Posts Tagged ‘Mint’

coconutmint

Product Information:

What do you get when toasted coconut and mint are combined with organic 45 percent milk chocolate? A cool, sweet tropical breeze in chocolate form! This limited seasonal release is one of our favorite bars to enjoy during the holidays.

I received this chocolate bar in my December box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

I wanted to go with a pure, unflavored tea so that nothing would compete with the flavors of the bar.  And because this is milk chocolate, I thought that a black tea might be a bit too strong, so I opted for a creamy green tea like this Magical Mao Jian Green Tea from Teasenz.  The tea is light and crisp and doesn’t attempt to interfere with the delicious chocolate, coconut and mint flavors … instead, the light, buttery note seems to complement these notes.  Nice!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness … I love this chocolate bar.

I love chocolate.  That’s no big secret by now.  Usually I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate … but, this is so good, and I think that the creaminess of the milk chocolate works in the confections favor.  The creaminess of the milk chocolate melds beautifully with the coconut.

And while I thought at first that coconut and mint were kind of a “weird” flavor combination, those thoughts vanished with my first bite.  Oh wow!  So good!

The coconut adds a delicious coconut-y flavor and texture.  The mint is cool and refreshing.  Together the mint, coconut and chocolate create the perfect marriage of flavors.

My Final Thoughts:

I am in love with this chocolate bar.

As I mentioned in my review of Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups earlier this month, Knoshbox changed their name to “Knoshy.”  So, if you’re looking for past reviews of Knoshbox products and/or monthly subscription boxes that I’ve received, they can now be found under Knoshy in the category section rather than Knoshbox.

This change also comes with a slightly higher price tag.  We were once charged $29.95 with free shipping, and there is no longer free shipping.  The new shipping charge is $7.95.

???????????????????????????????That said, I still love Knoshbox/Knoshy and I’m not going to let this higher price tag deter me from getting my Knoshy!  As someone who used to run my own online business, I know that the cost of shipping is a killer!  And as long as Knoshy continues to crank out the boxes every month that made me fall in love with them in the first place, I’ll continue to get my Knoshy every month.

The first treat that I uncovered in this month’s box is an old favorite – but one that I’m glad is in the box because I absolutely LOVE these things:  The Pepp from S’more Bakery.  These were also in last December’s box, but, like I said, they were so good that I’m thrilled to find them in this year’s box.

Then I found a box of Lark Cookies!  This is the Holiday Trio Box, which includes Burnt Sugar & Fennel Shortbread Cookies and the Salted Rosemary Shortbread Cookies – both of which I’ve also already reviewed.  But the box also comes with some that I’ve not yet tried:  Espresso Chip.  I especially like what Knoshy said on their product card:

Pairs well with Earl Grey tea, family, friends and good cheer.

Sounds to me like they’re finally getting the tea thing.  (Heh!)

There were TWO chocolate bars in this month’s box too.  Yes, I said TWO – count ’em … 2! – CHOCOLATE bars in this month’s box.  And they’re from a somewhat local company:  Theo Chocolates.  Two of the seasonal chocolate bars:  Gingerbread Milk Chocolate bar, and Coconut Mint Chocolate Bar.  YUM!

Finally, there is a package of Sugar & Spice Pecans from LaLa’s Nuts.

All of these items are so tempting and again, exemplifies why I love Knoshbox … or Knoshy … or whatever they want to call themselves.  I love them.  Please guys, you can change your name, but, please don’t change what you mean to me:  yummy food in my mailbox every month!

Product Description:

Ingredients:  Organic crystalized cane juice, organic tapioca syrup, natural peppermint oil, organic mint leaves, organic Vermont maple syrup, agar, gum tragacanth, Vermont Pure® Spring water

Learn more about VerMints on their website.

What I Think:

My tin of these mints that I received in the March tasting box is nearly gone, so I figured I should get busy and write about it before I’ve nothing left to write about!

