After four months using Sips by™, I finally ran into something that I almost called a screw up on their part. Thankfully, I checked my facts and determined that the mistake was mine and their reputation (at least in my eyes) is still flawless. As usual, I’ll recommend that new readers go back and start with my initial review to get a better idea who they are and what their service offers, but enough of that… let’s get on with the reviews!
#1 Courtesan’s Blend by Friday Afternoon Tea
I want to start by saying that I do actually like this tea. That said, I feel like the name is a bit of a misnomer. The name, not to mention product description, make this out to be a rich, seductive, spicy tea. I found it to be anything quite the opposite. In reality, this is a very mild tea with just a touch of clove; far less bite than any other clove or cinnamon tea I’ve tried. I don’t mean to say it’s bad; on the contrary, I rather liked the subtlety. It has just the right amount of flavor to be good without being overpowering.
On the flip side, this is one of the few teas I’ve tried recently that has an aroma to match its flavor. While the flavor is subtle, the aroma is definitely clove. It is reminiscent of a classic Christmas morning (at least what I consider a classic Christmas morning) and anything but subtle. This combination makes it a tremendous all-day tea, particularly during the winter months.
#2 Moroccan Mint by Davidson’s Organic Teas
Much like clove, mint is sort of a touchy one for me. I’ve indicated as much in the past, but most mint teas don’t seem to end up tasting right in my book. That said, Moroccan Mint does an excellent job of blending a simple green tea with a touch of mint. The one thing I feel is lacking in this tea is the aroma. While it has a very nice almost spearmint flavor, the aroma is little more than your average green tea. I think that, while this isn’t a great tea, I believe it did make it to my number two spot for mint teas, though I’d have to review my ratings on various mint teas to figure out which one beat it out for number one.
#3 Organic Ginger Moringa Tea by Miracle Tree
I’ll admit, I had never heard of Moringa when I received this tea and had to do a bit of research to understand what I was drinking. Moringa, or more specifically Moringa Oleifera, is a plant which is known to have antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it contains a ridiculous number of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. In short, it is the literal embodiment of a superfood. With all the positives, there must be a negative somewhere, right? Apparently not! At least, not that I could easily find. There have been few enough cases of users reporting side effects that there are no known negative side effects at this time. Sounds like a good deal!
So how does it taste? In this case, expectation and reality are vastly different. Me and ginger teas have always had, at best, an uneasy relationship. I do like ginger, and desperately want to like every ginger tea I come across, but they are almost always overpowering. I want to taste ginger, not be smothered by it! In the case of this tea, I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle, but still quite noticeable, ginger flavor. The more present character is a vaguely earthy flavor that I can’t quite place, but I assume that comes from the Moringa.
At first blush, I wasn’t a huge fan of this tea; I’ve never made it a secret that earthy teas aren’t usually my thing. Most earthy teas tend to make me feel like I’m drinking dirt, and this was no exception… until I gave it a few moments to cool. I don’t like wasting tea (or anything really), so I’ll almost always finish what I receive, love it or not. In fact, to date, I’ve only found one tea that I literally couldn’t stomach. So, after letting it sit for a few minutes, I returned and found that the temperature adjustment had drastically changed the flavor of the tea! Now, the earthy tones were subtler, and the ginger shone through. I can’t say this is the best tea I’ve ever had, but letting it cool definitely moved it from my “no thanks” list to my “on occasion” list.
Sadly, I can’t speak to the purported positive benefits. The nature of a curated service is that you get a chance to try a wide variety, but not usually a significant amount of any one tea. In this case, I’ll have to leave the positive health benefits up to those who drink this tea regularly. I don’t dislike it as much as I thought, but I won’t be buying it any time soon, health benefits or no.
#4 Organic Assam Black Tea by OLLTco
Finally we reach the controversial tea that made me momentarily doubt my favorite curated tea service. You see, back in my month 2 review, I reviewed an Organic Assam Black Tea by Mana Organics, and an Organic Jasmine Green Tea by OLLTco, both of which received very poor marks. In my mind, I blended the two and assumed that this was a repeat. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love repeats of a few of the teas I’ve received to date, just not one I didn’t care for! However, I haven’t actually received this particular tea before, so I’ll give it the review it deserves!
Unfortunately, the review it deserves is just a callback to my last review of Assam Black Tea, indicating that my problem is with this particular type of tea rather than the specific brew from Mana Organics. Much like that tea, this one reminded me of a malt beer. Unlike that tea, I don’t taste the added dates, almonds or parsley, though I didn’t expect that. Regardless, too much like drinking a warm beer for my taste, and definitely not my cup of tea.
Sips by™ Tea - Month 4
I should note that I’ve adjusted my reviews a tiny bit; the Sips by™ site asks you to review each tea you try but restricts reviews to whole-star increments. I’ve decided that I’m going to rate each tea the same on my site that I do on theirs, even though this means slight adjustments may sometimes be necessary.