Dessert by Deb’s Christmas Fruitcake

Christmas Fruitcake by Dessert by Deb
Green Tea & Rooibos / Flavoured
$16.00 for 75g

Christmas Fruitcake is an exclusive blend for Dessert by Deb subscription subscribers and is available for purchase by subscribers only at this time.

First Impressions

Christmas Fruitcake came in a sealed, resealable silver pouch and was part of my December box from Dessert by Deb – which was the very first box of the bimonthly year tea subscription. This is also one of two subscription exclusive blends – what a great incentive to join! I like being part of the super secret club.

This blend smells really inviting – I get strong orange, cinnamon, ginger, and clove aromas. It’s nicely mixed together and I didn’t have to shake it up to get a little bit of everything in my spoon, which was nice. Christmas Fruitcake consists of organic: green tea, rooibos, cherries, oranges and peel, elderberries, currants, raisins, rosehips, cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and safflower.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Christmas Fruitcake in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions and did an initial steep for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Christmas Fruitcake steeps to a nice golden orange. I can definitely smell the cinnamon and ginger, I think those are the strong players in the blend of ingredients! On first taste, I notice that it has a nice sweetness. The flavour of Christmas Fruitcake is that one orange, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. All the warming qualities of ginger make it a very pleasant drink. I did find that it reminded me of the flavours that you might find in a nice spiced pound cake. As for the base of the tea blend – I don’t really taste either the green tea or the rooibos – which is both a plus and a minus because I don’t typically enjoy rooibos blends. But I don’t smell or taste the medicinal-like quality that rooibos often lends to blends.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Christmas Fruitcake and found that it didn’t hold up very well for a second steep. The rooibos was a touch more noticeable, and the ginger and orange were significantly weak compared to the initial steep. I would recommend Christmas Fruitcake for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Dessert by Deb’s Christmas Fruitcake. I really enjoyed the flavours in the blend, and appreciated that I wasn’t able to taste the rooibos because it’s not my favourite thing in the world. The flavour of orange, cinnamon, and ginger really make me think of a spiced pound cake – mostly because I don’t think I’ve really ever tried a fruitcake before (and if I have, I don’t remember what it tastes like!). It’s certainly a fantastic first look an exclusive tea blend for subscribers of Dessert by Deb.

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

Dessert by Deb’s Orange Ginger Shortbread

Orange Ginger Shortbread by Dessert by Deb
Rooibos / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

First Impressions

I made a purchase with Dessert by Deb, and received Orange Ginger Shortbread as a free sample as part of my loose leaf tea order. So while Deb did not ask me to review this rooibos blend, I couldn’t help but decide to share my thoughts on it.

The sample of Orange Ginger Shortbread came in a clear sealed, resealable bag. The ingredients all easily visible through the packaging, which I do like. The aroma is very strongly of orange and vanilla – which is great because I’m not a fan of rooibos. I can smell a touch of rooibos in the background, but it isn’t enough to bother me too much. Orange Ginger Shortbread consists of certified organic ingredients: fair trade rooibos, vanilla, oranges, orange peel, ginger, maple and brown sugar.

Preparation

There were no steeping instructions on the packaging or the product page online, but I treat rooibos blends the same as herbal tisanes – I steeped Orange Ginger Shortbread in 100°C (212°F) water for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Orange Ginger Shortbread steeps to a deep orange colour. I can smell the orange with a hint of ginger. For the taste, I found that the rooibos was very much in the background – which I did appreciate. I can taste orange, ginger, and vanilla. It really does remind me of the namesake of the tea, since vanilla always reminds me of baked goods. There’s a nice sweetness to the blend, and I only found a little bit of an aftertaste from the rooibos blend (just a hint of medicinal flavour).

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Orange Ginger Shortbread once, but found that the orange, ginger, and vanilla notes were considerably less compared to the initial steep and I could taste more of the rooibos. So if you’re a fan of rooibos, I’d recommend resteeping it – but if you’re not, I’d leave it to one steep only.

