October 7

Firebelly Tea Review – 12 Teas Tasted and Scrutinized

Written by: Dolly

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Love tea but struggling to find the right brand?

You’re not alone.

For many of us, trying different tea is just a part of life. We hear about a brand, give it a try, love it or hate it. 

At the beginning, this can be sort of fun. 

But over time, we all just want a dependable cup of tea that checks all the right boxes. 

So, does Firebelly Tea check all thoseboxes? We had our two lifelong tea enthusiasts put 12 of the companys' most popular tea varieties to the test. 

Below you’ll find a comprehensive review of the Firebelly Tea Company, a variety of their tea, and the steeping tools they provides. 

Enjoy!

How We Conducted This Review

black-tea

There are A LOT of biased reviews out there. 

Here’s the relationship between us and Firebelly Tea:

Firebelly Tea sent us an email asking if they thought our readers might be interested in Firebelly tea. Their website looked legit and the email was refreshingly personal, so I inquired about writing a review for them. 

They’d provide product (for free), and we’d conduct a review. 

We also made it very clear that honesty is our #1 priority and if the product was inferior, we wouldn’t hold back. 

They agreed and sent us product. 

Two of our tea fanatical writers tested 2 sampler packs each (3 varieties in each sampler). They documented the steeping, tasting and physical/mental effects of each tea they tried. 

The results are outlined below. 


One More Thing!

You’ll find links to the Firebelly Tea website throughout this article. These are affiliate links and if you click them and purchase something on the Firebelly website, we do make a commission at no extra charge to you. 

This helps us make money so we can continue to invest in this type of helpful content.

I do understand that including affiliate links does provide an incentive for us to lie and make more money. 

With that said, it’s not what we do.

If you have any paranoia about the integrity of our squad, just don’t click on our links. Type “firebelly tea” into Google and we won’t make a penny.


Firebelly Tea Company

bag-of-tea-and-dirt

Firebelly Tea Company is an up-and-coming, small-batch-only brand, distributing high-quality teas across North America. 

Their commitment to sustainability is clear. They only use compostable bags for their loose leaf blends, as well as recyclable boxes. 

They also believe in giving you exactly what they say they’re going to give you. What does that mean exactly?

No natural flavors, flavorings, sugars, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners. What you see is exactly what you get, so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body and brewing in your mug. 

And they introduced me to my new favorite thing: the 320 ritual. What is that, you ask?

The 320 ritual is the daily practice of carving out 20 minutes at 3:20 every day to brew a cup of tea and slow down. No work, responsibilities, calls, texts, or messages. The goal of this time is to be with and take care of yourself.

Plus, it adds structure to your day and expands your daily quota of self-care time! Honestly, I may be falling in love with this company. 


What They Sell

bag-of-tea-on-leaves

Firebelly Tea is dedicated to sourcing their tea from small-batch farms. Because of this, not all the teas are organic (though most are), but they’re all of extremely high quality. 

They also sell hardware, including teacups, strainers, teapots, and travel mugs! Although their hardware is well-made and lovely, the real star of the show is the tea. 

Firebelly only sells loose-leaf tea, so don’t expect to see any satchels when you open your first packet. In fact, if you’re not prepared to brew loose-leaf tea, I recommend purchasing their strainer as well.  

They sell caffeinated teas as well as caffeine-free blends. They’ve got green teas, black teas, herbals, mate, matcha, oolong, and so much more. And those blends–wowee. Talk about some flavor! 


Our Thoughts Overall

If true love was brewable, it would come in the form of Firebelly tea. 

You can tell from the packaging to the smell of the leaves that no corners were cut when they searched for these ingredients. 

The aroma, the taste, the way the leaves open like they’re still alive while they steep, it’s all part of the experience. The quality of the leaves themselves comes through in the aroma and the flavor, controlled by brew time and temperature. 

Speaking of, the only critique I have of the exemplary Firebelly tea is the lack of instructions on the packaging.

