Chocolate Candy Cane from PaperBoxGoodies

Just because the holiday season is behind us doesn’t mean that the time for holiday-themed teas is over!  In the spirit of keeping the good holiday vibes going, I brewed up a cup of Chocolate Candy Cane from PaperBoxGoodies.  I don’t see this flavor listed on the PaperBoxGoodies Etsy shop so I’m not sure of the ingredients, but it looks to be an herbal blend with mint, chocolate chips, and licorice root.

 

I was excited about the herbal nature of this blend.  I love candy cane teas, but they all seem to have a black tea base which makes it hard to drink when I don’t need all the caffeine.  Having an herbal decaf option was just the tea I needed when relaxing and recovering from the busy end of the year.

 

Brewed, this blend is smooth, sweet, and minty.  The dry crispness of the mint is lessened by the licorice root.  Any herbal harshness that sometimes comes with pure mint teas is lessened by the rich chocolate chips.  Minty candy cane is the main flavor, followed by a mild cocoa aftertaste.  The licorice root doesn’t impart a specific flavor, but adds a natural sweetness and a smooth mouthfeel.

 

This is one of those teas that would benefit from a strong brewing and then made into a latte with whipped cream.  I didn’t quite have enough in my sample to go the whole latte route, so I’ll have to try it next time.

 

Overall this was a great decaf candy cane blend that I would try again next holiday season.

 

 

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: herbal

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jack Frost from Bluebird Tea. . . . .

There are a lot of minty candy-cane inspired teas out there this time of year, so I was excited to try a more focused, herbal take on mint tea, with Jack Frost from Bluebird Tea.

 

This herbal blend is mainly spearmint and eucalyptus with a hint of sweeter flavors like coconut and vanilla.  That hint of sweetness makes all the difference– pure spearmint tea has a bit too much icy bite, feeling more like medicine than a calm cup of tea.  Jack Frost was smooth and cool without being too fierce or leaving me frozen.

It might sound odd to drink a mint tea at a hot temperature, but I’ve found it very calming both in my mind and in my cookie-crowded stomach.  Mint is supposedly good for your digestion, so it’s been a nice blend to have on hand with all the rich eating of the holidays.  If nothing else, the crisp, minty feeling on my tongue helps me feel refreshed during the bustle of the winter season.  Since Jack Frost is an herbal blend, it’s naturally decaf and perfect for that before-bed brew.

The first time I brewed this tea, I was a bit baffled to see blue-green glitter in my mug.  Had my holiday crafting spilled over into my tea?  It turns out that the extra sparkle is from the snowflake sprinkles in the dry leaf.  Once heated, the sprinkles melt and add a little shimmer and a little sweetness to the lush, green spearmint.

Jack Frost is a great blend for when you want to clear your mind and have the power and focus of fresh, clean, winter snow.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea
Description:

The mischevious Jack Frost is a crisp, cool cuppa. With icy spearmint, frosty coconut + snowflake sprinkles, Jack Frost will sure nip your nose + toes!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Holiday Tea Alert! Candy Cane Crush from David’s Tea

So it’s December and that means holiday drinks….and holiday drinks are sort of, kind of, really, really awesome. I mean, people line up out the door for Starbucks holiday blends (even tea people…don’t lie…you know you like them!). Well, one of my all-time favorite holiday drinks is a DAVIDsTEA eggnog latte. I love them. I really do. So much so that after first trying them a couple years ago, I would pretend I was getting one for a friend and then walk around with two of them for myself. Yeah, I am a little obsessed. It got to the point that I decided it would be more cost effective to make them at home (also I could drink as many as I liked and not have to pretend they were for my friends in order to hide the shame :P). So, I watched closely as the tea guides brewed me up an eggnog latte and have been recreating the recipe at home ever since. Thank goodness too since my beloved eggnog lattes have yet to make an appearance in stores and my holidays would be severely lacking if I didn’t know how to make them at home.

One thing that is back in DAVIDsTEA stores is their special holiday blend, Santa’s Secret. If you have not had it yet, you should check it out because it is a great peppermint vanilla tea and makes an amazing eggnog latte. However, this is not a review about that tea, this is a review about the new tea of the month, Candy Cane Crush, a blend very similar to Santa’s Secret except with snowflake sprinkles and actual candy cane pieces instead of just candy cane sprinkles PLUS white chocolate. And since Santa’s Secret made for one of the better eggnog lattes I have tried, I just had to test out this new blend to see how it compares.

