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Product Review: Choice Organic Teas

L. HoltTea is my favorite beverage. In summer it’s a refreshing break from the heat, and in winter it keeps me warm and helps soothe my seasonal affective disorder symptoms. It’s one of the things I miss most about life in Japan: green tea at every meal and readily available in street-side vending machines or a corner convenience store at any time of day or night. That said, I’m always looking for new delicious teas to try: green, black, red or herbal. Lucky for me, Choice Organic Teas has all four.

Choice Organic Teas has recently released five new teas to celebrate the Good For All brand, a distinction given to environmentally conscious companies and products by the Jane Goodall Institute. A percentage of the profits from these new teas will go to support the JGI and its programs around the world. In addition to protecting endangered wildlife, a part of the proceeds from these teas will aid the Roots and Shoots Program, which strives to promote conservation among the youth of the world.

The Good For All brand appears on the boxes of the following new blends: Oothu Garden Green, Wild Forest Black, Decaffeinated English Breakfast, Rooibos Superfruit and Yerba Maté Mint. This week, I tried each of these teas.

Choice Organic Teas has released five new herbal blends.
Photo Courtesy of Choice Organic Teas

Oothu Garden Green: This single estate tea is everything I want from a green blend: light and refreshing, with a pale golden color that reminds my of my favorite Chinese blends. Green tea in general is known to contain potentially cancer-fighting and immune-system building antioxidants.

Wild Forest Black: This energizing black tea blend is full and hearty, just the thing to get you through that afternoon slump. The leaves are plucked from trees in Southeastern Asia that are more than 500 years old, something I’m pretty sure no other tea I’ve drunk can claim (although apparently the oldest cultivated tea tree in the world is over 3200 years old!). 

Decaffeinated English Breakfast: If you love the classic taste of English Breakfast blends, this is the tea for you. Decaffeinated with carbon dioxide (the only organic method), this is a staple tea that you can drink any time of day, even if you’re trying to cut down on those caffeine jitters. If you must avoid caffeine altogether, however, stick with an herbal blend: decaffeination cannot remove all caffeine. Black tea assists circulatory health and speeds the metabolism. Drink this blend black with milk, lemon or unrefined sugars such as honey, molasses or agave nectar. To get the most health benefits from your tea drink it black or with lemon.

Rooibos Superfruit: This rich red herbal tea contains no caffeine and smells of citrus and the rich hibiscus blooms it’s infused with. Full and round, this is a smooth tea that slides down your throat and lingers on your tongue with a tangy hint of apple: a very refreshing blend, especially iced. The rooibos is grown in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa, and is known for its restorative properties and combating nervous tension and allergies.

Yerba Maté Mint: Although this is an herbal blend, it does contain caffeine. In fact, one cup of yerba maté contains more caffeine than black tea but less that coffee, and is often hailed as a side-effect-free stimulant. That, combined with the rejuvenating aromas of mint and lemongrass, makes this an ideal tea for restoring focus and energy to your busy schedule. The light and spicy mint flavor will keep you energized and restore you to a calm center. And if you have a moment to appreciate it, the tea rests beautifully; its color fades from a dark golden-brown center to pale green at the edge of your cup. Yerba maté is traditionally recognized for stimulating the nervous system, boosting physical energy and treating gastrointestinal problems. For the best taste, steep the tea leaves in hot (but not boiling) water.