Of course, one quick look online will lead to their “Cheat Sheets” with instructions for every blend. But this stubborn gal decided she could figure it out on her own and wasted a few cups of tea in the process. Which, after having tasted their quality teas, I would never do again. 


Firebelly Tea Review

The Hardware

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The Firebelly Tea Strainer is the best strainer I have ever used. And I’ve been drinking tea for over a decade now, so that’s saying something. The mesh is laser cut, so each hole is extremely tiny, meaning no tiny bits of tea leaves seep through.

It fits into most mugs in my pantry—I have a few that are shaped funny—and it comes with its own resting cup so you won’t spill droplets everywhere. I no longer have soggy tea bags staining my kitchen counters! 

Whether you’re entering the world of tea or are a master tea drinker, you should go and buy one right this second.

 
Firebelly Tea Taste Test

The Arsenal (Test by Dolly)

the-arsenal-tea-set

The Arsenal is a three-tea sampler featuring the Champion, Warm & Toasty, and After Dinner Mint. This set is for those who prefer black tea or headier, darker flavors.

These three teas are designed for morning, afternoon, and evening–so you’ll have a tea for all your daily needs.


The Champion - Organic Black Tea

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The first whiff out of the bag was incredible. A show-stopping experience. It made me pause and take another sniff. This complex blend from India smells like a classic black tea, but it has a fruity undertone that blew me away. Unfortunately, they did not have the water temperature or brewing times on the back of the sampler set, so I brewed it as I would most black teas.

The Champion has a mellow taste for a black tea, though I imagine steeping it a little longer would fix that. However, that was the only downside, which isn’t much of one to begin with! It’s not as bright or tart as an English breakfast, so there were no caffeine jitters. The fruit flavors come through strong in both the tea itself and the aftertaste. The closest comparison I can draw is Mariage Frères’ Marco Polo, which is high praise indeed.

This blend left me feeling energized and awake, minus any jitters, and craving more. A splash of cream or sugar could be a lovely addition, but I enjoyed it black and plain. An excellent morning tea!

Energy Level: 5/5 - This bold, bright breakfast tea left me feeling energized and ready to start my day, sans any caffeine jitters. Win-win, in my book! 


Warm & Toasty - Organic Green with Cinnamon & Licorice

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The Warm & Toasty features genmaicha matcha, cinnamon, licorice root, roasted green tea, and star anise. After tearing open the package, a wave of anise and licorice hit me—not for the faint of heart. Right off the bat, if neither of those flavors appeals to you, this may not be your favorite type of tea.

After brewing, the tea steeped to a beautiful brown with green tinges, and the aroma shifted to include toasted rice and matcha. This blend of flavors has a huge flavor profile featuring the mellowness (not necessarily bitterness) of the toasted rice, the sweetness of the anise, and the calming earthiness of the matcha. There’s a lovely contrast between that sweet anise and earthy rice and matcha. Warm & Toasty is the perfect name for this tea; it’s very accurate. Definitely toasty vibes.

Plus, no bitter aftertaste! I highly enjoyed it. I was skeptical at first as I don’t usually love licorice teas, but Firebelly Tea proved me wrong. I would love to curl up with a cup of this blend to dive into a book on a chilly day. In fact, I kind of wish I was doing that right now.

Energy Level: 3/5 - Soothing but also energizing. This is a great tea for an afternoon pick-me-up or a day when you need a hug. 


After Dinner Mint - Organic Rooibos, Chocolate, & Mint

loose-leaf-tea

Now, this one took me by surprise. The After Dinner Mint smells like an organic, plant-based, whole ingredients-only version of a Thin Mint cookie. Here’s the proof: this blend is comprised of rooibos (one of my personal favorites), cocoa husk, peppermint, cocoa bean, roasted chicory root, and valerian, the classic sleepy-time tea. I had never heard of such a flavor combination before, and I like to think of myself as a pretty experienced and adventurous tea drinker.

