Black Cat Bytes

Tea reviews for the common cat!


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Native American Tea- Warrior’s Brew, Victory Tea, and Indian Love Tea Reviews

Hi there tea friends! Long time no see! πŸ™‚ As my kooky life in London finally settles down a little bit, I can finally resume my happy, soothing ritual of tea sipping! Today I’ll be featuring a set of byte-sized tea reviews on three (mostly) herbal brews from Native American Tea- their Victory Tea, Indian Love Tea, and Warrior’s Brew. I know a fresh review on the blog has been a long time coming, so without any further ado, I’ll jump right in!

Warrior’s Brew

Ingredients: Orange pekoe cut Black Tea, Orange Peel, Rose Hips, Coriander, Cinnamon, Ginger, Rosemary & Star Anise.

Brewing Guidelines: 212 F / 100 C | 4 min

According to Native American Tea’s website, this tisane contains many herbs once commonly brewed for their inherent energizing properties to improve the running stamina of inter-tribal messengers. Neat! I’ll have to let you know in the future if this tea does anything to bolster my rather lackluster running ability, but for now, I’ll just focus simply on how the tea tastes. πŸ˜‰Β  IMG_2176

…do I hear Christmas bells somewhere in the distance? Because this crazy brew tastes JUST like a Christmas cookie! If I focus quite hard on the underlying flavors I can identify the ginger as a faint aftertaste, but the drink tastes mostly like a sweet festive snickerdoodle cookie. YUM! Ironically, many “intentional” Christmas-themed teas I’ve tried have ended up tasting like artificially flavored empty spiced water, so it’s refreshing (if slightly odd) to have found a blend that manages to achieve a great festive flavor with simple herbal ingredients. This must be the tea Santa drinks before he goes on his sleigh riding marathon on Christmas Eve to give him some extra gift-giving stamina! πŸ˜›

Victory Tea

Ingredients: Wild Cherry Bark, Hibiscus Flower, Rose Hips, Orange Peel, Spearmint Leaf, Lemon Grass, Licorice Root, Natural Cherry & Orange Flavor.

Brewing Guidelines: 212 F / 100 C | 5 min

Some of the herbs in this blend were consumed by various Native American tribes for their nutritional value and energy-boosting properties. The brew itself is named after the “victory” celebrations tribes would enjoy following a successful raid on a competing tribe’s camp. Cool!

IMG_2177After letting the blend steep for five minutes to help extract its full flavor, the scent and characteristic vivid color of the hibiscus flower is readily apparent. The taste was not entirely what I was expecting- though the hibiscus taste is easily the strongest, the spearmint also jumps out and remains as an aftertaste for quite some time. Unfortunately, due likely to the added orange and cherry flavors, this brew comes out tasting a bit like watered-down fruit juice after a few subsequent sips. While it may succeed in its current state as an iced tea, I believe Victory Tea could benefit immensely from having perhaps aΒ  green tea base to help give the blend a bit more body without resorting to added flavorings.

Indian Love Tea

Ingredients: Blackberry Leaf, Sarsaparilla Root, White Oak Bark, Rose Flower, Eleuthero (Ginseng Root), Muira Puama, Elecampane, Angelica Root, Marjoram, Licorice Root, Echinacea (Missouri Snake Root), Ginger Root, Damiana, Bergamot oil. (phew!)

Brewing Guidelines: 212 F / 100 C | 5 min

Billed as a “love tea”, Native American Tea touts the naturally stimulating properties of the tisane and says it is excellent for one’s overall health. Admittedly, I’m a bit apprehensive about the sheer number of herbs in this tea, especially considering I have never heard of most of them… but the show must go on. πŸ˜›

The flavor profile is one I cannot describe as anything but.. leafy! Makes sense when one looks at the ingredient list.Β  Love Tea gives a lightly peppery and herby impression with very little aftertaste. It’s exceptionally hard to describe, given that most of the herbs included in the tisane are not entirely included for their taste. I cannot faithfully recommend this tea to those with delicate health issues or those taking sensitive medications as many of Love Tea’s ingredients are considered to be sexual health stimulants, and I don’t know what kind of complications (if any) may arise from drinking this brew. Enjoy responsibly!! πŸ˜›

Thanks to Native American Tea for providing samples of these teas for review!

