Dessert by Deb’s Butterscotch Jam Bars

Butterscotch Jam Bars by Dessert by Deb
Rooibos / Flavoured
$16.00 for 75g

Butterscotch Jam Bars is an exclusive blend for Dessert by Deb subscription subscribers and is available for purchase by subscribers only at this time.

First Impressions

Butterscotch Jam Bars is a rooibos blend that came in one of my subscription boxes, and it is a subscriber exclusive. This rooibos blend comes in a gold sealed, resealable pouch, with a colourful label across the front. I’m personally keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t smell or taste the rooibos because it’s not one of my favourite ingredients – I tend to find that rooibos reminds me of a medicinal flavour.

Butterscotch Jam Bars has a beautiful aroma to it – I can smell brown sugar, maple, raisins and vanilla. Surprise, I can’t smell the rooibos base at all. The brown sugar and vanilla notes make me think of a cake or pastry, which is nice and quite fitting considering the name of the blend is Butterscotch Jam Bars.

Butterscotch Jam Bars consists of organic: fair trade rooibos, vanilla, Canadian maple, elderberries, currants, raisins, hibiscus, brown sugar, honey bush, and cinnamon.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Butterscotch Jam Bars in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I followed the recommended steeping temperature and did an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Butterscotch Jam Bars steeps to a nice orange colour with a bit of a pinkish hue to it, which I credit to the hibiscus, of course. There’s the aroma of vanilla and brown sugar, with hints of raisins in the background. I found the blend to be nicely sweet, with that brown sugar and maple in the mix. It definitely tastes like a dessert, and that it should be more of a guilty pleasure that it is given the flavour of the blend. It tastes like a cake, which is really scrumptious. The big bonus (for me!) is that I can’t taste the rooibos base itself, all I taste is vanilla, raisins, brown sugar, and the hint of maple in the background.

I really don’t think that it needs a sweetener, but if you do choose to add something, I would go with brown sugar or maple syrup to play up some of the flavours that exist in the blend.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Butterscotch Jam Bars, but found that the second steep was more rooibos and less dessert-like. Which means, if you’re a fan of rooibos, then steeping again is a great way to go.

My Overall Impression

I liked Dessert by Deb’s Butterscotch Jam Bars. I really appreciated the care into developing the flavours that shone through in the initial steep. The use of brown sugar and maple with the blend of elderberries, currants, and raisins, really helped to create the flavour of a baked good. The initial steep was definitely preferred by me over the resteep because I’m not a fan of rooibos. For those who do love rooibos though, I think you’ll get more enjoyment from resteeping it.

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Oteas’s Black Tea with Turmeric

Black Tea with Turmeric by Oteas
Black Tea / Flavoured
$7.49 for 33.75g (15 sachets)

Oteas has provided me with Black Tea with Turmeric for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

This is my first time getting to experience the new plastic-free packaging from Oteas. I noticed that the box is a bit shorter than the previous boxes, and doesn’t have plastic shrink wrap over the box. The cardstock box is recyclable, the inner liner and the tea sachets are all made from plant-based materials and are compostable in home composts – so nothing fancy is required! I think that’s really neat and shows a huge commitment to being environmentally friendly by using green-friendly materials.

Now onto the tea itself – it does come portioned out into tea sachets with a string and tag, I did open it up to get a better look at the tea itself. Black Tea with Turmeric contains just two ingredients: black tea and turmeric powder. Both ingredients are very visible in the tea itself. I mostly smell the turmeric, I can’t really smell the black tea base because the turmeric is such a strong ingredient.

Side note about turmeric – if you often use a plastic gravity tea infuser or steep in anything made of plastic, turmeric will stain it yellow. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it – it will stain. So to get away from that, steep in something ceramic or use a stainless steel infuser – much easier to clean and keep your teaware stain-free!

Preparation

Oteas recommends steeping Black Tea with Turmeric using 100°C (212°F) water for 5 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial step for 6 minutes at the recommended temperature.

First Taste

Black Tea with Turmeric steeps to a deep reddish orange – not nearly as yellow as one might expect, but I think the black tea base as a lot to do with that. I can definitely smell the turmeric. There’s a nice smoothness to the tea, with a strong turmeric flavour that gives it a bit of tang and mouthfeel that lends itself to a pucker. No astringency or bitterness noted, I did find that there was a nice malty flavour from the black tea base, which does shine through the strong turmeric flavour.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Black Tea with Turmeric. I found that it didn’t resteep very well as the turmeric wasn’t as strong. So if you’re a fan of the turmeric, stick to the initial steep (6 minutes over 5 minutes, for sure!). If you’re a fan of a black tea with milder turmeric flavours, keep resteeping!

My Overall Impression

I liked Oteas’s Black Tea with Turmeric. I love the environmentally friendly recyclable and compostable packaging, I think it’s a great direction for any company in this day and age to go, especially for something that is single use. The initial steep of Black Tea with Turmeric was definitely a favourite over the resteep, because the turmeric is just that much more strong and enjoyable – so it really depends on what you like in your tea (I really wished that the turmeric had more of a presence in the second steep!).

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Sunny M’s Formosa Ruby

Formosa Ruby by Sunny M
Oolong Tea / Straight
$34.00 for 100g

Sunny M has provided me with Formosa Ruby for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Formosa Ruby comes in a shiny black pouch, it’s sealed and resealable. I really do like the fancy valve that Sunny M has in the packaging that allows you to push all the air out of the packaging – very handy feature! Formosa Ruby is an oolong tea, described by Sunny M has being artisan roasted, hand picked and from a micro lot.

Formosa Ruby comes from the Charm of Hearts tea estate in Taiwan, and is described as being ethically sourced. This oolong is tightly bunched leaves in varying shades of brown. There are some nice floral, apricot and malty aromas coming from the leaves. I think it’s quite inviting.

Preparation

Sunny M recommends steeping Formosa Ruby in 85℃-95℃ (185℉-203℉) water for 4 to 6 minutes, so I opted to heat my water to 93°C (200°F) and steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Formosa Ruby steeps to a lovely golden orange colour. The aroma is a mix of fruity and floral. The flavour of the tea itself is a smooth floral, light sweetness, some apricot mingling in the background, and a touch of malty that just makes itself known at the tail end of each sip. A bit of a roller coaster of a taste experience, that’s for sure, but truly delicious.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped the leaves for Formosa Ruby a total of seven times (so eight steeps total with the same leaves). As always, I added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the colour continued to deepen as I steeped, especially for the first three resteeps, and the flavour stayed fairly consistent, just getting stronger and then weaker, accordingly with the colour of the tea itself.

My Overall Impression

I loved Sunny M’s Formosa Ruby. This oolong does so great in steeping and resteeping, I found the flavour stayed really nice as I resteeped it and it was just a pleasure to drink over and over again. Definitely one to be resteeped, and you can always steep and pour into a pitcher for some iced oolong later if you don’t have time to drink all that hot tea when you’re in the process of steeping. That’s my tea tip for today!

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