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

This tea is no longer available

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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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Bananas! from 52Teas. . . .

Banana is a flavor that 52 Teas does well. Very well. So when I saw they had a new banana tea, Bananas!, I was itching to buy it. Lucky for me I did not have to since I won a Steepster giveaway and got this tasty sounding tea in a subscription box. Thank you, 52 Teas!

I brewed up this black tea per the recommended steeping parameters, 3 minutes at 200F. I let it cool as I read the ingredients and wrote a yelp review about a burger joint I tried the other day. The ingredient list is short and simple: single estate black tea, banana, and natural flavors.

Just like the list of ingredients, the flavor is simple too. Black tea with banana flavors. Neither in-your-face and both nicely balanced. This has a fresh banana flavor that is not too sweet and pairs nicely with the gentle malt of the black base. It is a flavored tea that is not so flavored you could grow tired of it quickly. A nice everyday sort of tea you can skip on while doing other things since it does not demand much attention.

Some of my favorite banana blends from 52 Teas have been Banana Pudding, Anne’s Gone Bananas…and a Little (Coco)Nuts, Buttered Banana Bread, Banana Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha….this list goes one. However, what this list has in common is that they are banana blends with a little something else. This tea is just bananas and while I definitely recommend it for purists who might want more simplicity, I think personally I prefer some of the other blends more.


Here’s the scoop!

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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Pina Colada Honeybush from 52Teas. . . .

I have very few herbal or caffeine free blends. They tend to be…bleh. I find that so many of them just taste like chamomile and…whatever. Or they are red rooibos and let me tell you, honey, me and red rooibos just DON’T get along.

When I got this, I didn’t think of it as a caffeine free option for evening, but rather as a nice change for summertime drinking, and planned to ice it, but OH MY GOODNESS. I made my first pot of it tonight and it was so much more than I was expecting.

First let me start off by saying that I don’t think I have ever had a pina colada, though I am aware of the ingredients. Daughter and I sang a bit of the Pina Colada Song to set the mood. (I like Pina Coladas! And getting caught in the rain!) I think this should probably be made a prerequisite before being allowed to sip.

Oh, but that sip! What a nice surprise! Yes, it is a little boozy tasting, but it is a just right boozy taste. I had a rum raisin tea not long ago that would have set off a breathalyzer. Yuck! But this was just perfect to showcase the fruit and coconut. Because I really feel that the fruit, coconut, and booze flavors were in perfect balance. The honeybush base is so nice. Why, oh why isn’t honeybush used more?

It was brilliant without any sweetener of any kind. As a night time tea, this is important to me since I have occasionally noticed that sugar tends to keep me up as badly as caffeine does.

So I am going to need a lot more of this tisane because I am going to need some big old iced pitchers of it when the weather gets hot and sticky, and some big old pots of it to send me off to bed satisfied and chill. It is currently unavailable but hopefully will be hitting the website again REAL SOON.


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Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

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Orange Raspberry Green Rooibos from 52Teas . . .

The word I’d use to describe this blend is “tangy.”

It’s a pleasing mix of tart and sweet. You can taste the bite of the citrus, the dance of the raspberry, and the wink of the rooibos. All of this flavor, none of the tireless, tedious bed-flipping evenings that come as a consequence of caffeine.

This reminds me of something moxie-bright I might have chugged as a child. It is sunshine and playing tag, bottled. It’s like Van Gogh’s brushstrokes have swirled this flavor profile into being.

All in all, this is a charming companion to sit by your bedside as you drift off to dreamland.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Rooibos/Herbal
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!