On the 12th Day of Christmas 52Teas Sent To Me (Spoilers!)

So its finally here. The last tea in the set of the 12 Teas of Christmas from 52Teas. This is actually my first time enjoying this popular advent style calendar and I have to say I will be getting this next year for sure.  From the fun way you scratch off the sticker each day to not really knowing what the tea is going to be, it just brings a bit more festive love into your daily tea.  At least it did for me!

Again, if you are following along and haven’t scratched off your 12th Day of Christmas tea. . . .you’ve been warned. I’m about to spill the beans on what the tea is. . .so without further ado. . the 12th Day of Christmas tea is. . . Winter’s Treat Oolong.  

From the first whiff of this tea, you are greeted with this amazing array of flavors. I picked up hints of cinnamon, pineapple (maybe?) caramel,  banana and those gorgeous oolong notes that I adore. I’ve asked Anne what exactly this tea is and I have a feeling its a play on Bananas Foster Oolong.  If that’s the case, this little pouch isn’t going to do me justice! I’ll need more of this one!

Brewed up per the instructions on the pouch, this tea is a treat for sure. The flavors don’t come out as identifiable flavors but more or less one gorgeous layer of a sweetness with a subtle oolong flavor and a caramel after taste. At least that’s what I’m picking up. If that is large chunks of banana, I have a feeling I just didn’t shake my pouch up enough before scooping out my serving.

Regardless, this tea is simply heavenly.  I’ll definitely be sad when I have to throw away the leaves because I’m just enjoying this one so much. Such a lovely silky sweet flavor that keeps giving and I just can’t stop enjoying it!

 


Here is the official description of the tea for those interested, looks like I was pretty close with my Bananas Foster comparison!

A Winter Treat!

Tea Description: I started out with a very special base – a charcoal baked TieGuanYin Oolong! Then I added bananas, a touch of cinnamon, some marshmallow root and essence of butter rum and cream! And seriously – I know I say this often when describing my teas but seriously! – this is totally YUM!

I’m not sure exactly where I got the inspiration behind this flavor – but I’m glad that the inspiration struck when it did because this tea is really good. It may just be one of my newest favorite flavors. The banana and butter rum work together phenomenally. The cinnamon is warm but not overwhelming. The creaminess of the TieGuanYin plays to the cream notes and the gentle smokiness of the tea along with the marshmallow root give a faint toasted marshmallow-y type of flavor that is SO GOOD that it becomes difficult to come up with words to describe it – it makes me just want to say Mmmmmmmm!!!

organic ingredients: bananas, cinnamon, marshmallow root & natural flavors

ingredients: charcoal baked tieguanyin oolong tea


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is a seasonal offering but click below to see what is currently available.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Tea Advent Calendar from Davids Tea. . . Teas 8-14

Week two of 24 days of tea! Lots of hits, a few misses– overall, I just cannot stress enough what a fun calendar this is. Every year, I wonder if the $40 price tag is worth it for something just for fun, and every year, I’m reminded what a sweet treat it is to get to open a surprise on the daily, and try a few dozen new teas all in one fell swoop. We still have ten days to go, but so far, I’m super pleased with this year’s calendar.

Day 8: Organic Ginger Pear. This one has been on my wishlist for a while, so I was pumped to see it as a sample. It’s supposed to be a white tea, but I’ll be real honest with you guys– upon first glance, there is a nary a leaf to be seen in this chunky mix. Near the bottom, there are a few tiny leaves broken up, but I’d say this blend is 90% fruit and ginger. That being said, it totally delivers. It is light and sweet, just a touch spicy and both the pear and ginger flavors shine. It was the perfect tea to sip after dinner, equally sweet and dessert-like without being heavy.

Day 9: Forever Nuts. A forever DT classic. The first time I sniffed Forever Nuts in store when I discovered David’s a few years ago, the salesperson eagerly informed me that because it was “like granola– in fact, you can even eat it!”. Um, I’m okay, thanks. But it is a delicious herbal, bright pink and reminiscent of those cinnamon-sugar nuts from the ballpark that I could eat by the handful. I think I’ll save those for the munching and leave Forever Nuts just for sipping.

Day 10: Green Passionfruit. The dry leaf is absolutely gorgeous, fruity and bright with visible tea leaves. I’ll be honest, green tea isn’t usually my first choice, but the fruit balances this one beautifully and makes it a great gateway without any vegetal bitterness that can sometimes accompany greens.

Day 11: Hot Chocolate Pu’erh. My fiance’s absolute favorite drink in the wintertime is hot chocolate, hands down. So last year, when we stumbled on this blend at David’s, he couldn’t pick it up fast enough. He ran out sometime in February, but was eagerly awaiting the re-release this year. It’s a decent pu’erh, mimicking the thick and creamy mouthfeel of cocoa right off the bat, made even better with the addition of milk. It’s of course less sweet than its dairy- and sugar-laden counterpart, but it makes a great substitute for those who would prefer not to see their beloved go into a sugar coma from seasonal beverage overdose. (Ahem.)

Day 12: Bear Trap Herbal. I’ve heard a lot of hype about this one, but I have to be honest– it fell a little flat for me. It’s fruit-forward, absolutely– notes of berry and tart hibiscus are what I mostly taste, and there’s not too much depth to it. It’s certainly drinkable (and I’d bet it would be tasty iced), but fruit tea can fall a little flat without anything special to it, and I think I have better in my tea cabinet instead.

Day 13: Crème Caramel Rooibos. YOU GUYS. I had such high hopes for this one. I’d even read a description online that it sipped like liquid caramel. Hello, hi, gimme. On first sniff, it smells like a straight red rooibos to me (though there are scant caramelly pieces strewn throughout) and brewed? It drinks like straight red rooibos. Even worse, I can taste that signature medicinal rooibos flavor that so often turns me off to straight rooibos. Maybe a rooibos lover would be able to pick out flavors that I hadn’t, but this one just doesn’t do enough for me.

Day 14: Irish Breakfast. PHEW. After all the sweet, sugary flavored teas of the first fourteen days, this one was a welcome relief. Dark, malty and robust, it’s a great straight tea that takes milk and sweet incredibly well. One more installment to go, friends! This was a great week of sipping, and while I stumbled across a few misses, there were a few hits in here that I’ll definitely be adding to my permanent tea cabinet. Can’t wait to see what’s next!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Davids Tea
Description

No longer sold as a calendar, but individual teas are for sale on website.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!