52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 8-Spoilers!

Day 8!

Today’s tea is French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam Black Tea.  I’m already excited seeing the name, because I love what 52Teas does for marshmallow teas, whether it is the marshmallow root or a little extra flavoring, they always taste great.  Even in the bag, the creamy vanilla scent is so welcoming and relaxing.

When the holidays are keeping you busy and you want a pick-me-up like a cup of hot chocolate, but you don’t want a chocolate-flavored tea, this blend can really hit the spot.  It has plenty of black tea robustness and caffeine, but is coated in marshmallowy goodness. Feel free to add milk or actual marshmallows to your mug to make a pseudo-hot-chocolate.

This would make a nice house blend to have on hand and bring out for tea parties or guests. The vanilla is classic and creamy without being too sweet, and the black tea base is pleasantly malty and full-bodied. For when you want a cup of tea with a familiar, comforting flavor with a touch of fancy French vanilla.


Here’s the scoop!

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

I started with a blend of Assam teas that includes a first flush Assam as well as a second flush Assam. Together, these two Assams create a rich, flavorful, fruity and malty cuppa. It’s a powerful blend of Assam teas – it’s going to get you revved up in the morning – or revive you in the afternoon when you need a perk-me-up. To these teas, I added some vanilla beans and marshmallow root as well as some French vanilla extract. I also added some cornflower petals to make it pretty (but not enough to add a strong floral note.) The vanilla and marshmallow notes soften the edge of the Assam nicely – you still get that robust black tea flavor but you also get this sweet, soft, fluffy vanilla-y/marshmallow-y note that is quite divine. And it’s also organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 7-Spoilers!

Day 7!

Have you had any figgy pudding yet this season?  How about fig newtons? If you like figs, you will love today’s tea: Sticky Fig Oolong. This tea is also our first oolong of the 12 Teas of a Christmas set this year.

This tea has plenty of the bright, mineral taste oolongs are known for. These flavors are the right match with the sweet-yet-fresh fig taste. Beneath all the oolong brightness, the tea has a bit of complex, roasted, caramelized taste, making the fig part of the blend feel more like a candied dessert.

I’m always a bit intimidated by unflavored oolongs, so having a touch of holiday dessert flavor mixed in made this oolong more approachable for me. The sticky fig flavor isn’t overpowering, so if classic oolongs are your favorite teas, you will still find this blend to be very enjoyable.

I haven’t run into many fig tea blends so this is a great unexpected flavor for a holiday tea set, rounding out the Christmas theme.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea was inspired by one of my customers who is also a frequent poster on Steepster, who – in one of her posts – mentioned that she’d like to see a fig tea from me. So here it is (and it won’t be the last, fig is one of my favorite fruits, I just haven’t gotten around with experimenting with fig in tea yet . . . but now that I have, I think I’ll keep it up because – YUM!) 

So I started with these three ideas in mind: Holiday tea, Oolong tea & Fig tea. I crafted a blend of Oolongs – Ruanzhi, Wuyi and Qingxin cultivars – which I chose because I wanted the Oolong to be a little more fruity and a little less floral. To this lovely Oolong blend, I added some figs. For the holiday element, I added some cinnamon. For the final touch, I added a little honey essence. 

Really lovely – this tea. The oolong is smooth and sweet. It has pleasing notes of fruit with just a hint of floral. The fig is well-defined and the honey compliments the fig nicely. The cinnamon is warm and inviting without overwhelming the cup. As I say: really lovely! It’s also organic, VEGAN, gluten free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 6- Spoilers!

Day 6!

It’s not Christmas morning yet but today’s tea is a great blend to have at breakfast: Banana Pancakes Black Tea. Put your nose in the bag, and you’ll see that the tea smells like your favorite diner or breakfast restaurant, with plenty of maple syrup flavor and a whiff of sliced banana.

Brewed, there is a pleasant starchiness in the black tea that suits the natural starchiness of the banana and adds to the pancake feeling. The maple and banana flavor combination reminds me of banana nut muffins or banana bread. This is a fun, sweet blend on its own but it would also go great with a few mulling spices for a banana chai, or with some coconut milk or nut milk for an almost banana nut cereal taste.

I’m always a fan if banana teas, so I was more than happy to go bananas over this brew!


Here’s the scoop!

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

I don’t think it’s any big secret that I love banana teas. So when I go a couple of months without releasing a banana tea – I really start to miss them. And it seems like it’s been quite some time since I’ve done a pancake tea (actually, I haven’t done a pancake tea since the famous Pancake Breakfast tea which I reblended back in January of last year.) So, I’m thinking – why not bring these two flavors together in one tea?

