Black Cat Bytes

Tea reviews for the common cat!

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The Battle of the Blends! A Review of โ€“ Part 2: Beach Breeze

Hello, folks! Welcome to part 2 of our lofty blend battle! Today we’ll be talking a closer look at Kev’s blend, Beach Breeze Tea, and wrap up with some final thoughts on Blendbee. Here we go!

The Opposition’s Blend: Beach Breeze Tea

Ingredients: White tea, chamomile, coconut flakes, ashwagandha root, holy basil, coconut flavorIMG_1935My SO has a vast fondness for coconut, and would probably love to add it to every food we eat in some capacity, so it was only natural he’d want to make a tea featuring it as the primary flavor. Since the blend is meant to emulate lazy beachy days, he thought it would be appropriate to add the chamomile, ashwagandha root, and basil due to their stated relaxing properties. The white tea is meant to be a subtle base flavor, allowing the coconut to truly shine through- and it certainly does! After just opening the bag, the coconut scent really jumps out, it even seems to stick to the back of your throat after you inhale. It’s strong, but not artificial- as you can see from the photo above, there are a lot of real coconut flakes in the blend. Smells like paradise. ๐Ÿ™‚ The white tea leaves are also quite noticeable! I was half expecting to see tea dust, given how reasonable Jamah’s prices are, so I was pleasantly surprised when I could easily identify the leaves in the blend.

As with the Cat Nap tea, we steeped Beach Breeze using freshly boiled water and leaving it to steep for about 5 minutes, though for this infusion I just used my normal steel infuser. Muslin bags are great for some teas and are eco friendly, but I just find them to be a bit of a hassle and can be crumby to clean. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

IMG_1939As Beach Breeze steeped, I could swear I had a tiny coconut votive candle burning somewhere. It smells that good, and the scent is that full! After what seemed like forever, it was finally time to sample the brew. The dominant flavors were that of chamomile and coconut, and I thought they complimented each other well with their similarly sweet (but not too sweet) tastes. The white tea was a great choice as a base, providing body without adding any hugely noticeable flavors. The basil and root weren’t really present, but this could just be attributed to the strength of the other ingredients.

When he created the blend, my SO had a soft, sweet taste in mind, and I think Beach Breeze ended up being a little more vibrant than he had anticipated- though he still enjoys it very much. Beach Breeze truly puts the punch in Hawaiian Punch! ..Did that joke work? I’ll see myself out now. We’re going to try putting the brew on ice next time we make it, I can see it as a truly badass smoothie or bubble tea base!

You can bet your sweet candy butt I just made a Neville Chamberlain reference in a tea blog. Yep.

Now.. we’ve had a look at both of the blends, so who won? I knew the answer would be difficult to come up with since we first had the idea for the competition. (We probably should’ve invited in a third party to test out the blends and select one, but oh well! This isn’t terribly serious. )While we both went for a “relaxing” theme, we seemed to veer off in far different directions as far as flavor profiles go. However, since Beach Breeze seems like it will excel at being iced, and Cat Nap is delicious hot.. can I just say we both won in different categories? Everybody wins! Peace in our time! YAY! ๐Ÿ˜›

Final Thoughts

It’s been an absolute pleasure to try out BlendBee’s services, and we’ll certainly be ordering from them again soon. Jamah was quick to answer my emails and was a huge help in offering advice on how to make our blends the best they could be- going so far as to brew them up herself to make sure they were exactly what we wanted and tweaking them accordingly before sending them to us. Our package arrived quickly and the teas were wrapped beautifully- it is obvious how much Jamah cares about both her products and her customers and her effort really shines. The prices are fantastic, and the fact that a sample bag of tea is only $2.50 is a great excuse to just go crazy and try making a bunch of different blends. There’s a lot of ready-made blends you can order right off the site that look great as well, and even a monthly subscription service. Whatever you want, I can pretty much guarantee you that Jamah’s got it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading through both parts of this review! I very much enjoyed writing it, and hope to do more cheesey tea blending competitions in the future! By the way, if you’re interested in trying either of our teas for yourself, enter the same ingredients into BlendBee’s custom tea form, and mention in the comment box that you’d like to try Beach Breeze or Cat Nap specifically. I’d love to hear what you think of them! Don’t forget to use the discount code ‘blackcatbytes’ in checkout to receive 15% off of your offer as well!

