It’s a new year, and Sips by™ is still going strong! I just received my monthly shipment, and I have to say it feels a little like a belated Christmas present. I look forward to my shipment every month, but for some reason, this month just felt special. Maybe it’s because it’s the beginning of a new year, maybe it’s simply that my stockpile is feeling a little low. Whatever the reason, I was ecstatic when it arrived. So, what did I receive this month?
#1 Gingerbread by Tebella Tea
First off, I have to say that this tea smells divine. I’m not sure what I expected with a tea called “Gingerbread,” but it quickly filled the room with a wonderful gingerbread aroma. The only downside to this was a sudden urge to make gingerbread cookies, and I don’t bake!
But it only gets better from there! The flavor matches the aroma beautifully, resulting in the feeling of having eaten the gingerbread cookies that I didn’t bake. It’s a robust, spicy-sweet flavor that precisely matches my expectations and is an absolute pleasure to drink. I only have two complaints with this particular tea; that I just received a sample, and that it’s a seasonal offering! I’d drink it year round!
#2 Apricot Sunrise by Ahmad Tea
Apricot teas are, most often, barely worth the time they take to brew in my opinion. The vast majority of the apricot (and peach) teas that I have tried come across as watered-down, muted impersonations of the fruits that inspired them. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case for this tea from Ahmad Tea.
Ahmad Tea has somehow managed to capture the essence of apricot in the form of a beautifully balanced black tea. I will say that for my sample I chose to drink it hot, but the manufacturer recommends trying it iced. I 100% believe that this would make an excellent iced tea, especially if you threw some peach slices on top. Unfortunately, I received it in the dead of winter, so iced is pretty much out of the question. I may have to buy a box in the summertime to try it out!
Over the last few months, I’ve found myself steering more and more towards loose-leaf teas. For some reason, they always seem to be better quality with more flavor and body. This particular tea isn’t available as a loose-leaf tea, but it’s still an excellent tea!
#3 Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie Rooibos by Fava Tea Company
I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It does smell like peanut butter, but the flavor isn’t quite there. There is a slight peanut butter aftertaste, but it’s not remotely the flavor I wanted. I’m not saying that I dislike this tea, just that it isn’t what I expected. There is a slight bitterness in the dominant flavor which was unexpected. In truth, it reminded me more of almond than peanut butter.
All in all, I found this tea to be a bit lackluster and not any more unique than any run-of-the-mill rooibos tea. It’s drinkable, and the aroma is spot on, but the flavor is lacking. Worth a try, but I won’t be ordering it anytime soon.
#4 Organic Assam Green Tea by Mana Organics
This is the third Assam tea I’ve had in as many months, and unfortunately, I don’t seem to be getting any better reviews with experience. Unlike the first two I tried, which were black teas, this green tea was slightly more worthwhile. It is a smooth green tea whose flavor I don’t dislike. Unfortunately, it had one distinct and undeniable side effect; it gave me an instant migraine. This side effect was severe enough to detract from any enjoyment I might have gotten from the tea itself and made it entirely undrinkable.
Sips by™ Tea - Month 5 Review
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.
All told, this was a decent box. While I couldn’t even drink the Organic Assam Green Tea, the others were all quite drinkable. My issues with the Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie had more to do with a difference in opinion as to what a peanut butter cookie should taste like than anything else. The Gingerbread tea takes the gold star this month, being both exactly what I was expecting, and delicious.