Category Archives: decaf or hearbal tea

Review: Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.25 of 5 — Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort)

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes, loose in a teapot
Served: Nothing added

It’s getting to be that time of year again, when I’m switching back to hot tea from the iced tea of the summer. These past few days have been even colder than usual for the season and having hot tea has taken my mind away from thinking about when I’ll turn on the heat! That’s sure to be a few weeks away yet, but I’m a back on the hot tea train for sure. It’s also the time of year when everything turns to pumpkin spice and chai. Our first review of the fall will be no exception. We’re talking about Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai today. It’s a blend of rooibos tea, ginger root, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, orange peel and vanilla flavor. Everything you need for fall.

Rooibos isn’t my favorite tea, but I do love chai so I gave it a go. Overall the aroma is nice, but the rooibos adds a sweet scent that I don’t love. Thankfully, for me, the spices in the blend mellow it out quite a bit. Once steeped, the sweetness is completely incorporated into the spice blend and it smells wonderful. The taste is really nice too. Its sweeter than most chai blends, but not overwhelming. The chai spices blend to give you that warm, spicy taste. The only thing missing for me was the vanilla. After each sip I tried to find it and sometimes found hints of vanilla flavor, but not much. That being said, all the ingredients together make for a nice warming cuppa. Give this one a try if you are a chai connoisseur like me, or if you are looking for a tasty, caffeine-free chai.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort) – however I did not find over-steeping to be an issue when I went back for seconds.

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes, loose in a teapot
Served: with milk & honey 

This is one of those rare cases when I like a tea much better than Abby. Usually we agree! I looooved this tea. My suggestion is to brew an entire pot and add honey. Enjoy the first cup hot with milk. Later in the day put your tea over ice with a little almond milk. I think it tasted just like iced chai from a good barista. I find that chai is best with milk and sugar so if you’re not a big fan of sweet drinks this might not be your favorite. However, if you’re looking to brew your own and still get the nice flavor of the cartons of liquid chai give this tea a try. This tea mixes traditional chai spices that are well balanced with vanilla favor for an excellent tea! I usually prefer black to rooibos but in this case I love this “red” tea!

Taste: 5 of 5 a must try!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort) 

 

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Review: Bigelow Orange & Spice Herbal Tea

Orange spice

Overall rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.

Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: About boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added at first, then some honey

Bigelow Orange & Spice is a great tea for the holiday season. It steeps to a deep cranberry red. Although I don’t have any, it bet it would look wonderfully festive served in a glass tea cup. The flavors in this tea are prefect for the holidays as well, zesty orange and clove. There is no caffeine so break this one out on a cold snowy night. The orange gives it a cheery feel and the spices are warming and festive.

At first, without adding anything to the cup, this tea as too tart for my liking so I added a touch of honey. This reduced the tartness without making it too sweet and helped to bring out the fruity notes from the orange peel.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Orange & Spice

Katie says:

Temperature: About boiling

Steeped: 5 minutes +

Served: with honey

Bias, alert. I LOVE this tea…when I have a cold. This is probably the only time I drink it. Poor Orange Spice is relegated to times of stuffy noses. For a cold, you can’t beat warm & citrus and therefore this is THE BEST. It’s not a fancy or complicated tea, but like chicken soul it’s a trusted staple. As Abby said, it’s good at the holidays too, with all the right festive flavor options.

Note 1: on a 2nd steep there is no bright red color but you can still get some flavor. Use only 1/2 cup water and add honey to bring out flavors.

Note 2: This tea contains soy lecithin. I’m not thrilled about this. It just seems unnecessary. As to why, Bigelow says: “We do have some teas that contain a non-GMO soy lecithin in trace amounts. Soy lecithin helps disperse the flavoring into the tea while brewing to ensure consistent flavor throughout the whole cup.” Read the full reply here: https://www.bigelowtea.com/Special-Pages/Customer-Service/FAQs/Tea-and-Herbal-Tea-Ingredients/Do-you-any-of-your-teas-contain-soy-lecithin

While I really enjoy this tea it gets a lower rating from me due to the odd soy ingredient.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.

Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Review: The Spice and Tea Exchange Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea

Spice and Tea Exchange

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf tea
Temperature: @ 200 (about boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This tea smells and tastes like my favorite thing about Indian food – complex flavor! The turmeric is savory, earthy, and, of course, reminiscent of curry. The ginger adds a hint of sweet and spice. The spice from the ginger warms the tongue and mouth without being hot. At the end of each sip is an interesting and very sweet after taste. Love this tea for a chilly fall night – it will warm you up and it’s caffeine free!

Give this tea a try if you are looking for something different from what you typically find, especially, if you like the idea of blending savory and sweet.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Spice and Tea Exchange

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf tea
Temperature: @ 200 (about boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: With a touch of honey.


I like this tea a lot, but I think it could easily seem medicinal to some. It has a strong yellow color and heavy turmeric and ginger flavor. That being said, turmeric is amazing good for you! Check out this link: 

https://medium.com/forever-young/science-confirms-that-turmeric-as-effective-as-14-drugs-9547edc0073b#.2a4d8stbk

Even if it’s only half as good at the link claims it’s certainly worth a try! I had horrible heartburn while pregnant and this tea really helped.

