Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure

Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure (April 2018) by Teatourist
£15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was really excited with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure because the first item I really laid eyes on was the complimentary brew buddy, which was the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge by Fab Fudge. I pretty much ate that quick and it was delicious! It had a lovely chocolate texture and reminded me a lot of a Cadbury Creme Egg. There’s not a lot of photos that I took of that one, unfortunately. The only thing that would have it better if there had been more of it.

This collection had six teas: Mountain Mint by Nazani Tea (herbal infusion), Blooming Marvelous by eteaket (green tea), Pedernales Green Yaupon by CatSpring Yaupon (herbal infusion), Shakti Masala Chai by Sonya’s Chai (black tea), Belgian Chocolate Rooibos by Cheshire Tea (rooibos), and Breakfast In Bed by teatourist (black tea). From what I learned from teatourist, this is their first signature tea blend, so I was really looking to trying it when I saw it!

Mountain Mint is an herbal tisane that I would describe as being very fluffy. It just has a very fluffy, airy dry leaf. This mint tisane is 100% wild mountain mint and harvested 1800m above sea level. It has an obviously minty aroma to it. Blooming Marvelous has a very strong strawberry aroma to it, which is quite nice. It’s made up of green Chinese sencha, rosebuds, strawberries, mallow, sunflower petals, and natural flavouring (lemon, vanilla, and red fruit). Now, I’m not sure what ‘red fruit’ is, but I’m assuming it helps to amplify the strawberry flavouring of the tea. Pedernales Green Yaupon has flakey dry green leaves. There’s something about the aroma of this yaupon that reminds me of kale. Pedernales Green Yaupon is 100% organic yaupon.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Shakti Original Masala Chai has some strong spice aromas from the dry leaf, I can smell primarily the cardamom, clove, and black pepper. This chai consists of Assam black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, anise seed, black pepper, clove, and fennel. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos has a sweet chocolate aroma, along with the medicinal aroma from the rooibos base. It consists of rooibos, cacao bean pieces, calendula petals, and natural flavours. Breakfast In Bed has a strong black tea aroma, and I can smell and sweet the vanilla bean pieces. The aroma makes me think of cake, but I believe that to be due to the vanilla bean. Teatourist’s signature blend consists of black tea, vanilla pieces, and flavouring.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Preparation

Nazani Tea recommends steeping Mountain Mint in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

eteaket recommends steeping Blooming Marvelous in 80°C (176°F) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I did an initial steep of 2 minutes in 79°C (175°F) water.

CatSpring Yaupon recommends steeping Pedernales Green Yaupon in 95°C (203°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes in 93°C (200°F) water.

Sonya’s Chai recommends steeping Shakti Original Masala Chai in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep.

Cheshire Tea recommends steeping Belgian Chocolate Rooibos in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 7 minutes. I did an initial steep of 5 minutes.

teatourist recommends steeping Breakfast In Bed in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

First Taste

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Mountain Mint steeps to a nice orange colour. It has a minty aroma, and has a great minty flavour to it. The description on the packaging described it as being both warm and refreshing, which I do agree with. I think it’d to have iced this summer.

Blooming Marvelous steeps to a light yellow colour. I can taste the sencha base, it has a pleasant vegetal flavour to it. I found that it had a nice light fruity sweetness, and pleasant floral notes to it. The strawberry/berry flavours shine through when I sip at this one.

Pedernales Green Yaupon steeps to a brownish-yellow. I found that it has a bit of a spinach and earthy aroma to it. There’s a very light sweetness to it, and some earthy notes in this infusion that reminds me a lot of dark green leafy vegetables and mushrooms.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Shakti Original Masala Chai steeps to a deep red. I found that it had a nice spice aroma and flavour to it. I like my chai a tiny bit sweeter than this one is, so I did add a little bit of honey. I can definitely taste the ginger and cinnamon in it. This chai blend also goes well with a splash of milk.

Belgian Chocolate Rooibos steeps to a deep red. I found the chocolate aroma wasn’t very strong compared to the smell of the rooibos base. The chocolate flavour was very mild compared to the medicinal flavour of the rooibos.

