Black Cat Bytes

Tea reviews for the common cat!


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Feature: Newby Teas Strawberry & Mango Iced Tea Recipe

Not too long ago, I wrote up a review on some of Newby Tea’s herbal tisanes– and their Strawberry & Mango infusion in particular had always stuck out in my mind as a tea I’d desperately like to have again. Thanks to the wonderful people at Newby, my dream has come true! They sent me an awesome care package filled with some of my favorite blendsΒ  along with some iced tea recipes they’ve created to help put a delicious summer spin on their teas! The first of three Newby iced teas I will be featuring over this summer is (of course) their Strawberry & Mango. I’ll be taking you through the recipe step-by-step, adding my own little tips along the way and showing you the delicious final result!

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Ingredients
4 x Newby Strawberry & Mango Silken Pyramids
1 litre freshly boiled water
Crushed ice
Sliced strawberries or mango to finish

To make

Boil 1 litre of fresh water, then pour on to 4 Silken Pyramids in a large jug. Brew for 6 – 8 minutes. Remove the Silken Pyramids and leave to cool – then serve over crushed ice with a slice of strawberry or mango.

First cultivated from wild strawberries in France, Newby’s distinctive blend combines apple, rosehip, beetroot and strawberry with exotic South Asian mango, hibiscus and papaya in a unique East-meets-West tisane.

Taken from http://www.newbyteas.com/2015/04/strawberry-mango-iced-tisane/

IMG_1840Let’s begin! Check out my awesome setup! πŸ˜› I will be following the recipe as exactly as possible, including using a fresh mango as a garnish for the final drink. Fancy~!

Action shot! Boom!

Action shot! Boom!

I placed four tea sachets into my infuser basket and away I went, pouring freshly boiled water over top of them into the pitcher. In hindsight, I probably should’ve removed the paper tags from the bags before steeping them.Β Learn from my mistakes, sweet reader! Honestly though, don’t worry if you accidentally leave them in, they don’t really seem to affect the resulting tea’s flavor much. Leave the bags in for the full 8 minutes- there are no tannins in this blend so you don’t need to worry about bitterness from oversteeping. The stronger the brew, the better!
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While you wait for the infusion to steep, turn your attention to the mango (or strawberries if you so desire) and start slicing and dicing! If anyone can advise me on a way to elegantly chop a mango, I’m all ears, seriously. πŸ˜›
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Such a mess… πŸ˜›

Once you hack those big delicious slices of mango goodness off of the gigantic stone in the middle, try your best to cut them into small lemon-wedge sized bits. You don’t want them to be so small that you may accidentally inhale one whilst sipping your tea, but you also don’t want to leave them so large that they take up half of your glass. πŸ™‚

IMG_1850Steep time is over! Look at that gorgeous scarlet color! So close to being done now!
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Newby is not specific on how much ice you should use to chill your brew with, so I added enough ice to the hot tea to cool it down to roughly room temperature. In my experience, if you add so much ice that you take the temp from boiling hot to ready-to-serve chilled all at once, the tea will become too diluted and will just taste sad and watery. Bring it to room temperature, and then simply pour the brew over iced added into the cup you will be serving the tea in. This ice won’t melt too much and you’ll have a far more potent iced tea to enjoy. πŸ™‚
IMG_1855For the best results, place a few mango slices in your serving glass before you add the ice and pour in the tea. The slices will typically stay below the ice as you drink , lessening the chances of you accidentally ingesting the fruit.

This infusion is SO refreshing and delicious when iced. For my American friends, it is the natural-tasting sibling of Tropical Punch Kool Aid (or any tropical punch)- possessing all the flavor with absolutely none of the guilt. The fresh mango slice does a beautiful job of drawing out the natural taste of the dried mango pieces in the infusion, whilst gently sweetening the brew without being overpowering. Once you brew a pitcher of this tea and pour a glass of it, you will find it practically impossible to stop pouring yourself refills until there is nothing left- I say this purely from experience. I am happily addicted! πŸ˜‰
Check out Newby’s Strawberry & Mango tisane here! Take your taste buds on a journey!
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Newby Teas Finest Tea Collection- Rooibos Orange, Ginger & Lemon, Strawberry & Mango

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Hi everybody! I’m finally putting the byte in Black Cat Bytes- with my first set of byte-sized tea reviews! πŸ™‚ All knee slapping and belly laughs aside, let’s check out the goods, shall we? The subject of today’s post will be a selection of tisanes from Newby Teas’ new Finest Tea Collection! Neat!

