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Tag: lemon

52Teas Random Roundup: Strawberry Tea Cake Black Tea, Sun Cloud & Mist Green Tea, and Graveyard Mist Green Tea

Around the same time that I backed the 52Teas holiday Kickstarter last year, I made an order on the 52Teas website to try some random samples and see what caught my eye. So here’s a look at that order.

Unfortunately, only two of the teas I’m tasting are still available on the 52Teas website; the third has sold out.

Strawberry Tea Cake Black Tea

I’ve never had a strawberry tea cake myself, but when I smell the dry leaf of this, I definitely get the sweet note that Anne (the new owner of 52Teas) was aiming for. Delicate hints of strawberry, vanilla, and pastry play out in the leaf. In fact, the whole thing smelled like a strawberry wafer – you know, the kind of little pink crispy wafer things with fake strawberry filling? It’s completely spot on.

Plus, it looks delectable – there are big, noticeable slices of freeze-dried strawberry mixed throughout:


I took a teaspoon of dried leaf and steeped it in boiling water for just over 3 minutes, then let the whole thing cool for 5 or so minutes to bring out the flavour.

However, the flavour was muted, and while I got a hint of vanilla in the back of my mouth, I mostly got the black base leaf. I bet the tea would taste more true to its scent if I added some sugar or honey to it.

Strawberry Tea Cake Black Tea is still available, and it’s on sale. Take a look before it gets sold out!

Sun Cloud & Mist Green Tea

Cloud and Mist is a variety of green tea grown at a high elevation, hence the name. This flavoured version puts a twist on things by adding lemon peel, lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon myrtle to the base, plus what I think may be dried marshmallow root. The resulting tea smells lemony and soft. In fact, it reminds me of Lucky Charms cereal — the smell of the dry leaf is exactly like those freeze-dried, generically sweet marshmallows I remember from childhood.

The name is also visible in the dry leaf, which features sunny specks of orange peel nestled among the green leaf, while the other dried herbs provide greyish undertones.


However, the lemon and marshmallow flavours aren’t bold enough when I brew the tea. Heeding a lesson from the Strawberry Tea Cake tea above, I thought I’d boost the flavour by adding some honey, but even less than a spoonful of honey drowned out the lemon notes. I originally steeped the tea for only 2 minutes, though (as per the instructions) so I think that the flavours might be more prominent if you let the leaf steep longer.

This tea is currently sold out on the 52Teas website. I have no idea if it will be reinstated at some point.

Graveyard Mist Green Tea

Don’t let the name creep you out — this is a 52Teas fan-favourite, and when Anne bought the company from the original owner in 2015, this was one of the flavours she reintroduced to celebrate. It’s a mix of both Cloud and Mist and sencha green tea, along with spearmint and marshmallow root.

The mint is definitely the strongest smell in the package; it’s sharp and refreshing, but not in-your-face overpowering. The marshmallow root adds an interesting undertone that makes the whole thing smell rounded, soft, and fluffy, like a pillow. The dry leaf looks very similar to that of the Sun, Cloud and Mist tea above, though the leaves look slightly darker and more gnarled:


I took a teaspoon and a half and brewed it in 80°C water for about 3 minutes. The resulting tea was a medium yellow green, and the mint smell was very strong.

Out of all 3 teas I tried for this review, Graveyard Mist is the one whose taste most closely matches that of its dried leaf. The marshmallow and mint are both showing up on my tongue, and the two flavours are well-balanced even without sweetener. As a whole, the thing kind of reminds me of a wintergreen-flavoured Life Saver. Tasty!

Graveyard Mist is still available on the 52Teas website.

Tea Reviews: Lemon Verbena, Lemon Meringue, and Pink Dragonfruit from Tealish

About Tealish

tealish_teas_groupTealish is an independent tea blender and retailer in Toronto. Their store is close to Trinity Bellwoods Park — waaay far west of where I live — so when I was nearby a few weeks ago for an event, it was the perfect opportunity to stop by their shop in person.

I ended up purchasing three teas of theirs to try, all of which were caffeine-free. Tealish doesn’t offer sample sizes, unfortunately — their minimum for purchases is 50 grams. But honestly, considering how pretty their store is and how I also snagged a free gourmet popsicle when I was there because their freezer was temporarily busted, I’m not too put out.

You can order all of Tealish’s teas online at (but remember that they don’t do samples).

Lemon Verbena

For many years we’ve been in love with the intoxicating fresh lemon scent and flavor of lemon verbena. The aroma is entirely unique and is best described as a clean, bright, and zesty lemon. One whiff and we were hooked! Lemon Verbena is also commonly known as Vervain in Europe where the herbal tea (tisane) is very popular.

Lemon verbena is one of those herbal teas that I’ve really been curious about, so I leapt on the opportunity to try some. However, look and smell of the leaves was very different from what I expected. I was anticipating something soft and lemony, similar to lemongrass or lemon myrtle, but the leaves look and smell like regular cooking herbs.


Tealish’s lemon verbena leaves remind me of thyme and sage in particular — they’re small, broken-up, and a soft forest green colour. There is a slight hint of lemon at the back of my nose when I sniff the dry leaf, but it’s very faint.

I brewed 2 tsp of dry leaf in a giant 2-cup mug using 95°C water for 5-10 minutes. The resulting brew was a deep greenish orange yellow that reminded me of many other herbal teas. The brewed tea smelled somewhat sweet; almost like tulsi (holy basil) but not quite. The taste was similarly herbal and mild with overtones of thyme and sage.