Needless to say, I was very surprised by this blend. The combination of the mellow rooibos, booming cocoa, and strong but not overpowering mint was not what I was expecting. It was super funky, but not in a bad way. Their website suggests steeping it for longer than I did to enhance the chocolate flavor or pouring it over ice. I would try this again as an iced tea, but the jury’s still out on how I feel about it hot.

You can view it as a guilt-free, liquid Girl Scout cookie or you could view it as a healthy tea that promotes good sleep. However you see it, I think everyone should try this blend at least once for the fun of it.

Relaxation Level: 3/5 - I wouldn’t say this tea necessarily made me sleepy, but it didn’t wake me up either. I was so caught up in the flavors that I was probably exciting myself with every sip! That being said, this makes for a great dessert tea, so it makes for a great evening ritual. 


Green Means Go (Tested by Dolly)

green-means-go-tea-set

This sample set features some incredible, floral-filled green teas, perfect for those who enjoy delicate flavors that still pack a powerful punch. With a Sencha green tea, classic Jasmine, and flowery Blossom blend, there’s an array of flavors to sample here. 


Makes Good Sencha - Organic Japanese Sencha & Gyorkoru Green

loose-leaf-tea

The aptly named Makes Good Sencha was reviewed by multiple members of my household, as we all enjoy sencha teas. With a sencha green tea base, it also has gyokuro green tea to spice it up a little. At first whiff, I was surprised by how fruity and almost anise-y it smelled. Of course, I could smell the green tea, but I was taken aback by the sweetness.

The mild and muted flavor of this tea made it all the more impactful, in my opinion. It’s a mellow blend of green teas, but it doesn’t taste heavy. If anything, it has a clear and bright taste which only adds to its cozy ambiance. Once brewed, the fruitier aroma faded, and toasted rice took its place. A perfect pick-me-up for your afternoon slump, the Makes Good Sencha was a surprise hit. I would happily drink this tea again.

Energy Level: 4/5 - Highly enjoyable, I love drinking this blend around 2 or 3 every day to push me through that afternoon slump. Luckily, it didn’t keep me up at night either, so it really is the perfect boost. 


Flower Power - Organic Jasmine

loose-leaf-tea

As a self-defined connoisseur of jasmine teas, I went into this with extremely high expectations. And, let it be known, I was blown away by this blend. In fact, this may be the best cup of jasmine tea I’ve ever had.

This blend has a base of Chinese green tea that’s complemented with a hefty dose of jasmine leaves. The dry leaves had a floral aroma, almost resembling honeysuckle. The taste itself was no different. The green tea offered a nice, mild base while the jasmine leaves brought out the floral flavors. Some jasmine teas have a tart or bitter aftertaste, but not Flower Power. However, as with all jasmine teas, you must be careful not to over-steep, or else you risk ruining the flavor.

I will be buying this blend for the rest of my life. So nice. So lovely. Can’t recommend it enough.

Energy Level: 3/5 - Another gorgeous green tea, this jasmine soothes the soul while waking up the mind. Can it get any better than that? 


Blossom - Green with Cherry Blossom

loose-leaf-tea

The Blossom blend features Japanese Gyokuro green tea, cherry blossoms, and cherry leaves. I’d never had cherry blossom tea before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The dried tea smelled like sweet, dried cherries and, weirdly enough, fresh flowers after rain. I don’t know how else to describe it! It was an interesting aroma and one I’d never smelled before.

Unfortunately, I over-steeped my first cup of Blossom due to the lack of brewing times/temperatures on the package. It was very bitter at first with a strong aftertaste. After mending my cup, I enjoyed it a lot more. It’s a mild white or yellow color with a strong floral flavor profile. The sweetness of the cherry blossoms comes through, though I wish there was a little more tartness to add some contrast. Although it wasn’t my favorite blend, I would make it again.

Energy Level: 2/5 - I didn’t notice a huge boost in energy, but it didn’t make me sleepy either. I imagine after steeping it properly, the energy level would pop up to a 3.   


