The weather had been so warm here in northern Nevada that it was just a few weeks ago I put away all the refreshing, light and fruity iced teas of summer.
I’m definitely ready for the rich robust flavors of autumn and winter hot tea and tisanes.
What is the difference between tea and tisane?
All tea (black, white, green, oolong) comes from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Anything else is an herbal (Rooibos, chamomile, yerba mate.) Tisane is a French word for “herbal infusion.”
There is a difference in flavor between loose leaf premium tea and tea bags. Think a can of beer versus a microbrewery or craft beer on tap. You can clearly taste the dissimilarity.
For many years I shied away from the easily found teas in grocery stores. Turned my nose up at boxes of, dear heavens, tea bags containing inferior tea. Only purchased premium loose leaf teas in specialty stores and online.
CELESTIAL SEASONINGS BENGAL SPICE® HERBAL TEA yanked my nose right out of the air and into tea bag reality . . . it is pretty darn good.
Now one of my cold weather any-time-of-day go to teas. I really like the “caffeine free interpretation of Chai” with the full-bodied flavors of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, roasted chicory, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg.
That led me to try other teas on the shelf. Here are some found in local stores this season.
CELESTIAL SEASONINGS CARAMEL APPLE DREAM
There is a reason this herbal tea flew off the shelves and not because some woman had over ten boxes in her shopping cart.
Noooo . . . honestly, it wasn’t me.
I was lucky to get the one box in my hand.
As the herbs steep into a rich mahogany color the aroma of caramel and apples fill the air. No crisp Granny Smith here. Juicy red apple with a creamy maple caramel finish. Pleasant without sweetener, the flavor turns harsh if steeped too long.
Pick up a box and give it a try before this seasonal item disappears.
Found this yummy herbal blend in a gorgeous tin at Target. Rooibos, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a high quality pyramid bag turns a bright bittersweet orange as it releases a lovely pumpkin flavor. When sweetened the pumpkin flavoring is not as bold, I preferred it unadorned. Relax with a cup while browsing Pinterest.
This “hearty spiced” black tea is individually wrapped in foil pouches. Nice for carrying in a purse or taking to work.
Warm and invigorating, I like the predominate kick of cinnamon over a gentle wash of pumpkin. There is a hint of rum aroma, although rum is not listed as an ingredient. Excellent choice to start the day or to rejuvenate a slow afternoon.
With a light pumpkin flavor and lovely golden copper color, this decaffeinated black tea lightly sweetened and enhanced with a splash or two of Coffee-mate® Pumpkin Spice creamer is delightful. Savor it while reading Blood Brothers Book One of the Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts.
All I could taste in this infusion is Rooibos with some cinnamon. I would have liked a solid hit of the apple, cranberry, cloves and ginger as promised on the tin.
A hint of apple undertone arrived too late for me to enjoy the cup. Although captured in a high quality pyramid bag, this herbal mixture didn’t do it for me or put me in the mood to “play Parcheesi before a dancing fire.”
Speaking of Tazo® tea I spied one box of Tazo® Chai Pumpkin Spice at Smith’s within their autumn harvest showcase at the front of the store.
The Hallelujah chorus soaring in my head came to a screeching halt as a white-haired woman with a walker reached for that last box. What was I going to do, snatch it out of her hand?
I pretended to browse the pumpkiny and applely flavorland display as I waited for her to finish reading the box.
She liked what she saw and put it in the purple cloth bag hanging off her walker.
When she turned her head to check out the Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts® I was ashamed at my urge to snag that box of Tazo® when she wasn’t looking.
The wave of temptation quickly passed. Thank goodness.
Checked the tea aisle to see if any were there. No luck. So if you have tried it, leave a comment and let me know how it tastes.
© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved
This is a personal blog and all the products reviewed in the above blog were purchased by me and are available to the general public.
I did not receive any free products, monetary compensation, or any type of payment for reviewing the products. Reviews represent my opinions based on personal use and are not influenced by anyone or any entity.
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