Rooibos Orange

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The sachets on the left are what each individual tea pyramid is packaged in. Gorgeous!!

Unfortunately I derped and forgot to take pictures of this tea before I tried it, but thankfully it is quite simply just a flavored straight red rooibos blend- pretty easy to imagine in your mind’s eye. πŸ˜› The sweet scent of orange is perfectly present and pleasant in the dried infusion, along with the characteristic earthy “tobacco” scent of rooibos.

Brew Temperature: 100 C

Steep Time: ~3 minutes, simply waited until the brew was a rich red

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At first, I was a bit bummed to find this was a red rooibos tisane, as I typically find that the baseline licorice taste of the red variety greatly overpowers any sort of tropical flavoring added to it. Green rooibos is naturally more mild and takes much more kindly to fruity, citrussy flavors. However, due to the sheer strength of the added orange flavoring in this tisane, the taste of straight red rooibos (thankfully) played a quiet second fiddle and simply served to balance out the inherent tartness of the orange. This tisane is masterfully blended, even if I don’t normally enjoy the taste of the herbal base.


Ginger & Lemon

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I was nursing a bit of a tummy ache a few days ago, and thought it would be a perfect time to give this blend a try- and I’m very glad I did!IMG_1351[1]

This blend looks beautiful! I love the taste of lemongrass in tisanes, and was overjoyed to see it being used as the base for this infusion with little ginger chunks dispersed throughout. Looking at the simple ingredient list of this blend is really refreshing- it contains ginger, lemongrass, lemon peel, liquorice root and peppermint. That’s it, nothing artificial! Exactly what I expect in what should be a relatively medicinal drink. πŸ™‚

Brew Temperature: 100 C

Steep Time: 5 minutes

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Admittedly, I was slightly afraid of a possible ginger/peppermint overload at my first sip, but I was pleasantly surprised by the strength of the lemongrass flavor that dominated the taste instead. Only after a few more sips did I begin to notice the peppery ginger taste on the tip of my tongue becoming more and more prominent. It definitely creeps up on you! This blend is exactly how this flavor combination should be approached- lots of lemon, with the ginger taste being introduced slowly and steadily so as not to shock the drinker. Absolutely delicious, and this is coming from someone who is normally deathly afraid of minty or peppery tasting teas. Would it be weird for me to say I wouldn’t terribly mind having stomach aches as long as I had a few bags of this around? πŸ˜›


Strawberry & Mango

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Time for the Strawberry & Mango blend! Yesss! I’d been saving this one for last, as I’ve got a special spot in my heart for sweet dessert tisanes. IMG_1521[1]

I was beyond eager when I finally tore into this sachet, and was so excited to see noticeable pieces of strawberry (look, you can even see the seeds! :O) and mango in the pyramid! I’ve been burned by many fruit “flavored” herbal blends before. πŸ˜› The strawberry scent is definitely dominant here, while the light, tangy mango scent does a jig in the background.

Brew Temperature: 100C

Steep Time: 5 minutes

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Yum! The first sip has the delicious taste of lightly sweetened strawberries- and though there are hibiscus petals present in the blend, they actually serve to provide a natural tangy boost to the strawberry instead of overpowering it in the hibiscus madness explosion typical of many tisane blends that contain it. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of strong mango notes, especially seeing as the fruit is present in the name of the blend itself, but- if viewed as a solely strawberry-based tisane, this infusion hits it out of the park. I was so bummed out that I only had one sachet of this! I keep imagining having a steaming hot cup of it along with a piece of plain shortbread.. Hnnnnnngg!! Talk about a taste adventure. πŸ˜›


That’s all, folks! I thoroughly enjoyed my little romp through Newby’s herbal teas. The way they package and present their blends is beautiful, and really adds much-needed elegance to drinking bagged teas. Convenience and quality is a combination you don’t find often in the tea-drinking world, which makes me truly appreciate this company all the more. Hope you liked reading these byte-sized reviews! Happy drinking!

