131_-_lapsang_chai_tin_1

Sensiblyscript’s Take on Lapsang Chai by Bluebird Tea Company. . . .

Steeping specs: One teaspoon at 212 degrees for 4 minutes in 1 cup of water. This was an exciting idea for a tea. I’ve tried actual lapsang souchong once and couldn’t get through my mugful (maybe it was a bad idea to add milk, but I couldn’t stand it without milk either so I figured it couldn’t hurt anything). It’s not because I don’t like smoky flavors, either. I love smoked meat (I mean, BACON, right?), and I love campfires although it’s true I don’t eat them. But combining smoky tea with other strong spices that I know I like Read More

smokyspice

Bonfire in a Cup: Smoky Spice from 52Teas

As we endure the last cold nights of the season, it seemed the perfect time to brew up a cup of Smoky Spice from 52Teas.  This blend combines two of my favorite cold-weather sensations: woodsmoke and cardamom. Nothing quite makes me feel as cozy and nostalgic as holding a hot cup of spicy tea, with the smell your neighbor’s wood stove on the wind. Growing up in New England in a family with an Eastern European heritage, it seemed like we were always having winter bonfires and mulled cider or tea, celebrating some equinox or natural deity.  These winter memories Read More

Hot_Mama_large

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot – Hot Mama from Tea and Tins

Cinnamon comes in two common forms when it comes to tea.  There’s the natural, cinnamon-stick flavor, which is warm and spicy, and slightly floral, evoking the smell of baked-goods and breakfast. And then there’s the cinnamon candy flavor, which is hot, hot, hot like flaming Fireball candies or like red cinnamon chewing gum.  I like both kinds of cinnamon, natural and artificial, but I always find it helpful to know which kind of cinnamon I’m getting into before I take a sip. Expecting one and tasting the other is not always a pleasant experience. Let it be known: Hot Mama Read More

Aria Blend

Aria blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

Immediately evident in the dry leaves are whole cloves and some seed pods that I thought at first were anise but, after looking at the ingredients, I decided must be fennel. The attractive-looking combination also includes bits of licorice and marshmallow root as well as orange peel and peppermint plus cinnamon and ginger. I used a heaping teaspoon of the tea leaves in a cup of water at approximately boiling temperature and then watched it steep for about the next four minutes. It smelled all nice and licorice-y while steeping and became a nice light yellow color, which reminded me Read More

BLC13-rooibos

Rooibos Masala Chai from Blue Lotus Chai

“Ready to savor in a moment” says the packaging, and it’s true: this tea is in a finely ground powder form, just mix it in your mug with hot water or milk and it’s ready to drink. I used the recommended ratio on the packaging, using a teaspoon of sweetener, and 50/50 hot water and hot (almond) milk. I used a stronger serving of the tea powder because I like my chai extra spicy. The powder is a rich, dark brown, smelling strongly of cloves and cinnamon. In the hot brew, the ginger brings its trademark heat and cardamom adds Read More