Plum Deluxe’s Advent Calendar- Days 1-5

Tea advent calendars are huge right now and I had to jump in and pick up a few for the holidays.  One of the calendars I picked up was Plum Deluxe’s Advent Calendar- one of the more expensive ones I came across, but loving Plum Deluxe, I knew this would be amazing.

Unlike other tea advent calendars I’ve seen, Plum Deluxe’s calendar comes with a reusable 25 day “goodie” holder that you can reuse year after year.  The goodie holder is made out of canvas and is done amazingly well. I’m quite taken with this calendar and actually wish there wasn’t a winter theme to the artwork because I would love to hang this in my office all year long to help me drink down my current tea stash.  Unfortunately, my office is in the corner area of my family room, so it would look a little odd with snowflakes coming out of a tea pot in the crazy hot days of summer.  Nevertheless, I’m in love with this holder and can’t wait to use it during the next few winter seasons to come. 

 

 

This particular calendar contains a mix of treats and Plum Deluxe teas- sample size. Being a huge fan of Plum Deluxe teas, I was excited to jump in and get my kettle going. I used to subscribe to their monthly tea plan, but found that I had to cancel just because I had so much tea on my hands.  If you haven’t had Plum Deluxe teas, I encourage you to check them out.  Beyond having delicious teas, they have the most amazing customer service and community behind the scenes.  If you ever had any dealings with Plum Deluxe, you know exactly what I mean.

So, without further ado, I’m going to run down the first five days of treats/teas. . .

-Day 1- Sample Size  of Apple Cinnamon Warmth Black Tea

Not being a huge fan of black teas, I was still really excited about trying this tea. Like I said, I took a break from Plum Deluxe for a bit and haven’t had this tea as of yet.  Brewed with water at boiling and allowed to steep for 4 minutes then topped with frothed warm almond milk, I was in heaven. This tea was everything I needed on a Mid-West brisk evening.  The cinnamon was the star of this tea with a subtle apple note in the background and a touch of orange. I didn’t so much taste the black tea base but I don’t think this tea really needed that.  This tea is one for sure I could see myself reordering.

-Day 2- Soul Warmer Herbal Tea (Red Rooibos)-

Unfortunately, this tea contains red rooibos, an herb that I have a strong (insanely so) aversion too.  I’m one of those that adores and loves green rooibos but red rooibos is and always will be my arch enemy- so I have added this tea another’s Sisters tea package to send to them shortly. I hope they love it. It looks really pretty and I’m sure is amazing.

-Day 3- Berry Pie Dessert Tea (Honeybush)

This tea right here is hands down the best tea I’ve ever had from Plum Deluxe.  The honeybush is crisp and provides this luscious dessert feel with a vanilla backdrop, the cinnamon and cardamom provide this subtle but solid spiced feel that is reminiscent of pie, and of course the berry flavor is spot on. Just so good, so right, so simple and yet  so perfect. I want a gallon of this tea at the ready for me at any moment. That’s how much I love and adore this tea.

-Day 4- Self Care Blend Herbal Tea (Honeybush)

Brewed up with freshly boiled water and allowed to steep for about 4 minutes, I was hoping this tea would be a gorgeous blend of apricots and apple with a vanilla background based on the ingredient list.  And that is exactly what the taste was but it almost seemed like this tea needed a touch of something else to really bring the flavors to life.  The tea was good but it didn’t blow me away like I thought it would.  With the second steeping, I threw in a few cinnamon chips and this tea popped to life.  The sweet cinnamon brought the apricots, apple, and vanilla into this gorgeous spiced fruit note that blended perfectly with the vanilla flavors the honeybush was provided.  I’m now quite addicted to this connection I created.

-Day 5- 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Heart

I do like how there is a mix of teas and treats in the mix, but I was hoping for more tea related treats than a chocolate  heart.  I’m sure it will be delightful with the right cup of tea and will keep it for a treat later when I have a chocolate craving.  (I’m actually not a huge chocolate fan)

So overall, I did enjoy the first week’s offerings. Some hits and misses, but planning an advent calendar to appease the masses would be a huge undertaking and I can’t even imagine getting together something of this nature.  I’m hoping for more hits next week!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe
Description- A daily tea based advent calendar to enjoy through the holidays.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A Trio of Peach Teas from Beleave, Rishi, and Teavana. . . .

Who knew I had so many peachy teas in my cupboard?  Let’s look at a spontaneous peach tea trio!

Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave Teas

Leaf type: white tea

This is a white tea with peach pieces and added flavors.  The dry leaf smells fruity and juicy without being artificial.  When brewed, the white tea base is smooth and buttery and pairs perfectly with the bright sweet peach overtones.  White tea and peach are a winning combination.  Black tea blends tend to get too tart or overbearing against the sweet fruit.  Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave would make a great summer iced tea.

Peach Blossom White from Rishi Tea

Leaf type: white tea

Wow, blossoms indeed!  There are plenty of buds and petals in the dry leaf, and the blend smells a flower box.  Brewed, the fragrance is even stronger with jasmine and peony.  The peach takes a back seat in this blend, and taste a bit more peach candies than fresh fruit.  The peach tones pop up in the aftertaste, alongside citrus notes like mandarin orange.  This wasn’t a very peachy tea, but it was a unique floral blend that surprised me.

