Pumpkin Spice Latte Genmaicha from 52Teas

Genmaicha was a type of tea that I came to later in my tea-drinking life.  I didn’t yet understand the toasty magic of having puffed rice brewed alongside a nutty green tea.  Since then I’ve been on the genmaicha train and I don’t plan to leave. 52Teas has a great variety of genmaicha teas, like banana marshmallow or rice pudding.  This time I’m trying Pumpkin Spice Latte Genmaicha from 52Teas.

In addition to the expected green tea and puffed rice, this blend contains pumpkin pieces, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  The peppery allspice and herbal nutmeg make this tea smell specifically like autumn and not just your everyday chai spices.

Brewed, this blend is exceptionally well-balanced.  There are the sweet flavors of a pumpkin spice latte, and a little warmth and depth from the spices, but they don’t drown out the toasty comfort of the original genmaicha.

As much as I love pumpkin spice everything, this might be one of my favorite takes on the flavor.  The brew is creamy without being cloying, spicy without feeling generic, and the genmaicha base makes me feel so cozy and easygoing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be ordering those PSL coffee lattes when they come back on the menu, but I’ll also be rooting for 52Teas to reblend this genmaicha beauty just in time for pumpkin season.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: 52Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea

When the tea has “special” in the name, it starts with a lot of expectations to live up to.  Good thing Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea truly is a special mug of tea.

Right away, I was taken in by the scent of the dry tea leaves.  This is a pure black tea, not flavored, not a chai, and yet the leaves smelled sweet and earthy and strongly of cinnamon.  It was so comforting and flavorful it was hard to take my face out of the bag.

When I brewed this tea, the cinnamon took a backseat and more of the traditional black tea flavors came to the forefront.  The tea was bright and crisp, with just a touch of citrus that says to me it would be delicious if served with a wedge of lemon.  All of these forward flavors were quickly chased by smoother, toasted tones, almost malty and starchy like a not-too-sweet dessert.

The brewed tea smelled like crushed leaves and old wood, with just a whiff of woodsmoke.  The more I drank the tea the more the smoky notes came forward. This isn’t full-on chimney-bacon smokiness like you find in some lapsang souchong teas, this was more delicate, like the appealing sugar char of a creme brulee, or the faded campfire smell after the logs have long gone out.

All these natural flavors like wood and smoke and leaves in Orange Pekoe Special really put me in the mood for fall.  With a beautifully illustrated tin and such a rich flavor experience, this is now the tea I imagine when I think of someone stumbling upon a cabin in the woods and the owner pulls out “the good tea” for a special occasion.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

Grown at the base of the Himalayas, this tea was first discovered growing wild in the jungles during the mid 1800’s. Assam is known for its deep, burgundy-red cup and pungent but sweet-starchy flavor. This is India’s most popular variety because of its intense flavor and ability to mix well with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas. . . . .

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas is a delicious decaf herbal blend with rooibos, ginger, and honeycrisp apples. I love the fall, and sometimes I love extra honey sweet apple teas with lots of cinnamon and flavoring, but Hood River Rooibos has me re-thinking what I want in my herbal apple teas this season.

This tea is simple and delightful.  The woodsy rooibos is flavorful without caffeine or bitterness. A touch of ginger root adds just enough sweet spice to make you think you’re drinking something special and seasonal.

The honeycrisp apples are really the ingredient that shines. The naturally sweet fruit flavor of the apples doesn’t need any sugar or honey to taste indulgent and refreshing.  Because there aren’t any powerful spices like cinnamon or cloves, you get to taste all the apples for themselves. Even a chai-lover like me doesn’t miss the cinnamon in this blend.

