The Last Of My Inca Teas – Tawantin Black Tea

So, I have reached the final review of my Inca Teas that I have been shoring up for the past month.   Not going to lie, it’s kid of sad to write about the final tea in this four-part series.   All the teas were something new, unique, and I give Tea-EO Ryan Florio A LOT of credit for quitting his job and going into an industry he knew nothing about and yet coming out with this fantastic blend for the public.

The tea that I saved for last?   A full-bodied Tawantin black tea.

Tawantin Black Tea

Tawantin Black Tea

As has been the norm with this tea, Ryan ensured that we were able to see each bit of the tea within the drink, including his famous purple corn.   The drink consists of three different types of black tea (two of which are organic) and some purple corn.   The website explains, “The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, “four parts together.” In Quechua, the term Tawantin is a group of four things (tawa, meaning “four”, with the suffix -ntin which names a group).”   Very simple compared to the other teas which had blends of fruits all over, but don’t be fooled!   This does not lessen the tea one bit.

Instead of the typical purple look I have been getting from all the teas, I have the deep, rich brown shade similar to coffee, which is typical of black teas.   I also got the black tea smell, a strong earthy scent with slightly sweet undertones that is unmistakable for tea.

I brewed it in my cup and have been sipping on it since dinner time, around 7:00 PM (it’s 9:30 now).   Though the tea has gone cold, that is not a bad thing!   Hot or cold, this tea has proven to be a pleasure to drink.   I can see it being better for a morning time drink rather than an evening drink like I am having it right now, since I can promise you that the caffeine jolt is going to keep me up all night.   What I also like about this tea is that sometimes, when I let my black tea go cold, I see this film that develops on the side of my mug (not exactly the most appealing thing to witness as you sip away).   That, by the way, is due to the calcium carbonate found in the water and the tea.   However, with this tea, not so!   Definitely a plus, since the scum that forms is not exactly the most appetizing view.

So, all in all, now that we are done with the Inca Teas, I can confidently say to give it a try!   Ryan assured me that other types will be coming out, so keep your eyes open for new ones.   Prior to working with Ryan, I had never heard of purple corn.   Now, I am glad I had the opportunity to try it, love it, and search for more.

Exploring Purple Corn, Getting Lost in Peru, and Sampling Inca Tea™

Tea Love has two exciting announcements to make!  First, on Saturday, November 8th, I will be traveling down to Voorhees, NJ to the Camden County Library, 203 Laurel Rd, Voorhees, 08043, to explain the process behind a Japanese tea ceremony!  Of course, traditional matcha tea will be served.  And we have a special treat – author Ovidia Yu will be attending as well to talk about her book Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials.  Full of scandal, murder, and delicious traditional Singapore treats, Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials is a must-read for those mystery lovers.  The event will start at 1:00 PM.  For more information, make sure to visit the Tea Love blog or check the Facebook page.

Second, a bit closer to home, you will start seeing a new brand of tea popping up in some stores near you.  Inca Tea is a privately owned company just starting to sprout up out of their home base in Cleveland, OH.  Founder and owner Ryan Florio first discovered the majesty of purple corn tea when he and his friends traveled to a Peruvian mountain trail for a whole ten days, led through the dangers by their guide, Edgar.

Prior to the hike, Florio had multiple health issues and was advised not to go.  “Of course, I went above and beyond my doctor’s wishes,” he said.  The first day out, Edgar decided to brew a cup of tea.  “is an old Incan tea.  Very good.  You must try,” Edgar said, brewing enough for the entire group.

Florio was struck by the deep red-purple color that the brew created and asked Edgar to brew a cuppa for each day of the hike.  “I felt physically awesome,” he said.  He eventually came back to the States, quit his job despite never having had coffee nor tea in his entire life prior to that trip, and started researching the tea, especially purple corn.

Purple corn has been studied extensively in the past 22 years and has shown great benefits.  It is chocked full of antioxidants, even more than blueberries and açai berries combined.  It is an anti-inflammatory, improves circulation, reduces cardiovascular disease, lowers blood pressure, and even aids in weight loss.  Florio trusted this drink so much, that he created an advisory board with a purple corn researcher on the team.

The tea, Florio explains is “based off of a thousand-year-old recipe.”  By September, loose teas should be served up along with the current four teas that are offered.

All teas are made with 100% biodegradable sachets and packaged in 100% recycled boxes.  Needless to say, this company is most certainly Mother Earth friendly.  The corn is also ground by hand, blended in Cleveland, bagged in Philly, and then Florio’s parents box it every night for sale.

Right now, Tea Love has four tea bags from Inca Teas, so I will be reviewing one bag of tea each month.



First, the Peruvian Spiced Berry.  Their main brew, it is based off of that ancient Inca recipe.  When you open the bag, the smell of the spices waft towards you, enticing you to take a sip.  The blend consists of hibiscus petals, elderberries, currants, purple corn, apple pieces, pineapple pieces, cinnamon, cloves and natural flavors.  It does not have a string on the bag, so you cannot really regulate the time as easily as pulling the bag out of your drink.  I just threw my bag into the water and sipped away.

The spices give a small bite to the drink, negating the sweetness of the fruit but in a positive way.  You can smell the cloves in particular when you smell the tea and the purple that is created is almost regal in appearance.  It is a nice, smooth tea, good for a late night of writing or just to drink to keep relaxed.

Interested in getting a box for yourself?  Order some at or, if you live in the north New Jersey area, you can visit Bed, Bath, and Beyond in East Hanover or Woodbridge, where the drinks will be sold.

Next week?  Stay tuned for some Pick Me Up Peach.

Until next time!