Mountain Rose Herbs
Popular Teas from Mountain Rose HerbsSee All 48 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I had hid the Mountain Rose samples ashmanra sent me from Tazo (something catnippy in the packets made him extremely curious)…so well that I basically hid them from myself. Stumbled across this one this evening and after a screamer of a workday and a stress binge of too much junk, I could use a gentle wind-down.
This is a finely balanced combo: little mint, little floral, little sweetness from the stevia, nothing too bitter in the herbs. We’ll see how it does on the snooze factor, but regardless, I’m not sharing with Tazo. He gets to sleep 12 hours a day as it is.
Although this Orange Spice tea is great by itself, I can’t help but fantasize about how it would taste with cocao nibs (mmm chocolate + orange + cinnamon-spice flavors =delicious!). I have also considered how well it would taste with vanilla or almond. I finally got my chance to try blending this with some Gong Fu Tea’s Absolute Almond black tea in my cupboard, and boy, it was an absolute hit! I mixed 1 teaspoon of the Orange Spice with 1 heaping teaspoon of Absolute Almond in a 2-cup pot, and voila…magic! The resulting tea was pretty darn perfect: the almond flavor melded well, coming through beautifully but still allowing some spice to mingle and tingle on the tongue. No one flavor dominated too much over the others. The taste was pleasant, warm, bright, nutty, rich, and filling. (I had resolved beforehand to only drink one cup and save the other for Hubby, but that resolve melted away completely and I HAD to finish the second cup too.) Oh. So. Good. This is such a deliciously flavorful and smooth black blend that I can just imagine how wonderful it would be as a morning eye-opener or with breakfast; perfect in the afternoon for a pick-me-up after being out in the cold; perfect in the evening with a sweet dessert…and so on. No matter what the time of day, mixed with the Almond, the Orange Spice is a good and satisfying all-around winter treat! Yum! I only wish I could have tried mixing those two teas earlier so I could have been enjoying this all winter long—bummer! Now I don’t have too much of the Orange Spice left and I will not be ordering more until fall. I guess I will just have to treasure what I have now, and then keep this in mind for a definite re-order next autumn.
I don’t typically feel the need to write more than one tasting note per tea unless something different strikes me or (as in this case) I just feel like it. Contrary to what my absence of commentary on Steepster might suggest, I have actually been quite busy drinking and enjoying my teas of late. With spring coming just around the corner, I have been working on using up my “winter teas” in order to make room for the influx of new spring delights that await me. (I make that sound like a chore, but believe me, “using up tea” is no tedious obligation that I feel I must do…it’s a pleasure!) So, one of the teas in my winter collection is this English Breakfast, and I will be sorry when it is gone because I absolutely love it. It’s just one of those perfectly solid reliable black teas that you never get tired of, you know? Like that favorite sweater you wear (probably too often) in winter, but it doesn’t matter because it fits perfectly, feels comfortable, looks nice, is just the right color, and is suitable no matter what the occasion. That is this tea. Mmmmm, delicious! But, like my favorite sweaters, once summer comes this will be out of sight for a while until next year when I reorder for winter again.
Now, some of you may say, why can’t you just enjoy it in summer too? Well, I have weird ideas about what teas I like to drink and when. Not that it’s a hard and fast rule of course, but generally speaking I like certain teas at certain seasons. Black tea I generally drink heavily in the fall and winter, whereas greens, oolongs, and white teas all are what I consider “warmer weather teas.” I love black tea a lot though, so obviously I would never stop drinking it altogether just because it’s summer—I simply have different black teas I like to enjoy then. (For instance, I tend to choose Indian and African black varieties for summer, China blacks in winter, for no other reason than a good Nilgiri or Kenyan black seem “summerish” to me. Somehow they just fit with the hot weather, maybe because their countries of origin are typically super hot? Seems silly, I know, but that’s how I roll.) Anyway, here’s to sipping down some of my lovely fall/winter black teas: Lapsang Souchong, English Breakfast, Emporer’s Gold, Orange Spice, etc.!
I am fairly picky about my teas. I want to be able to enjoy them without all the additives of sugar, honey or cream so the bare flavor has to stand on its own. And this one does. I usually like orange pekoe tea by twinings but needed something I could enjoy in bulk without the paper bag flavor and cost. Not to mention, these are ORGANIC! Mountain Rose Herbs sell their tea by the pound. I ordered the 8 oz size first and went back and ordered the pound. If you are a person that likes that roasted tannin flavor without a lot of other added flavors, you will like this.
Smell: smells like old wood growth bark.
Taste: time or sun roasted flavor leaves that have been hiding in the forest undergrowth for quite a while. Slightly fermented flavor as well but not overwhelming. More like a slightly fermented leaf flavor that has been hiding under layers of leaves in the forest.