This tea makes me nostalgic for the fresh fall apples in the orchard of my hometown.  This is the perfect blend to warm you up when your picking apples off the tree, or when you’re just daydreaming about fall and all its wonderful flavors.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Beach House Teas
Description:

Hood River Rooibos is 100% organic rooibos tea blended with ginger root and Pacific Northwest Honeycrisp Apples. This combination of sweet apple mixed with the heat of ginger and the earthy flavor of rooibos is perfect for the winter season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Apple and Cinnamon from Teapigs. . . .

Recently I ordered the “cheeky” sample set from Teapigs and got a small taste of a dozen of their teas.  One of my favorites from the bunch was Apple & Cinnamon. When the weather gets cool, my apple and cinnamon consumption grows exponentially, (I mean, for breakfast I’m exclusively eating these apple pie overnight oats).  And this tea is my new obsession for an herbal evening brew.

Apple & Cinnamon tea from Teapigs is fitting into my autumn menu perfectly.  This herbal blend is all fruit and herbs, no rooibos or honeybush or decaf tea leaves.  Lots of little yellow cubes of dry apples, sprigs of cinnamon, and blackberry leaves.  The tea brews up a pale amber color, but is jam-packed with sweet, apple-pie flavors.

This tea does “apple spice” better than every limited edition snack-cakes or seasonal scented candles that are on the shelves this time of year.  This brew is juicy and full of authentic, fresh apple flavors, with plenty of the spicy warmth of cinnamon sticks.  My sample from Teapigs only included two tea bags so I’ll have to place an order for a big bag of loose leaf.  I could see this tea being used as a healthier alternative to mulled apple cider, or used in baked goods to add a gentle apple spice infusion.

If you’re having trouble getting into the autumn season, brew a cup of this herbal tea and relax into your favorite sweater and get ready to watch the leaves change color.  Don’t worry, this tea will keep you warm and comfy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Teapigs
Description:

Whether its in grandma’s pie, giant muffins or American pancakes nothing beats the flavour of sweet juicy apple with punchy cinnamon spice. It’s the perfect combination for a lovely fruity, punchy and spicy tea. Thanks go to the team at Olive and Bean, one of our lovely stockists in Newcastle who suggested this blend of apple and cinnamon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anything but Basic – Louisa May Alcott from Simpson and Vail

There is nothing better than sharing a hot cuppa with hot ladies. Wait, did that came out wrong? I mean strong, independent, educated ladies. Yeah, that’s who I’d have tea parties with! So, I invited two amazing students from my “Women’s Contributions to Science” class for a tea party. And, what better tea to drink than one inspired by the author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott.

Simpson and Vail created fandom teas for several authors, and this green blend has a soft spice scent with the dried apple bits – is it nutmeg that it reminds us of? Pine? As we brew up this pumpkin pie colored treat, we bring up recent TED talks, STEM, swiping right… Hey, just because we love Autumn doesn’t make us totally basic! And neither is this literary tea – it’s good for multiple infusions and it builds flavor as you drink it. There is a midweight mouthfeel, and a certain sweetness from the Rose that lingers into the aftertaste.

It’s a heartwarming blend, and we have high spirits for the coming equinox, including brainstorming for Halloween costumes. If our Louisa May tea was alive today, we picture her costumed as T.Swift in a flannel, and this tea is the perfect embodiment of that.  Now if you’ll pardon me, I’ve been inspired to go crochet a scarf for some eligible but aloof bachelor.


 

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy:   Simpson & Vail
Description:

Early in Little Women, while visiting a sick Laurie, Jo says that her sister Meg’s blancmange is made “very nicely.” Later, her own attempt turns out “lumpy” and accompanied by strawberries that were “not as ripe as they looked.” Our blend follows Meg’s example and is almost, as Laurie says, “too pretty to [drink].” Combining almond and strawberry flavors, this blend brews to a delicious tea that is fruity and aromatic. It manages to be both sweet and light thanks to the Chunmee green tea base and the gentle floral notes added by the rose petals.

Ingredients: Green tea, apple pieces, flavoring, strawberry pieces and rose petals.

Certified Kosher

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!