Name: Black Needle Pagoda Tea

Retailer: Wild Tea Qi

Type: Black tea

Form: Teardrop bundles

Price: As of October, 2014, this tea sells for $1.98 for a sample, $14.30 for one ounce. Quantity discounts are available.

Review: The producer of this tea combined dark brown leaves and golden tips and sewed them together in the form of little teardrops. While they are certainly cute and brew up to a beautiful golden liquor, I was disappointed that I had to work so hard to identify any distinctive flavors while drinking this tea. The tea is quite sweet, with hints of honey, and I detected a slight floral quality. Beyond that, I found the cup to be very smooth but otherwise uninteresting.

Brewing Tips: Do not brew this tea in a basket or infuser: It needs plenty of room to open up so that it can steep properly. Don’t be afraid to give it a good long steep of four minutes or more.

Final Recommendation: Unfortunately, this tea simply doesn’t have enough flavor to recommend it. It is light and sweet, with very low astringency, but there are more flavorful teas on the market that answer this description. As always, however, I must note that your palate is different from mine. Wild Tea Qi does sell samples at very reasonable prices, so if you are curious, order a sample packet and try it for yourself.

Disclosures: I received a free sample of this tea. This review may contain affiliate links inserted by Viglink.

 

 

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Numi Organic Honeybush Information

Availability: Available Through Amazon, in stores (check the natural/organic section in standard grocery stores, specialty markets will usually have it in the tea section), and in other online outlets.

Price: As of May 15th, 2014, the lowest price on Amazon was $5.49 for 18 bags as an “add on item,” which means you have to place an order totaling $25 or more to have the single box of honeybush shipped to you. It’s also possible to get three boxes for $19.05, which ship free through Amazon Prime.

View all Amazon offers and prices here.

Type: Tisane (aka, herbal tea). Honeybush contains no caffeine.

Review of Numi Organic Honeybush

While rooibos seems to be the king of herbals, my own preference is for its cousin, Queen Honeybush. I find the flavor of honeybush to be purer and sweeter than rooibos. Rooibos can also sometimes have a “skunky” characteristic that I don’t care for. Both herbals are great at quelling sweet cravings and are very soothing evening sippers.

Numi’s version of honeybush is quite delightful. Yes, it does come in paper tea bags, but it is still tasty, if not particularly nuanced. It is quite sweet with a strong honey-ish quality and infuses to a beautiful medium amber color. I suppose you could add milk or sugar to this, but see no purpose in doing so. Sip it alone or with food, it tastes great either way.

Packaging

Numi packages its teas in paper tea bags, which are then individually wrapped in a very durable packet. Highly portable and great for stashing in your backpack or purse while on the go.

Brewing Tips

Because this is a plain, unflavored honeybush, water quality is particularly important. Start with fresh, filtered water and heat it to boiling: Honeybush is tough and the high temperature will bring out this tisane’s flavor. One teabag per 8 ounce cup works well, but don’t be afraid to double up if you like stronger flavor. It infuses quickly, but keep in mind that honeybush doesn’t get bitter, so steep as long as you want. It won’t ruin your cuppa.

Final Recommendation

If you are looking for a reasonably priced, convenient way to enjoy plain honeybush, Numi Organic Honeybush is a great option. I’d particularly recommend this tea to someone who grew up drinking “tea with honey” but now seeks a caffeine-free, sugar free alternative.

Disclosures

Sample: I did not receive a free sample of this product. I bought it myself at the store.

Affiliate Links: This review does contain affiliate links.

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