Gourmet Root Beer/52Teas. . ..

When I cut open my package of Gourmet Root Beer tea, the first thing I saw was a beautiful, WHOLE star anise. The first thing I smelled was ROOT BEER. That really needed to be in all caps because that is how it smelled. This wasn’t the scent of cheap, off label root beer. This was the rich, full scent of a craft root beer that would be poured from a frosty brown bottle, foaming into a thick and frothy head in your glass, filling the air with the scent of pure vanilla and anise. Perfection.

The blend contains black tea, sarsaparilla root, cloves, star anise, licorice root, vanilla bean, and natural flavors. Licorice root has not only a distinctive aroma but leaves a distinctive flavor and texture in the throat after you swallow. I really didn’t know that there was licorice root in this until I looked at the ingredients, because it was such pure root beer taste that the licorice root individuality didn’t stand out from it. It simply sweetened the tea to the point that a guest, who takes no sugar in any tea or coffee, remarked that this was a very sweet black tea.

I wasn’t satisfied with just trying it hot. The heat index today is 102F. That’s 39C. That’s inhumanly, ridiculously hot. I wanted to see if I could make an ice cold bubbly root beer with this. I put four teaspoons of leaf in seven ounces of water that was 200F then steeped for two and a half minutes and strained it. I poured this over 3/4 cup sugar to make a root beer simple syrup.

Even though it was still hot, I just couldn’t wait to try my experiment. I filled a twelve ounce glass about a third of the way up with ice and poured three tablespoons of the root beer syrup over the ice. Then I filled the glass the rest of the way with pre-chilled Perrier for the bubbles. I pronounce it DELICIOUS.

It was a fun experiment and I can’t wait for hubby to get home and try it. My daughter sniffed it and said she expected it to smell like cream soda but it really did smell like root beer to her. It is really good, and doesn’t have sodium benzoate like most soda. I added the sugar without thinking because that is how you make simple syrup, but if you wanted to cut your sugar intake, I bet this would be still be good with just the sweetness of the licorice root that is already in the blend. Or you could easily make the simple syrup and just add cold water if the carbonation isn’t important to you, but I was trying to replicate actual root beer.

If you love root beer, give this a try. It is not in stock at the time this review was written, but 52teas is all about keeping an ever changing offering of new blends and they do rotate the favorites back around now and then.

Now have fun with your tea and experiment!

 

 


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

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Carrot Cake Pancakes/52Teas. . . .

I have come to expect some pretty astounding combinations of flavors from 52Teas. It is almost like people wake up from a dream where their favorite foods collided and they call and say, “Hey, how about making up some….” and this time it was Carrot Cake Pancakes.

When I saw the name I thought it was just a mash up of someone’s favorite foods, but I have since heard that there are such baked goods available in different forms here and there. They are real, people! REAL!

So let’s give it a go!

This is a really brisk black tea base, fairly strong. It is strong enough to carry instructions to only steep for 2 1/2 minutes. After the black tea, I really taste the spices first. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg…and then comes maple syrup on the back. It isn’t sweet, though. That is the strange part to me, that I taste maple but not sugar. I don’t usually add sugar to my tea and I am sometimes disappointed to find that a vendor has added to a blend, so I am glad this isn’t already sweet. If you like sugar in your tea, this would probably taste like maple syrup, but for me it tastes like maple without the sugary taste, which brings it across as deep, dark, and lightly smokey.

When it cooled, the spices seemed to get stronger and the black tea a little milder, though the brisk affect is growing as I continue to sip.

Then, just for you guys, I decided to try it with sugar to see what it would taste like. And now it tastes like a mulled tea for Thanksgiving or Christmas, with lots of black tea heft!

I think this would be really good paired with sweets, which I don’t usually do, preferring to serve a strong but plain tea with sweet or rich foods. Otherwise I would serve it when I want a rich and full tea experience when I am distracted and need to focus, perhaps at work, rather than serving it as a soothing, contemplative cup.