Time I prefer to steep: 8 minutes (directions say 4 minutes)
Water: I use water from my well and it is 165 degree.
Brewing system: I use a For Life brew and a ceramic teapot.
Additive: I sometime add raw honey.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Tannin, Wood
This tea hits the spot on on cold winter days. Warm and wonderfully roasty-toasty, this relaxing, “feel good” tea is perfect for when one wants to hit hibernation mode and curl up like a cocoon in a blanket to doze the afternoon away. (Of course, few people actually have the luxury of doing this, but in theory, if it was possible to spend an uninterrupted afternoon snoozing, this is what one would drink!) Although, as we all know, black teas are also absolutely perfect for cold winter days, I think of those as more of a pick-me-up, energizing, get-the-blood-flowing kind of beverage. This kukicha, on the other hand, has the nice mellow roasted flavor like some oolongs and even some blacks, but without the boldness and kick that many of those will give you. I believe I have heard it is a little lower in caffeine too. Thus this tea will lead you gently into a satisfying state of snug, cozy, contentedness. Aaaaahhhh…so nice.
Looks a little like salad dry in the pouch…definitely a woodsy flavor to it (drnking it with a chocolate chip cookie remedied any valerian mulchiness). So far I haven’t met a tisane that will put me out completely on its own—will have to report later on any possible zzzzz effect.
ashmanra, I put Tazo outside so I didn’t have any help steeping it :)
I had this tea again this morning and found it to be much more smooth and mellow than the last time I tried it. It seems as though the vanilla flavor has been able to meld better with the Assam. I brewed it the same way I did the last time, so maybe the difference is that it takes a while for the vanilla essence to totally seep into the tea? Regardless, it was good. Not perfect, but still enjoyable. The sweet vanilla seemed to tame the boldness of the Assam, making it a good balance of flavors, yet it was not too dessert-like.
This came with two other Mountain Rose tea samples from ashmanra with a beautiful springy, yellow card. I set the card and packets out on the kitchen table to enjoy and I nearly had to to wrestle the tea packets away from Tazo. He was on the table (which he never is) sniffing and pawing away at them! Not sure which of the three teas made him so excitable, but I wasn’t about to experiment further, or I would have none for myself!
Never had a tisane with oak bark in it. Not one I’d pick to drink for pleasure, necessarily, but the spices and licorice made it passable.
Medicinal value on this one—jury’s still out. It takes a hammer over the head to knock me out. I don’t think “hammer” was in the ingredient list, so I wasn’t deeply unconscious all night. That’s OK—I have two more blends to try!
I have been meaning to write a note on this for a while. My hubby and I love this peppermint—it makes an absolutely WONDERFUL cup of strong, sweet, fresh, invigorating, and delicious “tea.” I also enjoy mixing it with my real teas (see tasting note on White Peony).
I have a lot I could say about this peppermint, but I would be repeating everything that Dylan Oxford wrote in his very thorough and very excellent tasting note. He pretty much nails it with his detailed description of the powerful scent of the dry leaves, the fresh aroma of the leaves as they are steeping, and finally, the lovely, full minty taste of the brew itself.
Whether you have this by itself or as a mix-in with other herbs or teas, it is definitely a must-have for mint-lovers. I have tried other peppermint teas (mainly the teabag varieties like Stash, Celestial Seasonings, etc.) but this refreshing leaf is the finest, strongest, and freshest tasting tisane I have ever had.
This is a new one from Mountain Rose Herbs! I was pretty excited because I love the idea of vanilla and black tea. (That, and because I am a total chocoholic, black teas + chocolate is also a marriage made in heaven in my opinion!) That said, however, I really don’t like super “dessert-y” teas with lots of added flavorings. I’m kind of a purist and generally appreciate when I get notes of those flavors naturally from the tea itself. I know there are many, many variations of vanilla or chocolate or caramel dessert teas that are made by various companies, but I just don’t want all of the flavorings they usually add. But on the off chance I do feel in the mood for an added bit of flavor to complement the tea, I like the minimum amount necessary and the more natural, the better! As in, for example, the use of real fruit bits instead of fruit flavor, or real vanilla bean instead of flavoring. (Speaking of flavorings, I know this is a bit of a tangent but does anyone know what those mysterious “natural flavors” are that many manufacturers add? How do they make them? I’m not saying they are all bad, but I just tend to find them too artificial-tasting. Any good articles out there I could read on the topic? I’d really like to know the chemistry of it all…how these flavor profiles are created, etc.)
Anyway, sorry it’s taking me so long to get to the point. This is supposed to be a tasting note and instead I’m turning it into a long story about flavored teas. Sorry!
