This past Saturday I decided to take a “Mommy Break” and go up to visit my mom in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Most of the time when I go see my mom we either go to Asheville or other surrounding towns, but never to downtown Hendersonville. So this time around that’s what we decided to do.
Downtown Hendersonville is a quaint little place with a lot of locally owned shops and restaurants. After filling up on Mexican food at Sol Y Luna and buying some cheesecake at a local shop, we headed over to a spice store called Spice It Up. They also sold loose leaf tea, so you know I had to buy some. I decided to buy a sample set of five herbal teas, since I haven’t really tested out a lot of herbals.
Here is the sample set I bought:
Before I start these reviews I want to say that none of these teas came with steeping instructions, like many of the ones I’ve gotten lately. I wasn’t sure of how hot the water should be, how many teaspoons of tea per ounce of water or how long it should steep. So I had to use good old Google and I found a steeping chart for different teas. So I just went with the standard instructions for herbal tea. I don’t know if this affected the taste or not.
Here are the reviews:
First tea: Turmeric Ginger
They say turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, so I tried this first because my body had been feeling really achy lately and wanted to see if it would help. The description lists ginger, orange peel, lemon peel and lemon oil along with the turmeric. With the first taste I got a lot of lemon and some ginger with a slight hint of the turmeric. I’m not sure if I liked it. It’s definitely drinkable and not something I want to dump in the sink immediately but it’s also not something I would purposely buy or crave to drink. This tea really tasted like hot flat lemon ginger ale with a hint of some spice. It also left this aftertaste in my mouth that was really weird. In a way it was like when you drink diet soda and it leaves that aspartame aftertaste in your mouth. I’m assuming it was the lemon oil creating that aftertaste. It’s not bad just odd. As for the anti-inflammatory benefit, well I didn’t seem that achy after drinking it but I don’t know if that’s because of the tea.
Second tea: Cape Cod Cranberry
This tea is the reason I bought the sample pack. I was smelling some of the teas in the shop when I came across this and I immediately fell in love with it. Cape Cod Cranberry is a fruit tea and the first I’ve ever had. As this tea steeped the aroma was immediate and it was so amazing. It was very fruity and almost smelled like candy. Drinking it was just as good, the cranberries were the main taste but I also got the small notes of hibiscus and apple. I’m absolutely in love with this tea and plan to buy more.
Third Tea: Peach Melba
This was a berry tea that’s supposed to taste like peaches and cream according to the description. It definitely smelled like peaches and cream, which was a delicious aroma, but it did not taste like it at all. All I could taste while drinking it were the berries and hint of the hibiscus. Again, none of that tasted like peaches and cream or maybe I just forgot what that combo tastes like. This tea was also a bit sour. I did like it, but I’m not sure I would buy it.
Fourth Tea: Rooibos Candied Almond
The first thing that struck me when I smelled this tea, even before steeping it, was that it smelled straight up like pipe tobacco. It wasn’t necessarily a bad smell, that’s just what it reminded me of. I loved the little sugar hearts that were in this tea, but I don’t think the sugar did anything for the taste. The main thing I could taste was the almonds and of course the rooibos. I wasn’t really a fan of it. I didn’t dislike it and I drank a good bit but I just felt really “meh” about this tea.
Fifth tea: Warming Crimson Berry
This has to be the first time that I tried a tea and it was down right awful, to the point I couldn’t finish it. First off it smelled like perfume or potpourri and it tasted like it too, with a kick of cayenne. I drink a morning detox drink almost daily that has cayenne in it and it doesn’t usually bother me, but this was just too much. I didn’t care for this spicy perfume tea at all and I poured it out after five sips.
1st: Cape Cod Cranberry
2nd: Peach Melba
3rd: Rooibos Candied Almond
4th: Turmeric Ginger
5th: Warm Crimson Berry
Overall I think I should have just bought the Cape Cod Cranberry and left it at that. I would definitely go back to Spice It Up to purchase other sample bags. I think it’s a great way to try new tea, it’s just unfortunate that I either didn’t like some of these teas or that there was no wow factor with most of them. If you’re ever in downtown Hendersonville you should check them out, even if you aren’t a fan of tea they do have many spices and meat rubs.