Guayusa (pronounced gwhy-you-suh) is only starting to make inroads into the U.S., but it's hardly new. The flavor is similar to yerba mate, but with a more plush, fruity flavor and a complete lack of bitterness. Tasting invites comparison to green tea, but the flavor is less tannic and the texture is more creamy. Unlike green tea, drinking it on an empty stomach won't give you a stomach ache. And just as important, it's nearly impossible to overbrew, and leaves can be resteeped half a dozen times before their flavor starts to wane. Have you ever tried it?
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It's important not to expect fruit teas to taste like juice or cider; if you do, they'll always disappoint. And it's important to remember that the flavor is often less intense than the scent. But with those points in mind, Tazo's caffeine-free apple and cinnamon rooibos blend is a calming tea for fall, fragrant but delicate, and just lightly spicy.
Among the trendier herbal teas of the last decade is rooibos, a South African infusion whose name is taken from the Afrikaans "red bush", the plant from which it grows. Lauded for the usual supposed health benefits (antioxidants! no caffeine! cures dropsy!) that all hypermarketed herbal teas seem to carry, rooibos has proven—at the very least—to be versatile and tasty.
We are in between seasons a bit. There are hot days and chilly days, and sometimes what comes with this weather is a case of the sniffles. Balance it all out with "Tame The Elements," a sparkling water-based drink at Tbar in Philadelphia. The fizzy herbal blend couples honeysuckle with Golden bell and Chinese bellflower.
Celestial Seasonings fan favorite Sleepytime Tea has a new companion: Sleepytime Vanilla. The vanilla is a subtle addition to the traditional combination of chamomile, spearmint, and lemongrass. If you're a fan of the regular Sleepytime and a bit wary of vanilla flavor, this tea will be right up your alley.
I was a little skeptical about Tea Forté's Herbal Retreat teas. Blueberry Merlot? Cherry Cosmo? Mojito Marmalade? I'm perfectly fine keeping my booze and afternoon cuppa separated.