Review: Big Tea House Safari Serenade

Big Tea House, Citrus Tea, Cornflower Tea, Organic Tea, Rooibos Tea No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Smooth and soothing, this easy-drinking blend should please Earl Grey fans, as there is a hint of bergamot to the finish, along with mandarin and orange notes. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.8/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 7/10, Vanessa gave it 7/10
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I’ve been craving a good rooibos blend lately, and this sample fit the bill perfectly. Containing rooibos tea, cornflowers and citrus flavors, this product is certified organic as well as kosher. This is one of the rare instances where my sample really looked exactly like the picture on the website: lots of purple cornflower blossoms mingling with reddish-brown rooibos needles. Oooh pretty!

Following Big Tea House’s suggested directions, I steeped a hefty teaspoonful in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. The resulting cup presents a pleasing mandarin/vanilla aroma to the nose and a typical rooibos red liquor. Smooth and soothing, this easy-drinking blend hits the spot after a long day. It should please Earl Grey fans, as there is a hint of bergamot to the finish, along with mandarin and orange notes. The latter are noticeable yet not overbearing, as sometimes additional flavourings can be. The citrus fruit combined with the sweet caramel flavour of the rooibos gives the cup an exotic feel. The body seems faintly oily, adding a bit of punch texture-wise. A second infusion can be had, the citrus lift to the finish still present enough to be pleasant. However I wouldn’t bother with a third, as the tisane is little more than coloured water at this point.

I tend to leave rooibos to steep indefinitely in my cup, usually with no adverse effects. In this case however, the bergamot-like aftertaste becomes a bit too medicinal tasting after a while, so I wouldn’t recommend this technique. I really can’t fault this tisane for being finicky though, as we’re talking about well over 15 minutes of infusion time here.

Although not mind-blowing, this is a well blended, relatively inexpensive flavoured rooibos. It’s especially good value given that it’s certified organic. Those who like their citrus fruits in a caffeine-free, drinkable format should look no further! For more information, I encourage you to visit Big Tea House’s informative and attractive website.

— To purchase Big Tea House Safari Serenade, 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: Sophie Sophie
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Review: White August Plum Proud

Black Tea, Cranberry Tea, Plum Tea, Raspberry Tea, Strawberry Tea, White August Tea Co. No Comments »
Erika’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"...raspberry was the prominent flavor, and overpowered the muted plum."
Erika’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 8.8/10, Vanessa gave it 7.7/10, Melanie gave it 10/10, Laura gave it 7.75/10, Chantal gave it 7/10, Chelsy gave it 8.0/10, Sophie gave it 5.1/10
Your Reviews: 7.3/10
3 reader reviews | Add your review »

Plum Proud is a combination of black tea, French plums, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberry essence.  I’m a huge fan of plums and I was hoping they would make a strong appearance in this tea.  The smell was surprisingly sweet and almost candy-like with raspberries dominating the scent.  The dry mix consisted of black, twisted fragments of tea with red flower petals and small bits of fruit.  I visited the website to view steeping recommendations and I prepared my cup using boiling water allowed to cool, with a four minute steep.  This produced a rusty colored cup with a heavy scent of raspberry and strawberry.  Sadly I wasn’t able to single out the plum.

For my first cup, I decided to try the tea hot.  Not surprisingly, raspberry was the prominent flavor, and overpowered the muted plum.  This tea was not overly sweet or tart and there was a surprisingly nice balance between the black tea base and the blended fruits.  I was a little disappointed in the light nature of the plum flavor and I wish this had been the focal point of the tea rather than the heavy-handed raspberry.

White August Tea Company notes on their website that “this tea was made to be iced,” and luckily I had enough for a second cup.  The flavors in this cup remained much the same.  The raspberry was the most prominent and there was also a light, grape-like quality.  The iced version of this tea was good, but I can’t say I prefer the cold to the hot.  Overall, this was a nice cup, especially if you enjoy raspberry.

— To purchase White August Plum Proud, 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: Erika Erika
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Review: Culinary Teas Keemun 3 Monkey Tea

Black Tea, Culinary Teas, Keemun Tea No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The primary flavor has a sweet cocoa-like element, but the overall flavor is rather complex, with lots of subtle flavors present. "
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 7.8/10, JennH gave it 8.7/10
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The tea consists of small, withered pieces with a fairly intesne scent that is fairly true to form for a Keemun tea…mostly sweet and malty with an ever-so-gentle hint of smokiness. I picked up a distinct caramel/cocoa fragrance. I prepared this tea using my standard black tea parameters of a three minute infusion in boiling water. The result was a dark and opaque black tea that had a coppery red tint.
This tea is sweet and hearty, and I found it to be an ideal morning brew. The primary flavor has a sweet cocoa-like element, but the overall flavor is rather complex, with lots of subtle flavors present. While the tea is hearty and satisfying, it is not overwhelming or intense, but instead just a solid, decent offering. The Culinary Teas website describes this tea perfectly with the statement:”Aromatic and penetrating without being lush or floral”. This tea holds up to the addition of milk quite well, and it might even be argued that the addition of milk enhances the flavors of this tea.
Given its robust body, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this tea for use as an iced tea, but I think this ranks quite highly for hot tea, particularly as we are approching the end of the summer and the cooler months are approaching.

