Dessert by Deb’s Maple Butter Shortbread

Maple Butter Shortbread by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea & Rooibos / Flavoured
$6.00 for 25g

Maple Butter Shortbread came as part of my November/December subscription box from Dessert by Deb.

First Impressions

In that familiar pale pink sealed, resealable pouch comes Maple Butter Shortbread. This is a blend from Dessert by Deb, another cookie-inspired blend that does contain rooibos. Now, I’ll preface the rest of the review with the fact that rooibos is not my favourite thing. I don’t go out of my way to seek out rooibos blends and I will not drink straight rooibos because I find it medicinal in flavour and aroma and I just don’t like it it (but if you love rooibos – that just means that there’s more available for you! Everyone wins!). The aroma of the blend is a nice blend of maple and vanilla, which reminds me of a baked good, but I do smell the rooibos blend. It does have that familiar medicinal quality. I don’t smell the black tea base, but that’s not too surprising given some of the other ingredients in the blend that can be more heavy.

Maple Butter Shortbread consists of all organic: black tea, maple syrup, Canadian maple, rooibos, vanilla, apple, palm sugar, and calendula petals. The ingredients are really pretty, and honestly it does photograph well. I quite appreciate the care in the blend. Vanilla isn’t an inexpensive ingredient to work with, and I always appreciate seeing it in a tea blend because it’s just one of those flavours/ingredients where the real deal is a lot better than artificial flavouring (yes, vanilla extract snob over here).

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Maple Butter Shortbread in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to follow the steeping recommendations and do an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Maple Butter Shortbread steeps to a deep reddish orange (please excuse the bits of tea leaves, I was a bit haphazard when scooping the tea leaves into my infuser). It is very rooibos heavy in aroma, and I can smell the vanilla and maple – which definitely ‘screams’ this is a baked good to me. But the rooibos… It reminds me of medicine, earthy notes, slight sweetness… But mostly a medicinal quality to me. The black tea base lingers a bit in the background, but it isn’t as forward as I would have liked. The vanilla and maple are nice though, and this blend definitely has a nice amount of sweetness – also a nod to the palm sugar that’s present. It does remind me a lot of dessert, which is probably a good thing given that it’s called Maple Butter Shortbread.

A Second Cup?

I attempted a second steep of Maple Butter Shortbread, but found that the flavouring was mostly rooibos with hints of vanilla and maple. For me, personally, I wouldn’t have a second steep. If you’re a fan of rooibos, I would recommend a second steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Dessert by Deb’s Maple Butter Shortbread was just okay. I’m 100% confident that if I was any sort of rooibos fan/lover, I would have ranked this blend a lot higher. I’m quite open about not being the biggest fan of rooibos, and I only seem to appreciate it in blends that I can’t actually smell or taste the rooibos (which isn’t really appreciating it, is it?). So if you’re a fan of rooibos, I think you’ll like this one because it does remind me a lot of a dessert with the sweetness, the maple, and vanilla flavours. If you’re not a fan of rooibos, you might want to steer clear from this one since the rooibos is quite forward. Not for me, but I think it’d be one I would offer to someone who’s visiting and a fan of rooibos and wanting a dessert-style tea blend for sure.

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Dessert by Deb’s Rhubarb Sugar Pie

Rhubarb Sugar Pie by Dessert by Deb
Rooibos & Black Tea / Flavoured
$6.00 for 25g

First Impressions

Rhubarb Sugar Pie came as a tea sample in my Dessert by Deb subscription box. What drew me to it first was the bright magenta metallic pouch – followed by the fact that there were pieces inside that were also brightly magenta in colour. This is a rooibos and and black tea blend, when I first opened the pouch I found that it has a very mild aroma. I can smell the maple and the apple, and it reminds me of (apple) pie, for sure.

Rhubarb Sugar Pie consists of organic: fair trade rooibos, black tea, vanilla, apple, maple, hibiscus, brown sugar and beetroot powder. When I asked Deb about those brightly coloured pieces, turns out that it’s the apple that has been dusted with beet root powder (how clever is that?).