I’ve actually tried the Chai flavored VerMints before.  My local Whole Foods carries a few of the VerMints varieties, but, I can never bring myself to order any other flavor than the Chai (It’s always all about the tea!) so I’m really quite glad that Foodzie sent these in the Ski Lodge box so that I could try them!  They are really quite good … perhaps some of the best peppermint flavored mints I’ve tried.

When I open the tin, immediately, they look different from other mints.  I can actually SEE bits of real peppermint leaf in the mint.  These aren’t just made with peppermint extract, they’re made with the real thing!  In addition, it’s sweetened with maple syrup and cane juice instead of corn syrup. And these are differences that really make a difference that I can taste!

My Final Thoughts:

VerMints means business!  They aren’t your ordinary breath mints.  And I really like that.  These mints are awesome.  I guess the next time I’m in Whole Foods, I’ll pick up not just the Chai pastilles but also the Peppermint breath mints, too!

In my Stocking Stuffer Tasting Box, I received four different Sun Cups:  a milk chocolate sunflower butter, a dark chocolate sunflower butter, a caramel cup and a mint cup.  I tried each of these at different times and took notes of each tasting so that I could compose one review for all four Sun Cups. 

Product Description:

Imagine a luscious, nut-free, organic chocolate cup filled with roasted sunflower butter or mint cream or caramel. That’s a Sun Cup!

To Learn More about Sun Cups and Seth Ellis Chocolatier, visit the website.

What I Think:

I started with the milk chocolate sunflower butter cup, and it is delicious.  The sunflower butter is creamy and satisfying and nutty, tasting like… well, sunflower seeds.  No big surprise there.  The milk chocolate was quite sweet and even though I’ve a sweet tooth, as I finished the cup I found myself wanting something to help cut through the sweet, cloying taste that had developed on the back of my palate. Delicious (incredibly so!) … but sweet.

Which is why I found the dark chocolate sunflower butter cup much more to my liking.  With the first bite, I noticed that the more assertive flavor of the dark chocolate did mute out some of the softer flavors of the sunflower butter cup at the start, but, as I took my second bite, I noticed the flavor of the sunflower butter coming through.  The aftertaste is bittersweet from the chocolate.  This is really lip-smacking good!

The Mint Cup is really good.  Much better than I was anticipating.  I figured, “oh okay, this will kind of be like a peppermint patty” but, it is so much better.  The dark chocolate is thicker than in the typical peppermint patty, so it presents a stronger flavor.  It is a rich, dark chocolate, and what I like is the creamy mint filling, because it doesn’t taste overly sweet.  Sure, it’s sweet, but, it doesn’t have that cloyingly sweet flavor of the average peppermint patty.  It compliments the dark chocolate of this cup well.

I saved what I thought would be my favorite of the quartet for last:  the Caramel Cup.  Before even opening the package, I found myself wishing that it had been made with dark chocolate.  My thoughts here did not change as I ate the cup, I think I would have preferred a dark chocolate caramel cup.

That being said, this is still one seriously delicious piece of candy.  The caramel is rich and smooth and creamy – I love the texture of the caramel.  It isn’t a viscid/solid kind of caramel; it is liquid, but, not a thin, runny caramel, it is thick enough and has enough body to it to stay inside the cup as I eat it.  In other words:  gooey, but, not oohey-gooey.

The milk chocolate is sweet and delicious.  One Caramel Cup is more than sufficient even for this sweet-toothed chocoholic, because the combination of caramel and milk chocolate was incredibly sweet.  As I said before, I found myself wishing it was a dark chocolate cup, or at the very least, it had been adorned with a sprinkling of sea salt to help offset some of the sweetness.  It is still delicious, but I think it could have been even better.

My Final Thoughts:

These Sun Cups were amazing.  YUMMY!  As for a tea recommendation, I had these four cups at different times (yes they were yummy, but, they were incredibly rich and I really couldn’t handle more than one at a time)… but I found one variable that remained steadfast, and that was a choice of tea:  I chose an Assam tea to drink with these confections.  I found that the hint of bitter undertone to the Assam was a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the candy, and there were no extraneous flavors to compete with the flavorful fillings of the Sun Cups.  My current favorite Assam (my favorite does change from time to time!):  Golden Tips Assam from The Tao of Tea.