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Chi Whole Leaf Powdered Tea: Floral Herb, Yerba Mate, Ginger Chai

If there’s one thing in the world I can’t resist, it’s tea samples! When I found out Chi Whole Leaf was offering free little packets of their blends, I was intrigued. I’ve never had matcha before (gasp!), so the whole realm of powdered teas (or tisanes) is very new to me. Today I’ll be taking a look at three of Chi’s varieties, with a byte-sized review on each. πŸ™‚

Floral Herb

IMG_2062Ingredients: Indian Rose Petals, Egyptian Hibiscus and Jasmine

Admittedly, this was the blend I was most excited about tasting. I LOVE hibiscus and jasmine individually, and the idea of the two blended together in an instant tea powder sounded like a heaven send. Unfortunately, in my hibiscus-driven zeal, I think I may have goofed up the preparation of this drink.

The packet simply reads that the powder can be added to hot or iced water, and to use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of the powder. I wasn’t sure what volume of water corresponded to those measurements, so I just dumped the whole contents of the packet (1 tsp?) into a 16 oz glass of cold water. IMG_2065While I was impressed with the color and scent of the drink, the flavor and texture wasn’t what I’d hoped. The powder didn’t dissolve properly into the water, leaving the brew gritty like I had added too much mix, but the flavor was actually weak with only a faint suggestion of hibiscus and rose, with no jasmine present. After this first experiment, I decided I would use hot water to brew up the rest of the samples.

Yerba Mate

IMG_2066Ingredients: Argentinian Yerba Mate, Spanish Licorice Root and Chinese Ginkgo Leaf

This was my first time ever trying yerba mate! This was quite a tea pioneering experience for me today. πŸ˜› As previously stated, I decided to brew this and the chai hot, using 1/4 tsp per 8 oz of water. Big difference! The powder dissolved much more easily, and the mix-to-water proportion was just right. The resulting drink had a very interesting earthy herb taste, with strong notes of licorice present in the aftertaste. My boyfriend was having a cup with me as I was taking down my tasting notes, and he made a startling discovery- eating a few BBQ chips just before having a sip of the tea makes it taste awesome! The smoky taste of the chips pairs really well with the sweetness of the licorice root, making for this awesome sweet barbeque sauce flavor party in your mouth when you have the two together. Weird, but effective!

Ginger Chai

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Ingredients: South African Rooibos, paired with Indian Ginger along with organic Vietnamese Cinnamon and Cloves.

Ginger Chai was easily my favorite out of the bunch.Β  Using 1/4 tsp per 8 oz of hot water once more, the resulting brew gives off the scent of spiced apple cider with some earthy tones. Lovely! Reminds me that autumn will be here before we know it. πŸ˜› Although the undissolved bits of powder were clearly visible, I couldn’t distinguish them as I drank. The peppery, ginger taste of the brew will remain on your tongue long after your sip.

Thoughts

As someone who can easily consume a gallon of iced tea a day (zoinks!), the idea of high quality powdered tea is especially appealing to me. I am eager to see what new blends Chi Whole Leaf will produce in the future, and I hope they will consider making more powders that use good ol’ Camellia sinensis as the base. If the texture and ease at which the powder dissolves can be refined as well (or better, more specific brewing instructions can be provided), that would be also a huge improvement.

Get your own free samples of Chi Whole Leaf tea here!


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The Battle of the Blends! A Review of Blendbee.com – 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 BlendBee.com, 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! πŸ˜› With a bonus blend, “Save the Bees” added in! Expect a review on that sometime soon. πŸ™‚

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 Blendbee.com. πŸ™‚

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,Β  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. πŸ™‚ 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.

