Hot, Buttered Banana Bread from 52Teas

BananaBread2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

The original blend was a black tea base with freeze-dried bananas, walnuts and natural flavors.  Because walnuts are a tree nut and there are some people out there who are allergic, we’ve decided to take the walnuts out of the equation.  The actual nut didn’t add anything to the flavor, it just made the tea look pretty.  We’re all for pretty teas but not at the expense of an allergic reaction.  Because the flavorings we use contain no actual nuts, we were able to keep the delicious nutty flavor of banana bread without the allergens of the tree nuts.  You get the best of both worlds with our tea!  

And because we’re an all-new team heading up 52Teas now and the tea bases are all new too!  For more information about that, click here.

So we started with our all-new, go-to all-organic black tea base, added all-natural, organic flavors and tossed in some freeze dried bananas.  And since we took out the walnuts, we decided to add a few marigold petals, just to pretty it up.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about the Tea of the Week Program from 52Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this tea in its original form. I didn’t like the tea base and didn’t think that it was all that much like banana bread. I remember it tasting a bit fake and overwhelmingly like nuts and a bitter black tea. I’m hoping that this reblend will give me the delicious cup I want!

Once I open the pouch I notice the immediate difference of there being much more banana than in the past. I felt like with the old blend that I had to hunt around for the banana slices. There are multiple pieces in this pouch so it looks like I won’t have any trouble getting some banana into my cup.

Sipping… hmm.. it seems like this is a little bit on the weak side for me. I find that if I take larger sips that the banana bread comes out. There is a soft banana note, a hint of nuts and something that reminds me of a crumbly bread. While the tea base is a bit more tame, there is still a bit of astringency that reminds me of walnut skins. I’m disappointed to not taste that buttery element of the buttered banana bread, but it doesn’t ruin the cup for me.

I do enjoy this tea even though it’s not my favorite from the new 52Teas. I think I might experiment with future cups to see if I can get a stronger banana bread flavor.

Weeping Angel Tea from 52Teas

WeepingAngel

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

So, I’m sure you are wondering, what exactly is a Weeping Angel tea? Well, what else could it be, but a tea flavored like my favorite Dr. Who snack? It’s a buttered toffee caramel corn flavored black tea, and it’s heavenly–amazing enough to make a weeping angel smile.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am not a Dr. Who fan … and I am sure that this is only because I’ve not taken the time to become one.  But I am a fan of 52Teas, as many of you are probably well aware, and I’ve really enjoyed his popcorn flavored teas of the past.  This Weeping Angel Tea from 52Teas, which promises a buttered toffee caramel corn flavor … well, I was pretty sure that this tea was going to earn a solid YUM from me.

And … oh man!  I was right.  This is seriously YUMMY!

This is one of those teas that I take a little sip of and as the flavors wash over my palate, my eyes roll back in delight.  My first few sips, I enjoyed plain – with no additions – and it was absolutely sumptuous.  Sweet and toffee-caramel-y delicious.  But, I found myself missing something … where was the popcorn taste?  Then I added about half a pinch of salt and the popcorn flavors emerged.  Yeah, I know the idea of adding salt to tea may sound weird to some of you, but, with this tea, you’ve got to try it!  As I said, I added about half a pinch, and this is enough salt to give it a hint salty-sweet taste and accentuate the popcorn notes without overwhelming the cup with salt.  I have a large mug, I’d recommend even less than half a pinch if your teacup is smaller than 12 ounces.

The black tea is prominent – as it should be! – and it offers a pleasingly smooth flavor with hints of earthiness.  I like the way the richness of the black tea complements the buttery rich toffee and caramel notes.  The popcorn comes through nicely now that I’ve added the aforementioned salt, and it adds an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the toffee and caramel.  It is a very enjoyable savory element.

But the real stars of this cup are the sweet toffee and caramel … I taste creamy butter and burnt sugar.  It is sweet and very palate pleasing!

Yep … it’s a solid YUM from me on this one.

Buttered Cranberry Orange Scone from 52Teas

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

I don’t know why I never thought to combine cranberry and honeybush before, but this blend is (imagine Charlie Sheen here) WINNING! Had a glass of this iced last night, and it was like something you wanted to let slowly melt in your mouth. slightly buttery-, bakey- goodness sweetened with hints of juicy orange and ripe cranberries. This was absolutely like drinking a cranberry orange scone with creamy butter on it. This is a caffeine-free, guilt-free, 100% vegan-friendly blend of African honeybush, orange peel, freeze-dried cranberries, freeze-dried orange sections and natural flavors.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, goodness!  This is yummy!