Thanks again guys! ๐Ÿ™‚



The Battle of the Blends! A Review of – Part 1: Cat Nap Tea

I find myself on quite the herbal infusion kick lately, and have been spending a lot of time wishing I had an herb garden so I could try my hand at blending my own teas. While that is nowhere near in the cards for me at the moment, I’ve recently had the incredible fortune of meeting the lovely Jamah from, who has graciously offered me the chance to give their custom tea blending services a try! Both my boyfriend and I are ferociously competitive people – while camping last year we both developed horrible blisters on our hands from trying to pump up air beds faster than the other- so when Jamah asked me if we’d like to try our hand at creating our own teas, I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to have yet another friendly contest with my dearly beloved. Our goal: make the best summertime tea. Game on!

Spoilers! Here are the results! ๐Ÿ˜› With a bonus blend, “Save the Bees” added in! Expect a review on that sometime soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Creating the blends was a snap- the menus are simple to navigate, making it quick work to add or subtract ingredients from your tea as you move along. The health benefits of the ingredients are also listed- while those are honestly not a deciding factor in the way I wish to create my blend, I can appreciate that a lot of people may wish to do so and would find that information helpful. However, I love how the aroma and flavor of each ingredient is also described when moused over, making it much easier to be a bit adventurous with different combinations of herbs, flowers, and spices. I was worried when I began that I would be overwhelmed by all of my choices and end up making some weird blend (as would my boyfriend, who is pretty new to loose leaf tea), but as we went along we both found the process to be easy and fun.

Due to the fact this will be quite a large writeup, I’ve decided to split it up into two parts.Today’s post will be looking at my blend, and tomorrow’s will take a closer look at Kevin’s blend along with the results of our “contest” and overall thoughts of ๐Ÿ™‚

My Blend – Cat Nap Tea

Ingredients: hibiscus, rose hips, chamomile, orange peel, lemongrass, catnip, strawberry leaf, stevia leaf, and a touch of orange extract

IMG_1931When I think of summertime, one of the first things that comes to my mind is the way my cats bask lazily in the summer sunlight. Louie is always lying belly-up on the floor, catching as many rays to warm his fur as possible. Just looking at him relaxes me- as the saying goes: “It is impossible to look at a sleeping cat and feel tense”. As such, I wanted to try and create a tea blend that would recreate this feeling. I love the tropical taste of hibiscus so including it was an absolute must,ย  but also added the chamomile to help take away some of the flower’s inherent tang (since this is meant to be a soothing blend). I added the rosehips, orange peel, lemongrass, and strawberry leaf to give the tea a strong, fruity body, and included the catnip because.. well.. it only seemed fitting. ๐Ÿ™‚ I followed the printed brewing instructions carefully, using freshly boiled water and 1 tsp of leaves per 6 oz of water, and made a point to use the cute muslin bag and tea scoop Jamah included in our package.


Louie was quite interested in the tea as it steeped! He must’ve smelled the catnip! ๐Ÿ™‚ Score!

As soon as the blend began to steep, a delightful combination of the orange, lemon, and hibiscus smells floated up off of the cup. I’ve never been to the tropics, but I’m absolutely positive this is what the region must smell like. ๐Ÿ˜›

IMG_1942I left the bag in for roughly 5 minutes, using the strength of the brew’s ruby color as an indicator of when the steep was finished. With my first sip, the most dominant taste was actually the chamomile, followed closely by luscious notes ofย  hibiscus and rosehips.ย  I found the orange peel and lemongrass in the light, citrussy aftertaste- made sweeter by the stevia leaf. I was a bit bummed I couldn’t really taste the catnip, but it must just be due to my superlame human sense of smell and taste. ๐Ÿ˜› I found Cat Nap Tea to be absolutely delicious, and perfectly embodied the feeling of lazy summer days I was trying to capture. I was so happy with the simplicity of the flavor profile- with the exception of the cat nip, I could identify every single ingredient in the blend, and that was just what I hoped for. In the future, when I order this blend again (and believe me I will), I will likely replace the chamomile with either white or green tea as a more subtle way of taming the hibiscus flavor. Or heck, maybe I’ll just forgo the idea of adding a base tea altogether and just ask Jamah to amp up the catnip goodness! The possibilities are endless, and that’s just what makes custom blending a tea so very exciting. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s all for now, folks! Check back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to this tea blending adventure! ๐Ÿ™‚

Feeling inspired to make your own infusion? Head over to Blend Bee and see what sort of crazy concoction you can come up with! As a special bonus and thank you for reading my blog, enter ‘BlackCatBytes’ as a discount code during checkout and receive 15% off your order!