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Posts Tagged ‘flavored tea’

Tea_PeachAfter enjoying a cup of jasmine green tea before dinner, I needed a treat after dinner. To satisfy the relentless cravings of my insatiable sweet tooth I grabbed a snack consisting of Table Water Crackers, homemade quince paste, and manchego. A girlfriend of mine, and fellow tea lover I might add, makes an awesome quince paste. For those of you that don’t know, Quince paste also known as dulce de membrillo, is a firm, sticky, sweet reddish hard paste made of fruit from the quince tree. It has a sweet taste and a slightly floral flavor. For the trivia lover, quince paste is extremely popular in Southern Europe and the Middle East. Now back to my snack… quince paste tastes great spread on a cracker with manchego – sheep’s milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain. Once my cheese and jam were assembled, I dug in with great fervor and washed it all down with Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea.

Composition: White Peony Tea, fructose, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice from concentrate, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Antioxidant Extract, peach juice from concentrate, passionfruit juice from concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid

Dry Visual: N/A – pre-maid tea juice drink. Many thanks the POM Wonderful website for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and fruity with peach being the predominate aroma.

Flavor: Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea is a tasty treat for juice lovers.  I found the tea juice blend to be dominated by the fruit juices – peach, passionfruit, then pomegranate respectively. As one would anticipate from the list of ingredients, this drink is pre-sweetened. I believe the fructose eliminates the tartness often found in pure pomegranate juice. White tea, regardless of whether Bai Mu Dan, Silver Needle, or in this blend White Peony is a very mild tea. Therefore, it is not easily discernible in this tea drink. This in no way detracts from the flavor, as I found Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea to be delicious as well as a low calorie dessert. However, to set proper expectations, I would characterize this as more of a juice drink versus a tea drink.

Liquor: A pale salmon colored hue.

Brewing Time: N/A as this is a pre-maid juice/tea drink

Manufacturer: POM Wonderful

Caffeine: Yes.

Peach.JPGTo the left, I have included the nutrition facts for Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea. This is for the regular version, not the Light. If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea, please stop by and share your experience.  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References:

1. Dulce de membrillo. (2009, September 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:35, October 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dulce_de_membrillo&oldid=316087488

2. Manchego cheese. (2009, September 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:44, October 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Manchego_cheese&oldid=314156250

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Cherry VanillaIt’s Saturday, early evening, and of course I should be studying, but I decided to take a much needed tea break. Although who needs a break after an hour or two of studying – I’m just not focused. Evidenced by the fact that since I started studying, I made a light dinner and commenced to eat, cleaned the kitchen, talked on the telephone and took a peak at all my status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn. Pathetic! If it were my kids, I’d be fussing at them for not being focused! Oh yeah, amazingly, I found the time to write a tea review… ChocoLatte Red Tea – Cherry Vanilla.

Composition: Dark roasted cacao, Organic rooibos, Cinnamon, Licorice, Chicory, Cardamom, Ginger, Cloves, Vanilla and Natural cherry flavor.

Dry Visual: Because the tea came prepackaged in a tea bag, I was unable to get a clear view of tea.  Nevertheless, what I could see were flecks of red and brown.

Dry Aroma: Cherry Vanilla has a very pungent aroma. There is the spicy smell of cinnamon and cardamom. The sweet smell of cacao. However the entire batch was overpowered by the smell of chicory and licorice.

Flavor:  The flavor of ChocoLatte Red Tea – Cherry Vanilla is quite distinct.  There was a significant difference in the flavor profile based upon infusion time. When steeped at the lower end of the spectrum (3 mins) the flavors blended well – not one stood out more than the other and the presence of rooibos was evident. Although the brew was somewhat weak. When steeped on the higher end of the spectrum (5 mins) the licorice and chicory became bold. The flavor absolutely mimicked the dry aroma with the chicory and licorice (black licorice) dominating the brew from start to finish. The cherry and chocolate flavors made a subtle presentation while cinnamon sweetened the cup. I was only able to detect the vanilla as an aftertaste.

