Tastes of Desert Sage Natural Teas and Dodger Coffee

Tastes of Desert Sage Natural Teas and Dodger Coffee

I love supporting small businesses. They put so much love and passion into their products, I generally find them worth any extra expense. Unfortunately, living in Canada makes this difficult. Small businesses often have trouble negotiating international shipping rates. When you add the exchange rate on top of that, delivering to Canada can more than doubles the price of a reasonably priced item (ouch)!

Luckily, my recent trip to the states for Christmas afforded me an opportunity taste products from two companies I’ve been watching for awhile. The first is Desert Sage Natural; they produce medicinal teas that also taste good. I’ve been following development of their new teas and I have a list of some I’d like to try in the future. Back in December they did a giveaway of some sample stock they had built up and I was one of the lucky winners! I’m so glad this coincided with my trip so I could spare Desert Sage the extra shipping costs of a cross-border package (I could rant about this for an entire post).

When I received their questionnaire about what type of teas I like, it was hard not to select everything. After some back and forth, I’m pleased to say Desert Sage absolutely nailed my personal preferences! When the package arrived at my friend’s house, I had her open it and read me the titles, which only made me more excited to get them home and try them out.

Donatello’s Zen

The first tea that caught my attention was Donatello’s Zen. It instantly conjured the image of the teenage mutant ninja turtles, of which Donatello was always my favorite. Much to my delight, it turns out the turtle is exactly who inspired this tea! So it’s not just relaxing, it’s also geeky. How cool is that?!

I wasn’t sure about the smell of this one, but I’ve long since learned that you can’t judge a tea by its unsteeped scent. The label lists the ingredients as kukicha (which is by far my favorite green tea), gunpowder green tea, and lavender. The color is rich and dark, and the smell of the brewed tea is a lot more balanced. I knew I was going to like it before I took the first sip.

Likewise, this tea has a rich, full-bodied taste with a floral afternote. I tend to drink my tea with a small bit of honey. This one doesn’t need much, but that sweetness really brings out the lavender. For science, I tossed splash of milk into the second half of the cup. I found that it unified the taste a bit more, allowing the lavender to shine over the richer green tea flavors, but it also mellowed the taste considerably. I’ll probably continue to drink this tea without milk, but it’s nice that it’s so versatile. You can really tailor the taste to your mood.

No Place Like Home

The second tea’s name didn’t catch me as quickly. It was designed to benefit a puppy placement charity – making the name absolutely perfect! Not only does the purchase of No Place Like Home benefit said charity, you could also share a pot of it with your puppy if you wanted to. How awesome!

The ingredients here are rooibos, rosehips, lemon peel, and vanilla. I’ve never tasted a rooibos I didn’t didn’t like. The smell of this one drew me right in. Honestly? It smells like home. Especially if you’ve had a long, hard day and have finally slipped into your PJs to relax. That’s the image this smell conjures. From the first sip, I knew I loved this tea. If there was a grade higher than A++, this tea would deserve it.

This is an amazing comfort tea, perfect for a dreary afternoon, be it rain or snow. It’s rich but light. If you’ve ever tasted a vanilla chai, it’s similar, but lighter and less spicy. It’s almost like drinking mulled wine, but slightly tamer (think without the tang). It’s not a specifically citrus-y tea, nor is it fruity, it’s just sweet and wonderful. It was so perfect to me with just a dollop of honey in it that I didn’t try adding milk. (I imagine it would give it a creamy quality.)

I’ll be heading back to the states later this month and I’m hoping to take advantage of that trip to order from Desert Sage Natural; this tea is on the top of my list when I do. I can’t recommend it enough!

Dodger Coffee

The second company is Dodger Coffee Co. It’s run by a youtuber I’ve watched for years (Dodger aka Dexbonus). This is the first time I’ve reviewed coffee, mostly because I drink a lot of Tim Hortons coffee and pretty much every Canadian knows that Tim Hortons is great. I mostly drink sweet and flavored coffees instead of the blends you’d find at Starbucks. In fact, I’ve tasted a fair number of their blends and none of them ever caught me.

Dodger describes her coffee as a modern take on American Diner coffee. She said she was inspired to make this blend by all the nights she spent drinking diner coffee with friends after fun outings. And it called to mind all the times my friends and I did similar things when we used to live near each other. Ultimately, I just wanted to know what the concept of friendship tastes like.

Turns out it’s amazing! I don’t generally like the smell of coffee grounds (even though I love drinking coffee), but as soon as I opened my bag of Dodger Coffee I just wanted to dive into it. I expected to have to add a lot of sugar to make this coffee work for me, but I really didn’t. In fact, I over-sweetened my first cup! This coffee has a rich bold flavor, but it doesn’t have the bitterness that often turns me away from dark roast coffees. This coffee has a lot of character and I could honestly drink it every day (sorry Tim Hortons French Vanilla, I’m cheating on you).

Unfortunately, while Dodger Coffee’s shipping rate to Canada continues to more than double the price (ouch), I can’t take advantage of the subscription service that delivers new bags according to your custom timeline. But if you’re in the states, I highly recommend looking into it! I will be taking advantage of my trip to stock up. Especially since I just found out they’ve added tea to their catalog. Ginger coconut green tea? Yes please!

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