Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas. . . . .

I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it.  Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.

The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger.  The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.

Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins.  Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat.  There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable.  No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.

I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon.  This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Marshmallow Assam from 52Teas. . . .

Let’s talk about campfires for a sec. (Stay with me, this is going somewhere.)

It’s a summer night. You’re sitting around a crackling fire with friends. Lightning bugs are buzzing around, filling the dusk with a whimsical twinkly glow. The smoky woodsiness of the fire fills the air, and you’re blessed out on late-summer good vibes.

And what else has to be there? (This isn’t an easy one, friends.) Toasted marshmallows, of COURSE. And what do you do when you can’t be living in this midsummer fairytale? You sip this tea, of course.

This Assam is bold and malty, as they should be– but it also perfectly captures the perfect, spun-sugar-vanilla flavor of marshmallows. Beyond that, it brings that delightfully toasted, starchy flavor of a toasted marshmallow straight to the surface (especially when served with cream) in a way that’s way more layered than just aspddinf vanilla to a tea and calling it “marshmallow”. 52 Teas has truly knocked it out of the park with this one. If you’re a marshmallow lover (or a campfire enthusiast, as I so clearly am), this one needs to live in your cabinet!


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!

Tropical Flip from 52Teas. . . .

HELLO FROM THE TROPICS, MY LOVELIES!

I type to you from my cabana, where a fella with a GIANT leaf is fanning me in addition to the Bahama winds. My skin is tanning, not burning. I have a floppy hat. My hubs and friends are frolicking on the shore, leaving me alone with a novel, some tea, and the giant-leaf-guy. I feel their joy, but do not have to stand up. Ahhhhh.

Oh wait. That isn’t happening at all. I just FELT that way because of this tea. Only the tea is real.

Today’s sipping buddy is Tropical Flip Green Tea by 52Teas, which they sent me in a special sneak-peak-for-reviews package. (They do not, at this time, send out island vacations.) I will not allow the free nature of this tea to sway me; I genuinely love this tea. (Though, for the record, if someone sends me a vacation package, I will say literally anything you want about your teas. I’m open to a cruise, with a meet-a-dolphin excursion and unlimited alcohol.)

Tropical Flip tastes like a pineapple, coconut, and banana smoothie. Sweet and bright. Usually I think that bananas belong on their own, or in breads, not as a flavoring for something else. But here it works. It adds a little bit of a tang that counters the pineapple’s.

I think that the difference between banana-candy (ick!) and this tea (yeah!) is the ingredients. There’s nothing artificial about the flavor at all. I suspect that it’s because there are freeze-dried actual bananas in there instead of some kind of chemical that Mr So-And-So cooked up in his pharmaceutical company’s basement.

So if you want to briefly dip your toes in the sand without actually paying money or shaving your legs, give this a sip. You might be surprised at how transported you’ll be!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
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!

Passion Fruit de la Crème from 52Teas. . .

I iced this blend with dinner tonight. It was the perfect accompaniment to a summer salad. The vanilla and white hold hands as the background to a lovely fruity top layer. It’s a chilly, sweet cream flavor that sparkles.

This berry-and-sugar-tasting blend is the Wonder Woman of teas: quiet yet tough, feminine yet sturdy. And, like Wonder Woman, it’s a summer blockbuster that’s stolen my heart.

I realize that calling a tea “feminine” might turn people away from it, which isn’t a result I want. There’s a weird bias against men liking “girly” things that doesn’t apply to women liking “manly” things. Which I think is a bunch of hooey.

So implore the dudes out there: try this tea. Get in touch with your Softer Side. Let the creamy, fruity deliciousness wash over you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

I’ve not done a passion fruit tea before – so I thought it was about time to change that! Because passion fruit tends to be a tart fruit, I thought the perfect tea base would be a sweet Bai Mu Dan from the Yunnan Province. Then I added some vanilla bean for some extra sweetness and a touch of creaminess.

This is really quite nice, I love the way the sweeter components soften the tart fruit just enough so I’m not puckering – but not so much that it obscures the flavor of the fruit. It’s going to make a really lovely summertime refresher!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Christmas from 52Teas. . . .

Imagine a jar of rainbow gumdrops.  These sweets could go one of two ways: fruity, gumdrops, or seasonal spice drops.  Is the dark purple candy grape or anise?  Are the red ones cinnamon or cherry?  Peppermint or pineapple?  Orange or clove?  If you’re not into these herbal-flavored treats, spice drops must be the bane of your existence.  Sassafras instead of lemon?! Fooled again!

I like both kinds of candy drops, for different reasons.  But the one reason I love White Christmas Tea from 52Teas is that it smells and tastes just like a sweet spearmint spice drop.  The dry leaves are strongly fragrant with mint and vanilla, and the tea brews up with the same scents.  The blend smells so sweet and perfectly creamy and minty, you can almost feel the spice drop sugar crystals on your tongue already.

This blend doesn’t feature the icy harshness of pure peppermint, but the gentler more herbal tone of spearmint.  The natural creaminess of the spearmint is complimented by the vanilla notes from marshmallow root, bringing additional sweetness to the blend.  A touch of cocoa and the black tea leaves add robustness to these candy-cane flavors, making the blend strong enough for any cold winter night.

52Teas is known to change their inventory on a regular basis, so I am not sure if this blend is in stock at the moment, but keep an eye out if it pops up in the future.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Here’s our premium black teas blended with peppermint, marshmallow root and organic flavors. I know we’ve done a few marshmallow/mint blends this year, but this might just be the crowning jewel. As a few of our 12 Teas of Christmas sampler purchasers have already commented, the black tea lends a faint chocolate note to the mixture of mint and marshmallow.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!