Tealish’s Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint by Tealish
Rooibos / Flavoured
$9.50 for 50g

Tealish’s Chocolate Mint came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s December themed subscription box.

First Impressions

I did not know that Chocolate Mint was a rooibos blend at first, the packaging for this sample packet was lacking information regarding the ingredients as well as steeping instructions. Chocolate Mint does come in a sealed, and resealable, white foil pouch. It’s described as an herbal tea/tisane, and I found it under “Rooibos Tea” on the Tealish website when I went hunting for information. Of course, as soon as I opened the bag I could see that it was a rooibos blend.

Chocolate Mint is an excellent name for this blend, it does smell like chocolate and mint. I reminds me a lot of my dad, actually, since he loves all things chocolate mint and he always gets a lot of chocolate mint goodies around the holidays. Surprisingly, I cannot really smell the rooibos base – which is a pleasant surprise since I don’t really like rooibos… at all. Chocolate Mint consists of: rooibos, apple pieces, peppermint leaves, cacao nibs, natural flavouring, and orange peel.

Preparation

Tealish recommends steeping Chocolate Mint in boiling (100°C/212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep of Chocolate Mint for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Chocolate Mint steeps to a very bright orange colour. It has a fairly strong chocolate mint aroma to the tisane, although I can make out the rooibos base in the background although it is very mild compared to the chocolate mint goodness. Taste wise, I found that the chocolate mint flavour wasn’t strong enough to hide or overcome the rooibos base. I’m not a fan of the medicinal flavour of rooibos, and that is unfortunately present in Chocolate Mint. I can taste chocolate notes and minty notes, but it’s just not strong enough to cover up the rooibos for me. If you’re a fan of rooibos though, you might like it!

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Chocolate Mint once. I found that the flavour of the rooibos was the only thing I found in my cup, I couldn’t taste the chocolate mint notes at all.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Tealish’s Chocolate Mint was just okay. I think if I was a fan of rooibos, I would scored this tisane a lot higher. I found that the aroma of mint and chocolate in the dry leaf was excellent and very close to the ‘real deal’. I was pretty underwhelmed by the initial steep because I was really hoping for the chocolate mint flavours to be a lot stronger to overcome the rooibos base in Chocolate Mint. That said, the rooibos base does stand out and if you’re a fan of rooibos you’ll probably really enjoy this tisane. Because of my lack of love for rooibos (and most rooibos blends aren’t really well-loved by me…), I’m just not a fan. If you love the flavours of chocolate and mint together and you’re a rooibos drinker, I think you’ll really like Chocolate Mint!

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Lemon Lily’s Caramel Apple & Honey

Caramel Apple & Honey by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$10.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Caramel Apple & Honey came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s October themed subscription box.

First Impressions

When I first saw the name Caramel Apple & Honey, I was intrigued. I love the idea of the classic carnival treat, but I never liked eating them because there’s always way more apple than caramel – the ratio is just off! Give me more caramel, I say! Caramel Apple & Honey comes in a familiar white, matte resealable foil bag with the label on the front that tells me everything that I need to know about the tea. The tea itself is covered in palm sugar, it’s super visible and pretty much everywhere (especially coating the apple pieces). The aroma of the tea is primarily that of the black tea base and the bee pollen, which gives it a honey fragrance. I feel like the bee pollen is stronger than the apple, so I can’t really smell the apple pieces.

Caramel Apple & Honey consists of organic: black tea, apples, palm sugar, and bee pollen. All of the ingredients are fairly visible, the bee pollen is a different colour than I’m used to. I buy locally harvested bee pollen to take during allergy season for my seasonal allergies – if you buy bee pollen that is local to you, you’ll find it comes in different colours as well because it’s dependent on the type of pollen in your area.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Caramel Apple & Honey in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Caramel Apple & Honey steeps to a slightly cloudy brown colour. I believe part of the cloudiness is due to the addition of bee pollen, I’m pretty familiar with the other ingredients and most of them don’t make tea cloudy. The aroma of Caramel Apple & Honey is primarily that of the bee pollen, honeyed sweetness. I don’t really smell the apple, which is not too surprising considering I couldn’t smell it in the dry leaf either. The flavour of Caramel Apple & Honey does have more honey/bee pollen flavour in comparison to the apple, but I do get a hint of the fruity apple goodness in my cup. I do wish that the apple was stronger though, to better remind me of a caramel apple.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Caramel Apple & Honey and found that it didn’t resteep well, I couldn’t really taste the bee pollen/honey flavour. I would say that Caramel Apple & Honey is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Lemon Lily’s Caramel Apple & Honey was just okay. I found it almost ironic that the tea is the polar opposite of an actual caramel apple – one has more apple than caramel! That said, I really like the idea of drinking teas with bee pollen in it, and as we get closer to allergy season, I’m going to have to put this idea into the back of my mind. I want to get a bit more creative with my bee pollen intake since I don’t really enjoy the dry, powdery texture of it when it’s not mixed in with something (I sprinkled it into my yoghurt last year!) and dissolving it into my tea sounds perfectly doable! The one thing that I think would improve Caramel Apple & Honey would be more apple pieces to boost up the apple flavour – just a little somethin’ somethin’ to make it live up to its name and expectations.

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Lemon Lily’s Candy Cane Chai

Candy Cane Chai by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Candy Cane Chai came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s December themed subscription box.

First Impressions

It’s never too late for a little peppermint and cheer in your cup, right? I received Candy Cane Chai as part of my December box from The Sugared Teacup and I’ll be zooming through those teas before they get out of season. Candy Cane Chai comes in a familiar white, matte foil bag that is resealable (which is awesome!). The aroma of the tea itself is heavily ginger and cinnamon, I can’t really make out the peppermint from the candy cane at all, which is a shame. The candy cane pieces that I do see are speckled and mostly covered with the other ingredients.

As per the label on the bag I received, Candy Cane Chai consists of: black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, candy cane and natural flavours. According to the product page on Lemon Lily’s website, Candy Cane Chai consists of: black tea, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, candy cane, and vanilla bean. I also see the shells of cardamom pods in my tea, so I’m questioning how accurate the ingredients lists are. I didn’t really smell any peppermint in my blend, so I’m not sure when the blend was changed.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Candy Cane Chai in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I did a 5 minute steep.

First Taste

Candy Cane Chai steeps to a cloudy brown, which is due to the candy cane pieces. The tea itself has a strong cinnamon and ginger aroma to it, and I can smell the peppermint from the candy cane pieces. There’s a nice sweetness to it, but I do wish that the candy cane came through more since it does have some heavy chai spice flavours to it.

I did add some cream to my cup and found that it was tastier with it, and I also happen to have some leftover candy canes to stir into my tea… This also helps boost the peppermint flavour a lot! Highly recommend doing this to make it live up to its name.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Candy Cane Chai and found that it didn’t hold up to being resteeped. The peppermint aroma was gone and the spices weren’t as strong as the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Lemon Lily’s Candy Cane Chai was just okay. I’m a little torn between giving this one or two cups, because there’s some confusion for me with the ingredients listed on the packaging versus on the website. Did I get old stock? When did the blend change? I found the chai spice level to be pretty good and tasty, I just wish that the peppermint/candy cane flavour stood out more, was stronger, and had a presence in the steeped tea. I would definitely recommend adding in some milk or cream, and then using a candy cane as a stir stick to make it more like a tea latte – I think the addition of a candy cane and cream would really help it to live up to its name. Overall, I think the blend works well as a chai blend, but it doesn’t live up to my expectations on the holiday flavours.

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