Breakfast In Bed also steeps to a deep red. There’s a slight sweetness to this black tea, with a nice vanilla flavour. The black tea base has a touch of astringency to it, which isn’t overwhelming the vanilla – it reminds me a bit of a breakfast tea (either English or Irish). The vanilla adds a bit of creaminess to the tea. I think it’d do well with some cream and sugar.

A Second Cup?

For the first trio, I attempted resteeps for all three. Mountain Mint did well on the first resteep at 7 minutes and had an enjoyable flavour. In a second resteep attempt, Mountain Mint did poorly, it’s a tisane that is good for just the one more steep. Blooming Marvelous didn’t do well on the resteep, I found that the flavour profile wasn’t similar to the initial steep. The sencha was the main star for the resteep, so if you’re like sencha, you’ll probably enjoy the resteep of the same leaves. Pedenerales Green Yaupon tasted fairly similar to the initial steep with those earthy flavours.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

In the second half of the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure, I resteeped all of them once. I found that Shakti Original Masala Chai wasn’t quite as spicy as the initial steep. It’s still tasty, but the flavour wasn’t as intense as the first steep. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos didn’t do that well with the second steep, I found it to be all rooibos with no chocolate flavour to it. Breakfast In Bed resteeped well. The vanilla flavour wasn’t as strong as the initial steep, but it was noticeable. The black tea still had a mild astringency to it, but wasn’t off-putting.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure. I really did enjoy the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge, it was a very tasty morsel! The stand outs in this collection for me were Blooming Marvelous, Shakti Original Masala Chai, and Breakfast In Bed. I really enjoyed the black teas in this collection, and getting introduced to all these flavour combinations is one of my favourite parts of receiving a monthly subscription box. The fun part of the boxes is getting teas that I probably wouldn’t buy on my own, but then I would have missed out of getting to try them. I really would recommend trying it out if you have the spare funds because it’s a really fun treat.

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Teatourist’s Crushes & Blushes Collection

Crushes & Blushes Collection (February 2018) by Teatourist
£11-15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Crushes & Blushes Collection for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was super excited to receive the Crushes & Blushes Collection from Teatourist. Part of this box also included the announcement that they’re launching the Build-A-Box option on their website. It’s super neat for those who want to choose their own teas instead of getting one of the curated collections. You get to pick any six teas from Teatourist’s extensive catalogue of teas, and then they’ll package it all together and send it to you. No word yet on how much this will cost. I personally love getting the curated boxes, because a lot of the teas I get are ones that I probably wouldn’t pick for myself, but love getting the opportunity to try. So if you’re into surprises, the subscription box might be a great choice for you – but if you want to choose your own due to allergies or just personal preference, that’s an option! You could even gift a Build-A-Box to someone and put all that though and effort into a personalized tea box.

Now onto the Crushes & Blushes Collection! This box has a selection of six tea tasters: two herbal infusions, one white tea, one black tea, one rooibos, and one green tea. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all six of them: Whole Rose Buds from The Tea Makers of London (herbal infusion), North Jetty Beach by Beach House Teas (herbal infusion), Sparkling White by Hoogly Tea (white tea), Honey Red Jade Tea by Golden Tea Leaf (black tea), Raspberry & Rhubarb by The Tea Experience (rooibos), and Cheeky Charlie by The Kettle Shed (green tea). Read More …

Teatourist: Magic & Mischief Collection

Magic & Mischief Collection (December 2017) by Teatourist
£11-15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

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Teatourist has provided me with the Magic & Mischief Collection for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Teatourist curates and produces monthly tea subscription boxes. Each box comes with 6 different tea samples, containing enough tea to have 3-4 cups per tea, ranging from £11 (for a monthly subscription box) to £15 (for a one-off themed box). The packaging is beautiful, I love the bright colours. Each tea sample comes in a sealed (and resealable) plastic bag, with a corresponding card that can be taken apart. The tab over the front identifies the tea, while the rest of the card gives information on steeping instructions, the flavour profile, ingredients, and about the tea company itself.

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The Magic & Mischief collection consisted of 6 teas plus a sample of fudge. The fudge didn’t last long after I started taking photos but I can tell you that it was delicious. The teas are: Mulled Wine Infusion (fruit tea) by Rutland Tea Company, Christmas Cake (black tea) by Bluebird Tea Co., Amaretta (black tea) by Tugboat, Cranberry Sauce (rooibos tea) by Parched Tea, Le Beauté Tea (herbal tea) by Pacifique Herbal Infusion, and White Christmas (white tea) by Nothing But Tea.

