I’ve had enough of winter. It’s only the first week of February, but after a January full of bitter cold and slushy roads – and then being buried under 3+ feet of snow within the past 2 weeks – I’m already counting down to spring. If I just close my eyes, I can already feel warmer temperatures, see new leaves on the trees, and smell the fresh flowers and the sweet dampness of earth after a rainstorm. Of course, that’s all in my imagination.
Chasing away the winter blues was my priority for this Tea Time. Luckily, Sanctuary T has a remedy in the form of tea: Spring Harvest, a blend of green and white teas with passionfruit flavoring. Turns out it was a rather delectable choice!
Sanctuary T’s Description: “It may be raining outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax like you’re in a sunny spring garden. Spring Harvest is a rare medley of green and white tea inspired by the flavors of freshly squeezed passionfruit. Fragrant and fruity, this is the perfect after-dinner detox tea or a mid-afternoon stress reliever.
Ingredients: Green tea, white tea, dried / candied fruit pieces, and passionflower petals
Steeping Instructions: Use 1 teaspoon per 8 oz of water. Heat water to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79 degrees Celsius), and steep for 3 minutes.
Multiple Brews?: No
Bagged or Loose Leaf?: Loose leaf
Caffeine Level: Medium-low
Spring Harvest has the fresh, colorful appearance that complements its namesake season. It’s a mixture of sage-green (green tea) and greenish-brown (white tea) leaves, sprinkled with rose-orange flower petals and tiny bits of dried pineapple, papaya, and strawberry. The green tea leaves in particular have a distinct flatness that reminded me first of Dragonwell green tea from China. After closer observation, though, I’m more certain it’s Japanese Sencha, which is darker in color and more vegetal in taste than Dragonwell.
When I open my sample packet of Spring Harvest, the first thing I smell is… FRUIT! A strong, almost heady fruit perfume pours out. I’d say pineapple is the primary scent here instead of passionfruit. (In fact, I’m not sure if I smell passionfruit at all.) There’s also the grassy sweetness of the Sencha leaves. Combine the two, and you get a refreshing, intoxicating bouquet that sings the lively song of spring.
Following Sanctuary T’s instructions above, I brewed 1 teaspoon of Spring Harvest in 175-degree F water for 3 minutes. The liquid takes on a pretty golden hue with a hint of green. The fruity scent is less overpowering now, and more balanced with the clean green tea aroma. Each sip reflects this equilibrium while offering a study in contradiction. It starts off sweet, crisp, and vegetal, with a honey-like fullness on the tongue and a tropical flirtation minus the coconut. The fruit flavors then punch their way through on the aftertaste. Which flavors depends on which fruit pieces were brewed in that particular cup. For example, my first one was bursting with pineapple and papaya, with a trace of mango; while my second one sparkled with a strawberry tartness. Yum!
My only question is, where’s the passionfruit flavor? Maybe it’s mingling there among the other fruit essences, but it’s not very potent. Its absence doesn’t detract from my experience with Spring Harvest, which I enjoyed down to the last drop. I’m just curious, that’s all.
Sanctuary T’s Spring Harvest is a lovely way to add a seasonal “spring” to your step – er, cup. Sweet and crisp, tropical and grassy, brisk and delicate, it’s the more thoughtful cousin of Marianne’s Wild Abandon from Bingley’s Teas, which uses similar ingredients but features black tea instead of white tea. The variety of fruit flavors also make this an ideal choice for anyone who wants to try green tea without a dominant vegetal or seaweed presence. Again, I don’t smell or taste much passionfruit, but maybe you will. Either way, Spring Harvest brightened my winter doldrums, and I highly recommend it to other tea drinkers who are looking for their own tropical tea escape.
Grade: 9 / 10
- Tea Drinkers Who: Like green, white, or fruity teas, or want to try a green tea that doesn’t have a strong grass or vegetal taste
- Time of Day and Year: Afternoon and evening year-round
- Possible Book Pairings: Spring Harvest’s tropical liveliness reminds me of the Illiais Jungle from Maria V. Snyder’s Study series. Readers will visit the rainforest in the second and third books, Magic Study and Fire Study. However, you may want to start with the incredible first installment, Poison Study, so the events of the later books make more sense. 😉
You can purchase Spring Harvest directly from Sanctuary T here.
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In addition to being a tea enthusiast, Sara Letourneau is an avid reader and a writer who… well, enjoys writing! Currently she’s working on a novel, and she writes book reviews and articles on the craft of writing. She’s also a published poet with works available in various print and online publications. Visit Sara at her personal blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
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