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’s Nourish & Flourish Collection

Nourish & Flourish Collection (January 2018) by Teatourist
£11-15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

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

First Impressions

Nourish & Flourish is Teatourist’s January 2018 box – with all these wellness teas and tisanes to help you start your year off right. If you ever want to go back and order a previous curated collection, you can do so on the Teatourist website! Any boxes that you were interested in? If they have it in stock, you can order it!

The Nourish & Flourish Collection consists of six teas and tisanes. The first three are: Bamboo Leaf and Nettle by Wise Owl Tea, Chakra Tea Flora by SWILK, Traditional Green Yaupon by Yaupon Brothers. All three are herbals/tisanes as none of them actually contain tea leaves.

From left to right: Bamboo Leaf and Nettle, Chakra Tea Flora, and Traditional Green Yaupon.

Bamboo Leaf and Nettle consists of wild picked bamboo leaf and nettle leaf, which has a very grassy aroma to it. The dry leaf actually reminded me a bit of celery of all things. This was the only blend that came in tea bags instead of loose leaf tea. Chakra Tea Flora is an amazingly floral blend. It has a very strong lavender and rose aroma to the dry leaf and all of the ingredients are easily seen – peppermint, hibiscus, lavender, marigold, chamomile, rose, and cornflower. Traditional Green Yaupon is (surprise!) a straight yaupon holly tisane, which is grown in Florida, USA.

The second half of this curated collection is Organic Time to Drink – Clean by Caley’s Apothecary, Simply Green by The Tea Leaf Company, and Black Tea with Turmeric by O-Teas.

From left to right: Organic Time to Drink – Clean, Simply Green, and Black Tea with Turmeric.

Organic Time to Drink – Clean has a very mild aroma to it – an interesting blend of lemongrass and grass. The ingredients of this blend are lemongrass, green tea, nettle, and bilberries. Simply Green is simply a Ceylon green tea and has sweet vegetal aroma with a mild licorice fragrance to it. Black Tea with Turmeric smells strongly of tumeric, and this tea is just how it sounds – black tea with tumeric.

Preparation

Wise Owl Tea recommends steeping Bamboo Leaf and Nettle in 70-80°C (158-176°F) for 5+ minutes. I steeped this tisane in 80C (176F) for 5 minutes.

SWILK recommends steeping Chakra Tea Flora in 100°C (212°F) for 4 to 5 minutes. I steeped this floral tisane for 5 minutes.

Yaupon Brothers recommends steeping Traditional Green Yaupon in 100°C (212°F) for 5 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions.

Caley’s Apothecary recommends steeping Organic Time to Drink – Clean in 100°C (212°F) for 5 to 7 minutes. I steeped this herbal tisane for 7 minutes.

The Tea Leaf Company recommends steeping Simply Green in 80°C (176°F) for 2 to 5 minutes. I steeped this straight green tea for 3 minutes.

O-Teas recommends steeping Black Tea with Turmeric in 100°C (212°F) for 5 to 6 minutes. I steeped this black tea blend for 5 minutes.

First Taste

From left to right: Bamboo Leaf and Nettle, Chakra Tea Flora, and Traditional Green Yaupon.

Bamboo Leaf and Nettle steeps to a yellow green and actually reminds me a lot of green tea in colour, although it’s a touch more cloudy than I’m used to. There’s some nice grassy aromas, and it tastes like it smells. There’s a slight saltiness to this tisane that adds a great umami flavour to it. I like that it reminds me of a green tea, but it doesn’t have any caffeine so it makes for a nice option.

Chakra Tea Flora steeps to a reddish orange, there is a very strong mint and lavender aroma to it. It’s actually quite perfumey because of all the floral ingredients. I think this would be a nice tisane to relax with considering all the soothing floral ingredients in this blend.

Traditional Green Yaupon steeps to an orange, and it actually has a really strong grassy and hay aroma do it. I found that this leafy tisane had very strong hay flavours to it, but it was missing the honeyed sweetness that was in the description of the tisane.

From left to right: Organic Time to Drink – Clean, Simply Green, and Black Tea with Turmeric.

Organic Time to Drink – Clean has an almost dark honey colouring to it. This herbal blend has very mild aromas to it – with citrus and lemongrass playing strong characters in the flavour profile. It wasn’t a very strong herbal tisane, and I mostly got citrus from it.

Simply Green steeps to quite the bright sunshine yellow. It has a very subtle aroma that is easy to miss. I found that it had some great grassy and vegetal flavours to it. There was just the hint of bitterness to this tea, but a smooth texture overall. I’d recommend steeping this one for less than 3 minutes, 2 minutes would probably be better for an initial steep.

Black Tea with Turmeric steeps to a very dark, warm brown. It’s smells honey sweet. I found this tea to be surprisingly strong – it’s astringent and tangy with a strong mouth-puckering amount of flavouring. There’s the slight warming sensation, and I found it to be too astringent for me to really enjoy, although the aroma is delightful.

A Second Cup

From left to right: Bamboo Leaf and Nettle, Chakra Tea Flora, and Traditional Green Yaupon.

I resteeped the following and found that the flavours were much weaker compared to the first/initial steep: Bamboo Leaf and Nettle, Chakra Tea Flora, Traditional Green Yaupon, Organic Time to Drink – Clean, and Black Tea with Turmeric.

From left to right: Organic Time to Drink – Clean, Simply Green, and Black Tea with Turmeric.

I resteeped Simply Green three times, I found that the flavour got stronger for the first resteep, and gradually waned in flavour for the second and third resteep. The balance of grassy and vegetal flavours remained the same as the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teatourist’s Nourish & Flourish Collection. This collection has a great variety – although of the six only three contain tea, so if you’re not interested in tisanes, this may not be the collection for you. That said, I really enjoyed the variety in blends, because I’ve never tried Yaupon before, or a tea with tumeric, and I’m not sure that I would have necessarily gone out of my way to pick it up if I were just out tea shopping.

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