So this Vanilla Black is pretty good, a little sharp-tasting sometimes and overall very bold. The vanilla taste is there, but it almost has a slight bitterness to it, and the flavor is not as full and rich as I would have expected given that this tea has vanilla beans as well as vanilla flavoring. I like it, but something feels sort of wanting or out of balance—it’s nothing drastic and obvious, but something just under the surface that is hard to pinpoint. I think it might be lacking more of a smoothness and richness from the vanilla? Or maybe the Assam is just too bold to be blended with vanilla and therefore a different choice of a black tea base would be preferable, like a Yunnan black that is more mellow? Not sure.
I do like this but it’s not my favorite. I’m not sure I would order it again. It is a good accompaniment to dessert though—I had it with a slice of pound cake and that was pretty satisfying! Maybe adding cream and sugar would round it out more, but I’m just not a fan of doing that to my tea!
Oh and a quick extra blurb here: I once tried making my own using a Madagascar vanilla bean and adding bits to a black tea I had (can’t remember which kind) but it didn’t really work. The vanilla failed to blend well with the tea and I could barely taste it, even though I had scraped a good amount of vanilla specks into the tea and added the pieces of pod as well to steep along with the tea. Disappointing. Maybe I wasn’t doing it right. Has anyone else tried making their own vanilla tea this way? Or tried adding their own natural flavors? What did you do that worked?
This is my standard English Breakfast tea. I drink it almost every morning (I typically start my day with either this or the MRH Assam). It is a delicious classic I can rely on and enjoy frequently. I love its smooth, well-rounded rich flavor with just the right amount of subtle briskness and a nice, slightly sweet aftertaste. A very tasty tea indeed.
This is another that JacquelineM sent a while back for hubby when he was having problems sleeping. She uses Fidnemed to sleep but her husband likes this one. I have had a head/chest cold and since this was formerly named lung tea I thought it might do me good.
We went to a movie tonight and I kept hard candy in my mouth the whole time and barely coughed. Then I had a Coke float when I got home since it is family night and we get an ice cream dessert. Apparently, the cold triggered spasms of coughing and my muscles felt like they were being ripped right off my bones. If cold set it off, maybe heat would stop it.
I actually like this! No honey or anything, just the tisane, and definitely licorice root saying “HERE I AM!” There is a momentary taste that makes me think of…laundry detergent? Some scent I am familiar with but it isn’t coming to me right now. The coughing has stopped, probably just due to the fact that I switched from a super cold beverage that was no doubt constricting my airways/throat to a nice, soothing hot one. I don’t think the ingredients in the tea would work this fast.
So this is the tea I meant to drink two nights ago but I made Dream Tea instead. I remembered that the tea I had heard would knock you out was also called “Sleeps on Rocks” so I dug in my samples box until I found this.
This is the most unusual tea I have ever had. Some of the leaves were huge, others were so fine. I used a large basket with fine mesh. When I lifted the basket out of the cup there was a yellow liquor with a single hovering spot of red, like blood in the bathwater when you cut yourself shaving your legs. The red spot expanded until it slowly stained the whole cup. Wow.
From what I could smell, it was going to be a savory tasting brew. I almost added a bit of honey but then decided to treat it like a savory broth and not even try to pretend it was “tea”. I had no trouble drinking it down. I did have trouble functioning after that. My fingers felt a little….alien and clumsy as I ever so carefully carried the cup back to the kitchen. Hubby had fallen asleep on the sofa citing a headache, so I resteeped the leaves and carried him a cup. I told Mr. Picky not to sniff it, taste it, or say anything about it, just throw it down and go to bed. I don’t want him to get sick, too! He dutifully obeyed.
I went to bed and while I did not fall asleep right away I did utterly and completely relax and could indeed have slept on rocks without moving. Hubby’s head hit the pillow and the snoring commenced.
Is this stuff legal? You bet I am giving some of this to friends in stressful situations who desperately need sleep (bestie works hard and has a special needs son who now has seizures added) and could use a little safe help now and then. My hubby has a lot of trouble shaking a cough when he gets one, but what really throws him under the train is the sleep he misses. That part almost kills him. (Literally, he was hospitalized nine days with pneumonia years ago and got it again six months later.) I think with this in the cabinet, he won’t miss any sleep again.
Still suffering through this cold/upper respiratory thing. Was craving a Jamocha from Arby’s and sweet hubby picked one up for me. Are they caffeinated? I mean, is that real coffee with real “keep you awake” power? I could not fall sleep. I got up and made a cup of this and it was very pleasant to drink. It is light and sweet, with minty floral springlike notes. I taste a lot of the herbs I taste in RoT’s Get Some Zzz’s, I think.
