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This review is for the newer version of this tea – my bag has yellow flower petals instead of blue cornflowers, and I have a feeling they’ve changed the flavoring, too. This one really isn’t for me, despite my general positivity toward citrus/bergamot flavors.
I really can’t explain what I didn’t like, but I’ll try. I had a cup of this every morning for about a week. The first time it was alright – a very, very light, almost weak earl grey, with a pretty obvious vanilla flavoring. It was pretty smooth, but any “creaminess” was due more to a lack of body than a real texture. So I thought maybe I needed to change my steeping parameters.
I steeped the next few cups a bit longer, but that increased the vanilla flavor, and even made it taste and smell artificial. Adding more tea leaves just made it bitter. At that point, I couldn’t even bring myself to drink a version of this made with my original amount and steeping parameters. It’s a huge shame since I have a full ounce left. The sales people always make it sound like 25 cups of tea is nothing! But that’s really not true if you don’t like the tea…
I’m beginning to think that I will compare all cinnamon blend rooibos teas to Good Earth’s Sweet and Spicy. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with Sweet and Spicy and still have some on hand and like it. The problem occurs when these loose blends are shown up by it.
Reading the description of this, I was expecting a spicy, coconut cinnamon rooibos, maybe a little bit like Davids’ Coco Chai Rooibos, which I loved. Wrong! I didn’t find this spicy at all, no matter how long I infused it. The coconut is very faint – the real star is the vanilla and cinnamon. But it’s not a spicy cinnamon. This is pleasant enough, but just not a wow.
And I think that is because it basically tastes like a very weak steep of Sweet and Spicy, making it super difficult for me to get over the price differential.
A tea from my Lucky Bag.
I’m not a huge fan of unflavored black tea, preferring greens in general, but this is pretty darn good. I never found a need to add milk to cut any bitterness; I did try it once and it just adds a little creaminess to a sip. The aroma of this tea is sweet and fruity, and that sweetness transforms into a honey taste when I drink. I never found a need to add extra sweetness to this.
Forever Nuts came in both the Sweet Indulgences and Caffeine Free sampler sets, so I had plenty to try.
Honestly, I think I preferred Sleigh Ride to this. The slight hint of tart to the apple and cinnamon gave the drink a bit of a kick. Though Forever Nuts certainly brews up to a beautiful coral pink color, I found it mostly a bland and weak baked apple flavor. I’m not big on baked apple goods (blasphemy, I know), so it just didn’t appeal. I tried 1.5 tsp at various steeping times to see if that helped, but a full tablespoon and a good long time resulted in a stronger drink that still didn’t have a ton of flavor to it.
When I look at this tea, I see a lot of fruit pieces. Quite a few apple pieces, some obvious pineapple pieces, and the odd dehydrated raspberry. It smells really strongly of fruit, too, though not necessarily berries when dry. The tea leaves themselves are dark slivers in this fruit blend.
I couldn’t imagine having this hot, so I cold-brewed this for about 5 hours. Maybe if you have this hot, the tea is more apparent, but I honestly think it could have been left out. The fruit is front and center: the raspberry flavor builds up as you continue to sip, and it’s tart, as though the raspberries are just the slightest bit unripe. It’s a nice iced tea, sort of like a watered down fruit juice with no added sugar. But I doubt I’d buy this again – I wanted a little bit of tea flavor in there!
This tea came in my Happy Bag, and as the weather turns warmer, I reach for the fruitier teas. The bright green leaves smell delicious and like refreshing grapefruit. The aroma is spot-on.
The aroma holds up pretty well when it is brewed hot, and is a nice bright green-yellow color. The tea itself tastes like a mild green with an assertive grapefruit aftertaste. It’s not a sweet grapefruit, but the mouth-puckering version. If you like that citrus tang, then you will probably love this tea.
I also tried this cold-brewed, at 1.5 tsp/8oz for about 4 hours. While not a very green color, the flavor had certainly seeped out into the water, as it was really tasty. The fruit flavor really came out this way, and it’s definitely my favorite fruity tea from Lupicia so far. If I bought this again, I would tend to make it iced or cold-brewed. Really refreshing!
