Posts Tagged ‘Licorice’
Tea Company: Rishi Tea (website)
Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade Certified™ rooibos, Organic cinnamon, Organic cardamom, Organic ginger, Organic ramon nut, Organic star anise, Organic clove, Organic fennel, Organic black pepper, Organic licorice root, Organic peppermint.
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Mix 2 tbsp chai, 1 cup water, and 1 cup milk in a saucepan. / Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsp sugar. / Strain into a mug or pitcher and enjoy!
Rooibos is something I’m mixed on. I’ve had some blends I think are absolutely amazing. And I’ve had some blends which really, to me, just taste like dirt. But this one I had to try because it’s chai. I love the spicy yummy flavor.
So, it was with some trepidation and some anticipation that I tried this blend. I followed the directions on the packet, and brewed up the chai. It smells amazing, absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, I’m not finding the flavor keeps up with the aroma. I find that the actual tea in spiced chai tea adds a low, base note that balances out the higher sharper note of the spices. This blend to me has all the high notes but lacks that balance that makes other chai teas so pleasurable.
I think if I were looking for a chai option with less caffeine, I’d prefer to have a decaf regular type of chai than this rooibos blend. This one, it just isn’t for me. However, based on my rooibos preferences, you may want to give it a spin yourself rather than just taking my word for it.
You can purchase the West Cape Chai directly from the Rishi Tea website.
Tea Company: Shepherd (website)
Ingredients: Organic white tea, organic strawberry leaf, organic licorice, organic peach flavor
Vendor Suggested Preparation: near boiling water, 4-5 minutes
For a bagged tea purveyed by a modestly small little-known operation in Montana, this is pretty tasty stuff! The sellers, www.theshepherdsgarden.com, have a limited number of bagged tea varieties, with more evidently to come, and a line of mugs, accessories, warmers, and other giftware that leans toward the froofy and flowery.
This tea is neither froofy nor flowery, but fruity, and in a very pleasant way. The white tea leaves are torn and tiny, typical for a bagged tea. However, they steep into a nice base for the flavoring, even after 4-5 minutes–a bit on the longish side for white teas. No bitterness. A finished cup yields an attractive, clear gold liquid. The peach flavor tastes natural and not chemical. The strawberry leaf is detectible and a nice complement. Best of all, the licorice is not cloyingly annoying.
If you examined the means and motives of most tea drinkers, the ritual is as important as the recipe. Tea, steeped well and appreciated properly, takes time and patience to prepare and enjoy. And the good folks at Shepherd’s Tea have added a lovely packaging tweak to pass that time peacefully–a carefully chosen Scripture verse (King James for Elizabethan flavor) to refresh your weary spirit while you wait. The cup I prepared for this review reinforces the value of biding one’s time: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:4).
You can purchase the Organic Peach White Tea directly from the Shepherd website.
Tea Company: Shanti Tea (website)
Ingredients: Rooibos, Tulsi, Fennel, Sage, Licorice, Orange Peel, Black Pepper, Ginger, Cardamom
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Leaf Per Cup: 1 tsp. Water Temperature: 90-100 deg C Steep Time: 4-5 minutes
There is some merit to it, as far as I’m concerned. People – in general – can be placed into three body categories or “doshas” – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. I happen to fall into the Kapha category…er…with Pitta tendencies. In Ayurvedic practices people can be split doshas. Kaphas , according to the Shanti Tea description, tend to be characterized by, “loyalty, a strong and large physique, a strong appetite, oily skin, easy-going nature, and discomfort in damp environments”. A Kapha in the throws of imbalance are prone to weight-gain, lethargy, oily hair, congestion and lack of motivation.
Um…I guess I’m imbalanced then.
Shanti Tea presents a blend specifically targeted for the Kapha dosha, a blend of rooibos, tulsi (holy basil), fennel, ginger, cardamom, orange peel, sage, pepper, and licorice. Wow, what a combo. Upon opening the bag, the spicy “chai”-ish punch greeted my nostrils. However, it was a softer spicy scent than a normal masala chai. The primary contributor to the aroma was markedly the tulsi. I know tulsi quite well; we go way back. As for visual appeal, I could see the rooibos base – it was the most prevalent ingredient – followed closely behind by beige-ish ginger. The rest was just a vibrant and zesty mix of colors.
