Updated: May 9, 2019
Just want to know which one I like more? Click here to scroll down to the bottom of the post. Want to start a subscription? Click here for Simple Loose Leaf, and here for Sips by™. These links also include discounts!
Happy Black History Month!!! I hope this past month was eye-opening for some, and joyful and exciting for all. My Black History Month was filled with Black Panthers, Black alumni reunions, and soul! Aside from all the Black excellence that was in full force this month, I received two more boxes from Simple Loose Leaf and Sips by™!
This month I received Chinese Jade Sencha, Chino Maté, Lavender Raspberry Herbal, and Namring Estate Darjeeling from Simple Loose Leaf. And I received Green Yaupon from CatSpring Yaupon, Mystique Mélange from Nepal Tea, Kashmiri Chai from The Jasmine Pearl, and Mulled Plum Cider from Harney & Sons, courtesy of Sips by™.
**To test the flavor of each tea, I followed the brewing instructions closely, and added 3 sugar cubes to each cup as a control.
My favorite this month from Simple Loose Leaf is the Namring Estate Darjeeling. It has a mild black tea flavor with a slight bitterness. It's not a very strong flavor, so it's great to drink first thing in the morning or while doing work during the day. According to The Book of Coffee and Tea, the "Darjeeling mist" found in the regions where the tea is grown is what gives the tea its award-winning flavor.
My 2nd favorite was the Chinese Jade Sencha. This tea is made with Sencha green tea, marigold petals, and lemon peels with added lemon flavor. The tea has a slight smokiness, with a smooth and woodsy flavor. It's naturally sweet, so you may not need the added sugar. The downside is that I didn't get much of a lemon flavor, despite there being two sources of it.
3rd must be the Chino Maté, made with roasted Argentinian maté, ginger root, cinnamon, green cardamom, with added cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla flavor. This tea smells like chai as you brew it and has a nice toasted flavor. Maté is high in caffeine, so only drink this if you have a long night ahead of you.
And finally, the Lavender Raspberry Herbal. This blend is made with raspberry leaves, lavender leaves, lemon peels, and hibiscus with added raspberry flavor. When I first tasted this tea, all I got was lavender. It was very overpowering, and the raspberry didn't come through until I pretty much finished the cup. The 2nd time around, I shook up the pouch a little before I brewed it. The raspberry came through, but it was slightly bitter. This tea changes depending on your mood, so it can either be lavender and floral, or raspberry and fruity.
My favorite from Sips by™ is the Green Yaupon from Catspring Yaupon. This green tea comes from "Texas sunshine and rain" and may be my new favorite green tea! It's smooth, light, and great for sipping--even when it's warm outside. It has a lovely green color and sweet aroma that makes you want to drink it every morning.
At a close second, is the Kashmiri Chai from The Jasmine Pearl. It's made with Chinese gunpowder green tea, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, lavender, and amaretto natural flavor. This is a mild chai--all the flavor and aroma, but none of the burning feeling that sometimes comes with chai. It's warming yet light, and the lavender blends well with the traditional chai flavors. This is great for people who have never had chai before and want a nice transition.
3rd is the Mystique Mélange from Nepal Tea. It's made with green tea, ginger, cinnamon leaf, orange peel, rose petals, mint, and lemongrass. It's light, floral, and works great as a cold brew. Cold brew is a nice way to make tea without releasing the tannins that form during traditional brewing, which can cause bitterness.
To make cold brewed tea:
Use about 20 oz. of water for every tablespoon of tea.
Place in a tea bag, and submerge in a pitcher, preferably glass, but plastic works fine.
Place in the fridge overnight, and wake to a lovely iced tea.
Finally, the Mulled Plum Cider from Harney & Sons. It's made with cinnamon, rooibos, carob, hibiscus, chicory root, apple pieces, ginger, black pepper, orange peel, cloves, plum pieces, black currants, and cardamom pods with natural plum flavor. Personally, I'm not a fan. It tasted like bad mulled wine, mixed with cough syrup and potpourri. It was sharp, and not easy to drink. Again, I'm not usually a fan of fruit teas, but this one was almost undrinkable.
So, the winner this month is...Sips by™. This month they offered a nice variety of spring/summer teas, despite the Mulled Plum Cider. They are great with listening to feedback and creating a box perfect for you.
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