Trudy Ann’s Apple Pie Chai

Apple Pie Chai by Trudy Ann’s
Rooibos / Flavoured
$14.99 for 100g

First Impressions

Trudy Ann’s Apple Pie Chai is another tea that I got at the 2018 Vancouver Tea Festival (oh yes, I spent a lot of time at her booth!). Surprisingly, this is a rooibos blend. I know what you’re all thinking, “But Michelle, you don’t like rooibos blends”. That’s right, traditionally I don’t. There’s just something not tasty about the medicinal-like base that straight rooibos has, and there are some rooibos blends that I enjoy. Apple Pie Chai smells pretty much like apple pie, and I can’t smell the rooibos blend – so I consider that a win overall and it makes me willing to give it a try.

Apple Pie Chai consists of: rooibos, apple, cinnamon, and cloves. I think it’s the combination of the cinnamon and cloves that really makes me think about apple pie. They’re just such classic ingredients that it makes me think of that warm, autumn dessert. The ingredients are fairly easy to pick out, especially the very generous amount of dried apple pieces.

Preparation

Trudy Ann’s recommends steeping Apple Pie Chai in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. I opted to steep with 100°C (212°F) water for 7 minutes.

First Taste

Apple Pie Chai steeps to a deep reddish orange. My initial steep of Apple Pie Chai was with a stainless steel infuser, and I found that a lot of the little ‘bits’ came out into the tea. If this bothers you, I’d recommend using a filter bag to steep your Apple Pie Chai for a clearer steep. I can smell the rooibos base in the steeped tea, but I can also smell the apple and cinnamon. The cloves aren’t as strong compared to the dry base. Apple Pie Chai has a thickened mouthfeel to it, and I can taste the apple and the cinnamon. A pleasant surprise I found with the Apple Pie Chai is that I cannot taste the rooibos blend – win!

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep of Apple Pie Chai and steeped it for 10 minutes. I found that a lot of the flavours that I loved in the initial steep were quite muted, and the rooibos base is quite pronounced. So if you love the taste of rooibos, I would recommend resteeping Apple Pie Chai. If you’re like me and enjoy the other flavours more, I would stick to one steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Trudy Ann’s Apple Pie Chai. I love that the dry leaf and the steeped tea smells just like apple pie, it definitely makes me think of the dessert. The flavour of this rooibos base are delicious, and it makes for a great caffeine-free dessert tea. If you’re not a fan of the flavour of rooibos, I would highly recommend just sticking to the initial steep.

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Adagio Teas’ Samurai Mate

Samurai Mate by Adagio Teas
Herbal Infusion (Yerba Mate & Rooibos) / Flavoured
$8.00USD for 3 oz

First Impressions

I got this sample packet of Samurai Mate as part of a promotion that Adagio Teas was putting on when Teavana Teas was closing. The packaging and label is nice and simple – very on point with their branding, and the label tells me everything that I need to know about the tea – steeping instructions and ingredients. Bonus points for being resealable, Adagio Teas! Something I greatly appreciate. Resealable packaging helps keep the tea fresh and ready to go for the next time I want to make a cup. If you’ve ever heard of Adagio Teas, it might have been their fandom teas (of which they have many…).

Samurai Mate has a strong almond aroma, which the cardamom, ginger, and orange in the background. There’s fruit in the blend as well, and lemongrass, that I can see, but I can’t pick out those aromas. Samurai Mate consists of: yerba mate, green rooibos, cinnamon bark, ginger root, cardamom, orange peels, lemon grass, aniseed, almond flavour, spicy cinnamon flavour, mango pieces, papaya flavour and pineapple pieces.

Preparation

Adagio Teas recommends steeping Samurai Mate in 212°F (100°C) water for 5-10 minutes. My initial steep was for 7 minutes.

First Taste

Samurai Mate steeps to a beautiful golden orange colour. There’s a rich ginger and cinnamon aroma from the steeped tea, which I do taste as well. Along with the ginger and cinnamon, I taste the cardamom with a light sweetness – which may be from the fruit. I can’t taste the almond, which is unfortunate since it was so present with the dry leaf. The tail end of each sip has just a hint of bright citrus notes, which makes for a tasty cup.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Samurai Mate, steeping for a total of 10 minutes. I found the colour and the flavour to be quite dilute compared to the initial steep. I didn’t really enjoy the resteep of the same leaves.

My Overall Impression

I liked Adagio Teas’ Samurai Mate. I really enjoyed the warming flavours of the ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon in the blend. The sweetness from the fruits was a nice touch, but I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to taste the almond in the steeped tea. That said, I’m really grateful that I couldn’t taste the rooibos in the base as I’m normally not a very big fan of rooibos. The citrus just added a touch of brightness to this blend, which made it quite delicious! I just wish that it had resteeped better since it was so enjoyable for the initial steep.

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Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure

Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure (April 2018) by Teatourist
£15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was really excited with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure because the first item I really laid eyes on was the complimentary brew buddy, which was the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge by Fab Fudge. I pretty much ate that quick and it was delicious! It had a lovely chocolate texture and reminded me a lot of a Cadbury Creme Egg. There’s not a lot of photos that I took of that one, unfortunately. The only thing that would have it better if there had been more of it.