Check out Newby’s tea selection here: http://www.newbyteas.com/eboutique/tea-by-collection-124/silken-pyramids.html

As of right now, they only deliver to UK addresses- hopefully that will change soon! πŸ™‚


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Newby Tea’s Zodiac Collection Leo Assam Tea

Hello my sweet teacats! Hope you’re doing well! Due to recent events, I’ve found out I’ll be staying in the UK a bit longer than we had initially planned. This means, among other neat and exciting things, that I will be writing about many more British teas! Woohoo! I take great pride in having the opportunity to showcase several of the fantastic loose leaf tea companies based here, and am on a mission to prove to the world that my beloved Brits drink more than just the standard supermarket bagged blacks. πŸ˜‰

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Today I will be having a look at just one of the twelve varieties of tea in Newby Teas’ exclusive Zodiac Collection, their “Leo” Assam blend. I’m actually a Virgo, but couldn’t resist the description of Leo’s malty, walnut, and molasses tasting notes- I’m on quite the black tea kick lately!

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My enjoyment of this tea began the moment the postman delivered it to my doorstep. Newby really pride themselves on the loving, meticulous way they prepare their products, and their presentation of the Zodiac collection is certainly no exception. The tea tin arrived in a small velvet bag topped neatly with a golden bow, and is an absolutely gorgeous shade of deep blue reminiscent of starry skies with the constellation of Leo beautifully emblazoned upon its surface with Swarovski crystals. Inside, the tea is vacuum sealed in a foil packet to preserve its freshness. Now then, let’s get brewing!
The aroma of the dry leaves alone is quite strong and distinctive: woody, malty, and fruity, it reminds me of the scent a Jin Jun Mei might have. I left the tin open while I went to prepare some water for the brew, and upon returning, the entire room carried the smell of the tea. Lovely! πŸ˜‰

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Teapiggie was feeling a bit shy in this photo πŸ˜›

1st steep: As the leaves are slightly broken, this will lead to a faster steep time than what you might expect from fuller-leaf teas, and I adjusted my usual brewing time accordingly. To my roughly 150 mL teapot, I added roughly a tablespoon of leaves, and allowed them to steep for roughly 45 seconds. The resulting brew had a beautiful, intense red colour, and strong notes of honey and molasses drifted up from my cup. The first sip really surprised me with a taste I hadn’t expected: plum! The tea is actually quite fruity, though definite tones of molasses are also at play. The after taste was faintly sweet and remained slightly thick on my tongue with no astringency whatsoever.

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2nd steep: This time, I left the leaves to steep for about a minute and a half. Wow! The plum flavour is really pronounced now with the molasses taste becoming slightly astringent and malty. With each sip I took, I felt like I was taking a bite into a ripe, juicy plum. Refreshing!

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3rd steep: With a 3 minute steep time, the tea has lost most of its brilliant red colour and has now faded into more of an amber-orange liquid. The plummy zing of the second steep has diminished, and the brew takes on more of a sweet malty flavour. I suspect this is probably the last meaningful steep you can achieve with these leaves, though they may fare well if left steeping overnight in your refrigerator for a refreshing cold brew in the morning. πŸ™‚

I really enjoyed the taste of this tea and found its packaging to be beautiful and inspiring, and admire the creativity behind matching different varieties of tea with astrological signs. The tea caddy with its beautiful, shining Swarovski crystals is a lovely keepsake, and one I know I will be using to store my tea long after I’ve enjoyed the last bit of the Leo Assam. While unfortunately I believe this blend is a bit too pricey for casual drinking, Leo and the rest of the Zodiac Collection are perfect, meaningful gifts for anyone who loves tea or simply enjoys looking up at the night sky with a hot cuppa in their hands. πŸ™‚

Check out the entire Zodiac Collection here: http://www.newbyteas.com/eboutique/gifts/zodiac.html
At this time, Newby Teas only ships their products within Britain, but they have assured me they are working on finding a reliable method of shipping their products worldwide. Please stay tuned!

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Tea provided for review courtesy of Newby Teas