Preparation

At the time of writing, I wasn’t able to find the blend on the Dessert by Deb website, but her other black teas and rooibos blends are steeped in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes, so I opted to follow those instructions for Rhubarb Sugar Pie and did an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Rhubarb Sugar Pie steeps to a bright reddish pink colour, thanks to the hibiscus and the beet root powder. It has a pleasant aroma and I can make out the molasses notes from the brown sugar, and something that’s a bit fruity (likely the apple?). It is sweeter than I expected, has some strong brown sugar/molasses flavours, as well as apple. I can taste the maple and vanilla, which lends itself nice to making me think of baked goods, especially when coupled with the brown sugar. I don’t taste either the rooibos or black tea base – which is either good or bad? I wouldn’t have minded a stronger black tea base, but I wouldn’t have wanted to taste the rooibos either.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Rhubarb Sugar Pie and found the colour to be really light compared to the initial steep, and the flavour wasn’t as strong with lighter brown sugar notes – I really enjoyed that molasses flavour.

My Overall Impression

I liked Dessert by Deb’s Rhubarb Sugar Pie. I’m always a sucker for a nice rooibos blend when I cannot actually taste the rooibos, and Rhubarb Sugar Pie ticks that box for me. It’s got a pleasant flavour that really does remind me of a pie. It’s not as tart as I expecting with a name like Rhubarb Sugar Pie, but it’s got some great flavours that do remind me of baked goods (the brown sugar, vanilla, apple). I had this one both hot and iced and think it does better iced, so would highly recommend having it that way since it’s still iced tea season as its not pumpkin spice season (yet).

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Dessert by Deb’s Tiramisu Trifle

Tiramisu Trifle by Dessert by Deb
Rooibos / Flavoured
$6.00 for 25g

Tiramisu Trifle was part of my subscription box from Dessert by Deb and is part of the Cake & Celebration Collection.

First Impressions

Tiramisu Trifle came as a packet of tea in my box from Dessert by Deb, it came in a shiny gold and clear pouch that’s resealable. The first thing that I see are the espresso beans that do make me a bit apprehensive. If you’ve been following for a while, you may know that I don’t like the smell or taste of coffee – and that also does translate into not liking tiramisu (yes, I’ve tried it before; no, I did not like it).

That said, the dry rooibos blend smells exactly like tiramisu – which is both impressive and scary at the same time. It basically smells like dessert, and I think a lot of people will really enjoy it – especially coffee fans. Tiramisu Trifle consists of organic: rooibos, vanilla, espresso beans, maple, coconut, toasted coconut, cacao nibs, and cocoa powder.

Preparation

Because this was a sample packet, there were no steeping instructions but that was easily remedied by heading on over to the Dessert by Deb website. Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Tiramisu Trifle in 212°F (100°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I used the recommended water temperature and steeped for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Tiramisu Trifle steeps to a lovely golden brown colour. There is a slight oil slick over the top, the oils are likely from the espresso and coconut as well. It has a very strong coffee aroma from it and I get a lot of vanilla notes that really make the whole thing smell like tiramisu. The flavour is interesting – there’s definitely the taste of coffee (which I find to be bitter), with the vanilla notes, and sweetness. I don’t get a lot of the coconut, but I think the espresso is just a strong ingredient to be going up against. It has some nice chocolate notes to it, so I think it’s a really well done representation of the tiramisu dessert.

A Second Cup?

I did attempt to resteep Tiramisu Trifle and found that the rooibos base was more obvious and I got a mix of the medicinal notes from rooibos and the coffee flavour from the espresso. As a fan of neither, I didn’t enjoy this. If you’re a fan of either, I’d recommend resteeping it.

My Overall Impression

I didn’t like Dessert by Deb’s Tiramisu Trifle. As someone who’s not a fan of coffee or rooibos, I feel like this was destined to happen. That said, I found that the aroma of the dry leaf to be incredibly spot on in comparison to the tiramisu dessert. The aroma from the steeped tisane is also that of tiramisu, and honestly it does taste really spot on as a liquid tiramisu. I think any fan of tiramisu or coffee would be really happy with the blend – it’s just not for me.

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