I’m surprised by how soothing this tea is — it’s a great caffeine-free option for the evenings, and I bet it would be perfect for when you’ve got a cold. Considering the cooking-herb flavour of this lemon verbena, I’m also curious to see what it would be like added to a marinade or to a roast.

Lemon Meringue Rooibos

A colourful blend of green and red rooibos with a smooth lemon taste reminiscent of freshly baked lemon meringue pie. With a delicious zesty lemon flavour and a perfect creamy finish, this red tea infusion is a sweet and healthy treat!

This tea is a bit of a cheat for me since I’ve had it before; I received it in one of my very first Steepster swaps. However, that was nearly a year and a half ago, and the tea I got was old and starting to lose its lustre.

The new tea that I got from Tealish? Wow. It pops. The smell when I open the bag of lemon meringue rooibos has the sort of lemony zing I was expecting the lemon verbena to have. Underneath the blast of lemon is a sweet, creamy note that I’m pretty sure is the meringue flavouring.


I brewed a teapot of this to share with my mom — an achievement in and of itself, since when she wants tea, she normally asks for just plain old “orange pokey”. I poured out a big mug for me and a medium mug for her. Looking at the wet leaves, I see bits of citrus peel and what looks like calendula petals mixed in with the rooibos.

The taste of the tea is muted compared to the smell of the dry leaf. It’s lemony and kind of sharp, but it’s not overpowering. I think the creaminess of the meringue/vanilla flavour is in there, but that flavour is shy, flitting in and out of the curtains, so to speak. I particularly like that the base is green rooibos, since red rooibos can taste too much of wood if you’re not careful.

Pink Dragonfruit

Pink is the universal colour of love, and it’s true, we are totally in love with this combination of exotic dragonfruit, goji berries, chokeberries, elderberries, cranberries and papaya. It’s full of sweet berry goodness and delicious hot or iced! Add some fresh berries to your infusion for an extra pink pop!

The dry leaf for this tea is very chunky — you can see dried bits of dragonfruit, berries and papaya. Although I smell elderberry most strongly, I also smell the dragonfruit (mainly at the back of my nose and the roof of my mouth) and also hints of citrus. Very nice!

I’m going to admit that I made this tea twice for this review. I used half of the 50g packet to make a pitcher using 4 cups of hot water topped up with 4 cups of cold water, added some agave nectar, and left it to sit in the fridge overnight. However, this pitcher was too weak and watery in flavour.

I then brewed the remaining stuff left in the packet with 3 cups of hot water and added 3 cups of cold —  but the resulting iced tea was still too weak and watery. It was a bit sweeter, but not by much.


Despite the weak flavour, I still do taste and smell fruit but it’s fairly indistinct. The tea is a pale peachy-pink, but ultimately, the nice colour wasn’t enough to wow me. You’re better off just dumping all 50g into a single pitcher and letting things work from there.


The Pink Dragonfruit tea was a disappointment, but the other two were better. The lemon meringue tea, in particular, is one that I’ll be very happy to keep in my cupboard. The lemon verbena is a soothing one that I can see being good as a sleep aid in the evenings.

Himalayan Full-Leaf White Tea by TETE

Tea Review: Himalayan Full-Leaf White Tea by TETE

About This Tea

Himalayan Full-Leaf White Tea by TETETea type: White, loose-leaf, grown in Nepal

How I got it: I purchased a sample of this from fellow tea reviewer Oolong Owl. She sent me 7g of it through the mail.

Where you can get it: Himalayan Full-Leaf White Tea by TETE is available online — the cost is $14.90 for 40g of dry leaf.

TÊTÊ White Tea… is grown and made by utmost care by farmers living at 6,000 metres. The garden where it is grown is magical. It hosts flora whose seeds make birds drunk. We anticipate that once you have a sip of this, you won’t fare much better.

How I Brewed It

After reading The Tea Lover’s Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea, I decided to make this in my iced tea pitcher. (It just seemed too perfect that the author’s recommended white tea for cold brewing happened to arrive in my mailbox just a few days before.) I used 7g of leaf and 8 cups of cold water, and let it sit in the fridge for a day.

How Does It Taste?

The resulting brew from the fridge was delightful. It was crisp, slightly vegetal, and lemony — so much so that if I hadn’t made it myself, I wouldn’t have believed there was no lemon added to the mix. The liquid was a beautiful pale colour, like fresh straw. What’s more amazing is that my husband, who generally thinks that tea is “too watery” for him, enjoyed this and had more than one glass.

In fact, it was so good that I decided to resteep it! So I added another 8 cups of cold water to the pitcher and let it sit again for a day.

Unfortunately, the second steep was much less flavourful and much more astringent. It was also nearly colourless. However, I did manage to take some photos:

A glass of iced white tea from @handrolledinhimalayas. Very crisp. #tea

I also got a good look at the fully expanded tea leaves, and they appeared and smelled very fresh and lemony:

And here’s the wet white tea leaf from @handrolledinhimalayas after it was steeped twice for iced #tea.

Have you ever had green-tea-scented products (soap, bath salts, body lotion, etc) that smell really fresh and herbal, only to find that actual green tea rarely smells this way? I’m happy to report that Himalayan Full-Leaf White Tea by TETE, does, in fact, smell like what a lot of beauty companies think green tea should smell like. This was unexpected, but a nice surprise! The leaf maintained that fresh, astringent smell even after two steeps.

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