Review: Culinary Teas New York Apple Spice Herbal Tea

Apple Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Clove Tea, Culinary Teas, Hibiscus Tea, Rose Hip Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"It would have been more apt to call this blend “hibiscus strawberry spice" for its blend of intensely tart and sweetly spicy flavours."
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.1/10
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Culinary Teas conceived this tisane as an homage to New York's long standing apple tradition. They list many interesting apple facts related to both the state and the city on their website. Oddly, rather than highlighting the fruit it's named after, this offering's flavour profile is described as having “a wildly exotic strawberry and lemon character”. This festive-looking blend combines dried apple pieces, rose hips, hibiscus, cinnamon, cloves and natural flavours. I can easily spot all of the listed ingredients (except for the natural flavours of course), as the pieces are all fairly large. Their aroma is a mixture of strong sweet, spicy and floral fragrances – this tea could easily be mistaken for potpourri, not only for its looks but for it's smell as well!

Based on Culinary Teas' instructions I infused a rounded teaspoon of leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 and a half minutes. The resulting liquor is a deep ruby red. The cloves and the hibiscus dominate the aroma of the steeped cup. These also dominate the flavour profile. Although the cinnamon, the rose hips and the apple do contribute an underlying sweetness, the tang of the hibiscus is front and centre. The cloves are more subtle and better integrated to the overall profile, lending a bit of a spicy kick to the finish. This tea is on the edge of what I can handle in terms of tartness. Although I don't normally add sweeteners to my teas, I found that this tisane could benefit from a small amount of honey to tone down the tartness of the blend. However, the same sourness I find overbearing in a hot beverage makes for a deliciously thirst-quenching iced tea.

I steeped the blend again for 5 and a half minutes. Now that the hibiscus has waned a bit, the clove and the cinnamon make for a spicy yet smooth and sweet cup. Although it's rather bland compared to the first brew, I prefer this cup as the flavours are much less strident and better balanced.

The apple flavour of this blend is largely overshadowed by the hibiscus - those who don't like its sour taste should definitely abstain. This is a bit surprising coming from a blend supposedly designed to showcase the fruit. It would have been more apt to call this blend “hibiscus strawberry spice”. I don't think I would particularly seek this out to drink as a hot tea again, as the flavour profile is just too tart for me. However as an iced tea, it made for a refreshing beverage.

— To purchase Culinary Teas New York Apple Spice Herbal Tea, 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.

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