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Louie was quite interested in the tea as it steeped! He must’ve smelled the catnip! πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜›

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 ofΒ  hibiscus and rosehips.Β  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. πŸ˜› 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. πŸ™‚


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

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!


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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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Petali Teas’ / Modern Tea Girl’s Berry Chamomile Tisane

Hi everyone! πŸ™‚ This will be my first post I’ve made since coming back to the good ol’ USA! As I write this there is a massive thunderstorm a-brewin’ outside (YES!) and I figured there was no better time than now to write a tea review!

Today I’m having a look at Petali Teas’/Modern Tea Girl’s Berrychamomile tisane. People always seem to have a strict love/hate relationship with hibiscus infusions, but I for one absolutely love them when it comes to summertime tea brewing. Something about the inherent tartness and beautiful scarlet color the petals impart to the drink is just so refreshing and light. When the absolutely amazing Modern Tea Girl sent me samples of some blends she had been working on, initially I eyed the Berrychamomile with excitement and… caution. If you picture me squinting suspiciously at the tea packet with one of my eyebrows raised, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. As much as I love hibiscus, I’ve never been the greatest chamomile fan and was a bit worried about how exactly the flavors would collide in the infusion. Was I justified in my concerns?! Drumroll please! Let’s find out~!

IMG_1804[1]Before I talk about how the tisane tastes, can we just take a moment to appreciate how GORGEOUS this blend looks? The hibiscus pieces look fresh and vibrant, the chamomile flowers dainty and sweet, and the berry pieces are large and quite noticeable. Berrychamomile smells like candy, sweet and tart at the same time.

Brewing Temperature: 100 C/212 F

Leaf Amount/Steep Time: 1 tbsp leaves per 400mL of water/5 minutes

IMG_1809[1]The hibiscus petals clearly make for the most dominant taste in this infusion, but the other components also play deliciously important roles in balancing the flavor profile of this blend. The strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries enrich the flavor of the hibiscus and help curb its inherent tartness, while the chamomile gave an almost licorice-like flavor and natural sweetness to the aftertaste. I CANNOT wait to try this tea iced with a few slices of lemon! Not even the hottest of summer days will be able to bring me down! πŸ˜› Berrychamomile also strikes me as a fantastic option for an evening tea: thirst-quenching, while calming, with the obvious benefit of being caffeine free all adds up to nighttime drinking done right.

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Peanut approves!

As a side note, make sure you use an infuser with a very fine mesh when brewing this tea! There’s a lot of tiny pieces (chamomile stems etc) that will laugh at and pass right through tea balls or chunkier mesh infusers and go right into your brew.

Berrychamomile is a masterfully blended, versatile tea that is easy to brew and tastes downright delicious. It is sure to help me welcome summer with open arms. πŸ™‚ Yum!

Ingredients: Egyptian chamomile (my blend contained Croatian chamomile), elderberries, rose hips, hibiscus, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and strawberry leaves.

Check out all the other cool stuff Modern Tea Girl has to offer here: http://www.teadesign.biz/category/Modern-Tea-Girl-Retail-Shop-108


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Pukka Herbs’ Night Time Tea

IMG_1684I’ve not been having the best time sleeping lately- it takes me forever to get to dreamland, and when I finally do, I’m plagued with weird nightmares and wake up constantly throughout the night. Could it have something to do with my tendency to gulp down several cups of black tea a few hours before bedtime? Maybe πŸ˜› I’m in desperate need of an herbal substitute! Β Β  After seeing Pukka Herbs Night Time blend all over social media as of late, I was excited to give it a try, hoping it would soothe my nighttime woes. “A dreamy bed of organic oat flower, lavender & limeflower” the front of the box reads, the desciption alone causing my eyelids to flutter sleepily as I read it.