Where to Buy:  O Pair on Foodzie

Product Description:

Bees and hummingbirds find lemon & mint irresistible and so will you. Fresh, bright, refreshing and cool; this one is definitely all about summer. A true sunny basket of taste!

O Perfectly Paired :: We use fresh-from-the-garden mint for a zest that complements floral and fruit notes in a crisp, elegant Sauvignon Blanc; an intense Chenin Blanc; or an aromatic Gewürztraminer. A real stunner of a cookie: our tasters finished these off in one go!

What I Think:

In a word:  YUM!  Of course, one word makes for a very short review, and really tells you very little about these delectable crackers that I can’t seem to stop popping into my mouth.  So in between bites I will try to convey my thoughts about these delightful snacks.

If you’ve tried any of the crackers from O Pair, you’ll recognize their base taste and texture.  They start with a shortbread type dough that tastes rich and buttery, but not overly sweet.  When baked this dough makes for a lightly crisp, flaky “cracker” that reminds me more of a shortbread cookie than a cracker.  It is the savory ingredients added that make these more like a cracker.

Except in this case.  With the combination of lemon and mint, these are much more like a delicately sweet shortbread cookie.  The lemon lends a hint of tartness to the cookie, and the hint of mint offers a refreshing note that seems to rescue the palate from being bombarded with too much buttery goodness (if there is such a thing!)

As I said when I reviewed O Pair’s amazing Blue Cheese & Fig crackers, I am not much on wine, so I didn’t pair these Lemon & Mint crackers with wine, but with tea!  (I must say that these crackers would make a delightful tea-time treat at your next tea party)  For these delicious cookie/cracker/delicious-bite-size-treats, I decided to brew a cup of one of my very favorite teas:  Harney & Son’s Indian Nimbu.

And this pairing is perfect with these crackers.  The crackers not only compliment the lemon-y tones of the tea, but also help to bring out the caramel-y flavor as well.  The muscatel notes of the Darjeeling come through brilliantly.

Oh, yes, I can see myself ordering more of these!

My Final Thoughts:

A deliciously sweet yet savory cracker that is a little more like a cookie than a cracker with these ingredients.  However, as these are a little lighter on the sweetening than the typical shortbread cookie, they do not come off as cloying or too sweet.  Another excellent offering from this company on Foodzie that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine!

Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea on Foodzie

Editor’s Note: I debated with myself about whether or not I should review these teas here, or if I should review them on the SororiTea Sisters blog, but since these teas were part of my Foodzie Tasting Box I decided to review them here.

Jasmine Green Tea

Product Description:

Our organic jasmine green loose leaf tea was chosen for its high quality and well-balanced flavors. This balance creates a round yet assertive cup full of jasmine’s intoxicating scent grounded in the full leaf green. Mild, easy to drink, and full flavored, jasmine blossoms are folded into the drying leaves several times to impart a delicate, subtle scent throughout. USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified.

What I think:

When I first opened the package for these teas, I was immediately disappointed.  The teas were bagged (I do prefer loose leaf), and the silky tea sachets were not individually wrapped to prevent cross-flavoring due to exposure to the other tea.  Tea is a very absorbent leaf and will readily absorb flavors of products with which it is stored, especially strong flavors such as spice and mint – which shared the package with this jasmine green tea.

That’s not to say that the tea is not good – it is.  I just feel like I am not getting a fair representation of the tea, because I can also taste notes of cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint mingling with the delicate green tea and jasmine flavors.

The green tea is light in flavor and possesses a moderate amount of vegetative taste.  It is a pleasant, mellow green tea, a good pairing with the sweet, exotic flavor of jasmine.

