On the 11th Day of Christmas 52Teas Sent to Me (Spoilers)

Today and tomorrow.  That is all we have left in our 12 Teas of Christmas. What a wonderful way to count down the holidays. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this promotion and hope that I can partake next year as well. Each tea has been amazing and delivered on quality and taste. Can’t beat that!

Let’s scratch of the sticker and found out what today’s tea is. . . . . . .

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha

Wooohoo!!! This is one of my favorite creations 52Teas has ever created. I’ve loved this tea from the first time I had it years ago as a cold brew, iced tea, and hot brew. For the longest time, I had a stockpile of this tea so I’m so glad I’m able to yet again enjoy this delicious treat!

Brewed up per the recommendations on the pouch, I allowed this tea to cool for the full five minutes for all the teas to really come together.  Took my first sip and I instantly picked up on that familiar sweet roasted flavors with a green tea background.  Just lovely.

Yes, this is another re-blend but this time around I feel like the marshmallow flavors have been heightened and are much bolder. Which is awesome! I mean who doesn’t love marshmallow? That flavor combined with the rice notes, roasted hints, and like I said earlier, green tea base, really deliver a unique flavor that keeps you wanting more.

I’ve reviewed this tea a few times and just love it. I would have to say that if 52Teas ever stocked a few of their blends all of the time, this would be one that I would hope would be considered. You just can’t go wrong with it!

So there is the 11th Tea of Christmas. I’m quite sad that we are about done with these blends, but am quite excited to see what 52Teas comes out with in 2017!

Below is the official description of the tea. I write my review before seeing the official description.

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha!

Tea Description: Another overwhelming fan favorite!  I’m also a big fan of this tea. I was one of the lucky ones to get one of the pouches from the first batch which was a blend of Genmaicha plus Genmaicha Uji which is Genmaicha that’s been infused with Matcha. So, in an effort to recreate that stunning first batch, I blended an Organic Japanese Genmaicha and an organic Japanese Genmaicha with Matcha (Or Genmaicha Uji). I really prefer it with the Uji, the little bit of Matcha adds a really nice creaminess to the overall cup. To this, I added marshmallow root and all-natural, organic flavors.

It’s a cuppa yum!

Ingredients: Organic Japanese Teas, organic toasted rice, marshmallow root and all-natural, organic flavors.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the 8th Day of Christmas 52Teas Sent To Me (Spoilers!)

Continuing with our 12 Days of Christmas countdown, today I was excited to scratch off the label and see a flavored green tea. So if you are following along and don’t want to be spoiled on what today’s tea is, you might want to stop reading here. You’ve been warned 🙂

The 8th Day of Christmas Tea is. . . ..Buttered Spiced Rum Green Tea. 

Today was a day where I drank a lot of black teas so to see a green tea was such a great change of pace. This tea had all of the aroma of a typical chai with a soft overlaying sweet layer.  Steeped up per the parameters indicated on the back of the pouch, I let the tea cool for the 5 minutes recommended and took my first sip.

As much spice as I picked up from the dry leaf, I was happy to see that the spices weren’t overpowering and the tea itself had an incredibly lovely sweet touch. I’m assuming that is the Buttered Rum part coming to play.  The green tea base just adds to the sweet buttery feel that this tea really exudes.

All in all, a wonderful tea that reminds you of a chai without having those strong chai flavors. Basically a chai for non chai drinkers like myself.  I love the fact that the tea base is green tea too. Just calms those spices down so they don’t smack you in the face at the beginning of every sip.

Here is the official tea description and Mad Musings. I write my review before looking at the official description.

Tea Description: Hot Buttered Rum is a traditional winter drink – something that will help warm you up when it’s cold outside. As I’ve often mentioned, I’m not much of a drinker of alcohol – tea is my drink of choice – but I still enjoy the idea of a warm, soothing cup of hot buttered rum – so I decided to create a tea that brought those flavors to life while still enjoying my favorite drink.

