Tea for Tuesday: Just Peachy II

This is part II of my journey to finding a good, traditional, southern, peach tea. I made the real stuff, here, using Lipton or Luzianne tea and real peaches. But in this post I investigate using only flavored tea bags to make peach tea.

In my search, I purchased gobs of peach-flavored tea bags thinking that one of them would yield enough peachy tea flavor to make a good, classic peach tea without harming any fruit in the process.

Sadly, I was unsuccessful. Mostly.

You’d think:

Tea + peach = peach tea. No problem, right? It didn’t exactly turn out that way, though many of teas yielded something yummy. And they all call themselves peach and are tea. Or are they?

The rundown of suspects:

Bigelow, Perfect Peach

Lipton, White Mangosteen Peach

Celestial Seasonings, Country Peach Passion

Lipton, Peach Mango

Celestial Seasonings, Sleepytime Peach

Bigelow, Green Tea with Peach

English Tea Shop, Ginger Peach Tea

I’ve also tried some loose-leaf teas, but I’ll stick to tea bags for this blog post.

Bigelow, Perfect Peach

I should have known this wouldn’t taste like classic peach tea from the fact that the label said “herbal.” It has no actual tea leaves. So it lacks tea flavor. It has a nice peach aroma and some peach flavor, but it’s mixed with cinnamon flavor too. It claims to taste like peach pie. It might, if you use a lot of cinnamon in your peach pie. That said, it is pretty yummy. It is a nice alternative to the classic apples and cinnamon tea. I can see myself drinking more of this as the days get cooler this fall. So yum, but not classic peach-tea yum.

Lipton, White Mangosteen Peach

It’s like they got it right, but then they said, “wait, no. Instead of  traditional tea-flavored peach tea we’re going to swap out the black tea leaves and replace them with white tea leaves. Won’t that be nice?”

Wait. What?! Black leaves matter! (Did I just go there?)  And on top of it, I just noticed that it’s a green tea, yet they call it white. They need to get their colors correct. I have nothing against white or green tea, and this actually has a really pleasant peach taste. I’m not sure what a mangosteen is (maybe it’s what’s white), but it doesn’t mess up the peach. It can stay. I just miss the classic tea flavor it might have had if it used black tea leaves. That said, I like it, and I’m on my second box. That’s saying something. I just have to ignore the fact that it’s not the tea I was looking for.

Celestial Seasonings, Country Peach Passion

I knew going into this one that there would be no tea flavor because Celestial Seasonings is an herbal tea (or tisane) company. I was hoping for a solid, country peach flavor though. This one tastes mostly fruity to me. Fruity and herbal with some peach flavor. That’s about it.

Lipton, Peach Mango

This has peach flavor. And it’s not bad. It also has mango flavor and a good bit of hibiscus. I like mango and hibiscus, so I like this one. But it turns out it is also an herbal tea, so it doesn’t actually taste like the tea part of peach tea. I may or may not have known this when I purchased it.

Celestial Seasonings, Sleepytime Peach

I knew this one didn’t contain any tea leaves. It’s an herbal Sleepytime tea, so no caffeine. I was hoping for more peach flavor. I probably knew it wouldn’t have much, but it was on sale, and I was deeply entrenched in this peach-tea obsession. I was bad. It’s more herbal tasting with spearmint and lemongrass and a little bit fruity. It’s like drinking Sleepytime tea right after you took a bite of a peach, but you already finished eating the peach. It’s not a bad bedtime tea (if you need to use it up).

Bigelow, Green Tea with Peach 

This one has some of the same problems that the White Mangosteen Peach tea has. I don’t get a classic peach tea flavor because it uses green tea instead of black. That said, it has a pretty good overall flavor. It somehow manages to taste like peach and pit fruit without tasting especially fruity. I like it. It’s it tastes like green tea with peach (so the name is super fitting), but it doesn’t taste like a traditional southern peach tea either.

English Tea Shop, Ginger Peach Tea

I actually purchased this one at a Mashalls (or T.J. Maxx), so who knows if I’ll ever be able to find it again. But I had to try it. It was only about $4 for 60 tea bags. And it turned out to be pretty darn yummy. It actually uses black tea leaves so it tastes like there’s traditional tea in it. It has a nice peach aroma and some of that comes through in each sip. This would be quite a win … except that it also has ginger in it. It’s fairly similar to Republic of Tea’s Ginger Peach Longevity Tea. I’ve purchased that one several times too, and it is very good even though the ginger makes it a gingery peach tea instead of just peachy. So it’s almost classic peach tea! But not quite. Another one so close in my search for classic peach tea using only tea bags.