Like Abby said, if you love Indian foods & spices this is a must try. However, be prepared for a strong Spice taste that it quite different for traditional teas. 

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Review: Republic of Tea Lemon Chiffon *Iced Tea*

Republic of Tea Lemon ChiffonAbby says:

Tea Type: Bagged – used three tea bags for iced tea
Temperature: Iced
Served: Nothing added

‘Tis the season for iced tea! With temperatures around here creeping toward 90 degrees iced tea is the way to go – even for me, the die-hard hot-tea girl! Traditional iced tea is great and I love it on a hot summer day, but this time around I wanted to try something a little different. I’ve had this container of Republic of Tea Lemon Chiffon (from the Cuppa Cake Tea line) in my tea cabinet for a little while now and every time I looked at it, I just thought – iced tea! I was right! It makes a great, light iced tea with terrific lemon flavor. It also has a little hint of sweet already in it, so I didn’t even have to worry about whether or not to add anything. I used four tea bags to make about three cups of tea. If you are making a bigger batch add one or two more tea bags. I steeped the tea for about seven minutes, let is sit (covered) in the fridge for about 25 minutes then pour over ice.

I really enjoyed this tea because its different from the typical iced tea. It has nice fruity, lemon notes without being tart or astringent and has a bit of sweet, but nothing like sweet tea. My favorite part is the coconut that you can taste with each sip. It really makes this tea taste like a treat. The lemon chiffon tea is a blend of green rooibos, apple, lemongrass, lemon, vanilla, and coconut. The ingredients don’t list a single sweetener added – love that too!

If you are looking to switch things up in the iced tea dept. or if you are looking for flavorful decaf option try this one out.

Republic of Tea Lemon Chiffon

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

 

Adagio Fandom Sampler Tea Sets: Magic Potions #HarryPotter

Ok, so this post is LONG overdue because I’m here to talk about an awesome gift that my husband gave to me for Christmas. See, overdue, it’s March! But it’s so fantastic, that it’s still worth talking about. So here it is:

FullSizeRender (34)

Yep, that’s right! An Adagio Tea fandom sampler of Harry Potter inspired tea! My two obsessions combined. I am over the moon about these teas too. They come in the cutest tea tins and all fit nicely into their little storage container. The teas have terrific names like pumpkin potion, polyjiuce, veritaserum and beerbutter. Not exactly like the books, but you obviously get the idea. They are SO MUCH FUN.

Adagio Magic Potions

And, hey, the tea is good too! Each one is a beautiful loose leaf tea blend that smells wonderful whenever you open the tins. The ingredients aren’t listed on the tins, so you have to go back to the website to see what you are drinking. But sometimes trying to solve the mystery is part of the fun – just like reading the books!

Magic Potions

Stay tuned for some reviews.  🙂

Review: Common Folk Farm Cranberry Orange Herbal Tea

 

Common Folk Farm - Cranberry Orange

Abby says:

Tea Type: Herbal, Loose
Temperature: @212 (boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added at first, then a bit of honey. Finally, iced

Common Folk Farm Cranberry Orange Herbal Tea is not one you will easily find in stores. So do yourself a favor and click the link to buy some online if you are interested in giving it a try!

This tea is a blend of cranberry, orange peel and herbs. At first I tried this tea hot, but for me it was too tart. Most fruit, herbal teas with cranberry or hibiscus are too tart for my taste. I then added a bit of honey and that didn’t help.

Common Folk Farm  - Cranberry Orange

So, let it cool, then poured it over ice and it was prefect! I could taste the cranberry, but it was overpowering and being cold gave it a refreshing quality. Of course adding ice dilutes the flavor a bit, but not too much if you drink it before the ice melts. For some reason, cold tart drinks are just fine in my book, but hot ones are not. Is this true for any of you?

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Common Folk Farm - Cranberry Orange

 

 

Review: Stash Decaf Premium Green Tea

Overall rating:

Taste: 4.5 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 2 of 5 leaves — this tea is high maintenance but worth the effort.:

Katie says:

Tea Type: Individually packaged bagged tea
Temperature: @180 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: With a touch of honey

I LOVE this tea. I love that it’s organic and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it’s decaf but still has flavor. This tea has the nice earthy/grassy taste you expect from green tea but in decaf form! This tea is delicious both hot and cold and is a great choice for someone like me who hates drinking plain water but loves tea. My recommendation is to make a hot cup in the morning and then immediately resteep (3-4 minutes for the 2nd time in little water, 1/2-1 cup). Let the 2nd steep cool and pour over ice for an afternoon drink. This will be a staple in my tea cabinet for sure!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding, a must try!
Steepability: 2 of 5 leaves — this tea is high maintenance but worth the effort.

Stash Premium Green Tea Decaf

Abby says:

Tea Type: Individually packaged bagged tea
Temperature: @180 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: nothing added

On dreary winter evenings, a fire in the wood stove, Downton Abbey on the TV and a steaming hot cuppa tea can’t be beat! The problem is, there aren’t many decaf teas that I enjoy drinking. I had high hopes about Stash Premium Green Tea Decaf and I wasn’t disappointed. It has a bright, grassy green flavor as if it were caffeinated tea.  Though, bagged, the tea still has a bold flavor. A tasty, quick option for a satisfying cuppa!