I chose a buttery Chinese Sencha as my base because I felt that the natural buttery tones of the tea would highlight the ‘buttered’ part of the buttered rum. Then I added a few spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. The spices aren’t overwhelming because I wanted a gentle, warm spice flavor but not something that would overpower the flavors of creamy butter and rum. A couple of the recipes that I found online for Hot Buttered Spiced Rum called for orange zest – instead, I added some dried orange segments. The orange flavor is delicate here, just a touch of orange to brighten the cup. As I already mentioned, my goal was to highlight the buttered rum flavor so I didn’t want those flavors overwhelmed by other profiles in this blend.

The result is a gentle, warm, soothing beverage. Something that makes me want to curl up next to a crackling fire and read a good book. This one’s really nice!

organic ingredients: green tea, oranges, cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, nutmeg and natural flavors.

This one required a little bit of tweaking for me to get it just the way I wanted it. The first time I tested it, I wasn’t getting enough of a buttered rum flavor. Oh, I could taste them, but they seemed to be lurking somewhere in the distance. The second time I tested it, the buttered rum flavor was a little more dominant which made me happy, but I wasn’t getting enough from the spices. So I added a few more spices to the blend before I tested it for the third time.

Now that’s the stuff!

I managed to get a nice balance between butter and rum here – and it ends up tasting a lot more like the candies (you know, the popular candies with the hole in the middle?) – like, imagine if you were to liquefy the candies and add that liquid to a cup of green tea – yeah, that’s the flavor I’m getting here. I haven’t really had a hot buttered rum recently (I seem to remember being offered a sip of the drink once when I was young but it either: a) not memorable, or; b) I was either drunk or well on my way to getting there so I don’t remember what it tasted like. I was a bit more of a drinker in my youth than I am today.

The orange is delicate but it develops as I continue to sip. Now that I’m more than halfway finished with my cup, I’m picking up on just a little more orange. Still not a dominant flavor – it’s still much more there than it was at the start and I also notice a hint of tangy citrus lingering on my palate in the aftertaste.

The spices are not strong – this isn’t meant to taste like a chai – but they’re definitely there.

Overall, I think that this drink comes together really nicely. It’s warm and cozy – like something you might want to sip after coming in from the snow. Something soothing and calming and really pleasant.

To brew: Give the pouch a gentle shake to make sure that the spices are incorporated throughout the blend. I used a rounded teaspoon – with Chinese Sencha, it might be easier to use a regular teaspoon from the cutlery drawer rather than one of those ‘perfect’ teaspoons because the leaves are long and spear-like and they don’t fit very well in that perfect teaspoon measuring spoon. Steep in 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 180°F) and let steep for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain and let cool for about 5 minutes. Enjoy.

I personally think that this tea is better hot rather than cold so don’t let it cool too long! Also, a small dollop of honey will accentuate the spices in a very pleasant way so I highly recommend it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Green Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below to see what is.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the 5th Day of Christmas 52Teas Sent To Me. . . (Spoilers)

Today is the 5th Day of the 12 Teas of Christmas promotion. 52Teas has done an amazing job so far and I can’t wait to see what the 5th day has in store for us. So scratch off those labels and lets see what today’s tea is. . . .

The 5th Day of Christmas is. . . . . .Banana Pudding Black Tea. 

Now this makes me happy. I am one of those that adores banana in my tea. It sounds odd and some people give me a funny look when I saw I love banana teas, but try one and you’ll see what I mean. Especially 52Teas banana flavored tea.  I’ve been hoarding their Banana Peach green tea since their Kickstarter Campaign. It’s that good!

If memory serves me right, this is a reblend. But from the dry leaf aroma, I feel like this tea is a bit more pudding like the the original. You can smell the creamy pudding notes .  My tea kettle can’t prep my water fast enough.

Finally the tea is ready to go and I take my first sip. Lovely silky pudding notes mingle brilliantly with a banana lush flavor. The black tea is graciously adding in a bready note so this is really translating into more of a Bready Banana Pudding.  I see flakes of coconut in the dry leaf and I can taste a slight coconut sweetness.

All in all, this tea is amazing. I can’t figure out how 52Teas created a pudding tea but all I have to say is Please Make More! We need more creations like this one.

Edit:  This is another tea that I found myself devouring all day and ending up finishing the pouch off. Each serving yielded several huge cuppas of this marvelous brew.  Infusion after infusion, delivered on taste.  That is one reason I love supporting and enjoying 52Teas. You know that you are getting both an amazing blend and a quality cuppa.