I started with a fantastic blend of black teas from China: an Assamica from the JingMai Mountains, a Fujian Black and a Yunnan Gold. Then I added some bananas along with pancake and maple essence. But don’t worry, it’s vegan and gluten free – and depending upon how you serve it, its also sugar- and fat-free!

Take a sip on this and experience a stack of banana-filled pancakes dripping with maple syrup! Yummy!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 5-Spoilers!

Day 5!

The 12 Teas of Christmas has had a nice variety of tea types and flavors so far, so I am never bored with the flavors in store for me. Today is a green tea with fruity, creamy tones: Blackberry Custard Tart Green. There nice purple dried blackberries in the dry leaf and plenty of juicy dark fruit scent in the bag.

Brewed, the creamy, vanilla pudding flavor of the custard comes through more strongly, adding a smooth mouthfeel alongside all the delectable dessert tastes. I appreciate that green tea was used as the base for this blend to give the blackberry and cream more room to shine. A black tea might have taken over with its own tartness and tannins. The green tea adds a gentle vegetal note that compliments the berries, and a bit of nuttiness that feels like the fruit tart cookie crust.

This is a nice blend for midway through your day, when you want something with a little pep but not too sweet or caffeinated. It is bright but decadent and the perfect way to treat yourself during the busy holiday season.


Here’s the scoop!

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

One afternoon as I was perusing through my Pinterest feed, I found a recipe for Blackberry Custard. It looked exceptionally good and whenever I see a dessert recipe that looks exceptionally good, I immediately think about how I’d translate that recipe to a tea flavor. Yep, I’m kind of nerdy like that. So I thought … hmmm, blackberry custard sounds like a winning idea for a tea. Then I remembered that there was already a Blackberries & Cream Shou Mei so how different could a blackberry custard really be?

So, I thought, what if it had a delightfully buttery pastry crust? Well, then it would be a Blackberry Custard Tart.

So that’s what inspired me to make this with my green tea base (a blend of organic Chun Mee and organic Gunpowder). I added blackberry, custard and pastry flavors. Then I tossed in some of those big, beautiful freeze-dried blackberries. This is really good!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 1-Spoilers!

Day 1!  The 12 Teas of Christmas set from 52Teas really lets you surprise yourself, with the name of the tea hidden under a silvery scratch-off label on the pouch.  It is one of the most fun and most unique daily tea surprise sets I’ve tried.

Today I tried Foggy Coconut Black Tea. In the past I tried Smoky Coconut from 52Tea and enjoyed it, but Foggy Coconut is a new one to me!  As soon as I opened the pouch I was wrapped in the distinct citrus scent of earl grey. The fog in the name clearly refers to the London Fog drink, made with earl grey tea.  Among the black tea leaves were big curls of white coconut.

Historically, earl grey teas are always walking that balance between crisp bergamot and creamy vanilla, so pairing an earl grey tea with smooth coconut was a winning idea.  Even without milk, this tea is full bodied and has plenty of cream taste. The coconut adds a rich buttery feel and taste without causing too much of that oil slick on the top of your tea.  All the vanilla creaminess is balanced with just enough of earl grey’s tried and true orange zest to make for a delicious and complex flavor experience.

This tea is also appropriately Christmassy: brew up a cup of Foggy Coconut in honor of the foggy night that Rudolph earned his place among Santa’s reindeer.

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

My inspiration behind this blend is one of my favorite coffee shop drinks: a London Fog Latte! I order mine with coconut milk and half the usual amount of vanilla syrup (otherwise, it’s just too sweet!) One day as I was sipping on this drink, I found myself contemplating the beverage. I love the way the hints of coconut play with the bergamot but I found myself wishing that the coconut notes were stronger. (I do love me some coconut!) I also found myself wishing that the tea notes were stronger – which I felt would be accomplished if it didn’t have so much milk product in it – but then, the coconut notes would not be present. Then the idea hits me: why not make my own version of this drink with these improvements in mind!

And here we have it: I started with a base of Assam and Yunnan for a rich, bold, malty flavor. Something that could hold it’s own even with the strong note of creamy coconut. Then I added bergamot – I didn’t want to go too heavy on the bergamot because I didn’t want the coconut and bergamot competing with each other. I wanted enough bergamot to be tasted but not so much that it would interfere with the coconut flavor. Then I added some vanilla bean. Again, not a heavy vanilla taste – just enough to lend creaminess to the coconut and soften the edge of the bergamot and strong teas.

Then I went coconuts! This is a strongly coconut flavored tea but there’s enough bergamot there to give the cup the flavor that I was going for – this cuppa is my ideal London Fog! It’s got lots of coconut flavor without the milk drowning out the flavor of the tea. No “latte” required here, there’s enough creaminess to the flavor. Of course, if you want to go latte, that’s OK – but I’d recommend trying it without first!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!