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.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 from 52Teas. . . .

52 Teas 12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 (SPOILERS) While I’m a huge fan of 52 Teas and their creative blends, I’ve never before ordered their ever-so-popular 12 Teas of Christmas countdown sampler. This year, I decided to treat myself! After a shipping snafu (anyone else find themselves ordering online goodies six months after moving and not until you’ve hit purchase do you go– “DANGIT, that’s being sent to my old address!” Just me? Cool.) that Anne and her team went above and beyond to fix for me, I was EXTRA pumped for these goodies to come my way. I’m going to break these mini-reviews into two, so you’ll get a 1-6 and then a 7-12 installment as I drink these tasty treats in real time! Now: let’s get sipping!

Day One: Foggy Coconut Black – Let’s just say I am… a less-than-enthusiastic earl grey drinker. I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of “blergamot” (i.e. bergamot in tea makes you go “blerg!”), which hit the nail on the head for me. But while I was skeptical when I opened this package, its delightful creaminess was intriguing. I’m so pleased to say that this is one Earl Grey I’ll be enthusiastically sipping! Like my favorite London Fog lattes, the creamy coconut and vanilla balance out the floral and blerg-y undertones of traditional earl greys, making this one a winner– especially as a latte!

Day Two: Candy Cane Marshmallow Green – Ever since becoming pregnant (baby tea lover, due June 2019!), I’ve been… off my tea drinking game. Most teas just haven’t been sounding good to me! But peppermint has totally been the one element that ALWAYS sounds good to me in this pregnancy, so I was thrilled to see this one in the mix. It’s a delightful, creamy Genmaicha, with light minty notes in the background. This preggy peppermint-lover would have adored the peppermint flavor to be more of a POW, but if you’re looking for a gentle, creamy mint holiday tea, this one is a winner.

Day Three: Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush – I opened this package, and was immediately sold by those tart, mouthwatering raspberry notes. Brewed, the raspberry loses some tartness, but is balanced really wonderfully by some beautiful, creamy marizipan-esque undertones. Delightful with cream!

Day Four: Ginger Cola Black – I was Skeptical-with-a-capital-S of this one (cola?! In my TEA?) but friends, it is KILLER on ice. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it hot yet (warm cola is not sounding great to this mama-to-be), but it’s spicy and cola-esque without all that syrupy sweetness. I can see why this one is a popular blend!

Day Five: BlackBerry Custard Tart Green – While some teas haven’t sounded great to me this pregnancy, berry teas have sounded delightful across the board. This one hit all its promised notes– fresh and fruity berries, creamy custard and flaky pastry. I (gasp!) served it with some milk and found it brought out ALL the flavors even further, while muting some of the green grassiness. Yum!

Day Six: Banana Pancake Black – I have shocked myself in recent months with a love for banana flavored teas. I’m pretty neutral on bananas themselves, and even more negatively-skewed on banana flavoring, but for whatever reason, I cannot get ENOUGH of them in tea lately. This blend delivers on the banana and bready, malty, maple-y pancake goodness of a breakfast treat, all whilst not being overtly banana-in-your-face (think banana bread, rather than banana candy). I served this one with a touch of maple syrup and cream, and had to stop myself from chugging the whole cup. Delightful!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

The majority of these 12 Teas of Christmas are sold out but some of them are still available below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 12

Day 12!

Wow!  It’s finally here, Christmas morning!  And the final tea of the 12 Teas of Christmas is Gingerbread Brûlée Black tea.  It is a perfect choice for the grand finale: after all, what is more showy and celebratory than creme brûlée?

This black tea features fragrant and delicious pieces of candied ginger accompanied by festive gingerbread spices.  The dry leaf smells like putting your nose in a tin of gingerbread cookies, dark, spicy, a little peppery, and plenty sweet.

Brewed, this tea is robust and flavorful, don’t let the dessert theme lull you into thinking this is a mild blend.  The black tea base has plenty oomph to wake you up no matter how early your family is opening Christmas presents.

I personally love kick-your-tastebuds strong chai flavors, but this tea made me realize that there is more than one way to have a tasty ginger tea.  I really appreciate the caramelized black tea tones and I’m glad the ginger isn’t so hot that it drowns out the other flavors.

The molasses tones from the gingerbread are a perfect match for the crispy, burnt sugar flavors of the brûlée.  There is just a perfect hint of heat from the candied ginger root, and the comforting warmth of other cookie spices.  If you can’t bake a tray of gingerbread cookies, brew a pot of this tea instead and make your kitchen smell like the holidays.

Merry Chistmas!

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

This is a tea that I had planned out way back when I was still in the planning stages of taking over 52Teas – but kept putting off again and again. Why? I don’t know. But I sure am glad I finally blended this because WOW! It’s ah-ma-ZING!

I started out with a blend of black teas (Yunnan, Assam & Ceylon) and added ginger & candied ginger, a bit of cinnamon & cloves, some freshly shaved nutmeg as well as some creme brulee essence to complete the tea. 

The cuppa starts out with strong gingerbread notes with mere hints of the creamy brulee. The ginger is definitely present in at the start, so there’s no mistaking that this is, indeed, a GINGERBREAD brulee. As I continue to sip, the custard-y notes of the creme brulee start to emerge and the flavors seem to come together and become more smooth with each sip. By the end of the cup, I find a very lovely balance of both creme brulee (and I even some of that bittersweet burnt sugar in there!) and gingerbread. 

And of course, this is organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 9-Spoilers!

Day 9!

The 12 Teas of Christmas are counting down! Day 9’s blend is Chestnut Praline Green tea.  This tea is the epitome of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Tightly rolled green tea leaves bring a bit of smoke and a bit of natural nuttiness to form the base of this blend.

The forward flavors are all brown butter and roasted chestnuts. This tea reminds me of every old-fashioned candy that tastes best this time of year, like toffee or butterscotch. Using a green tea base lets more of the nuttiness come to the forefront, instead of competing with a bold black tea.

This tea is smooth yet crispy, with warming notes and a hint of saltiness that makes you think of peanut brittle. If you can’t eat these old-fashioned desserts, just brew a cup of this tea blend instead.


Here’s the scoop!

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

For our Ninth Tea in our Holiday countdown, I created this tea – inspired by the newest member of our family, Jimmy! I asked him for some ideas for a Christmas tea and he listed off a bunch of different flavor ideas, and two of those flavors were Chestnuts and Pralines – I’ve not done a Praline tea yet and I also didn’t have any chestnut teas planned for the season, so I thought it would be perfect to combine the two.

And YUM! This is a delightful flavor combination!

I started with a blend of organic Chun Mee and Gunpowder green teas. I added chestnut and praline essences (don’t worry – this is nut free!) and a little bit of cinnamon for some seasonal warmth. Then I tossed in some calendula petals for a little color to the blend. 

This is sweet, smooth and nutty and deliciously holiday-ish!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!