Not an ounce of astringency was detected. However, I chose to add Sugar-In- The Raw to my cup when steeped for 5 minutes. I was surprised and amazed by how well the sweetener abated the licorice and chicory. I found the cocoa to stand up and present itself quite nicely.

Liquor: A rich, dark, reddish brown.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 3 – 5 minutes. I used both.

Manufacturer: Kalahari Red Tea

Caffeine: No.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of ChocoLatte Red Tea – Cherry Vanilla, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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mango green deI absolutely adore the summer! It is hot all the time and the sun magically bathes you in its glow. There is no better time, in my opinion, to go on vacation than in the summer. That is of course, followed by going on vacation in the winter to a warm, tropical, destination. My family and I just returned from vacation in Miami. It was wonderful to go to the beach – lay in the hot sand, listen to the sometimes crashing waves, and live day-to-day without obligations. During those few precious days, we laughed, we played, and I personally was refreshed. Thus, I sit today completely relaxed with a renewed sense of purpose. It is amazing how a peaceful state of mind can do that for you. My only complaint? I forgot to pack tea and was relegated to grocery store tea. Thus it is with great excitement that I steeped a cup of Mango Green Decaf today.

Composition: Decaffeinated green tea from the Korakundah Estate in Nilgiri, India, mango pieces, calendula, and natural mango.

Dry Visual: Predominantly light and dark green tea leaves – broken and curled with some stems present.  Additionally, there are the bright golden yellow calendula leaves and brownish orangy bits of dried mango.  Thanks Mighty Leaf Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Delicious!  Both fruity and floral with the citrus smell of mango dominating.

Flavor:  A tisane, I found Mango Green Decaf to be a wonderful flavored tea. A mild green tea flavor with an amazing fruity presence, as the dry aroma suggests, from start to finish. However, I would add that the finish is complex as it also contains a floral quality – which I am sure is attributable to the calendula. The fruity/floral combination of flavors are complimentary as one does not dominate the other.

One could easily drink Mango Green Decaf  without sweetener (which I did) as there is only a mild, almost non-existent astringency. In my initial taste I was surprised that the green tea held no vegetal qualities either.  I think with the addition of a sweetener, Mango Green Decaf would make a fantastic iced tea as well.

Liquor: A rich amber hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Mango Green Decaf is 2 to 3  minutes in 170 – 180 degree water.  I steeped for 3 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: The name suggests No – the Mighty Leaf Website says No – but the packaging says light caffeine.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of Mango Green Decaf, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

180px-Calendula_January_2008-1_filteredWhat is Calendula?

Calendula pot marigold, is a genus of about 12-20 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to the area from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran. Calendula should not be confused with other plants that are also known as marigolds, such as plants of the genus Tagetes, corn marigolds or marsh marigolds.

Marigold petals are considered edible. They are often used to add color to salads, and marigold extract is commonly added to chicken feed to produce darker egg yolks. Their aroma, however, is not sweet, and resembles the smell of hops in beer. The oil from its seed contains calendic acid.

References:  Calendula. (2009, May 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:09, May 9, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Calendula&oldid=288782133

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Coco ChaiWhile many people think of iced tea as the method of choice for drinking tea, you will find here on Tea Escapade that I will continue to drink hot tea. There is something wonderful about holding a steaming cup of tea in my hands and inhaling the wonderful, steaming aroma of tea. Watching whole leaf teas unfurl and the enveloping sense of peace that comes from sitting still for even just a moment. Today’s tea choice… CoCo Chai Tea

Composition: Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, red peppercorns, shredded coconut, natural flavors.

Dry Visual: Very color like potpourri – with reds, and yellows, rust and light brown. Various textures as well, from the bark like appearance of rooibos to the circular peppercorns to the actual strips of coconut instead of coconut flavoring. Thanks Mighty Leaf Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and spicy – coconut and cardamom dominate with a hint of cinnamon. There is nothing quite like the smell of chai – in all of its many varieties the aroma steals the show.