This collection had six teas: Mountain Mint by Nazani Tea (herbal infusion), Blooming Marvelous by eteaket (green tea), Pedernales Green Yaupon by CatSpring Yaupon (herbal infusion), Shakti Masala Chai by Sonya’s Chai (black tea), Belgian Chocolate Rooibos by Cheshire Tea (rooibos), and Breakfast In Bed by teatourist (black tea). From what I learned from teatourist, this is their first signature tea blend, so I was really looking to trying it when I saw it!

Mountain Mint is an herbal tisane that I would describe as being very fluffy. It just has a very fluffy, airy dry leaf. This mint tisane is 100% wild mountain mint and harvested 1800m above sea level. It has an obviously minty aroma to it. Blooming Marvelous has a very strong strawberry aroma to it, which is quite nice. It’s made up of green Chinese sencha, rosebuds, strawberries, mallow, sunflower petals, and natural flavouring (lemon, vanilla, and red fruit). Now, I’m not sure what ‘red fruit’ is, but I’m assuming it helps to amplify the strawberry flavouring of the tea. Pedernales Green Yaupon has flakey dry green leaves. There’s something about the aroma of this yaupon that reminds me of kale. Pedernales Green Yaupon is 100% organic yaupon.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Shakti Original Masala Chai has some strong spice aromas from the dry leaf, I can smell primarily the cardamom, clove, and black pepper. This chai consists of Assam black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, anise seed, black pepper, clove, and fennel. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos has a sweet chocolate aroma, along with the medicinal aroma from the rooibos base. It consists of rooibos, cacao bean pieces, calendula petals, and natural flavours. Breakfast In Bed has a strong black tea aroma, and I can smell and sweet the vanilla bean pieces. The aroma makes me think of cake, but I believe that to be due to the vanilla bean. Teatourist’s signature blend consists of black tea, vanilla pieces, and flavouring.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Preparation

Nazani Tea recommends steeping Mountain Mint in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

eteaket recommends steeping Blooming Marvelous in 80°C (176°F) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I did an initial steep of 2 minutes in 79°C (175°F) water.

CatSpring Yaupon recommends steeping Pedernales Green Yaupon in 95°C (203°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes in 93°C (200°F) water.

Sonya’s Chai recommends steeping Shakti Original Masala Chai in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep.

Cheshire Tea recommends steeping Belgian Chocolate Rooibos in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 7 minutes. I did an initial steep of 5 minutes.

teatourist recommends steeping Breakfast In Bed in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

First Taste

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Mountain Mint steeps to a nice orange colour. It has a minty aroma, and has a great minty flavour to it. The description on the packaging described it as being both warm and refreshing, which I do agree with. I think it’d to have iced this summer.

Blooming Marvelous steeps to a light yellow colour. I can taste the sencha base, it has a pleasant vegetal flavour to it. I found that it had a nice light fruity sweetness, and pleasant floral notes to it. The strawberry/berry flavours shine through when I sip at this one.

Pedernales Green Yaupon steeps to a brownish-yellow. I found that it has a bit of a spinach and earthy aroma to it. There’s a very light sweetness to it, and some earthy notes in this infusion that reminds me a lot of dark green leafy vegetables and mushrooms.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Shakti Original Masala Chai steeps to a deep red. I found that it had a nice spice aroma and flavour to it. I like my chai a tiny bit sweeter than this one is, so I did add a little bit of honey. I can definitely taste the ginger and cinnamon in it. This chai blend also goes well with a splash of milk.

Belgian Chocolate Rooibos steeps to a deep red. I found the chocolate aroma wasn’t very strong compared to the smell of the rooibos base. The chocolate flavour was very mild compared to the medicinal flavour of the rooibos.

Breakfast In Bed also steeps to a deep red. There’s a slight sweetness to this black tea, with a nice vanilla flavour. The black tea base has a touch of astringency to it, which isn’t overwhelming the vanilla – it reminds me a bit of a breakfast tea (either English or Irish). The vanilla adds a bit of creaminess to the tea. I think it’d do well with some cream and sugar.

A Second Cup?

For the first trio, I attempted resteeps for all three. Mountain Mint did well on the first resteep at 7 minutes and had an enjoyable flavour. In a second resteep attempt, Mountain Mint did poorly, it’s a tisane that is good for just the one more steep. Blooming Marvelous didn’t do well on the resteep, I found that the flavour profile wasn’t similar to the initial steep. The sencha was the main star for the resteep, so if you’re like sencha, you’ll probably enjoy the resteep of the same leaves. Pedenerales Green Yaupon tasted fairly similar to the initial steep with those earthy flavours.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

In the second half of the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure, I resteeped all of them once. I found that Shakti Original Masala Chai wasn’t quite as spicy as the initial steep. It’s still tasty, but the flavour wasn’t as intense as the first steep. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos didn’t do that well with the second steep, I found it to be all rooibos with no chocolate flavour to it. Breakfast In Bed resteeped well. The vanilla flavour wasn’t as strong as the initial steep, but it was noticeable. The black tea still had a mild astringency to it, but wasn’t off-putting.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure. I really did enjoy the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge, it was a very tasty morsel! The stand outs in this collection for me were Blooming Marvelous, Shakti Original Masala Chai, and Breakfast In Bed. I really enjoyed the black teas in this collection, and getting introduced to all these flavour combinations is one of my favourite parts of receiving a monthly subscription box. The fun part of the boxes is getting teas that I probably wouldn’t buy on my own, but then I would have missed out of getting to try them. I really would recommend trying it out if you have the spare funds because it’s a really fun treat.

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