Lemon Lily’s Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Pink Lemonade came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s June themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Pink Lemonade came in a resealable white foil pouch, with a now-familiar label on the front. Lemon Lily’s teas generally come in increments of 50g or more, but The Sugared Teacup gets them specially packaged for the subscription boxes. The first thing I noted when I opened the packaging is that it smells like lemonade. I can see the hibiscus, which is what I’m assuming gives the tea a pink colour.

Pink Lemonade consists of black tea, hibiscus, lemon peel, lemongrass, and raspberry leaf – all organic ingredients and Lemon Lily’s products are certified by Ecocert Canada.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Pink Lemonade in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep was for 6 minutes.

First Taste

Pink Lemonade steeps to a beautiful dark pink colour, and it smells exactly what you’d expect a tea called “Pink Lemonade” to smell like. There’s a really nice, bright lemon aroma that comes from the tea. On first taste, I really noticed the lemon, and there was a good amount of tartness in the tea that really reminds me of lemonade. I’m not sure if the tart quality is coming from the lemon ingredients or from the hibiscus (likely the hibiscus, I think). If you’re not a huge fan of tart teas, I would recommend adding a bit of sugar or sweetener to help balance out the flavours.

I also iced a cup of Pink Lemonade and I’m pleased to share that it is very good iced as well.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Pink Lemonade. I found that the flavour was alright, and the colour was considerably weaker in comparison to the initial steep. I think Pink Lemonade is good for one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Lemon Lily’s Pink Lemonade. I think the flavour was fantastic, and it tasted just as I expected it to based on the name and the fragrance from the dried leaf. I really liked the colour and flavour in my initial steep of Pink Lemonade. I think this black tea is best iced/cold, and with a touch of sweetener if you’re not into having a bit of a pucker action going on due to the tartness of the tea.

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Chai Castle’s Black Currant

Black Currant by Chai Castle
Black Tea / Flavoured
$12.50 for 100g

Chai Castle has provided me with Black Currant for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Black Currant came to me in a cute resealable black sample-size pouch. The label very clearly tells me everything that I need to know about the tea – including the varying sources of the black tea used in this blend (very handy to know!). Chai Castle also sent me samples of their retail packaging – some lovely matte black resealable bags with coloured labels.

Black Currant has a beautiful aroma to it. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten black currant fruit before, but I have had black currant candy (so good!), and this pretty much smells like candy to me. There’s a nice sweet aroma to it, and I can pick out the individual ingredients in the blend. Black Currant consists of: black tea (Ceylon, South India, China), natural flavour, black currants, and black currants leaves.

Bonus fun fact, Chai Castle is a local company! Chai Castle is based out of Maple Ridge, which is part of the Metro Vancouver area.

Preparation

Chai Castle recommends steeping Black Currant in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. My initial steep of Black Currant was for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Black Currant steeps to an almost burnt orange colour. There’s a nice fruity sweetness that wafts up from the steeped tea that is really quite inviting. On first taste, I found that there was a good amount of fruity notes while I could still make out a slight robustness from the black tea base. I found no astringency or bitterness when I steeped Black Currant for 4 minutes. The balance between the black tea and the black currant is quite pleasant. I found the fruit provided enough sweetness that I don’t really think that it needs any additional sweetener. I had this tea hot, but after cooling it down I had popped in a couple of ice cubes and found it to be quite delicious as well.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Black Currant twice. I found with the first resteep, the flavour was lovely and very similar to the initial steep. I found for the second resteep, the flavour wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. As per my usual, I add an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I would say that Black Currant is good for one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Chai Castle’s Black Currant. I really enjoyed the fruity flavour and thought that the flavour of the black currant really comes out well with this black tea blend. It’s both delicious hot and iced, so it makes for a versatile tea regardless of the weather. I would definitely recommend resteeping it once to get all the flavour out of it since it’s so tasty!

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Tetley’s Earl Grey

Earl Grey by Tetley
Black Tea / Flavoured
$4.74 for 48g (24 sachets) via Amazon

First Impressions

Taking on Tetley’s Earl Grey was a bit of a challenge for me. Not because I find it difficult to review Earl Grey teas, or teas in general, but because I know that it’s quite beloved by a lot of people (including a lot of my coworkers). It’s a classic tea and it’s a readily available classic tea, which makes it all the more popular. Earl Grey comes in a familiar canister, with a plastic lid that fits snug into place and a foil seal that kept the tea bags from getting stale.

Each tea bag is a familiar round bag with no tag. The dry leaf has a light bergamot aroma to it, I was hopeful for a little bit more. Earl Grey consists of black tea and natural flavour. The packaging mentions Orange Pekoe, but it’s not listed under the ingredients to specify the type of black tea.

Preparation

Tetley recommends steeping in boiling water (100°C/212°F) for 3 to 4 minutes, and suggests “serve clear or with milk and/or sugar”. My initial steep was for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Earl Grey steps to a reddish brown. I found that the flavour to better than I expected considering how light the bergamot aroma was in the dry leaf. I can taste both the black tea base and the bergamot flavouring. Although I did steep it according to the recommendations, I found that there was a slight bitterness at the end of each steep. I did a second initial steep at 3 minutes and found that it was still present.

I did add a touch of honey and evaporated milk to my cup, and found that it covered up the bitterness easily.

A Second Cup?

My attempt to resteep Earl Grey was disappointing as the flavour of bergamot was missing. I would say that Earl Grey is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Tetley’s Earl Grey was just okay. For the price, I was pleasantly surprised by the initial steep of Earl Grey (although I think for future attempts I’d do even shorter steeps). I found that this tea took very easily to being doctored, since the bergamot wasn’t overwhelming. I think it’d be a great candidate for milk tea if you’re looking for an easily accessible tea to use!

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