Time to taste! Let’s get.. relaxed!

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As soon as I took one of the tea bags out of its envelope.. the intense smell of licorice immediately hit me and I just felt.. disappointed. There was no mention of licorice in the flowery descriptions of the tea anywhere on either the front or back of the box, except in the little tiny ingredients list. In fact, licorice root is the 2nd most prevalent ingredient in this blend, followed closely by chamomile, another herb otherwise mentioned nowhere on the packaging. I felt really annoyed by this revelation- I was really excited by the exotic-sounding ingredients on the front of the box and hoped I would get to experience some new tastes, but instead.. suddenly this tea seemed all too familiar. Nevertheless, I was still eager to taste the brew and find out what the flavor profile would be.

Brew Temperature: 100Β°C

Steep Time: 5 minutes

IMG_1697With my first sip, I quickly realized licorice was completely the dominant taste. It left a strong aftertaste in my mouth, and a residual sweetness stuck quite noticeably to the back of my throat until I took another sip… then it was back again. πŸ˜› I noticed a slight minty taste as well, likely from the green tulsi that is also present in the blend. This could also be due to the limeflower and oat straw in the blend, but I cannot individually identify their contributing flavors.

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Thoughts

If the actual flavor of the tea is any indication, I think this blend would be fairly marketed as a “licorice root, chamomille, and lavender” tisane. As you may have guessed, I am not the biggest fan of the taste of licorice, and had I known this tea would be chock full of it, would have respectfully avoided it. I cannot personally vouch for the “soothing” properties of Pukka’s Night Time as this is simply not an enjoyable cuppa to me, but when my boyfriend was sick with the flu, he found drinking this brew to be immensely calming and helped to soothe his throat and stomach. This may sound silly, but to me personally, I thought the packaging of this tea (the colors, the pictures, the descriptions of the tea) were a lot more soothing than the drink itself. If you enjoy the flavours of chamomile and licorice, this tea will taste lovely to you and may just be your perfect evening brew. Just.. don’t buy it based on a quick look at the box alone, or you may be disappointed.

Ingredients: Oat Straw (30%), licorice root, chamomille flower, lavender flower (14%), limeflower (10%), valerian root, green Rama tulsi leaf

Cost: β‚€2.39

http://www.pukkaherbs.com/pukka-products/pukka-teas/night-time-new/


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Debonair Tea’s Raspberry Orange Tisane + Ice Pop Recipe

Hi everyone! Hope you had a fantastic Easter! With the metaphoric flip of a switch, it seems the weather in England has brightened and warmed considerably these past few days. Oh sweet, sweet, sun! How I have missed thee! In honor of these happy, springy times, I thought it would be a perfect time to review Debonair Tea’s Raspberry Orange tisane, ANNND include a cheeky little recipe on how you can brew this tea to make delicious homemade ice pops. Please read on! πŸ™‚

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This blend smells HEAVENLY. The scent is so naturally sweet and luscious, bursting with notes of orange and apple- it is the pure essence of summertime and carefree days. It’s so intoxicating when I open up the packet, I literally just want to sit there and eat the dried fruit pieces. However! This is a tea blog! Not a trail mix blog. Darn!

Brew Temperature: 95 C

Leaf Amount/Steep Time: 1 tsp per 200 mL of water/3 minutes

Feel free to experiment with the infusion time- a purely fruit/herb blend means you don’t have to fear the threat of a bitter brew!