A Little Success

So after sampling each individual tea, I tried mixing them all together and adding an extra bag or two of classic black tea (because clearly that’s part of the equation) and voila a pretty darn good tea! I’d leave out the Sleepytime tea because it’s a bit too herbal. But the others resulted in something quite good. The cinnamon and ginger were softened by all the other stuff, so those flavors became a nice accent flavor while the peach and tea flavors shined through. Because normally I don’t add 7 or 8 tea bags to a cup when I make tea, I find I can simplify this combo by using a traditional black tea like Lipton or Luzianne plus Lipton’s Peach Mango or White Mangosteen Peach. Simple. And yummy. A bag of  Ginger Peach or Perfect Peach add a nice twist of spice when I want something different. Sweeten to taste and enjoy!

Copyright 2016 Debora Kapke (but feel free to share as long as you link back and give credit).

Tea for Tuesday: Sultry Strawberry 

I’m so glad I tried this one. I almost passed it up. 

Today’s Tea for Tuesday review features Organic Sultry Strawberry from Tazo (Can you tell I shopped a little when Tazo teas were on sale?)

My favorite fruit teas taste like fruit but aren’t too sweet or too fruity. I want my tea to taste like tea and not like a cup of hot fruit juice. “Join me for a cup of hot fruit juice?” Said no one ever. (Not that I know of anyway.)

Sultry Strawberry is so much of what I want in a strawberry tea. There is strawberry flavor along with a soft earthiness as if you can taste the strawberry seeds still on the fruit and a strawberry leaf or two slipped through when you took a bite. 

It contains a blend of black teas which are going to brew a darker and stronger tea than white, green, or oolong. But it holds up well to the strawberry flavor while not overpowering it as long as you don’t steep the tea for too long. It makes for a nice balance.

This tea contains organic black teas, organic licorice root, natural favors, and organic strawberry flavors.

There are no strawberry bits that I can see. 

Don’t let the licorice in the ingredients fool you — licorice root tastes nothing like black licorice candy. Black licorice candy tastes more like anise. Real licorice tastes sweet, earthy, and very slightly nutty. There is no anise flavor.

The licorice works really well here. I think this is where some of that subtle earthy flavor comes from. Licorice root contains a component that is naturally sweet with virtually zero calories. It’s not candy sweet but soft, like a sip of fruit slices in water.

Not found in this tea is hibiscus. I like hibiscus — maybe even love it — but it is found in so many fruit teas. It can be overpowering. It’s nice to find a good fruit tea without it.

This tea comes in bags, and the flavor holds up well even in a large cup with a lot of water. 

Since it’s organic it costs a little more than non-organic Tazo teas, but at about $4 to $5 for 20 filter bags, it’s still reasonable. 

I found this at Whole Foods. I can’t find it in all stores. But this has become one of my favorite Tazo teas ever. I’ll be on the lookout to find it on sale again. I could drink a lot of Tazo’s Sultry Strawberry tea.

  

General Housekeeping

I posted about 11,000 words for November’s NaBloPoMo. Some good. Some not. Kind of a slice of life when I glance at the subjects — food, home, TV repair, world events, laundry, Thanksgiving, eating, drinking, family …

I didn’t get as much done on my story as I wanted, but I definitely learned that I can push to do more than I think I can. I’m continuing to push. This is a good life skill. 

I purchased a domain name to go with this blog. You can now visit alightningbug.org. The old alightningbug.wordpress.com will still bring you here too.

I took a little break from Tea for Tuesday this week. But I plan to continue it every other week going forward into December. Join us again soon for something yummy.

Tea for Tuesday: Chinese Restaurant Tea from Dynasty

What kind of tea today? Pumpkin Chai? A nice oolong? Maharaja Chai Ooling?

I decided on a simple cup of Chinese Restaurant Tea. That is the actual name of this particular tea from Dynasty brand tea. The box of fairly ordinary tea bags says Chinese Restaurant Tea is a “blend of oolong, jasmine and green tea served in fine Chinese restaurants.” More