(Gifted for purposes of review)
The lovely Elle at Mindful Roots Tea was kind enough to send me both versions of her bespoke creation Is A Bella’s Brew, black tea and herbal! As they have the same base, I’ve decided to cover them both in one post and let you decide which one would be your favourite – both are currently selling at 40% off on the Mindful Roots website, so hurry and snag a bargain!
If you’d like to know a little bit more about Elle and Mindful Roots, I’ve included some background in my review of Less Stress More Zest (which is also on sale if you get in quick!)
And with that, we’ve got a lot of tea to taste, so on with the show!
Is A Bella’s Brew is one of Mindful Roots’ signature blends, a mix of coconut, apple, strawberry, and in the caffeinated version, Assam black tea. All of these ingredients are easy to spot, in this small batch, hand blended tea, with nice big chunks of fruit and whole slivers of coconut welcoming you as you open the packet.
The aroma of the dry leaf is like the most delicious fruity cake – apple and coconut, with the malty sweet base. As the fruit pieces are quite large, I wouldn’t recommend sticking to a conventional teaspoon measurement – this is not a ground up and crushed tea, therefore you will need a larger amount to provide a full taste.
I was a little unsure of the 10 minute steeping time with a black tea, being as I am a black tea fuss-pot, but the sweetness of the fruit ingredients seems to counteract any bitterness I was worried about, and the black tea is not a main flavour, despite it being a bold assam. The aroma is subtle, cooked apple and malty sweetness. There is a sheen on top, but I’m assuming this is oils released from the coconut pieces.
As with a lot of fruit teas, I like to add a touch of extra sweetness to make the fruit flavours really pop, and when I added a little agave nectar to this tea, it lightened the flavours and really brought the tea together for me, connecting it back to the aroma from the dry leaf. Definitely a more delicate tea, but very pleasant, especially when curled up on the sofa.
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Sharing most of the same ingredients, minus the assam, I found this tea to have a similar nose to the black tea blend – in fact, I wanted to eat it. I restrained myself and made some tea instead! I’m very grown up.
The herbal blend has a matching 10 minute steep time, along with matching ingredients, but is more gentle than the black tea blend, being that it is decaffeinated, and was created to be able to be enjoyed by a pregnant lady at her baby shower (a service that Elle, a UKTA qualified Tea Champion, provides for events).
The flavours that come through for me in this blend are quite subtle, but I’m getting more of the coconut, with the sweet strawberry taste on the lips.
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For me, maybe it’s because there is some black tea involved, and I love black tea, that I prefer the first blend. Each have their strengths in which flavours are more present, and obviously whether or not you can tolerate caffeine. Both of these teas also, because of the natural ingredients used, are more delicate than anything you will find in a high street tea bag, so if you are looking for a very punchy taste, you will need to use more loose leaf per cup – but with each cup, you will be using recognisable, whole ingredients are prepared with love, and look good enough to eat!
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