My breakthrough with this tea happened when I discovered 1 teaspoon is definitely not enough for 8 oz, no matter what the brewing instructions recommend. When I did follow instructions, I was left with a tea that had very little taste and a mild aroma.
Adding that extra 1/2 tsp made a huge difference. At that strength, there’s a pleasant body to the tea, and the taste of strawberries and currants is more obvious. I actually like Earl’s Garden better than the last strawberry tea I tried, though the bergamot unmistakably present. The brew does have an edge of bitterness to it, but I think it’s more like that actual odd tang of bitter you sometimes get off a strawberry’s skin, so it doesn’t bother me as much as it usually would. A nice twist on earl grey.
This was my go-to travel tea for a while, as it held up really well under odd water temperatures. Sometimes the hot water spigot is 160, sometimes it’s 190, sometimes it’s a mystery. Anyhow, the addition of pumpkin spice and caramel to Adagio’s regular masala chai tempered the extremely aggressive cloves in that tea. The caramel adds a hint of sweetness, resulting in a tea that makes me think of a slightly spicy pumpkin pie.
From the Caffeine Free sampler set!
I originally thought this was going to be a lot like Tazo’s Passion, since it’s a hibiscus heavy blend. I happened to have some Passion already brewed up in the fridge, so I did a quick comparison. Where Passion is a bit more of a straightforward tartness, Pink Flamingo has a hint of sweetness to it tasted surprisingly like a grapefruit lemonade. I decided to see how Pink Flamingo would do cold, so I brewed another cup and left it in the fridge overnight. When super cold, the lemongrass really stands out and it almost has a little peppery kick to it. I prefer the fruity notes of the warm version.
My dad picked up an ounce of this at an unidentified specialty food store, and I’m just going to have to make him identify it, because wow. This is some luxurious tea.
The dry leaves smell really sweet, sort of like vanilla caramel. I saw that people were having issues with bitterness, so I kept my steep time at 3 minutes (per usual) and used a bare teaspoon of leaf and never had a problem at all. In fact, this is the creamiest tea I’ve had to date. It feels amazing in my mouth and really does taste like milk chocolate caramel. I think the assam is present enough to keep it from being too sweet, but I can see this being classified as a decadent dessert tea. (My dad says it had better be fantastic at the price he paid, so I am definitely not going to ask him, haha.)
Truly sad to see the bottom of the bag on this one.
From the Caffeine Free sampler set.
A minty herbal grounded by chamomile. I do think valerian does make me sleep a little easier than just straight chamomile, but taste-wise this tisane isn’t that different from any other sleepytime blend involving mint and chamomile. I like those blends, so I like this, but I think I’ll stick to the proverbial Sleepytime(which now that I think about it, might have an even stronger mint-chamomile flavor). ;)
From the Caffeine Free sampler set.
If you are like me and don’t like licorice flavors, you probably won’t like this tea. At first look, this seems like any other minty citrus nighttime blend. Lemongrass, spearmint, rosehips, no big deal. I am good with all these things. It even smells like a typical sleepytime tea. Nope.
I’m not saying the fennel and licorice is loud or overwhelming, it does mix quite well with the other flavors, but I just am not fond of that flavor at all, so I would not try this again. If you do like licorice, go for it! This is the relaxing herbal for you.
From the Sweet Indulgences sampler set.
At first sip, I wasn’t really sure what the big deal was. But the flavor of sweet coconut and rum really built up in my mouth. By the end of the cup I was pretty sad. It was smooth and tasty! And now I don’t have any more.
Frm the Sweet Indulgences sampler set.
I’ve never tasted a goji berry in my life, so I have no idea how true this tea is to flavor. What I can say is that it smells berry-ish and sweet and is an attractive coral pink. You do have to use a generous amount of tea, though. On my first try it was a pale pink and didn’t have much of a taste either.
When it comes to taste, there is a sour, citrusy berry note that fades into sweetness. I enjoyed it more as it got closer to room temperature, so this would probably be lovely iced. I’m not sure if I would buy more of this, but it was a nice fruity treat at the end of a long, hot day.
My first earl grey cream, and definitely not my last. The dry tea leaves smell like dessert, really.
Waiting for this tea to cool down from piping hot is crucial. Whenever I tried it straight out of the steeper, I always got a slightly astringent flavor from what I assumed was the black tea base. Be patient and the vanilla flavoring shines through, creating that creamy sensation.
