Posts Tagged ‘Stevia’

Product Description:

Peppermint NuStevia Alcohol Free Liquid is finally here. Once you have add this to your tea or coffee, yogurt, or sparkling water (makes an awesome sugar free soda), you will not know how you lived without it.

Learn more about this product here.

Learn more about NuNatural on their website.

What I Think:

Not too long ago, I received a wonderful surprise via UPS – a box of NuNatural Stevia products!  I did not expect it, so big thanks goes out to my SororiTea Sister TeaEqualsBliss aka Jennifer (here’s a link to her personal blog) who arranged for NuNatural to send it to me to try.

Now, I have never been one to mince words when it comes to stevia.  Quite frankly, I don’t care for it.  I have found one or two products that include stevia as an ingredient that I’ve enjoyed, but more often than not, I can discern the flavor of the stevia, and when I can … I’d rather I didn’t.  That is to say, that I’d rather the stevia was not in that product when I can taste the stevia, and I usually CAN taste the stevia.

That’s because stevia usually has a very odd sort of flavor that is somewhat chemical/somewhat herb-y and even a little bitter in a bad way.  It has a funky aftertaste that I just don’t like.  It’s not a pleasant flavor.  And I want to enjoy my food and drink, so I’d rather the stevia was not part of my food or drink.

But now, I’m tasting these NuNatural stevia products for the first time, and I must say that I’m incredibly impressed.  The first product I tried was the Pure Liquid Peppermint NuStevia.  This Pure Liquid offers stevia in a whole new way – at least, it’s new to me.  I’ve had stevia as a powder and also as a leaf.  It’s better as a leaf than the powder, but neither really interested me enough to say I really enjoyed it.  But … I’m REALLY ENJOYING this Pure Liquid Peppermint NuStevia!  And I’m shocked and amazed to be saying that.

For the purposes of this review, I brewed some of this Bailin Gongfu Black Tea from Teavivre.  I selected this tea because I happened to have it handy this morning, so it became my morning cup of tea.  So this afternoon, I resteeped the leaves, and decided to add seven drops of this Pure Liquid NuStevia into my mug of tea … I figured, hey, since it was a resteep anyway, if it didn’t work out, I’ve not sacrificed too much.  I already had a rich, delicious cup of this tea this morning, and this is just a resteep.  (And just for the record, this tea resteeps beautifully!  It is nearly as vibrant and flavorful as the first.)

What I taste, primarily, is the peppermint.  It is crisp and cool and refreshing to the palate.  And then I notice the sweetness of the stevia.  But I don’t notice much of that funky, chemical-y taste that I usually taste when it comes to stevia.  I’m not going to say that I taste NONE of it, because I do taste some of it.  But, as far as stevia products go (or even as far as alternative sweeteners go), the flavor is very slight in comparison to the other products I’ve tried, and it is only when I’m really honing in on the flavors that I notice it.  While taking a casual sip … well, it really isn’t a strong enough flavor to notice.

Basically, what this tastes like to me is that I melted a candy cane in my cup of tea.  Now, I don’t think I’d want to use this on the first infusion of this particular tea … mostly because the peppermint flavor is STRONG and I don’t want the peppermint to overwhelm the delicious flavor of the tea.  That cup I’ll drink straight up.  But for a resteep, this is really delicious, and something that I’ll use again.

After such a successful tasting with my tea, I decided to pour myself a glass of filtered water and add a few drops to it… and see how I liked that.  And it is here that this product REALLY shines.  I taste no chemical taste.  I taste no funkiness whatsoever.  It just tastes like peppermint water.  Not like mouthwash or liquified toothpaste … but more like liquified peppermint chewing gum.  It is pleasantly sweet and minty … and quite simply delicious.

My Final Thoughts

Wow… I really did not expect to like this product.  As I said, I don’t like stevia.  But I do like NuStevia!  I love it in a glass of freshly filtered water.  It’s so refreshing.  I think I’ll try it in lemonade … and I think my oldest daughter will also love this, as she does enjoy peppermint, even more than I do.

Thank you NuNatural and TeaEqualsBliss for allowing me the opportunity to try this product! 

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!