Wize Monkey’s Ginger Lemon

Ginger Lemon by Wize Monkey
Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$10.49USD for 35g (15 sachets)

Wize Monkey has provided me with Ginger Lemon for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I generally think of ginger and lemon going together when I’m sick because that’s what my mom used to put together for me (along with some honey – I can’t forget the honey!) so when I opened up the packaging on the sachets of Ginger Lemon, it brings me right back to being little & feeling poorly (sorry, Wize Monkey, it’s not your fault!). That said, this tisane has an amazing flavour – it smells exactly like you’d expect it to, very strongly of ginger and lemon.

Ginger Lemon consists of premium arabica leaves, ginger root, lemon peel, lemon myrtle, and natural lemon flavour. Unlike my earlier review this month of the Original coffee leaf tea from Wize Monkey, I can only smell the lemon and ginger and none of the tisane base.

Preparation

Wize Monkey recommends steeping Ginger Lemon in 95°C (203°F) water with no set time limit. If you recall my review of their Original, I steeped it for 8 minutes with no ill effects on the flavour. I opted to steep Ginger Lemon in 93°C (200°F) water for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Ginger Lemon steeps to a lovely golden red and has a great aroma to it. The ginger and lemon are very much in the forefront and it’s the only thing I can smell from this coffee leaf tisane. The aroma still makes me feel like I should be drinking this when I’m sick, but what’s a girl to do? The flavour has some of the warming properties from the ginger, and I can definitely taste the lemon. I don’t really get a lot of the tea base, which isn’t that surprising considering how strong of an ingredient ginger can be. I get a little bit of the grassy notes, but it is mostly overwhelmed by the lemon and ginger. The flavour of Ginger Lemon honestly reminds me so much of what my mom used to make for me when I was ill, it just needs a spoonful of honey to make it match up perfectly.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Ginger Lemon twice. I found for the first resteep that it was more ginger than lemon, and the grassy notes were a bit stronger in the first resteep. For the second resteep, it was lacking the ginger and the lemon and just wasn’t as tasty as the original I would say that Ginger Lemon is good for one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Wize Monkey’s Ginger Lemon. There was just something really thought provoking of the flavours of the ginger and the lemon, and it probably has to do with the fact that I really enjoy the flavour combination. That said, it did make me feel like I should be sick or at least feeling a little bit under the weather while I was having it, so I might not be the best judge of things. However, it tasted good, smelled and tasted like I feel like it should have, so all in all, it made for a good cuppa.

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Thinktea’s Matcha Set

Matcha Set by Thinktea
Ceramic, Bamboo, and Oak
$29.99

First Impressions

Last year, I was wanting to branch out and start preparing and reviewing matcha at home, which is the primary reason why I purchased this set from Thinktea (a brand available via Stokes Stores). This four piece matcha set consists of a matcha bowl (ceramic), whisk (100 bamboo prongs), a long handled bamboo scoop, and a Japanese oak spoon (where 1 spoon = ½ teaspoon). The one piece that I would say it probably missing is something to sift the powder to break up any clumps prior to whisking.

All the pieces seem pretty solid, the bowl has a lovely floral design on the inside and outside of the bowl. I’m not that familiar with what the difference is between the scoop and the spoon, so I’m not sure why both would needed.

Preparation

I gave everything a quick rinse under hot tap water prior to usage, you just never know how long everything’s been sitting in storage for or how many people handled it.

First Use

I am not a matcha expert, nor do I play one on television. The first time I used this matcha set, I used the scoop to transfer the matcha to the bowl and I wound up spilling some on my counter. I found the oak spoon a lot easier to use (and less spillage!), so my novice self thinks that the reason why both are included is that one is for novice matcha makers and one is for more experienced tea ceremony masters.

I whisked the matcha in an M (or W) motion until it seems well mixed and has some bubbles on top. You do have to whisk quite vigorously to get some foam action happening, so it’s both an exercise in making matcha and a small arm workout. I learned about preparing matcha from Kimmy of Whisk Matcha (when I met her at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival) so I’m somewhat confident that I’m doing it somewhat properly.

Overall Impression

I loved Thinktea’s Matcha Set. I kind of wish it came with some instructions for the very novice beginner, but I think for $29.99, it makes for a great beginner set. If you’re new to matcha, you don’t necessarily want to be spending a lot of money in your teaware right away because what if you decide that you don’t like matcha or you decide that your preferred way to prepare matcha is in smoothie.

For $29.99, you get a bowl, spoon, and scoop that’ll last you for quite a while (possibly forever if you don’t drop or break anything), and a whisk that’ll be decent for whisking up some ceremonial matcha. You could easily spend that much on a fancy matcha bowl alone (or a lot more). Of the four piece set, the only item that I can see having to be repeatedly replace would be the whisk, since it’s not meant to last forever, which makes this Matcha Set a modest investment in my matcha journey.

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Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai

Bombay Masala Chai by Trudy Ann’s
Black Tea / Flavoured
$11.99 for 40g (16 cups)

First Impressions

I first met Trudy Ann at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival, which is also where I made my first purchase of her Bombay Masala Chai. She’s a complete sweetheart, if you ever have the chance to interact with her at one of the shows or markets that she sells at. Now, onto the tea!

Bombay Masala Chai is made up of: black tea, cardamom, true cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and peppers. Inside of the kraft paper bag, you find black tea and a small pouch of ground spices. The instructions on the back of the packaging tell you to store the spices in a separate jar. The aroma of the spices is really inviting, I can definitely smell the cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon – those are the stronger aromatics so they’re the most obvious. The black tea smells like an assam (which, according to the product page on Trudy Ann’s website, it is).

Preparation

Trudy Ann includes directions for steeping this tea in a cup, on the stove top, iced, and how to resteep it. I’ll discuss the directions for steeping in a cup since that’s what I did.

Trudy Ann recommends adding 1 tsp tea and ¼ tsp chai masala (spices) to 1 cup of boiling (100°C/212°F) water, and to steep for 5 minutes prior to straining. Then, you can add cream and sweetener to tastes. For this review, I followed the steeping instructions and tried it plain.

First Taste

Bombay Masala Chai steeps to a beautiful golden orange and has a lovely aroma that comes up from the tea. You can definitely smell the cardamom and ginger, and I love those aromatics. The tea itself has a nice sweetness to it, and the combination of spice to black tea is well balanced. I enjoy the fact that it’s not too spicy – if you’ve ever had some chai blends, you might know what I’m talking about when the spices overwhelm the black tea base or when one spice just covers up the rest of them. Bombay Masala Chai has a nice balance though, I can taste the black tea, as well as the different spices.

A Second Cup?

Trudy Ann’s recommendations for a second steep is to double the steep time (from 5 minutes to 10 minutes). I found that at 10 minutes, the first resteep is fairly similar to the initial steep. It’s not as sweet as the initial steep, but that’s something that can be easily remedied with a bit of sugar or honey.

My Overall Impression

I loved Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai. If you’re a fan of chai but struggle to get the spice to tea balance right (like me!), I would recommend giving this blend a try. I love that the spices are right there and you can control how much you put in. You can smell the ingredients, there’s clear instructions for making the tea whatever way you want, and the flavours are just so well balanced against each other that it’s enjoyable and there’s not just one spice that’s overwhelming the rest.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.