Note: Be careful not to oversteep! And.. don’t forget to resteep, you can get two cups from this tea bag.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 2 of 5 leaves — this tea is high maintenance but worth the effort.

Review: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Pumpkin Spice

 

Overall Rating:

Taste: 2.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.

Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @212 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4-5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Well, this tea isn’t what I expected with a name like Pumpkin Spice. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it or that I wont drink it again. It just isn’t at all what I had expected. I found this tea to be quite mellow, with slightly fruity and mild spice flavors. I would not have been able to identify it as pumpkin spice at all if I hadn’t seen the package. The flavor from the red tea adds some sweet notes and there a certainly hints of spice. I was hoping for something with a little bit more of those fall flavors you think about pumpkin spice.  Next time I try this tea i’ll add two tea bags to my cup.

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Temperature: @212 (boiling point)

Steeped: 4-5 minutes…then left the bag in to see if it would get stronger.

Served: With milk & honey 

 I’m sorry to say but I found this to be a bit of a pumpkin spice letdown. The tea itself was not strong in flavor. While it had hints of vanilla and cinnamon I didn’t really taste much pumpkin spice. We have loved other teas from this company so I was even more disappointed when this didn’t have a strong fall pumpkin flavor. I like really strong tea. So, I’m not sure I would drink this again unless I was having a cup quite late in the day and looking for something light with less caffeine. My biggest complaint isn’t about the flavor itself but that the strength needed to be improved both in the base tea and in the pumpkin flavoring.

Taste: 2 of 5 leaves – This tea is just OK.

Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Review: Yogi Lemon Ginger

Yogi - Lemon Ginger

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @Boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Lotta ginger, not much lemon! Because I let this tea steep as long as I did the ginger was strong. Thankfully it wasn’t too spicy, just the right amount of bite. The scent of lemon is there, but I didn’t taste it. Maybe if it steeped for five minutes or less the lemon might come through a bit more. Though I didn’t get lemon, I still enjoyed this tea. For me it makes just the right cuppa for cuddling up with a good book or movie after a long day. Flavorful and comforting. Also note that it’s made with organic ginger though it is not a certified organic tea like some of other Yogi teas.

Ginger is known to settle the stomach, so it’s nice to have a stash of ginger tea in the box just in case. I prefer loose ginger tea, but this works well in a pinch. Especially if you don’t feel well, and don’t feel like preparing loose tea.

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Yogi - Lemon Ginger

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @Boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: with honey

If you are looking for a tummy-taming tea this is really fantastic. I may not choose this spicy for my daily morning cuppa but its a medicinal tea that still tastes yummy. I really like the spicy flavor of real ginger that I got from this tea. With the addition of honey it has a similar flavor to ginger candies. Nice flavor and it makes indigestion oh so much better. I’ve tired other teas with blends of chamomile but for me, the predominately ginger tea with a touch of lemon has much nicer taste than more blends of more ingredients. I particularly recommend it to anyone suffering from the many unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, but (of course) check with your doctor or midwife first!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Review: The Spice and Tea Exchange Decaf Earl Grey

Earl Gret Decaf

Overall rating: 

Taste: 2.5 of 5 leaves –  This tea is just ok.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing at first, then a tiny bit of honey

This tea, The Spice and Tea Exchange Decaf Earl Grey started out on a high note, but fell from there. Before steeping this tea, I noticed how pretty it was with dark black tea leaves mixed with orange peels and cornflowers and as a dry tea it smells great with a strong bergamot aroma. It steeped to a deep brown and still had that nice citrus aroma you want from earl grey. Then I tasted the tea and was let down. It was just OK.

With decaf tea, I have come to expect a weaker tea, so I was prepared for that. The black tea flavor was there, but not as strong as a caffeinated tea. That’s OK though, we expect that and I could still taste the tea. What I didn’t anticipate was the vanishing bergamot! I can smell it, but I can’t taste it.

Taste: 2 of 5 leaves –  This tea is just ok.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Usually we really like teas from the Spice and Tea Exchange. Check out some of their other teas that we love:

Mystic Dragon

Hazelnut Cookie Tea

 

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: With milk & honey (Only use a little or you’ll overpower this mild tea)

As Abby commented, and as is true with most decaf teas, this one had a pretty weak flavor. If anyone out there finds a nice, strong, decaf black tea please let us know! The trick to this one is to put in a LOT of tea. I use double the amount of loose tea that I would normally use for another variety. It is only with this double strength trick that I really like this tea. Double strength brewed & it’s got some nice hints of black tea and bergamot that will stand up to a little milk & honey. If you use a normal amount of tea, it’s really not that great. The flavors get lost, especially if you like milk & honey in your back tea as I do. I don’t hold it against the spice and tea exchange that this tea is mild, since most decaf teas tend to be. Do be sure the click the links above to see some teas from them that we’ve loved!

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea. (When brewed at double strength)
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!