Vanilla is the star in this tea. The bergamot is present but not loud. I’d also like to note that some days my cup had an inexplicable thin feeling. Other days it had good body, so I’m guessing I need to be careful not to underleaf. Going to check out other earl grey creams for sure.
From the Caffeine Free sampler. A heavily citrus-flavored herbal blend with hints of tang and tartness, but is sweet at the same time. When hot, it reminded me of David’s Orange Blossom, with just a tad bit of mint and pucker. As it cooled, the tartness faded into a mellow grapefruit-like flavor. I think this would make great iced tea.
I’m beginning to think I might not like marshmallow root. Or at least not in tea. That’s the one ingredient this tea has in common with another one I didn’t enjoy. Anyhow, I couldn’t figure out how to finish even one cup of this. I tried less tea, more tea, less time, and more time.
Such a shame, because I love s’mores, and this smelled so good! Even though I couldn’t see any mini marshmallows, I did see the little chocolate bits and some graham crackers. Funnily enough, this tea tasted better to me the longer I let it steep, even though I tend to dislike strong black tea, so while the black base is present, it’s not astringent. Tasted a LOT better to me with milk and sugar, but still. Not my favorite.
Another little tin from the Sweet Indulgences set.
A lot of fruit in this blend. Not sure exactly what the fruit pieces are, but I’m guessing some dried mango is in there. (Just looked up the ingredients, and apparently there is apple and pineapple, too! Well, whatever fruit there was, there was one piece that was bigger than a quarter. Pretty impressive.)
Despite all that fruit, the tea base actually came through in the cup, creating a nice balance to the light fruit juice style flavors that were dominant. To me, it tasted like a watery version of mango juice, which is not a bad thing at all. Hot, this tea had a hint of tartness that completely disappeared once it cooled down to room temperature. Sweet without any added sugar.
So I see that some tasters have noticed variations in quality between batches of this, which would explain my experience with this tea. I was looking forward to drinking this. Between the strong maple syrup smell, apt name, cute maple leaf candies, I was ready to love this tea. It just wasn’t meant to be.
I was hugely disappointed with what turned out to be a very weak rooibos with a hint of maple – a tiny hint. At 5 minutes it was weak but drinkable, at 7 minutes it gained an unpleasant aftertaste and was a bit chemical. Adding actual maple syrup to sweeten it only seemed to emphasize the weird off-ness of the drink. I’m really hoping that I can try this again and have a better experience.
Another one from the Lucky Bag.
I went through this one pretty quickly! The curled-up little leaves smell delicious and tip so nicely into the steeper. The scent matches up with the promised ripe pineapple and coconut. My first instinct was to cold-brew this, but I believe I left it too long at 5 hours, as I found the underlying flavor of the oolong too floral and a bit bitter. Turns out I like this a lot better when it is steeped for a few minutes at about 160-170 and let cool to drinking temperature. The fruity pineapple really shines then and makes a delicious and sweet cup.
I honestly thought this was Forever Nuts! Both Forever Nuts and Sleigh Ride are in the Caffeine-Free sampler set, so when I happened to look at the bottom of the tin, I was flabbergasted. The thing is, I’d even been reading the reviews for Forever Nuts and agreeing with them, so…. Clearly Sleigh Ride and Forever Nuts were Separated At Birth.
Dry, this tea smells sweet, sort of reminds me of muffins. It brews up to a .deep pink-red color and smells like fruity cinnamon. It tastes like a tart apple pie- not super tart, but just a bit. The fruity apple-cinnamon flavor is nice and subtle. I found it relaxing at the end of the day.
I’m definitely going to have to try some Forever Nuts tonight… see if they’re different at all.
I’m so glad the Sweet Indulgences set came with a bit of this. I don’t think I would have ever picked it out on my own.
This was a home-run for me. I didn’t really read the ingredients before brewing a cup – I just knew it was a chocolate tea with cute little red candy lips, so when I tasted it I was surprised by the minty taste. It was a great surprise, as the flavor instantly reminded me of Thin Mint cookies. The chocolate is present, but not overwhelming, making this a nice middle-of-the-day tea. Super satisfying, and I’d consider buying more.