Christmas Eve already: are you excited? The penultimate tea of the 12 Teas of Christmas is Caramel Monkey Bread Rooibos. Monkey Bread is known for its cinnamon sugar and bouncy yeast bread base. This tea has plenty of cinnamon scent as soon as you open the bag. But the cinnamon is sweet, not too hot or spicy, just the comforting warmth of a kitchen spice cabinet.
Brewed, the caramel notes come forward, enhanced by the natural toasted-sweet flavor of the rooibos. If I were blind folded, I might guess that this tea flavor was snickerdoodle, with all the cinnamon sugar goodness that I taste. There is that hint of caramel or caramelized sugar among all the spice. Is there such a thing as caramel- drizzled-snickerdoodles? If not, this tea is making me think that maybe there should be.
The great part about this blend is that it is a decaf rooibos base, so you can drink it before bed (or as you are setting out the cookies for Santa), and still get some sleep before Christmas morning. Well, as much sleep as you can with all the excitement and sugar plums dancing in your head!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Red Rooibos
Where to Buy: 52Teas
This is one of the final teas (tisanes) that Frank crafted during his time with 52Teas and I have a wee confession – I hadn’t tried it until a day or two before I blended this batch. I had the tea in my stash – but it was still sealed … never opened! At the time when I received this tea in my subscription package, I was preparing to take over 52Teas: testing samples from my wholesale sources, setting up the website and blending teas. I was so busy back then I was running around like a crazy woman with her hair on fire and to be honest, I really didn’t have time to sit back and enjoy a cuppa. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed most of the samples that I was sent by my wholesale sources, and I definitely was enjoying the teas that I was blending and then taste testing – but I didn’t have any time left to sit back and enjoy a cuppa that wasn’t directly related to taking over the operations of 52Teas.
So I stashed this tea away in my tea cupboard and – forgot about it! Yes, I forgot about this blend completely until someone mentioned that they’d like this tea to be reblended as part of this year’s 12 Teas of Christmas box. So a few weeks ago, I dug out that pouch and tried it out before I attempted to reblend it – so that I could get a fairly good idea of what I was going to do with this blend.
And as I sit here now, sipping on the results of that blending session, I must say that I’m a little bit impressed with myself. I often worry that I’m just not good enough to be a tea blender – but it’s times like now that I realize that I AM good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I’m worthy of my self-appointed title of “Mad Tea Artist” because this is REALLY GOOD. It’s sweet, caramel-y, with a nice cinnamon note and a bread-y note that tastes a lot like … well, it tastes like freshly-baked monkey bread!