What did not happen was I did not get sleepy. Once I fell asleep I woke up every one and a half hours. Maybe from the cough, cold, caffeine, triple whammy. But I did dream about silver teapots, so that’s something!
A decent tea for the money, but as Jason noted, the astringency and bitterness can be very strong. Being careful with the steeping time helps, but really, I never managed to make this tea without it turning out at least a bit bitter. Some days I didn’t mind this at all, but other times it really bothered me. Overall I’d say it’s a tea to use sparingly, and not recommended for delicate palettes or stomachs. On the other hand, I haven’t had that many gunpowder teas, so I’m not sure whether this strong, one-note sort of flavor is typical for this kind of tea.
This is my ‘go to’ tea. I enjoy the rich, hearty bouquet and using the rooiboos as base is a nice touch. While steeping in a French press, I add 1/3 teaspoon of green powdered stevia to the cup. My compliments to Mountain Rose Herbs on a splendid blend. This is my standard for chai.
I just received my tea order last week and, after first enjoying some of the delicious Indian black teas I have been craving from Mountain Rose Herbs, decided to have a refreshing cup of my favorite white tea. As soon as I opened the bag, I was disappointed. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My precious White Peony, which I have ordered before many times, was no longer whole leaf!! I was so shocked to find all those lovely leaves and buds all chopped up to smithereens, my beautiful baby hacked to oblivion…! Why, why, why??? I can’t believe they would do that to this wonderful tea, which was so perfect when it was whole! Why couldn’t they have left it as it was?
Trying not to panic, I proceeded to make my cup of tea (using less leaf than I used to when it was whole—I used to use a large heaping tablespoon but figured because it’s broken leaf I would need only the standard teaspoonful), hoping against all hope that perhaps it would still taste the same as I remember it: sweet and slightly floral, like honey and flowers… So I held my breath and waited for the infusion to finish steeping.
and poured it into the cup. It was darker in color, like a darker brownish yellow (unlike the lovely golden honey-color I fondly remember). I took a sip. It was not the same. My worse fears had been confirmed. Something in this tea had been lost—the delicate taste was gone, replaced by a stronger, more bold and flat vegetal flavor. I wanted to cry. (And then I somehow managed to keep it together, reminding myself that I am an adult, and that there really are worse things in life than a disappointing cup of tea! Ah, perspective.)
Anyhow, I am now left with an 8 oz bag of the Shredded White Peony. What to do, what to do? I knew I could make this tea for my husband, who is most definitely NOT a tea snob like me and who gasp! thinks all tea “tastes basically the same”, and therefore is my typical go-to person for disposing of sub-par tea so as not to waste it. But I felt I should not give up on my poor peony so easily. It used to be too good of a tea to waste on my husband. So…
As with all things, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I decided that this tea could possibly be blended with something else and produce a decent cup. Fortunately I had also just bought a bunch of MRH’s peppermint leaf (I will have a separate tasting note on that because it is SO good!) and thought the flavor of the white peony would actually work well with some nice crisp, refreshing mint. I resolved to try it and made 3 cups of an infusion from 2 teaspoons white tea + 1 teaspoon peppermint leaf. The result: VERY GOOD! It was light, minty, slightly vegetal but not too strong, the white tea flavor came through and was not overpowered by the mint, and overall I would say it made a fine blend. I call this tea, “Winter’s Breath” as its taste brings to mind that moment when you step outside on a snowy winter day and inhale the crisp clean air. It should provide the perfect drink for Christmas morning, or on any winter day when the snow is falling outside. As I seem to always get in the mood for mint around the holidays, this should be good for all my intents and purposes this year.
As to why MRH decided to cut up their white tea, I have no idea and am curious to find out. I might call the company and just ask about it, because I do miss how it was sold before. I love MRH, they have excellent teas and this is the first time I have ever been disappointed with their product. I’m sure they must have a good reason for not selling it whole leaf. Oh well. Don’t cry over spilt milk. Or in this case, broken leaf.
Because this tea was always good before, and the essential taste is still there (although it is much stronger and less complex than before) I will hold off rating this for now. I am going to experiment a little and try steeping it at different temps, for different times, and see if I can’t get closer to the taste I love and remember before.
Tea #3 from HHTTB2
Nettle is such a dinstinctive taste. It’s one of the ingredients in the Migraine Relief tea I drink too. And it has this kind of savory earthy flavor that almost overwhelms everything else here (and unfortunately not in my Migraine tea). There’s also a subtle sweetness here that peaks at the tail of the sip. And something in here that makes my tongue tingle — but only slightly.
A very solid herbal tea that definitely helped me wind down. Now all I need is a massage and things would be pretty awesome.