Uppers Variety Pack (Tested by Aprile)

uppers-tea-set

The Uppers variety pack is all about picking you up when you’re feeling dogged, sleepy, or down with the blues. With two darker teas featuring roasted flavors and one hard-hitting green, the Uppers Variety Pack is perfect for those searching for jitter-free caffeine. Early afternoon pick-me-up, anyone? 


Wise Sherpa – Organic Nepalese Black Tea

loose-leaf-tea

This would be a good substitute for someone who has stopped drinking coffee. It has that rich, earthy, robust flavor you want from a good black tea. It would be wonderful with a splash of vanilla almond milk or creamer. 

The Wise Sherpa is high-quality and honestly one of the best black teas I’ve ever had. For a perfectly robust flavor, try steeping it for three minutes. Since it’s been so hot out, I’ve been steeping it for five minutes, then adding honey and pouring it over ice for a refreshing summer treat. Perfect for sitting on the porch on a hot summer’s day. 

Top tip: DO NOT over steep it. I let it steep for 10 minutes, and it was very bitter. I added sugar and a cinnamon stick to mine to flavor it, but it was still bitter. 

Energy Level: 5/5 -  Great energy level, comparable to coffee. I was falling asleep at my desk studying, and I needed a solid boost of energy. One glass of this tea and I was back at it for hours. If you’re more sensitive to caffeine like I am, then don’t drink this one too close to bedtime!


Makes Good Sencha – Organic Japanese Sencha & Gyorkoru Green

loose-leaf-tea

My favorite tea so far! I have had a lot of green tea in my life and have tried many expensive brands, but still, this one stands above them all.  

The quality of the tea leaves really shows in their rich, herbaceous, earthy flavor. The dried blend contains rolled leaves, and as it steeps, they open up and become delightfully aromatic. After I removed the strainer from my cup, the quality of the tea became clear: the soaked leaves smelled like fresh-cut grass in the early morning. To take it one step further, imagine you’re in a meadow and harnessing the dew from each blade of grass into a single cup. That’s Make Good Sencha! 

To summarize, refreshing is an understatement. A little bit goes a long way with these leaves, so be careful not to over-steep. I found right around five minutes is perfect. If you love green tea, this is an absolute necessity in your life. Like the Wise Sherpa, I love drinking this blend hot or cold.

Energy Level: 5/5 - Super high energy level, like the Wise Sherpa. I have a glass of this at lunch so I can go back to the clinic feeling energized, not full or groggy. It’s the perfect energy booster. It is rather potent so I find drinking it on an empty stomach can be a bit much. I recommend drinking it after breakfast to settle your stomach and get pumped for the day.


No Ordinary Joe – Organic Roasted Chicory, Dandelion, & Mate

loose-leaf-tea

They did a great job naming this one because this really is no ordinary cup of tea. I had no idea what to expect when I read the ingredients but I imagined something very rich. I hope I can explain this in a way that truly embodies this awesome blend. Imagine drinking chocolate tea … yep, chocolate tea!

Not only does it have this earthy, nutty, chocolatey flavor, but it also has a velvety smooth texture. I was shocked when I took that first sip and was met with this smooth, almost hot chocolate consistency. I absolutely love chai tea, and although the flavor is different, it has that same thick consistency. This has to be one of the most unique tea blends I’ve ever tried. Wonderful!

Energy Level: 3/5 -  I definitely got a good kick from the maté, however, it wasn’t as potent as the green and black teas. I’d say this is more of an afternoon pick-me-up than a “let’s go seize the day” blend.

 

Downers Variety Pack (tested by Aprile)

downers-tea-set

Now, these downers deserve more credit than their name gives them. They’re not Debbie downers, believe me. If anything, they’re here to help you unwind, so you can read a book, play your favorite record, or relax without the day’s stress on your mind. With a fruity herbal, a spicy digestif, and the dessert-like After Dinner Mint, there are plenty of options here for whatever mood you may be in. 


Paradise – Organic Lemon Verbena, Chamomile, & Lavender

pile-of-tea

This tea tastes exactly like it sounds: paradise. Although I haven’t tried the other downers yet, it's hard to imagine they get better than this. 