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Because it’s already February (customs/post took a bit longer than expected due to holidays/customs) and this was the December box, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on three of the six tea blends. I’ll focusing my review on: Amaretta by Tugboat, Le Beauté Tea by Pacifique Herbal Infusion, and White Christmas by Nothing But Tea.

20180202-teatouristdecember4Clockwise from top: White Christmas, Le Beauté Tea, and Amaretta.

Amaretta is a flavoured black tea and consists of: black tea, almond, vanilla, and flavouring. There’s also what appears to be cornflower petals in the mix as well. The aroma is very strongly of almonds, with a hint of vanilla. It brings to mind of Christmas baking to me.

Le Beauté Tea is an herbal infusion, and consists of: quince, ginger, apple, carrot, lemongrass, spearmint, mallow, verbena, cranberry, cornflower blue, and natural flavouring. I definitely smelled the lemongrass, mint, and ginger when I opened up this bag. It’s very strong of those flavours – they’re quite aromatic and it has a nice brightness to it.

White Christmas is a flavoured white tea and consists of: white tea, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and rose petals. I think of the three, this one I would say is the prettiest. It has a beautiful aroma – primarily that of the cinnamon and ginger.

As an aside, the fudge is Orange Chocolate Fudge by Fab Fudge and was yum.

Preparation

The preparation instructions for the three teas that I opted to focus on are as follows:

Amarettea (from Tugboat): steep in 100°C (212°F) water for 3-4 minutes, with a suggestion that it can be enjoyed with or without milk, sweetened to taste (and possibly with some brandy as well). My initial steep of Amaretta was for 3 minutes.

White Christmas (from Nothing But Tea): steep in 80°C (176°F) for 2-3 minutes. My initial steep of White Christmas was for 2 minutes.

La Beauté Tea (Pacifique Herbal Infusion): steep in 100°C (212°F) for 10 to 15 minutes. Seemed a bit long, but I allowed it to steep for 10 minutes.

First Taste

Amaretta steeps to a deep golden orange, I found that the aroma of this flavoured black tea very much matched the aroma from the dry leaf (almonds and vanilla). The flavour is primarily that of the almond, with the sweetness of vanilla in the background. The black tea base had a bit of a bite to it, like a breakfast tea. I did wind up adding a little bit of honey and that helped to brighten up the vanilla flavours in this black tea blend.

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White Christmas steeps to a light golden orange, with the aromas still matching up to the dry leaf – being primarily cinnamon and ginger. I found the flavour to be quite warming, thanks to the spices. The white tea base helps to keep the tea light, while the rose petals added the very nice touch of a floral sweetness. I didn’t find that this tea needed anything added to it, the floral aromas were quite nice.

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La Beauté Tea steeps to a lovely light yellow. It stills smells like its strongest herbal ingredients – ginger, lemongrass, and mint. When I tasted this tea, I got a burst of lemongrass, mint, and the heat from the ginger. Delicious, but I did add a touch of honey – this helped to temper down the heat from the ginger, while helping some of the sweeter elements come out (apple and carrot).

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped all three of these tea blends. Amaretta did the best, with three additional steeps. I found that the vanilla flavours were mostly gone by the second resteep, so if the vanilla was your favourite part, perhaps keep this to just one more steep.

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White Christmas did quite well for two additional steeps, and the cinnamon and ginger flavours stayed strong for both steeps and were enjoyable. I enjoyed the warming flavours of the spices.

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And then there’s La Beauté Tea. This herbal infusion didn’t do that well with another steep, I would say it’s good for one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved the Magic & Mischief Collection by Teatourist. For £11-15 (approximately $15-22USD), it’s really not a bad deal. Considering you get 6 tea samples (12-15g/sample), I’m not sure if the fudge comes with every box (but it’s so good) so I won’t take that into consideration, but for 72-90g of tea and to sample 6 teas from different 6 tea companies with such a variety of blends, I definitely think that the cost is worth it. For a great bonus, if you want to buy more of any one tea that you really liked, you get coupon codes for each tea company.

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