My Overall Impression

I liked Dessert by Deb’s Orange Ginger Shortbread. I really loved how well the rooibos blend was created, the flavours were on point with the name/inspiration. I do wish that it had a heavier ginger flavour, because I do think that would have really put it over the top. I enjoyed the orange and vanilla notes, and think that it really did remind me of shortbread with the creamy vanilla notes. For those rooibos fans, I would suggest a second steep to get more of the rooibos flavour.

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

Adagio Teas’s Chai Latte Concentrates

Chai Latte Concentrates by Adagio Teas
Black Tea, Green Tea, Rooibos / Flavoured
$9.00USD for 18oz (6 servings)

Adagio Teas has provided me with Chai Latte Concentrates.

First Impressions

I received the Chai Latte sampler from Adagio Teas when I was getting my samples from Masters Teas to review, and I figured I would review these as well! I got one pouch each of the Chai Latte, Green Latte, and Rooibos Latte concentrates. From what I can tell from the Adagio Teas website, you can buy each type individually as a 6 serving box, with the concentrates portioned out in the pouches.

The pouches that I received look like this, containing 3oz of concentrate for a single-serve cup of latte. Chai Latte is definitely the darkest of the three, with Green Latte being a reddish colour and the Rooibos Latte being a milk chocolate colour. From the product pages, I was able to find out that the Green and Rooibos offerings are meant to be called Green Chai Latte and Rooibos Chai Latte.

Chai Latte and Green Latte smell the same – both have a strong spice aroma to it. Rooibos Latte has a spice aroma, but also a very mild rooibos fragrance in the background.

Left to right: Rooibos Latte, Green Latte, and Chai Latte

Chai Latte consists of: water, cane sugar, black tea, and natural flavour.

Green Latte consists of: water, cane sugar, green tea, and natural flavour.

Rooibos Latte consists of: water, cane sugar, rooibos, and natural flavour.

As someone who loves Chai and doesn’t have food allergies, I’m not too put off by the fact that Adagio Teas doesn’t list the spices in the concentrates, but I know a lot of people who do have allergies, so I think it would be great if they updated the product pages with the full ingredients. I can definitely smell ginger and cinnamon in the concentrates.

Preparation

Adagio Teas recommends mixing 1 pouch of concentrate (3oz) with 1 cup of warmed milk, so that’s what I did with each of them – I used warmed unsweetened soy milk because that’s what I had on hand.

First Taste

I found all three to be sweet and spicy.

Left to right: Green Latte and Chai Latte

I found Chai Latte to have a good level of spice flavour, I can definitely tell that it has a black tea base and it reminds me of a sweeter version of a Chai Latte from Starbucks.

The Green Latte is a bit milder in flavour in comparison to the Chai Latte, which I think is because of the green tea base. I don’t really taste green tea in it though, as I find that the spices really overpower the green tea.

Rooibos Latte

Surprisingly, I found the Rooibos Latte to be tasty. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m not generally a fan of rooibos blends but the rooibos base in the Rooibos Latte is mostly covered up by the spice flavour-forward profile so I didn’t really taste the rooibos at all.

A Second Cup?

The Chai Concentrates are good for one-time-use only, so there were no second cups.

My Overall Impression

I loved Adagio Teas’s Chai Concentrates. I would say that my favourite would probably be the Chai Latte (black tea), mostly because I didn’t really taste the green tea or rooibos base in the other two (Green Latte and Rooibos Latte). I found that all three to be on the sweet side, which I think could be easily corrected by adding more than 1 cup of warmed milk to 1 pouch of concentrate. It’s very easy to prepare each of them, and I didn’t have any issues with the pouches. I think it would be great if the concentrates came in a more environmentally friendly packaging, since I’m not sure if the pouches are recyclable. A Tetra Pak-like carton, or glass bottle, would be a great option to sell in a multi-serving option for those who don’t want to buy single-serving pouches and would make it recycling friendly.

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