Given the bits of actual candy cane, in addition to the peppermint leaf, the first thing I noticed was this was a much stronger mint flavor than Santa’s Secret. I personally am enjoying that because it provides an excellent contrast to the sweeter/creamier elements in the mix. The white chocolate is also very present and blends seamlessly with the eggnog, making for an almost silk-like smoothness. It’s like sipping on a rich peppermint white hot chocolate. Decadent and desserty and oh-so-delicious. I think this might be edging out Santa’s Secret for favorite eggnog latte blend and that is certainly saying something

So all in all, I am certainly a fan and since DAVIDs does not usually have a December tea of the month, this one might not be around forever. I will definitely be stocking up and recommend that you guys try it before it is gone. In fact, I have already blown through 50 grams in just a few days, something I almost ever do but after trying this in a smoothie and now in an eggnog latte, I can honestly say this is an easy blend to drink and a fun tea to have around for the holidays!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy: Davids Tea
logoDescription

This creamy, mint black tea is strewn with candy cane bits and snowflake sprinkles.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Happily Headless (Custom Blend) from Adagio Tea

happyheadlessTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black/Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio

Tea Description:

You’ll lose your head over your loyalty to this kingly brew!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

WARNING: POTENTIAL GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS

(But really this is season one so if you’re not aware of this you might be living under a rock…)

I have to say, I’m quite happy I watched enough GoT to understand the character reference here! I’ve really only seen the first two seasons and part of the third. I think the ingredients picked out by this blender are pretty well thought out too; though I do think there might just be a bit more “Fire” than “Ice” – although to be fair there certainly are a lot of very visable candy cane pieces in the dry leaf. Aun-Juli Riddle is a pretty good blender; in particular her Doctor Who blends tend to be pretty good and well thought out.

This is essentially a Chai, though an unconventional one, so I wasn’t the most excited about this blend because I’m not a Chai fan myself, but it came out pretty tasty! The clove is easily the strongest flavour here, and since that’s the one ‘conventional’ Chai spice that I personally feel you can never have too much of that works very well in my favor.

The rest of the flavour is pretty nice too; there’s an even dispersal of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon with just the faintest little touch of smoke from the Lapsang. It’s not enough smoke for people who are fearful of Lapsang to be worried about, though. The candy cane isn’t as strong as I expected given how much I could see in the leaf and the fact that this is inspired by Ned Stark which obviously ties into the whole “Winter Is Coming”/Ice thing. It is present, but subtly so and it’s more acting as a sweetener than really contributing any strong mint flavour. The finish is a little bit peppery, with maybe a touch too much cardamom.

Overall I think this is better than most Adagio fan blends though; they tend to get pretty muddled because blenders pick out ingredients that are either too similar so there’s no contrast or playing off one another or they pick ingredients that fit the ‘character’ but clash with one another/don’t compliment each flavour. This kind of avoids that for the most part, while still being fairly thoughtful.

I definitely wanted more “ice” – but maybe it’s poetic irony that the “fire” was the most dominant thing…

On The Third Day of Christmas, Della Terra Teas Sent Me This Tea…

It’s the third day already!  Christmas is almost here!  Wow!

Without further ado, I will go right into today’s tea, because it’s a good one!

Peppermint Perfection

Day3Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Della Terra Teas

Tea Description:  

On the third day of Christmas we have ourselves some French hens.  Well, that is fine of course, but wouldn’t you rather have a cup of some amazing peppermint tea?

Well, here it is!  Peppermint Perfection, pure vanilla and peppermint create this creamy, peppermint-y tea!

Taster’s Review:

I couldn’t find this tea on Della Terra Teas’ website, but I did find their Peppermint Bark tea, and I thought that they might be the same tea, so I contacted Della Terra Teas to find out!  (And may I just say that the customer service at Della Terra Teas is top notch!  They get back to me via email promptly whenever I have an issue.  I like that in a company.)

I asked them whether or not the Peppermint Perfection and the Peppermint Bark teas were the same teas, and here is what they told me:

Actually, though similar, the peppermint perfection has one part more vanilla than the peppermint bark.

That’s really about the only difference other than maybe just a wee bit more mint flake.

So, this tea is similar to the Peppermint Bark, which is formerly known as Candy Cane Lane.  So let’s find out how much the additional vanilla and a wee bit more mint flake changes things up, shall we?

Mmm!  This is really good.  The aroma of the dry leaf is reminiscent of the aforementioned Candy Cane Lane, although I think that the extra vanilla seems to enhance the chocolate-y fragrance just a tad, because I could really smell the chocolate when I opened the pouch this time.

And I can really taste the chocolate too.  There is a delicious concinnity of chocolate and vanilla to this cup, and the peppermint is strong without overpowering the cup.  The black tea is a little less represented than the flavors here, but, I find that as the tea cools slightly, that I’m picking up on more black tea notes.  Everything balances out very well.

This is a tea that certainly benefits from a few moments to allow the tea to cool slightly.  The flavors become more distinct after about three minutes of cool time.  It’s still a tea that I prefer to drink hot (just not straight from the teapot hot!) and it’s a perfect tea for this time of year.

This was one of my oldest daughter’s favorite teas from last year’s box (well, the Candy Cane Lane was!) so I am happy that a new version of it was included in this year’s box so that I can share some more of this tea with her.