Bonfire Toffee from Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bonfire Toffee tea from Bird and Blend should be part of everyone’s fall and winter brewing. A full bodied black tea is sweetened with the brown sugar and butter notes of caramel and toffee. The blend stops from being too sweet by the addition of crisp apple and smoky lapsang souchong.

If you aren’t into smoky teas, give this one a try. The smoke is mostly in the scent of the brew, and gets lost beneath black tea and toffee tones in the taste.

This tea feels like taking a walk in the fall. The robust black tea is wrapped around you like a wool scarf, and you can smell the pleasant char of your neighbor’s wood stove on the air. Take a bite out of a fresh apple and follow it up with something sweet, like holiday caramel candy.

I had been curious about trying Bonfire Toffee for its blend of sweet and savory, and the tea does not disappoint. Brew up a cup for your next leaf-peeper trip, or your next winter bonfire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend
Description:

Traveling tea merchants used to carry tea from east to west,all the way across Russia… well, their horses did anyway! It’s said the campfire smoke would infuse into the loose tea leaves at night creating smoked teas. Add some caramel, apple and toasted cinnamon and you get a spectacular Bonfire Night treat!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fireside Spice from Tiesta Tea. . . . ,

The holiday season means– okay, well, a lot of things. But one of them is definitely INDULGENCE. And frankly, friends– it gets a little exhausting after a while. My body needs a break from all the sugar and carbs and alcohol and parties and and and– well, you get the picture.

Enter this tea. A delightful hibiscus (don’t run away, hibiscus-haters– it works here!) based with loads of fruit and spice, it’s a perfect ringer for actual mulled wine, but without that liver-taxing alcohol. Even just the dry leaf is impressive on this one: loads of spices, huge bits of cinnamon sticks and fruit all suspended in a beautiful, bright red hibiscus base. Rather than the off-putting and overwhelming tartness that make so many dislike hibiscus, the strong flavors of the spice are actually the perfect balance, and can totally stand up to that infamous pink flower. The tart actual mimicks wine here, giving you that same mouthfeel so ubiquitous with a plummy red.

All the indulgence of the holiday season with none of the negative consequences– sign me up!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but could come back for the holiday season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Cinnamon Spice from Fava Tea

Holy hot tamale, Green Cinnamon Spice from Fava Tea is a sweet and fiery brew!  The description of the tea says there are three different types of cinnamon in this blend and you can feel the heat and herbal intensity from all three.

I believe Fava Tea also has a version of this blend with a black tea base.  I find the green tea base appealing. The cinnamon is so powerful on its own, you don’t need the astringency of a black tea to compete with it.  The green tea provides a suitable, subtle background to let the herbs and spices dance center stage.

Beyond the cinnamon, this tea features orange peels and cloves which pair seamlessly with the cinnamon and make the brew naturally full and sweet.  This tea is perfect for lovers of cinnamon candies, or for those who like an extra sensory experience with their tea. Drank hot, the cinnamon spice feels hot and tingly all the way down your throat, providing a comforting warming feeling from within.

I know there are lots of specialty tea brews that come out in the fall and winter, but this delicious brew is available year round.  It is the perfect heat to help with a stuffy nose or sore throat. It is the most intense cinnamon brew to accompany your season dessert, like apple pie.  Feel festive, berry, and bright with a cup of Green Cinnamon Spice.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Fava Tea
Description:

This green tea contains THREE types of cinnamon, sweet cloves, and orange peel. There’s no added sweetener in this tea, but you’d swear there is! The natural sweetness of the cinnamon really shines through!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Christmas in September: Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company

I’m a bit out of season to review Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company, but today is a grey and dreary day so a cup of tea with “cheer” in the name feels like a good fit.

This blend features black tea, peppermint, and cinnamon.  Even in the dry leaf you can smell all three distinct flavors.

Having peppermint and cinnamon in the same blend is like sitting in a snowbank next to a campfire: there are both cooling and warming elements happening at the same time.  I enjoy blends that make use of these flavors. Beyond their flavor profiles, both peppermint and cinnamon bring their own type of sweetness.

Peppermint has a creaminess beneath all its icy mint, almost tasting like vanilla.  Cinnamon has a more earthy, herbal sweetness, more in line with cloves or licorice.

With both of these flavors set against the robust backdrop of black tea, you get a full-bodied brew with a very tactile mouthfeel, both cooling and warming. This is a fresh take on the “spiced black tea” trend that pops up every fall and winter.  The mint and cinnamon together really make this unique and festive.

I’m feeling full of cheer already!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.
Description:

Sit back and relax with your family this holiday season while sharing this delicious, guilt-free tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea

When the tea has “special” in the name, it starts with a lot of expectations to live up to.  Good thing Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea truly is a special mug of tea.

Right away, I was taken in by the scent of the dry tea leaves.  This is a pure black tea, not flavored, not a chai, and yet the leaves smelled sweet and earthy and strongly of cinnamon.  It was so comforting and flavorful it was hard to take my face out of the bag.

When I brewed this tea, the cinnamon took a backseat and more of the traditional black tea flavors came to the forefront.  The tea was bright and crisp, with just a touch of citrus that says to me it would be delicious if served with a wedge of lemon.  All of these forward flavors were quickly chased by smoother, toasted tones, almost malty and starchy like a not-too-sweet dessert.

The brewed tea smelled like crushed leaves and old wood, with just a whiff of woodsmoke.  The more I drank the tea the more the smoky notes came forward. This isn’t full-on chimney-bacon smokiness like you find in some lapsang souchong teas, this was more delicate, like the appealing sugar char of a creme brulee, or the faded campfire smell after the logs have long gone out.

All these natural flavors like wood and smoke and leaves in Orange Pekoe Special really put me in the mood for fall.  With a beautifully illustrated tin and such a rich flavor experience, this is now the tea I imagine when I think of someone stumbling upon a cabin in the woods and the owner pulls out “the good tea” for a special occasion.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

Grown at the base of the Himalayas, this tea was first discovered growing wild in the jungles during the mid 1800’s. Assam is known for its deep, burgundy-red cup and pungent but sweet-starchy flavor. This is India’s most popular variety because of its intense flavor and ability to mix well with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!