This blend is the perfect combination of floral notes and herbaceous flavors. The light tang of lemon verbena is complimented perfectly by the soft aroma of lavender. This blend is a masterpiece and beautiful too. 

Although I usually add honey by the spoonful to all of my teas, I refrained this time. Honestly, this symphony of perfectly compatible flavors stands on its own. The calming properties of the chamomile and the touch of sweetness from the visible chunks of apple make this the perfect tea for bedtime. I was almost sad when I started to see the bottom of my cup. 

For this one, you will want to steep it for a little longer. I did five to eight minutes to make sure I got every drop of flavor.

Relaxation Level: 3/5 – This tea didn’t make me want to doze off into a deep sleep but it definitely made me feel relaxed. This is a great after-dinner blend. It will help wind the night down without having you doze off on the couch.


After Dinner Mint – Organic Rooibos, Chocolate, & Mint

loose-leaf-tea

I’m not sure how many of you have tried the magical wonders of Valerian root to help fall into a deep slumber, but it's nothing short of a miracle. I have been taking a valerian root supplement to help with sleep for years. Since it’s so potent and, frankly, smelly, I was intrigued when I saw it was an ingredient in this tea. 

At first, I thought this tea was going to be intense and bold, but I was surprised at how refreshing it was! The boldest flavor is the peppermint, which is of such a high quality that you can feel immediately feel it soothe your stomach. The cocoa husk and bean give this tea an almost chocolate mint flavor, like one of my favorite ice cream flavors transformed into a tea. There is also a slight smokiness from the roasted chicory root. 

I promise you will be pleasantly surprised at this myriad of flavors. It’s rich, refreshing, and smokey all in the same sip. My favorite part was that after downing one cup, I hit the pillow hard!

Relaxation Level: 5/5 -  Do not operate heavy machinery after drinking this tea. It is definitely a great sleep aid and relaxant. Gotta love that valerian root!


Internal Combustion – Organic Ginger, Fennel, Star Anise, & Chili

loose-leaf-tea

I have to admit the ingredients in this one scared me a little. I am not a huge fan of licorice which is the flavor you get with star anise and fennel. Also, throwing ginger and chili together seemed like a spicy combination. 

However, I should have known from the other amazing teas I’ve tried from Firebelly that I’d be pleasantly surprised. It definitely has a hint of spice which is a great contrast to its rich, bold, licorice-like flavor. I do wish the ginger was a more forward flavor in this tea, but I still know that spice lovers will go wild for it. 

My favorite part about this tea was the soothing effect it had on my stomach. A cup of this tea after dinner is the perfect digestif!

Relaxation Level: 4/5 – This tea didn’t necessarily make me sleepy but the effects it had on my stomach put me into a relaxed, peaceful state. This is going to be my go-to upset tummy tea.


Conclusion

If you read only one sentence from this article, then you’ll know just how much we loved sampling these Firebelly teas. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a connoisseur, Firebelly will not disappoint your precious taste buds. If anything, it’ll only make your life better. 

Personally, I’m falling more in love with their green blends with every passing day, but I want to experiment more with their richer, darker teas too. 

I’ll be making a personal purchase soon to stock up and make sure I have enough tea to last me through the winter. And if that’s not enough of a recommendation, I don’t know what is. 

Their dedication to sustainability and small-batch farming is honorable on its own. Add in some truly delicious tea, and you’ve got heaven on earth. 

What more can I say? I love Firebelly Tea, and I honestly think you will too.

Dolly 


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About the author

Dolly is a student at Goldsmiths, University of London and an avid cook. After managing a miniature organic farm for a year, she fell in love with the art of cooking and the taste of homegrown greens. Dolly first became plant-based eight years ago, and she is now a full-blown vegan; her plant-based journey has made her creative and experimental in the kitchen. If she’s not writing or cooking, Dolly can be found on her front porch, strumming her guitar and singing for anyone who will listen.

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