Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Pelican Tea
Firewater is the original recipe by Pelican Tea and remains our favorite to this day. Premium Orange Pekoe black tea and home-toasted brown rice produce an earthy blend that’s as comforting as it is spicy. Good around a campfire or mixed with your favorite spirit (silver tequila being our spirit of choice).
Learn more about this tea here.
OK! I’ve got to tell you … this Firewater Black Tea Blend from Pelican Tea scared me! I don’t do a whole lot of cooking (or anything else) with the habanero pepper, because even though I do appreciate a zesty, spicy tea every so often, I can’t say that I’ve been really jumping out of my seat to try a habanero pepper infused tea. I mean, hey, we’re talking one of the hottest peppers out there, and right on the package of this tea, it says this:
Exceptionally Spicy, Habanero Infused
But, I’m thinking … I’ve tried a jalapeno tea, and I’ve tried some really SPICY teas, so I decided to pluck up the courage and brew myself a cup of this tea. Upon opening the package, I expected there to be a stronger aroma. I guess I envisioned the hairs in my nostrils feeling the singe of the heat from the habanero. But that didn’t happen. OK … this is a good thing!
The fragrance of the brewed tea is slightly spicy/peppery with notes of black tea with a slightly stronger, top note of toasted rice. The smell is promising.
And the sip? I took a very careful, timid sip. I tasted the notes of sweet, toasted rice and the smooth, brisk black tea. The first couple of sips were warm and spicy, but not ah-chi-cha spicy. (Yeah … that’s just what came to my head while thinking of a way to say tongue blisteringly spicy.) After the third sip, I started to notice the warmth develop toward the back of my throat.
After four or five sips, the flavor becomes increasingly more spicy. By mid-sip, the heat creeps in and warms the palate. The heat in the back of my throat is warm but not searing hot. Make no mistake, this is exceptionally spicy, as promised on the label of the package. But, it’s not uncomfortably, blisteringly, searingly hot. I’m not feeling the urge to run to the kitchen for something to temper the heat. I might be thinking “ah-chi-cha” but, it’s in a very good way!
This is what I’d call a very GOOD burn. It’s hot and spicy and I can feel myself starting to break a bit of a sweat, but, I like the flavor that my palate is experiencing. I appreciate that Pelican Tea has turned up the heat but they haven’t started a blazing inferno in my mouth.
And what I like best about that is that I’m able to experience the other flavors in this tea. I can taste that light sweetness from the toasted rice. I like that I’m tasting the flavor of the black tea and there’s a nice contrast between the sweet and the spicy … and while the spicy does reign over the sweet in this cup, I can taste these other notes and I like that.
This is the kind of tea I’d want to have on hand when I’m feeling under the weather because you know how when you’re feeling sick, your taste buds feel like they’ve been covered with cotton or something? Like somebody wove a tongue coat of cotton that buffers your ability to taste … anything? You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Well, with this tea, I have no doubt in my mind that I’d be able to taste it, and it would warm me up from the inside out, and that would be an added bonus.
It’s a great tea for those of you who appreciate a walk on the spicy side of life.