— To purchase Culinary Teas Keemun 3 Monkey 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.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Red Leaf Tea Ginger Matcha – Organic

Ginger Tea, Green Tea, Matcha Tea, Organic Tea, Red Leaf Tea No Comments »
Erika’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"There was no waiting for the flavor to hit and no vague ideas of what could have been, just a nice gingery undertone."
Erika’s Teaview: 7.5/10
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This marks my third matcha from Red Leaf Tea.  I requested this particular matcha because I’m a huge fan of ginger.  As I have come to find out, these flavored matchas are lighter than I imagined they would be.  Ginger, however, can be a hard ingredient to hide and I was hoping it would make a strong presence in the brew.

I prepared my cup using water brought to a boil, poured into a cup to cool, and then poured into my chawan.  I added one teaspoon of mossy green powder and proceeded to whisk vigorously.  Without much effort, a beautiful green froth appeared.  This was a nice surprise, as the other Red Leaf matcha samples failed to produce much more than fleeting bubbles.  The scent was light and grassy and I was unable to pick out ginger notes.

Taste-wise, I was pleasantly surprised.  While the ginger was not what I would define as strong, it was clearly present.  There was no waiting for the flavor to hit and no vague ideas of what could have been, just a nice gingery undertone.  I wouldn’t compare the taste to fresh ginger, and it didn’t have the spicy ‘kick’ that I enjoy so much.  This was clearly more in line with more of a muted, dried variety.  I did enjoy my cup however, and I plan to enjoy the rest of my very generous sample.  Fans of the heavy ginger flavors may be a little let down, but if you like your ginger on the light side, this would be a great tea to try.

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Ginger Matcha – Organic, 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: Erika Erika
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Review: Golden Tips Tea Darjeeling Earl Grey

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Golden Tips Tea 1 Comment »
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!" If ever a tea could taste cheerful and optimistic, this one does."
Jamie’s Teaview: 9/10
Your Reviews: 10/10
1 reader reviews | Add your review »

For someone who loves an occasional cup of Earl Grey tea, the chance to try a Darjeeling based Earl Grey was plenty tempting. Golden Tips offers this lovely combination of tastes and since I’m fond of Earl Greys but also think that a bad base leaf can definitely spoil Earl Grey’s show, I was pleased to sample it for review.

This offering is a very dark black leafed tea, darker than any Darjeeling I’ve ever encountered. Leaves range from charcoal and dark chocolate tones (the bulk of the leaf) to dark reddish tan leaves here and there. The length of the leaves is medium and longer and there is a wonderful scent of mild citrusy bergamot emanating from the leaf. The familiar aroma is thick and heavy, not high and perfumey. There’s a strong smell of good tea rolling right along this river of scent and this is something I appreciate and start to look forward to sipping right away.

I use a simple teaspoon of leaf per 8 ounces of water just under a boil (probably 205 or so). I allow a three minute steep. Soft hints of sweet citrus spice emanate from the steeping tea. The infused leaf is light in color and tastes delicious. The Darjeeling pairing is bright and playful, making a deluxe backdrop for a very appealing, mellow orange citrus bergamot flavor that is permeating and full of flavor but not overly perfumed. The flavor is full and would even be a little sultry were it not for the playful Darjeeling. The Darjeeling base serves to lighten and brighten things, creating an overall effect that is invigorating and a marvelous pick me up. If ever a tea could taste cheerful and optimistic, this one does.

An excellent pairing! This one should delight Earl Grey lovers. For those that don’t like a high toned, very perfumey Earl Grey, this one will sparkle. And I suspect for those that do, they’ll love the way the light buoyancy of the Darjeeling keeps this Earl Grey from having a heavy bergamot quality. All in all, this is one of the best Earl Grey’s I’ve had in a long time.

— To purchase Golden Tips Tea Darjeeling Earl Grey, 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: Jamie Jamie
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Review: Boston Tea Company Organic Cranberry Lemon

Black Tea, Boston Tea Company, Cranberry Tea, Fruit Flavored Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Lemon Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Organic Tea, Rose Tea No Comments »
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Other than that flinching forefront, it settled into the presence it was trying to convey - that of cranberry lemonade."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 7.4/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

Boston Tea Co presents a black tea blend that contains the following ingredients (and I quote): “Premium blend of organic Chinese and Indian black tea, organic hibiscus, lemongrass, rose petals, cranberry and lemon flavor.” There is absolutely no subtlety to Boston Tea Co.’s flavored teas. In some ways, that’s to be admired.

The moment I tore open the plastic bag, my nostrils were pummeled with something akin to loud lemonade…with a scant sign of cranberry dryness on the tail end. As for visual palate, all the botanical ingredients were front and center – pieces of lemongrass and rose petals being the most obvious. Hibiscus was a bit shy, though, odd considering how much of an impression “she” usually leaves. I was also pleased that the blended black tea base was of the whole leaf variety, not small-cut; that spoke volumes.

There were brewing instructions on the site, so I gave it the good ol’ teabag send off with a 12oz. coffee cup, boiling water, and dunked it for four minutes.

The liquor brewed to a crimson-brown, almost cherry with a pungently fruit-sweet nose. On taste, there was an overpoweringly astringent element. Both the black tea base and hibiscus could’ve been at fault there. Other than that flinching forefront, it settled into the presence it was trying to convey – that of cranberry lemonade. I don’t really have anything more to add than that.

Visit Boston Tea for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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