The jasmine is floral (of course!) but it isn’t overwhelming nor does it come off as soapy or perfume-y to the palate.  The flavor of the jasmine and the flavor of the green tea are very nicely balanced.

As I mentioned before, I can also taste distinct herbal and spice notes in this cup.  The cinnamon and peppermint seem to be the most prominent, but if I focus on the sip, I can also taste notes of ginger and even distant notes of clove and vanilla.

Actually, the combination of the jasmine, green tea, peppermint and spices makes for a rather intriguing cup and if I were still in the blending business (I flavored and blended my own teas for many years), I might actually attempt to create a jasmine peppermint green chai!

This is good hot or iced.

Turkish Spice Mint Tisane

Product Description:

We wanted a more complex and enticing peppermint based tisane, so we created our Zhi Signature Blend Turkish Spice Mint. We explored how to create something truly unique and flavorful, and after several attempts, we have nailed it. Organic peppermint, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, stevia leaf, clove, vanilla essence…Minty, a bit spicy, a tad sweet, with hints of exotic unfoldings…This blend really draws you in. Subtle flavor combinations are revealed as you engage this herbal extravagance. Enjoy the lingering sensations of ginger and cardamom as you sip this stimulating and caffeine-free drink.

What I think:

I could taste the spices and mint in the jasmine green, but I am not noting much jasmine taste in this blend – that is, of course, because this is a tisane and not a tea.  The difference being that a tea is comprised of leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant; and while a loose interpretation of the definition of tisane could possibly include teas, to most tea enthusiasts tisane has come to mean an herbal, fruit, or spice melangé that does not include tea leaves.  Without the tea leaves in this spice melangé, it simply doesn’t possess the flavor absorbency that a tea would have.

This is a delightful blend of spices and peppermint.  Peppermint can be a somewhat selfish herb and overpower the blend, however, Zhi Tea chose to blend it with some rather aggressive spices for balance.  In each sip, I enjoy the flavors of cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, and licorice, with background notes of clove and cardamom and a whisper of creamy vanilla.

If I were to change anything about this particular blend, it would be to eliminate the stevia.  Then again, I am not too fond of stevia, I find that it tends to impart a somewhat funky aftertaste.  I know that stevia is used occasionally by tea blenders to add a little sweetness to the blend; personally, I’d rather have the option to add sweetener with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkling of sugar than to have the choice made for me with the addition of stevia.

Despite the stevia, this tisane is tasty.  I prefer it hot – mostly because I prefer most spiced teas hot.  The warmth of the spices just seems to translate better with a hot tea.

My Final Thoughts:

These two teas were quite good, and certainly a very welcome surprise in my Foodzie Tasting Box (Foodzie, if you’re reading this, more tea please!)  Not my favorite from Zhi Tea (my favorite from Zhi is Gong Fu Black), but as a passionate tea enthusiast, I was certainly happy to try them!

Yay!

The anticipation has been mounting for this month’s box since I received last month’s box!  These boxes are a lot of fun!

My package contains:  a ‘Bert Candy Bar from Bees & Beans (a Portland company!), Kale & Pumpkin Seed Crackers from Twin Cakes Bakery, Cocomels from JJ’s Sweets, Blue Cheese Fig Savory Shortbreads from O Pair Wine Bites, Hot Chocolate on a Stick from The Ticket Kitchen, and (drum roll, please!) Jasmine Green & Turkish Mint Tea (yes, TEA!) from Zhi Tea.  Also tucked inside was the map card that shows on one side where the products are from, and on the other a detailed list of the items in the box including a brief description of each item.  Here’s a scan of both sides of the card…

On the homepage of Foodzie, it indicates that Salt Blends from Didi Davis Artisan Food would be in the box, but, my box did not include them.  A little disappointing as I was looking forward to trying some of the gourmet salt blends (I must say that the Sumac Pepper Salt and the Vanilla Salt are the most intriguing to me).  But, oh well.  I am, nonetheless excited to have received my box and I look forward to digging in!

My Final Thoughts:

A box of fun that is well worth the price!