Kailo Tea’s Zen Out

Zen Out by Kailo Tea
Roobios & Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$15.99 for 45g (15 sachets)

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Kailo Tea has provided me with Zen Out for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The second of the teas sent to me by Kailo Tea (the first was Wake Up, which I reviewed earlier this month). This time it’s an herbal infusion with added vitamins so yes, there was another capsule in my tea. This herbal infusion has a great mix of ingredients that smell delightful – I mostly make out the smell of citrus (from the orange and lemon) and the ginger. It smells like a great night time herbal infusion to have since it lacks caffeine.

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Zen Out consists of: rooibos, currants, orange peel, cornflowers, acai, lemon peel, hibiscus, apple, rosehips, strawberry leaf, linden leaf, calendula, rose, natural and artificial flavours, ginger root, vitamin D3, vitamin 3, and magnesium citrate. The packaging mentions lavender and it’s missing from the ingredients list.

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Preparation

Kailo Tea recommends steeping Zen Out in 200-210°F (93-99°C) for 5 to 6 minutes. I steeped Zen Out initially for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Zen Out steeps to a dark orange, and it slightly cloudy (like it’s Wake Up counterpart, I attribute that to the vitamin capsule). It smells mostly of ginger and citrus. I’m a bit surprised that it’s not more pink because of the hibiscus, which I find always turns everything a deep shade of pink. The rooibos base in this tea does give it that usual medicinal smell. On first taste, I primarily tasted the ginger. Pleasantly, the rooibos base wasn’t overpowering the rest of the ingredients. I typically don’t like rooibos, but the ginger and citrus flavours are strong and pretty much rule over everything else. It doesn’t taste too sweet, although I wish I could make out the rest of the ingredients.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Zen Out and found that the flavour to be lacking as it was quite watery. I think Zen Out is best for just one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Kailo Tea’s Zen Out. I’m not typically one for rooibos, but I found that the other ingredients in this blend overpowered the medicinal flavour that I don’t like from the rooibos which was a major plus for me. The ginger and citrus flavours are delicious, bright, and yet relaxing. I don’t think it makes me sleepy though, but doesn’t make me feel overly energetic so perhaps it managed to do what its meant to do.

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Plum Deluxe: Tea Club Review

Plum Deluxe
Monthly Tea Club Subscription
$10-16 USD per month

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Plum Deluxe has provided me with their January Tea Club package for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

Andy Hayes of Plum Deluxe contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a monthly club package for Plum Deluxe – of course I said yes! Plum Deluxe offers a monthly tea club subscription, an online shop for à la carte tea shopping, as well as an online community and blog full of tea resources. It was fun getting the January tea club shipment in the mail – I was sent the two teas option (two 1oz teas, with 1 tea sample), as well as the autumn/winter playbook for Plum Deluxe, which costs $16USD/month. There is also a single tea option (one 1oz tea with 1 tea sample) that is $10USD/month. Subscriptions are paid for quarterly (3 months), and at the time of writing they only ship within the United States and to Canada. For Canadian tea lovers, they offer the 1 tea option of their monthly tea club subscription for $17USD/month and the 2 tea option for $23USD/month – also charged for 3 months at a time.

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For my package, I did get to choose one of the tea choices. Whichever option you choose (1 tea or 2), you’ll always receive the special blend of the month. If you opt for the 2 tea option, you get the 1oz of the special blend of the month, 1oz of a surprise signature blend, and 1 tea sample. I had gone through the Plum Deluxe website and Vanilla Latte had appealed to me, so Andy was kind enough to make that the ‘surprise’ signature blend for me. In this package, the teas I received were A Dark Night Orange Spice Puerh (1oz), Vanilla Latte Tea (1oz), and Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Tea (sample). The special blend of the month is exclusive to tea club members.

I was quite pleased with the packaging that Plum Deluxe has opted for. They use clear, resealable bags. It’s nice because you can easily see what the tea blend looks like, as well as how much you have left. For storage purposes, I always recommend keeping teas in a dark place – light is one of the things that can speed up tea going a bit stale or losing flavour.

I’ll be keeping the order of each tea throughout the sections consistent – with the special January blend first (A Dark Night Orange Spice Puerh), followed by my pick (Vanilla Latte Tea), and the tea sample (Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Tea).

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A Dark Night Orange Spice Puerh has a very strong cinnamon, orange/citrus smell in the dry leaf. I like that I can make out the ginger and anise in the tea blend. This puerh blend is made up of: puerh tea, cinnamon bark, orange peel, ginger root, hibiscus, rose hips, anise, safflower, and orange essence.

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Vanilla Latte Tea’s dry leaf has a honeyed smell, I can also make out the vanilla and the cardamom. The smell of Vanilla Latte Tea reminds me a lot of a vanilla birthday cake, which is quite pleasant. Vanilla Tea Latte’s ingredients are: black tea, honeybush tea, ground cardamom, and vanilla essence.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Tea is a cute little sample, there’s really just enough for one cup and to get a taste for it. It smells like chocolate and hazelnut, which is a winning combination in my book! I love hedgehog chocolates (which have a hazelnut filling, if you don’t know the magic of hedgehogs), and the smell of this blend remind me of the hedgehogs so much! Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Tea is made up of: honeybush tea, cocoa nibs, hazelnut pieces, and hazelnut essence. Read More …

24 Days of Tea: Crème Caramel Rooibos

Crème Caramel Rooibos by DavidsTea
Rooibos Tea / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Officially into the second half of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar, and day 13 is Crème Caramel Rooibos. My initial reaction in seeing that it was a rooibos tea was “poop”. I don’t like a lot of rooibos teas, I’m quite particular (although I love Birthday Cake by DavidsTea). Rooibos to me often has an almost medicinal quality to the smell and flavour, and that is generally something that I don’t want to have in my cup because it’s not pleasant to me.

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Crème Caramel Rooibos has a slight caramel smell to it, but more heavy on the rooibos side. Crème Caramel Rooibos consists of: rooibos, caramel pieces, natural and artificial flavouring. For those who are lactose intolerant, it does contain milk. As you can tell from my photo above, my tin didn’t have a lot of caramel pieces in it (this may have played a role in my overall experience).

Preparation

The recommendation for preparing Crème Caramel Rooibos is to use near-boiling water (90-95°C/194-203°F) and to steep for 4 to 7 minutes. When I use my Breville IQ Kettle, I opt to use the French Press option (200°F) to get the water to the right temperature. I steeped my cup of Crème Caramel Rooibos for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Crème Caramel Rooibos steeps to have a very strong rooibos smell, very medicinal and not enough caramel in the steam that wafts up from the cup as it steeps. It does have a beautiful red colour that it steeps to, which I always like. There is a slight sweetness to this rooibos blend that I like, but it does get overpowered by the rooibos base. The medicinal quality in the smell is followed by a medicinal quality in the flavour. It lacks a creaminess that I was anticipating with a name like Crème Caramel Rooibos, and found that it benefits from a splash of evaporated milk. The cream content of the evaporated milk helps boost the caramel flavours, but doesn’t cut through the medicinal rooibos flavour as much as I would like.

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A Second Cup?

I did not resteep Crème Caramel Rooibos.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Crème Caramel Rooibos. I really wanted to like this one, especially with a name like Crème Caramel Rooibos because I am all about the sweets (especially in the holiday season!). I found the amount of caramel in the steeped tea to be lacking, although it did improve a bit with the addition of evaporated milk. I’m just not overly fond of rooibos as a tea base, as I’m not a fan of medicinal flavours in my tea mugs.

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