Flavor:  An herbal tea,  CoCo Chai is absolutely delicious. While I tend to not drink a great deal of flavored teas, it is always nice to incorporate one into my tea routine. The rooibos dominates this brew with its nutty flavor and is complimented by hints of spiciness. As alluded to in the dry aroma, I found the coconut  flavor had a significant presence in the flavor profile from start to finish. This was followed by the combined tastes of cardamom and cinnamon. I was unable to distinguish the taste of the peppercorns initially – perhaps that had something to do with the fact that I was unsure what they were supposed to taste like.  Of course, I reopened the tea blend, found a peppercorn and popped it in my mouth. It was peppery but sweet. After eating the peppercorn and taking another sip of CoCo Chai, I could definitely taste its subtle influence.

One could easily drink CoCo Chai without sweetener as there is no astringency whatsoever.  However, I found that I preferred adding a little but of sugar. In my opinion sweetener softens what I would describe the “tart” nature of Rooibus.

Liquor: A bold rustic hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for CoCo Chai is 5 to 7  minutes in 202 degree water (or a rolling boil).  I steeped for 7 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: No.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of CoCo Chai, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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strip_closeup3060

Perhaps this may be seen as overkill, but I have another last night I enjoyed another tea by Strip Teas. Usually I try to mix tea reviews so that I share my adventures with various different retailers and flavors, but not this week. Almost every day this week I have sipped a cup of tea containing a Strip Teas tea. The convenience of the packaging makes Strip Teas a easy choice. So far, I share Pushkar Rose and Kashmiri Kahwah – today I’ll share Mint.

Composition:  Nilgiri loose leaf tea blended with dried sprigs of mint.

Dry Visual: I am unable to ascertain as the tea comes prepackaged in an aluminum infuser. Thanks Strip Teas for the picture of the actual loose leaf tea.

Dry Aroma: Mildly minty.

Flavor:  First things first, I love mint tea. Peppermint, Spearmint, Moroccan Mint… I cannot think of a time when I have turned down mint tea. Thus I was highly anticipating drinking a cup of Mint by Strip Teas. The first flavor that greeted me was the taste of Nilgiri. I was surprised and intrigued by the combination of black tea and mint. minttealeavesYet, if ever a black tea was to be blended with mint, I couldn’t think of a better choice than Nilgiri. A black tea both flavorful and mild without a hint of bitterness.  Of course, I was looking next for the power packed punch of mint because I prefer my mint tea extra minty. As the dry aroma suggests, the mint within this blend was very mild, leaving me somewhat disappointed. Overall, Mint is flavorful yet smooth. No sweetener was required nor added to this cup of tea as I was in a purist mood. 

Liquor: A rich brown.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Mint is 1 Strip Tea for 2 – 4 minutes in boiling water.  I steeped for 4 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Strip Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Mint by Strip Teas, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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680Yesterday was absolutely beautiful only to leave me disappointed today by gray, gloomy, wet, and cold weather. Blech! Although every day is a great day for tea, today was especially perfect. I decided on a cup of Oasis.

Composition: Green tea, marigold flowers, orange peel, rose petals, cornflower blossoms, flavoring (I’m truly curious about what kind of flavoring is included in this composition.)

Dry Visual: Very green leaves with colored bits. No other details about the loose tea is available as Oasis is loose tea in a silk sachet. Thanks Tea Forte for the loose tea picture. However, what I find truly unique about Oasis is the silk sachet. Triangular in shape with a fabric stem and paper leaf – this is one amazingly creative tea bag. The design of the bag includes a flat bottom allowing it to “sit” or should I say “stand” in the bottom of your teacup or mug.

