Gourmet Root Beer/52Teas. . ..

When I cut open my package of Gourmet Root Beer tea, the first thing I saw was a beautiful, WHOLE star anise. The first thing I smelled was ROOT BEER. That really needed to be in all caps because that is how it smelled. This wasn’t the scent of cheap, off label root beer. This was the rich, full scent of a craft root beer that would be poured from a frosty brown bottle, foaming into a thick and frothy head in your glass, filling the air with the scent of pure vanilla and anise. Perfection.

The blend contains black tea, sarsaparilla root, cloves, star anise, licorice root, vanilla bean, and natural flavors. Licorice root has not only a distinctive aroma but leaves a distinctive flavor and texture in the throat after you swallow. I really didn’t know that there was licorice root in this until I looked at the ingredients, because it was such pure root beer taste that the licorice root individuality didn’t stand out from it. It simply sweetened the tea to the point that a guest, who takes no sugar in any tea or coffee, remarked that this was a very sweet black tea.

I wasn’t satisfied with just trying it hot. The heat index today is 102F. That’s 39C. That’s inhumanly, ridiculously hot. I wanted to see if I could make an ice cold bubbly root beer with this. I put four teaspoons of leaf in seven ounces of water that was 200F then steeped for two and a half minutes and strained it. I poured this over 3/4 cup sugar to make a root beer simple syrup.

Even though it was still hot, I just couldn’t wait to try my experiment. I filled a twelve ounce glass about a third of the way up with ice and poured three tablespoons of the root beer syrup over the ice. Then I filled the glass the rest of the way with pre-chilled Perrier for the bubbles. I pronounce it DELICIOUS.

It was a fun experiment and I can’t wait for hubby to get home and try it. My daughter sniffed it and said she expected it to smell like cream soda but it really did smell like root beer to her. It is really good, and doesn’t have sodium benzoate like most soda. I added the sugar without thinking because that is how you make simple syrup, but if you wanted to cut your sugar intake, I bet this would be still be good with just the sweetness of the licorice root that is already in the blend. Or you could easily make the simple syrup and just add cold water if the carbonation isn’t important to you, but I was trying to replicate actual root beer.

If you love root beer, give this a try. It is not in stock at the time this review was written, but 52teas is all about keeping an ever changing offering of new blends and they do rotate the favorites back around now and then.

Now have fun with your tea and experiment!

 

 


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is no longer available

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The Cake Is A Lie/Geeky Teas

“The cake is a lie” is a video game reference, specifically Portal. If you aren’t a gamer, do yourself a favor and watch someone play through and enjoy. It is a fun little game. Tell Wheatley I said hi.

There are sprinkles in the blend, which makes the morning start with a little smile, because who can resist smiling at sprinkles?

The tea is a nod to cake, and the aroma captures it pretty well. I don’t fall all over myself in astonishment shouting, “Wow, this is just like cake!” But the aromas of the vanilla and cream flavors call it to mind if you already know what they were aiming for. There is caramel flavor, which I don’t immediately associate with cake but definitely with dessert so it has that going for it, which is nice.

While eating breakfast, this was a good companion. When the food was all gone, the tea became a tad more astringent than I care for, because the black tea base has a little fruitiness on the tart side, like the way lemon tingles your tongue.

I don’t usually add milk and sugar, but for the remaining sips of this mug I added the tiniest splash of milk, which brought it back into my comfort zone. Having tried it that way, I wondered if a sprinkle of sugar would increase the cake element of the tea, but since I don’t care for sugar in my tea, it really didn’t float my Borealis.

If I had this again by itself, separate from a meal or snack, I would definitely go with a splash of milk right up front. No sugar needed for me. With food, it is sufficiently companionable as is and I expect the briskness means it is a good breakfast tea and would please those who like milk and sugar in the morning or just like brisk tea.

Of the two Geek Teas I have tried, I prefer Bad Wolf. But if you like brisk breakfast tea, this one is worth a try for you.


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Geeky Teas

Description

Black tea, natural vanilla flavor, candy sprinkles, natural creme and caramel flavor.

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Eggnog Europa / Dollar Tea Club

Eggnog is the last thing I think of when I look for tea flavors.

Used to hate eggnog but the dairy free versions of it have grown on me in the past few years. The dry leaf aroma is pleasantly surprising.  It really does smell like eggnog.

Creamy, spicy, with a hint of earthiness. Same with the flavor.

A creamy mouth feel. It hits you with the same flavors as depth as eggnog with only slightly less creaminess than the real thing. The spices are perfect.

Too much more and you would have a chai, too little and it would be weak. This is a perfectly blended tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Tea Club
Description

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Empress Rajini/Simple Loose Leaf

“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground,” Cersei famously said in the first season of Game of Thrones.

If you think fighting for dominance isn’t for you, try Empress Rajini. She seems to have her tea game on point. Think of all the tea you could have if you were in charge. Delicious, delicious tea.

I steeped this cup to go along with a donut I procured from the break room. (Why are there never, say, apples in there?)

The blend looked flowery and rich and dark, a perfect compliment to my chocolate-frosted confection.

And BOOM, I was right. This rose-lavender-fruit confection was the perfect counterpoint to the black tea in the blend and the chocolate from the donut. The whole thing was an IMMACULATE pick-me-up. Delicious. Wonderfully balanced, sweet, and ladylike.

I suspect Rajini is a fair and beloved empress.

If you don’t want to risk your life to rule, you could just buy the tea from Real Simple Loose Leaf, I guess.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf

Description

Black tea, lavender, and rose petals with mango and peach flavor

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Earl Grey Cupcake/52Teas

I am picky when it comes to my Earl Grey teas. I like them to be balanced. So often the bergamot is too strong, the cream flavors too artificial tasting or the black tea base is too weak.

Almost every tea manufacturer puts out their version of an Earl Grey and sadly I have a box full of Earl Grey teas that just didn’t make the cut. What is the point of drinking something that you don’t love?

When I saw that 52 Teas was again offering their Earl Grey Cupcake tea I really was interested. The tea itself is very pretty, full of star-shaped sprinkles. The smell of the dry leaf is very heavy on the bergamot so I was at first worried that the bergamot would be too overwhelming.

I steeped the tea for 3 minutes. The instructions on the packet indicate that the tea flavor develops as the tea cools, about 10 minutes. I am happy to report that this tea is lovely. The black tea base is solid, it is malty with very little astringency. The bergamot is perfect, not too strong at all, and the back end of the taste is a delightful vanilla flavor. The vanilla is not artificial tasting, it is a nice, natural flavor.

I did try the tea at the 10 minute mark and I do agree that the vanilla becomes much more prominent as the tea cools. I have been so pleased with all of the teas I have tired thus far from 52 teas and this tea is no exception. I highly recommend this tea if you love Earl Grey.

This probably would rank in my top 5 Earl Grey teas of all time and that is saying a lot as I have tried many!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!