Brewing instructions on the tea profile called for 1 tsp. of leaves per cup of 90C-100C water with a steep of four-to-five minutes. I guess – in Americanese – that translated to boiled water…so that’s what I went with. One of these days I’ll learn the Metric System. Well, when I’m more balanced.
The liquor brewed to a foggy crimson – the foggy part likely because of the ginger/cardamom combo, the crimson thanks to the rooibos. The aroma was sweet yet spicy with an odd tang of some sort, probably owed to the licorice. Taste-wise, tulsi took point, followed by rooibos, and in fourth place it was a umpteenth-way tie between the last of the ingredients. I don’t think orange peel remembered to even show up for the race; I couldn’t make it out anywhere, no citrus presence whatsoever. Not sure I felt balanced after drinking it, but I did feel cozy. Wasn’t it the job of a tisane called “Kapha Balance” to take AWAY lethargy? Eh, whatever, I liked it…and now I’m sleepy.
You can purchase the Kapha Balance directly from the Shanti Tea website.
Tea Company: Tea Forte (website)
Ingredients: hibiscus, cinnamon, licorice root
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 5 minutes, 208F For stronger flavor, steep longer.
Ah, the pleasure of a good smelling tea. Often the dry leaves, as-of-yet un-infused, reveal a lot about the tea that is to come. The spicy and sweet notes of the dry leaves of this herbal tisane blend in an attractive melody that promises a deep and possibly heavy drink.
Utilising a Tea Forte Café Cup, I steeped this pyramid infuser for four minutes using just-boiled water. Smelling the infusion, it is clear that cinnamon is definitely what lends much of the spiciness to this tea’s aroma. However, with the first sip, it becomes immediately evident that cinnamon is not all that is in Tea Forte’s Flora. The sweetness of liquorice root melds with the explosion of flavour from the hibiscus in this blend. The hibiscus adds a lot of body to this tisane and sweeps through one’s mouth, filling it with flavour.
A re-steep of this herbal blend offers a much weaker version of the first cup, but with the same balance of flavours. This is one blend that is worth trying and might make a tasty chilled drink as well. I would give Flora an 83/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
You can purchase the Flora directly from the Tea Forte website.
Tea Company: Rishi Tea (website)
Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade Certified™ pu-erh tea, organic vanilla, organic peppermint, organic cinnamon and organic licorice root
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Mix 2 tbsp chai, 1 cup water, and 1 cup milk in a saucepan. / Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsp sugar. / Strain into a mug or pitcher and enjoy! Chai can also be enjoyed over ice. /
Vanilla to me is a very round, soft taste and mint is sting-y and has a cool sensation. Chai is like an autumn spice. Rishi tea’s combination of these three makes for a beverage with a very minty aroma but not so minty taste. As a matter of fact, the vanilla and chai is somewhat subdued as well. No one element, vanilla, mint, or chai, stood out. It was one meshed up round, soft, confusing combination of tastes with no clear winner. I guess if I had to identify a “feature” taste, it would be the milk used as the base element. If pressed to describe the flavour profile of this tea, I would call it cinnamon milk.
Steeping instructions are to bring 1.5 cups of water and 1 cup of milk to a boil. Reduce heat. Add contents of package. Let simmer 3-5 minutes. Sweeten to taste and strain to drink. I did not add any sugar, but for those of you who like it sweet and prefer a more minty taste maybe we should do what many do with hot chocolate…that is, (add sugar to the tea) and use a candy cane as a stirring stick to add more mintyness. I know it works for hot chocolate, never tried it with tea though…maybe it’ll work! I would use the candy cane to stir rather than dissolve the whole cane in the beverage though as I find it will be too minty if fully dissolved. This may bring the perfect level of mintyness to an otherwise very lightly-minted tea. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer light to heavily minted beverages, but when everything else is so soft, you end up with a very confusing mix of tastes with no real one you can hang on to.
I think I preferred Rishi Tea’s Chocolate Chai to their Vanilla Mint Chai. Both are soft and round beverages but the former had occasional peeks of spice and other tastes (ginger, and pu-erh to be exact) to liven up your taste buds a little bit more.
You can purchase the Vanilla Mint Chai directly from the Rishi Tea website.