If you are curious. . .here is the official tea description.  Please note-I wrote my review before looking at the description.

Banana Pudding Black Tea!

Tea Description: I was happy to have the opportunity to reblend this – mostly because I love banana teas and I’ll take up just about any excuse to make a banana tea. I find it a little funny, I’m not a big fan of bananas – I mean – I like them alright but if I’m in a produce market shopping for fruit, bananas are not usually the first fruit in my cart. But I love banana flavored stuff – banana ice cream and ice pops, banana bread, banana desserts, banana pancakes … you get the idea. And that adoration for banana flavored stuff extends into banana teas – and perhaps especially banana teas! Banana and tea just really does it for me.

So, here it is, the reblend of Banana Pudding Black Tea. The original description says:

You want to hear about pudding. Did you know that pudding was created using techniques for making Haggis and blood sausage? Eww. That’s not very appetizing… Changing gears… Bananas are very yummy, what’s more, they are yellow and shaped funny.  Our Banana pudding flavored tea also has coconut, which some people dislike in pudding because pudding is supposed to be smooth and creamy and who wants shavings of coconut in there? But hey, it’s better in the  tea. And I’m feeling a little loopy tonight and rushing to get this posted since it’s already late, but I think you’re all really going to enjoy this blend–mentions of Haggis and coconut aside.

I stuck pretty close to the recipe on this one because as I mentioned in my review of the original blend, I was pretty satisfied with it. One obvious difference is that the black tea base will be somewhat different because I’m using different teas. And I’m really happy with the result of this blend – after a short cool time, I find the flavor to be very banana-y with nice coconut notes. As the tea cools a little more, the creamy pudding-like notes emerge – so definitely give this tea time to cool a little and your patience will be rewarded!

organic ingredients: black teas, freeze-dried bananas, coconut and natural flavors.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Flavored Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

This tea will be made available on the 52Teas website on December 28th!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the 3rd Day of Christmas 52Teas Sent to Me (Spoilers!!)

If you are following along with me in drinking and revealing the 12 Teas of Christmas, grab the 3rd Day of Christmas pouch and lets see what tea we have in store for us.

The 3rd Day of Christmas is . . . . . . .

Snickerdoodle  Reimagined

For me, this is a flavor that is really hard to nail. I’m quite picky with my Snickerdoodle cookies and that same level of snobbiness exists when you talk about teas that are supposed to be like anything Snickerdoodle related. Either the spices are too strong or too weak.

But not in this blend. . .

This Snickerdoodle blend is the perfect marriage between those cinnamon spices and a baked good vanilla warmth through each and every sip. I couldn’t put my cup down. I found myself re steeping the leaves several times over to get that soul soothing warmth again and again. This tea is that delicious.

What I loved most was how you could tell that was some serious thought into this tea. The black tea gave you that breaded baked good tone while the cinnamon and vanilla flavors really sold you on the Snickerdoodle flavor.

Again, I have to report that I completely took this pouch down in no time at all. With the weather turning ridiculously cold, icy, and snowy on us, this tea really spoke to me and gave me all the love I needed, infusion after infusion, pot after pot. I can’t tell you have many times I resteeped the leaves.

Another fabulous tea from this 12 Teas of Christmas! I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this year’s offering three teas in. I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings!

Here is the official description of this tea. Please note that I write my review before seeing the description.

Happy 3rd Day of our Christmas Tea Countdown, everyone!

I was really happy that this tea did so well in the poll. While it was a reblend – it was one that I took a great deal of liberTEA with when I recreated it – and so I was happy to know that people enjoyed my reinterpretation of this classic favorite!

Snickerdoodle – Reimagined Black Tea!

Tea Description:  I was just going to go with my previously composed tea description for this tea, but my recipe changed slightly from my first reblend. My original description went like this:

This tea was reblended to fulfill one of the “You Choose the Reblend” rewards purchased on our start-up Kickstarter. The backer had mentioned to me that she wished that the original blend had more of a cookie-like flavor and when I agreed with her, she asked if I could maybe reblend it but add some cookie-ness to the tea, I said I’d give it a try.