Dry Aroma: mildly vegetal

Flavor: Oasis is an interesting green tea. Mildly vegetal as the dry aroma suggests, with a very floral finish. I was unable to discern the difference between the rose petals, marigolds and other flowers – they all blended into one flowery cup of tea. The middle has a definite citrus quality, which I assume is attributed to the orange peel. Initially, I enjoyed without sweetener, but decided to give a little Sugar-In-The-Raw a-whirl. The addition of a sweetener, enhanced the floral quality.  home-infuser

Liquor: A rich yellow with a hint of green.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time is 1 teabag for 2 – 4 minutes in boiling water. I was able to drink two cups of tea from one silken tea sachet and thus steeped 3 minutes for the first infusion as recommended and 5 minutes for the second infusion. 

Manufacturer: Tea Forte

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had an opportunity to try Oasis, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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house-blend

It is incredibly easy to allow life’s challenges to bring us down. Amazingly our view of the world can become quite jaded because of unexpected disappointments and temporary hardships. Recently, while surfing the net to check out other tea blogs, I came across the following excerpt from Tea Mind.

“The last few months have been a tiring time for me, and the financial crisis hasn’t helped matters. However – as one of my sensei’s tea scrolls says, Nishi nishi kore koujitsu: every day is a good day (which I think is an exhortation to practice equanimity). We may prefer nice experiences over not-so-nice ones, but when it comes right down to it, life is precious and we are lucky to be breathing!”

Last night, as I enjoyed a hot steaming cup of Tropical Tea Company’s House Blend, I reflected once again on the above statement and reminded myself of the importance of taking one day at a time. Recognizing that each breath is precious and how important it is to be thankful to God for my blessings both great and small – from an extravagant Valentine’s Day weekend with my husband to a soothing cup of tea.  Nishi nishi kore koujitsu…

Composition: White tea hand blended with coconut, pineapple, safflowers, and cornflowers.

Dry Visual: A blended tea comprised of leaves, buds (resembles silverneedle), and stems. Interspersed within the leaves are colorful pieces of blue cornflowers, creamy coconut, and orange safflowers.  Many thanks to Tropical Tea Company for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Scrumptious! Tropical Tea Company House Blend smells divine – like a fruity, tropical island drink. No pun intended! The coconut and pineapple aroma permeate the blend.

Flavor:  Tropical Tea Company House Blend is delicious! Immediately, the aroma tickled my senses and I eagerly anticipated my first sip.  I was pleasantly surprised by the creaminess of the tea – it was full-bodied and thick in the mouth.  The white tea was mild, but presented itself well in the blend. Especially in light of the fact that the other flavors – pineapple and coconut have a dominating presence. Overall the blend is exceptional.

Initially, I enjoyed a cup of Tropical Tea Company House Blend without a sweetener as it is naturally sweet. About halfway through the cup,  I added about 1/4 teaspoon of organic  sugar. The addition of the sugar changed the flavor, but did not significantly enhance the blend. I have decided that my next cup will be enjoyed pure – but if I decided to add a sweetener,  1/4 teaspoon in a full cup would be sufficient.

Liquor: A surprisingly yellow hue.

Brewing Time: The actual steeping time was not provided,  so I relied upon prior white tea steeping recommendations for an average time of  4 – 6 minutes at pre-boil.  Initially, I steeped Tropical Tea Company House Blend for 4 minutes, tasted and steeped for an additional minute for a total of 5 minutes.

Manufacturer: Tropical Tea Company

Caffeine: Yes.

250px-safflowerWhat is a Safflower?

Safflower (Carthamus tinctoriusL.) is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual, usually with many long sharp spines on the leaves. Plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower heads (capitula) and commonly, brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers which bloom in July. While it has many uses, from cooking to oil to dyes, safflower is also used as a tea ingredient, with Tsheringma being one of the more common  herbal teas made from the plant.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Tropical Tea Company House Blend stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References: Safflower. (2009, February 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:47, February 16, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Safflower&oldid=270154522

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