IMG_1541The brewed tea is even more fragrant than the dried fruit pieces, filling the entire room with a delightful orange smell. Aside from the dominant citrus tastes, the tart flavor of the apple pieces- enhanced by the zing of the added hibiscus- really shines as well. However, this is a bit of a double-edged sword: the inherent strength of the hibiscus flavor seems to overpower most of the far more subtle raspberry taste, and does leave me yearning for a bit more berry goodness in this brew. Regardless, this drink is freaking addictive, and when iced with just a touch of sugar, is a menacingly delicious alternative to even the best fruit juices. IMG_1636There is absolutely no reason to guzzle down a glass of sugar-laden fruit pulp in the morning when I can have a refreshing, crisp glass of Raspberry Orange with my cereal instead. πŸ™‚

I LOVE this blend, and with it being priced at only Β£5.50/100g, I know I’ll be happily gulping down pitcher after pitcher of it in the coming breezy summer days, as well as enjoying it hot in the evenings as a dessert tea. I’ve tried several citrus/hibiscus tea blends from major chain tea retailers, and at double the cost with half the flavor, none of them hold the faintest candle to Debonair’s blend.

With this tisane, the possibilities are endless! Can’t tell you how excited I am to brew all sorts of tea blendy experiments with it once I have a bigger bag to play around with. I think pairing this with a white tea base would be absolutely out of this world!

While the bulk of my experiments with Raspberry Orange are still yet to begin, I have successfully managed to create one recipe with the small quantity of loose tisane I had left following my initial review of the brew- Raspberry Orange ICE POPS! Can you think of a better way to beat the heat than a refreshing iced tea popsicle? πŸ˜› Do give it a try, and please let me know how it goes!

Check out Debonair Tea’s selection here! http://www.debonairtea.co.uk/collections/buy-tea If you are an international customer, feel free to email/tweet Debonair to inquire about international shipping and I’m sure they’d be happy to help. πŸ™‚

Bonus Recipe! Robin’s Raspberry Orange Ice Pops

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What You’ll Need:

  • Adorable Ice Pop Moulds
  • Freshly Boiled Water
  • 1 tbsp Debonair Tea’s Raspberry Orange Tisane per 200 mL of water
  • Lemon wedges/lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar per 400 mL of water
  • Time!

Directions:

Begin by brewing the tisane in freshly boiled water, though you will want to double or even triple the amount of leaves you use, as well as lengthen your steep time. Again, bitterness will not be an issue regardless of steeping length, as this blend doesn’t contain any tannins. In order to have a flavorful ice pop, you need to begin with a very concentrated tea brew.

IMG_1627Once you’re satisfied with the strength of your brew, add about 1 tbsp of sugar to the pot per 400 mL of water, and stir until completely dissolved. Add the juice of one large lemon wedge (and the wedge itself) to the brew as well. Remember, we want big flavors! The freezing process will naturally diminish the strength of the tea, and by exaggerating the flavors at the onset, we can ensure the ice pops will have the same full and juicy taste the hot and iced brews of this blend possess. IMG_1629

Next, allow the tea to cool back to at least room temperature by placing in the fridge or leaving in the open air. Do not add ice cubes to expedite the process, as this will unnecessarily dilute your brew. This may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, but please be patient! Pouring hot or even warm liquids into the ice pop moulds may cause the plastic to leech into your tea, or may destroy the moulds entirely.

IMG_1633Once the tea has finally cooled, pour away! Make sure you fill the moulds all the way to the top, or else your ice pop base/stick might not make the best contact with the frozen tea. …I learned this the hard way. Once filled, stick the plastic tray in the freezer overnight, and prepare for a delicious adventure in the morning.

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TAADAA! The ice pops look lovely, and they’re ready to be enjoyed! Run the mould under some warm tap water for just a few seconds and you should be able to pull the ice pop out easily. The result is delicious, refreshing, and full of orange and berry flavor. πŸ™‚ All the tasty delight of a storebought popsicle without the weird sugar-syrupy, goopy guilt! Absolutely brilliant!! IMG_1639They’re sugar-toothed boyfriend approved! πŸ˜›

Check out Debonair Tea’s selection here! http://www.debonairtea.co.uk/collections/buy-tea If you are an international customer, feel free to email/tweet Debonair to inquire about international shipping and I’m sure they’d be happy to help. πŸ™‚