Gourmet Root Beer/52Teas. . ..

When I cut open my package of Gourmet Root Beer tea, the first thing I saw was a beautiful, WHOLE star anise. The first thing I smelled was ROOT BEER. That really needed to be in all caps because that is how it smelled. This wasn’t the scent of cheap, off label root beer. This was the rich, full scent of a craft root beer that would be poured from a frosty brown bottle, foaming into a thick and frothy head in your glass, filling the air with the scent of pure vanilla and anise. Perfection.

The blend contains black tea, sarsaparilla root, cloves, star anise, licorice root, vanilla bean, and natural flavors. Licorice root has not only a distinctive aroma but leaves a distinctive flavor and texture in the throat after you swallow. I really didn’t know that there was licorice root in this until I looked at the ingredients, because it was such pure root beer taste that the licorice root individuality didn’t stand out from it. It simply sweetened the tea to the point that a guest, who takes no sugar in any tea or coffee, remarked that this was a very sweet black tea.

I wasn’t satisfied with just trying it hot. The heat index today is 102F. That’s 39C. That’s inhumanly, ridiculously hot. I wanted to see if I could make an ice cold bubbly root beer with this. I put four teaspoons of leaf in seven ounces of water that was 200F then steeped for two and a half minutes and strained it. I poured this over 3/4 cup sugar to make a root beer simple syrup.

Even though it was still hot, I just couldn’t wait to try my experiment. I filled a twelve ounce glass about a third of the way up with ice and poured three tablespoons of the root beer syrup over the ice. Then I filled the glass the rest of the way with pre-chilled Perrier for the bubbles. I pronounce it DELICIOUS.

It was a fun experiment and I can’t wait for hubby to get home and try it. My daughter sniffed it and said she expected it to smell like cream soda but it really did smell like root beer to her. It is really good, and doesn’t have sodium benzoate like most soda. I added the sugar without thinking because that is how you make simple syrup, but if you wanted to cut your sugar intake, I bet this would be still be good with just the sweetness of the licorice root that is already in the blend. Or you could easily make the simple syrup and just add cold water if the carbonation isn’t important to you, but I was trying to replicate actual root beer.

If you love root beer, give this a try. It is not in stock at the time this review was written, but 52teas is all about keeping an ever changing offering of new blends and they do rotate the favorites back around now and then.

Now have fun with your tea and experiment!

 

 


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

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Eggnog Europa / Dollar Tea Club

Eggnog is the last thing I think of when I look for tea flavors.

Used to hate eggnog but the dairy free versions of it have grown on me in the past few years. The dry leaf aroma is pleasantly surprising.  It really does smell like eggnog.

Creamy, spicy, with a hint of earthiness. Same with the flavor.

A creamy mouth feel. It hits you with the same flavors as depth as eggnog with only slightly less creaminess than the real thing. The spices are perfect.

Too much more and you would have a chai, too little and it would be weak. This is a perfectly blended tea.


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Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Tea Club
Description

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Butter Brew/Bird & Blend. . . .

When I was in Harry Potter World in Universal, I tried “Butter Beer.” The over-hyped, lackluster beverage was $6 for a clear Solo cup’s worth. The flavor was like a cream soda mixed with a root beer. Meh.

After that disappointment, I was on the lookout for a better butter beer — and have found it with Butter Brew from Bird and Blend. (Alliteration, anyone?)

This blend is like an English Breakfast into which someone dumped molasses/sweetness/creamer. A LOT OF CREAMER. The warm dairy sweetness of this is POTENT.

This blend also includes calendula petals. I looked up this plant, because I keep seeing those petals everywhere. What’s their flavor? What’s their reason?

Turns out — in case you were wondering at all — that calendula is a type of flower that includes the marigold. (You may have seen it in gardens. Perhaps your own garden.) The flower has alleged anti-inflammatory properties. MOSTLY, however, calendula is used to give a pop of color to a dish. Which I totally get, because tea is so dull and brown without the flowers. I love a good inclusion. It says “here’s a fancy, pretty treat JUST FOR YOU, on this bitter and sad and cold morning.” The yellow also, I suppose, is the color of butter, now that I think of it.

Depending on who you are, the $6 soda concoction might be for you. But I, personally, prefer the MANY, MUCH BETTER cups of tea you can get for a comparable price at Bird & Blend.


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend

Description

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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.


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Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

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Pumpkin Spice Chai from Art of Tea. . . .

Repeat after me: “There is no time of year that pumpkin spice is inappropriate.”

Feel free to shout it: “THERE IS NO TIME OF YEAR THAT PUMPKIN SPICE IS INAPPROPRIATE.”

All right. Now that we’ve covered that important subject, we can get into the Art of Tea’s Pumpkin Spice Chai.

I’m coming down firmly “pro” on this tea. It tastes, more than anything, like a pumpkin pie. It’s got sweetness to balance the spiciness. There are some creamy notes here that I’m really digging. I can ALMOST taste the turkey and cranberry* to go along with it!

* (Cranberry and turkey, by the way, are ALSO year-round foods, by the way.)

Unfortunately, like Thanksgiving, this tea is only available seasonally. It’s not in stock at the moment, but it could come back! Keep an eye out for it. It’s worth snapping up.


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Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Art of Tea
Description

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

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