In my family, the holidays mean nothing without our traditions. Buy Christmas PJs together the day after Thanksgiving? Check. (Even as adults. Yup, this is a real thing, you guys.) Go to the orchard every autumn and come home with enough apples to keep us flush with homemade applesauce until the cows come home? Check. (Still eating that applesauce, btw). Surprise each other with new books on Christmas Eve and spend all day cozied up (in our Christmas PJs, naturally) and reading? Check. (That’s one of my faves).
But no Thanksgiving tradition runs as deep in our family as pumpkin pie. My grandma used to make the MOST delicious pumpkin pie yearly, only for Thanksgiving, and my plethora of cousins and I would duke it out for the biggest slice year after year. Even now after she’s gone, my mom and aunts carry on her tradition at our family gatherings. I’ve tried to play with her recipe a few times, tweaking it to be grain- and dairy-free– and while I’ve gotten it close, nothing tops the memory I have of the sweet, creamy, spicy, toothsome (and hard-won) pie of my childhood.
That said, if a tea is going to claim to taste not just like pumpkin, but pumpkin PIE? I’m going to hold it to some high standards. This black tea blend from Bluebird Tea Co hits many marks– not every mark, but enough that I can definitely give it my pie-stamp of approval. A bagged black tea with visible chunks (pumpkin sprinkles? maybe dried sweet potato?), it definitely delivers on the pie flavors I’ve come to know and love– sweet, creamy, almost vanilla crust-like notes, complimented by a heart dose of squash and spice. This tea takes cream and sweet well, and my dash of added maple syrup only likely elevated these flavors.
The only downfall I found was that when hot, this tea has a bit of a bitter aftertaste that I didn’t care for. When my cup cooled down, this bitter-ish flash all but disappeared, and the rest of the cup was a sweet delight. This might not be my grandma’s pie, but it’s close. Sipping on cups of this in November just might be a new addition to my autumn traditions!