the Arya Ruby.

From Thunderbolt Tea’s web site:

As the Arya Ruby fans know that Arya Ruby leaves are quite large, but not flaky. They are well twisted and rolled. Well withered and fired. The leaves are from AB2 Clonal bushes and is rather a clonal tea. Its not greenish in appearance because its made in quite a different manner and in very limited quantity. It has the overall first flush characteristics yet differs from the “tagged First Flush appearance characteristics”. First Flush teas on the whole is perceived as having a greenish appearance whose cup is to have a weak body. This tea overrides the concept, yet is a First Flush tea. The infused leaves are rather chocolaty-brown which opens up into actual size of the green leaf when plucked by tea laborers. It has a fragrance that is floral and fruity which is also accompanied by some buttery and more of chocolaty aroma.

As stated above, it is not a weak cup, but has some body which may appear to be strong with a greater strength – the beauty of this tea is that though it has a strong body, it is smooth, fruity, flowery with no pungency at all. A chocolaty (caramel) taste can be found hidden which reveals itself. A cup for those tea connoisseurs who like smooth tea with the characteristics of First Flush tea. Usually smooth teas are from the Second Flush offerings having a mellow output in the palate.

Of all the 2008 Darjeelings on Thunderbolt’s site, the Arya Ruby appears to have the highest rating.  And after tasting it, I can see why.  Nevertheless, the first sip was a bit… well, almost off-putting.  It had that earthy/papery taste that I sometimes find in Chinese teas, almost fetid, like mushrooms feeding off the rot on a forest floor.  But thankfully that initial shock faded away entirely after the second sip… the tastes were still there, but they gradually transform on your tongue into a complex mixture of sweet and vegetal, earthy and almost smoky.  I found that the more I drank it, the more delicious it became.

I’ve brewed this three times now, on different days, and strangely enough the first sip is always a bit of a shock.  Even when you know what to expect, the first sip of this tea is markedly different.  I can’t really explain why that is, but I am curious if anyone else has had the same experience.  Each time the first sip makes me wonder if I’d done something wrong with the brewing parameters, and then from the 2nd sip onwards it mellows out and just becomes a delicious cup of tea.  Strange.

If you’re a fan of Darjeelings, and especially if you like complex brew with an intense, chewy mouth-feel, this is certainly the blend for you.  Its a bit expensive at $29.99/100g, but remember that shipping (direct from India) is free, so in the end its not so bad.  Plus you’ll get a fancy little cotton-wrapped package in the mail.  🙂

— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Arya Ruby First Flush 2008, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Stephen Stephen
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Review: Tea Zone Monk’s Blend

Black Tea, Calendula Tea, Ceylon Tea, Grenadine Tea, Marigold Tea, Tea Zone, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Rebekah’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sweet and flowery, though not overwhelmingly so... perfectly suited to a spring afternoon in the garden with friends."
Rebekah’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Clay gave it 8/10
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teazone-monks-blend.jpgWhen I think of the name Monks Blend it brings me thoughts of a deep contemplative tea that helps me to draw into myself for meditation and maybe even some dreaming. In the package this blend is quite appealing black tea with little yellow marigold flowers that look out at you and invite you to delve into their depths.

Now before I tell you about the scent of this blend let me remind you of my tastes when it comes to tea. I am not a flowery tea fan, while at the Shook (market) in Israel recently I ended up coming home without any tea, because most of the teas found their were very flowery ( and that small issue that with 10 days in Israel I only encountered 1 place that would not take American dollars- the tea and spice stalls in the shook). While i love the whimsy added by the color of the marigold flowers this tea smells like flower syrup. Both dried in the bag and once brewed this tea has a sickeningly sweet smell of grenadine that was not exactly appealing to me.
On the other hand I know people who would love sweet flowery teas and they would have loved this blend. I didn’t mind this blend. It was a good light tea and taste wise the grenadine and vanilla flavorings were not overwhelming. I think of this blend as a slightly whimsical afternoon blend. Perfectly suited to a spring afternoon in the garden with friends…. or at least for when you want to dream of those times.

— To purchase Tea Zone Monk’s Blend, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Rebekah Rebekah
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Review: Golden Moon Sugar Caramel Oolong

Caramel Tea, Golden Moon Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Nicole’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Crème Brule in a cup... with that burnt sugar quality to it that makes it a perfect desert tea."
Nicole’s Teaview: 10/10
Other Teaviews: Stephen gave it 8/10, Cindy gave it 7/10, Shelly gave it 6/10, Lea gave it 6/10, Tiffany gave it 7.5/10, Vanessa gave it 6/10, Numi gave it 7.5/10, Barbara gave it 5.5/10, Kari gave it 8/10, Laura gave it 6/10
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golden-moon-sugar-caramel-o.jpgGolden Moon describes this tea as containing green oolong leaves infused with essences of caramel and burnt sugar. I brewed it using my Zarafina tea maker, set on strong Oolong. I could smell the sweetness of the leaves through the bag that the sample came in. They had the look of a fairly good quality Oolong, which was nice to see. Most flavored teas I’ve come across are disappointing in that respect.

The taste was sweet but mellow enough that it wasn’t overdone. The best way that I can describe the taste is Crème Brule in a cup. It had that burnt sugar quality to it that makes it a perfect desert tea. The floral notes usually associated with Oolong teas were definitely detectable. The flavorings added perfectly complemented the natural taste of the tea. I have to say that this is one of the best flavored varieties that I’ve sampled to date. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Special Offer! For a limited time, Golden Moon Tea is offering deep discounts on their product line. If you're interested in purchasing this tea or others from Golden Moon Tea, shop now by clicking this link: Golden Moon Tea

Teaviews Member: Nicole Nicole
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