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

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Chai Spice Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha/52Teas. . . .

I let my daughter pick the teas we would drink together during our visits. She loves chai, she loves marshmallow treats, and she loves tea so this was a natural choice out of my box for her to try.

When she started making it, I hadn’t seen that it was a Genmaicha, so when the water hit the infuser basket I thought, “Oh no! Someone must have left coffee in the pot!” Ah no! It was the roasty scent of genmaicha, that comforting burned aroma that smells like warmth in winter time, like a campfire on a late fall night, like a warm mug clutched by frozen fingers.

Add to it the scent of chai spices and you have a real comfort food vibe. This tea has a lot of whole or large spices in it, so stir it up to distribute them according to your liking. We love cardamom and this had lots, giving it a lovely lemony flavor.

The funny thing was that almost together, as I was about to say that these were very pleasant chai spices, one daughter said, “Oh, it’s so cardamom-y!” at the same time the other said, “It tastes like marshmallow!” I think we each picked out our favorite flavors and focused on them.

And the good news is that it resteeps like a champ! Since these are almost all limited edition teas, you want to get all you can out of your favorites.


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Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

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Earl Grey Cupcake/52Teas

I am picky when it comes to my Earl Grey teas. I like them to be balanced. So often the bergamot is too strong, the cream flavors too artificial tasting or the black tea base is too weak.

Almost every tea manufacturer puts out their version of an Earl Grey and sadly I have a box full of Earl Grey teas that just didn’t make the cut. What is the point of drinking something that you don’t love?

When I saw that 52 Teas was again offering their Earl Grey Cupcake tea I really was interested. The tea itself is very pretty, full of star-shaped sprinkles. The smell of the dry leaf is very heavy on the bergamot so I was at first worried that the bergamot would be too overwhelming.

I steeped the tea for 3 minutes. The instructions on the packet indicate that the tea flavor develops as the tea cools, about 10 minutes. I am happy to report that this tea is lovely. The black tea base is solid, it is malty with very little astringency. The bergamot is perfect, not too strong at all, and the back end of the taste is a delightful vanilla flavor. The vanilla is not artificial tasting, it is a nice, natural flavor.

I did try the tea at the 10 minute mark and I do agree that the vanilla becomes much more prominent as the tea cools. I have been so pleased with all of the teas I have tired thus far from 52 teas and this tea is no exception. I highly recommend this tea if you love Earl Grey.

This probably would rank in my top 5 Earl Grey teas of all time and that is saying a lot as I have tried many!


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

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Foggy Coconut/52Teas. . . . .

Foggy Coconut blend was inspired by a coffee shop London Fog. First you need to know what a London Fog is, if you don’t know already! There may be variations but usually a London Fog is made with Earl Grey tea, lots of milk, and some vanilla and sugar, sometimes brown sugar.

The creator of this blend was ordering her London Fog with coconut milk instead of cow’s milk and loved the creamy coconut flavor. Hence, Foggy Coconut came into being.

When I served this tea, the reaction was instant. “Wow! I smell coconut!” And yes, that is the first you notice about this tea. Fortunately, we were all coconut lovers drinking it!

I love that you can still TASTE THE TEA, as a lot of flavored teas major on the flavors so much that the tea itself gets lost. This blend uses Assam and Yunnan tea that can stand up to plenty of flavors without going into hiding.

As for the bergamot, (which haters love to call blergamot) it is very refined. It comes through almost as a fruitiness rather than as edgy harsh citrus. I think the vanilla softens it wonderfully.

I drank this with no additions, but if you wanted to make a London Fog with it you could. You don’t need to, though, as all the flavors we look for in London Fog are right here. It is creamy and sweet, and the coconut lends it the full body usually provided by milk – dairy or otherwise – in a London Fog.

This was a delightful afternoon tea, and I will definitely be serving it again.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!