The honeybush is the perfect base for this blend, it has a slightly nutty, honey-sweet taste that translates very well into the concept of a scone.  And together with the buttery flavoring that 52Teas does so well, this becomes a deliciously decadent tea-time treat all on its own.

The fruit flavors evoke thoughts of autumn (and since I love autumn, I don’t mind that a bit).  The orange is sweet and tastes just like the fruit:  fresh and juicy!  The cranberry adds a tart note to the cup, and while tart/sour tastes are not always my thing, I think that the tartness is needed here, because it provides some wonderful contrast to the cup.

I like the way the flavors play together here.  With one sip, I taste a little more orange, and then the next, I taste more cranberry.  Sometimes the two fruit flavors are evenly matched and it’s the buttery taste that I notice.  It’s very much like it might be if I were eating an actual cranberry orange scone – with my first bite, I might bite into a cranberry, with the next, I might taste more orange, and then in the next, I taste the rich, baked goodness of the scone.

Another delicious flavor adventure – courtesy of 52Teas!

On The 1st Day of Christmas, 52Teas sent to me …

Yep, it’s back!  The 12 days of Christmas tea box from 52Teas.  I’ve been looking forward to this!  Even though I’ve probably tasted most of the teas in this box, as I’ve ordered just about every tea that Frank has created this year, I’m still excited to see which teas he has included, as well as excited to revisit some of my favorites!

Yes, I realize that the 12 days of Christmas aren’t supposed to start until after the holiday, but, Frank has started his own tradition of sorts, making the 12 days start on December14, and end on Christmas morning… and I personally like it this way, it makes for a very fun countdown!

For the first day of Christmas, 52Teas sent to me …

BUTTERED POPCORN FLAVORED BLACK TEA

This tea definitely deserves a spot in the 12 days of Christmas package, because it is one of my favorites from the last 12 months or so.  Actually, this one was released on the week of November 22, 2010, and my review of this tea was published on December 7, 2010.

Frank, being the “Willy Wonka of Teas” that he is, has managed to capture the flavor of buttered popcorn and add it to his blend of Nilgiri and Assam black teas.  And as weird as it may sound, it is actually really delicious.

This tea is best served hot, in my opinion (Cold popcorn is just kind of … meh!) and I recommend adding a tiny pinch of salt to the cup.  It doesn’t need sweetener, but, if you want to add it, it’s quite alright.  I happen to like to add a little bit of agave nectar to this tea, it gives it a “Kettle Corn” kind of taste.  Yummy!

Yep, it is nice to revisit this one … and it tastes as good now as it did back then.

I anxiously await to see what tea tomorrow – the Second Day of Christmas! – brings!

Buttered Rum from David’s Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  David’s Tea

Product Description:

Hot buttered rum is so delicious we want it all day long. Unfortunately, most employers frown on workplace drunkenness, so we came up with this rich and creamy alternative. Toasted coconut and vanilla beans mingle with black tea in a caramelized caress of flavours. Decadent hot or iced, it also blends perfectly with dark rum, brown sugar and a dash of milk – so go ahead and indulge your inner pirate, off the clock.

Taster’s Review:

This tea has been at the top of the Steepster ratings for some time now, so I figured it was high time that I try it!  And I’m really glad I did.

This is really good.  The rum comes through nicely, especially at the start.  As I continue to sip on this cup, I find that some of the other flavors make their way through, although I can still taste the rum notes… they are just not quite as dominate as they were at the beginning. The coconut is one of the nicest additions to this – it gives the cup a delicious sweetness and creaminess, and I like the way it melds with the rum flavor.

The “buttered” aspect is very slight in the beginning, but by about mid-cup, the flavor has developed nicely.  In fact, I am finding it to be the dominating presence now, perhaps because it has united with the vanilla and coconut.  By the time I’ve finished with the cup, I find that the cup is actually quite heavy in texture, coating the palate with a creamy- buttered presence.

If I were to offer any complaint about this tea at all, it would be that the black tea isn’t a strong presence in this cup.  I think that if it were a slightly stronger tea (an Assam, perhaps?) it might have a bit of cleansing astringency which would make the finish a bit cleaner.  But, then again, I actually quite enjoy the heavy creaminess of this tea.  It is such an indulgent pleasure, but a guiltless one!  The best kind!