I used my go-to black tea base of Chinese and Indian teas and added pieces of cinnamon and minced vanilla bean and all-natural flavors. The result is a yummy tea with prevalent notes of cinnamon and vanilla and a delicious cookie flavor. You’ve gotta try it!

Since I was looking to enhance the cookie note even further from my first attempt at this blend, I added some organic Vietnamese black tea to the blend (this rounded out the flavor of the base just a little more) and changed the recipe slightly to bring out the cookie flavor. By offering a smoother, more rounded tea base, the cookie notes seemed to pop a little more! The result is more yum with every sip!

All Organic Ingredients: Black Teas, Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean and Natural Flavors.

After I reblended this tea last year, I called it “Snickerdoodle – Reimagined” because I took some creative license with the recrafting of this tea. Instead of going with the simple, straightforward combination of vanilla and cinnamon that the original tea was, I wanted to give the tea a freshly baked cookie taste because when I think Snickerdoodle, I think cookie. I heard from a few tea drinkers that they weren’t really getting a whole lot of cookie-ness to my first reblend of this tea so when it was a high vote getter in the poll, I saw that as an opportunity to work on that cookie flavor.

And while I did taste some cookie flavor in the previous reblend – I taste more now – so here’s hoping that you guys taste it too!

To that end, it is important to give this tea a little bit of cooling time. Really, this is important of all the teas I create. The flavorings that are used begin to emerge when the temperature of the tea drops a little. That’s not to say that the tea needs to be chilled – but let the temperature cool to a drinkable temperature. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes (or even 15 minutes) before you start sipping. This will encourage those flavors to come forward.

The black tea has a really nice, well-rounded flavor. It’s invigorating and bold but not aggressive. I’m not getting bitterness. I’m not getting a lot of astringency either. Just a strong yet smooth black tea flavor. The cinnamon isn’t overpowering (cinnamon has a tendency to get that way!) There’s a nice vanilla note that softens the cinnamon note. The cinnamon and vanilla are the two most prominent flavors in this cup but I am also getting a background of cookie.

To brew: Don’t overleaf this one (I find that with too much leaf, the tea becomes astringent.) A slightly rounded teaspoon of tea to 12 ounces of boiling water – and let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain and let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Good without sweetener but a teensy bit of sugar will enhance the overall ‘cookie’ taste.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

This tea – as well as the others from the 12 Teas of Christmas box – will be available on the website on December 28th!

Learn even more about this tea company here!

On The Eleventh Day of Christmas, Southern Boy Teas Edition!

My Christmas Tea countdowns are about to come to an end!  Tomorrow is the last day.  I’ve enjoyed trying all these new iced teas from Southern Boy Teas.  Some teas I enjoyed more than others, of course, but, I had fun with this countdown!

Strawberry Zabaglione Iced Tea

StrawberryZabaglioneSBTTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Learn more about Southern Boy Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  At the start of this countdown, I was hoping that one of the teas featured would be this new iced tea flavor.  The original Strawberry Zabaglione black tea from 52Teas is one of the very best that I’ve tried from 52Teas, so, just like with the Coconut Cream Pie Iced Tea, I had high hopes!

And this is good … although I don’t know if I can say that I like it as well as I liked the aforementioned coconut cream pie iced tea.  I think that the original 52Teas version of this tea was better.  Then again, it’s been a while since I’ve had that tea so I’m basing that opinion solely on my memory.  It was a very memorable tea, though!

This does have a nice strawberry taste that is particularly noteworthy in the aftertaste.  In the aftertaste, there is a flavor that is very much like the taste I’d experience after I’ve eaten a fresh, ripe strawberry.  And this tea does have a nice creamy, custard-like flavor, although I think that this is where this iced tea pales in comparison to the original, because it had a very decadent, sweet, custard-y flavor that was so delightful.  And while this tea does have a certain creaminess to it, it isn’t quite as memorable as the original version.

That said, this is still quite tasty.  The black tea is brisk and invigorating.  The strawberry flavor tastes delicious and true to the fruit.  The custard-like notes are creamy and sweet.  And it’s a very refreshing iced tea … one that I wouldn’t mind having chilling in my refrigerator on a regular basis.