Peach Cran Tango from Teavana

Leaf type: black tea

Even before Teavana closed its online shop, I believe the Peach Cran Tango blend was discontinued.  So it’s a bit of a moot point for me to review it now.  To help soothe the Teavana ache, I tried to replicate this blend on Adagio’s custom tea builder.  Give my Peach Cran Tango and try and see how it stacks up.

The last of the Teavana sample I tasted was simple but enjoyable.  Sweet peach is balanced with a bit of tart cranberry, all atop a solid black tea base. This is technically a peach blend, though it also features a good dose of cranberry. Cranberries are sweet, tangy and versatile, and seem to tango with just about any fruit partner. The red-berry tartness help the peach from being too cloying and make for a balanced fruit blend.

Well I’m feeling just peachy after all these peach teas.  All this sweet fruit makes me feel like warmer weather is on its way already…

 

 

D’s Teas– Pancake Breakfast, Marshmallow Treat, Graveyard Mist from 52Teas . . . ..

If you missed the announcement in my previous post, our beloved and super-talented tea-blending friends at 52 Teas have recently launched a permanent line (yes friends, you heard me correctly) of teas! D’s Teas features all of the ultimate fan favorites from 52 Teas over the years: Pancake Breakfast black tea, Marshmallow Treat genmaicha, and Graveyard Mist green tea. If you’re curious about the history behind these beloved blends, check out my previous post. If you’re ready to hear the low-down on their delightful sip-ability, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s chat about each one individually:

Pancake Breakfast: is where we start. A robust black tea with calendula petals offering a lovely, maple-syrup-y variance in color, this tea smells like straight-up starchy, delicious pancakes. When my samples of these three arrived, this was the one that I could smell through the package. THIS was the one that my dark-and-malty-tea-loving fiance was ready to tear into at a moment’s notice. It brews up beautifully strong, almost like an English Breakfast, with syrupy maple notes perfectly balanced alongside the starchy, bread-y flavors of cooked breakfast cake. There’s something magical about 52 Teas’ flavors: a maple tea is never just a one-note maple tea. Sure, you can add maple to a black tea and call it a day, but this blend harnesses all the nuance of a true pancake (sweet, bready, starchy, slightly savory, fully syrupy, a little buttery) and packs it all into one cuppa. This one, I’m happy to say, makes an incredible tea latte, sweetened with a hint of– you guessed it– maple syrup.

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha: As a fairly new fan of genmaichas– roasty, toasty, popped-rice greens– I was eager to dive into this one. How would the flavors vary from the few standards genmaichas I’ve begun to dip my toes into? First things first– this one boasts the addition of marshmallow root, my favorite creamy-herbal addition to tea, kicking the flavors to next-level sweet n’ creamy. Still harnessing the traditional toasty-green that I’ve come to love from genmaichas, this one uses a matcha-infused genmaicha (as Anne explained in our interview) that gives this green the perfect vegetal kick to round out the sweetness of the marshmallow-y notes. I drank this one straight, but I’d love to see what a touch of foam on top does for that already-present creamy factor. Yet again, D’s Teas knocks it out of the park!

Graveyard Mist: Oh, this tea. This delicious, magical tea. I’d been lucky enough to give this one a try before, when Sororitea Sister Nichole aka CuppaGeek- shared a sampling from her precious stash. I’d heard Nichole rave about this one– minty, creamy, green, fresh– so frequently that she practically had me salivating. This tea truly lives up to the sense of place set by its slightly spooky name– picture a foggy, chilly morning, mist rolling in across a centuries-old stone graveyard– yup. If that mist had a flavor, it’d be green tea-meets-marshmallow-with-some-spearmint-for-fun, yah? Yeah. This tea is crisp and bright, with a pillow-y vanilla mouthfeel that is unmatched by any green I’ve ever had. It’s minty, sure, but it’s a more delicate, fresh, and vanilla-y mint than say, a traditional peppermint. Think those green star mint candies as opposed to the red. But better. This one is as spectacular on ice as it is hot, and defies all logic to be perfectly appropriate morning or night, any season, in any mood. It’s one of those tea, you guys– simply magical.

It’s clear why these three are the teas that Anne and her team chose to bring back permanently. 52 Teas devotees and newbies alike can now stock up on some of the blends that make this brand such a crowd favorite! And if these three are any indication, I’d recommend you stock up on as much as you can find. Even permanently-stocked, these are bound to be snapped up quickly.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

Every once in a while, we craft a very special tea – well, we think all our teas are pretty special! But sometimes, one is so special that it’s beloved by our customers and requested for reblends on a regular basis.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Champagne Raspberry from Tea and Tins. . .

Alcohol isn’t really in my life. I don’t mind having a drink once in a while, but it mostly upsets my stomach and gives me a headache. Tea is my drink of choice. However, I don’t mind teas that are made after alcoholic beverages….things like hot buttered rum, pina coladas, or in this case, champagne!

Upon opening my little sample bag, the first thing that came to mind was raspberry tootsie pops. It actually smells JUST LIKE a tootsie pop. Its making my mouth water! Once steeped I gave it a sip and think it needed a little sweetening, so I added just a pinch of agave. It tastes like a tootsie pop. Honestly, I just cant get past that reference! I’m tasting hard candy here. However I will say, that after swallowing I do get a hint of tingly champagne. But all in all, this is totally a raspberry tootsie pop through and through. Sweet and tangy with a hint of cocoa from the tootsie roll sitting in its center, but not too much that you’ve reached the chewiness just yet. I cant really speak of whether you will get a full on champagne experience when you drink this being as all I can taste and visualize in a tootsie pop, but I will say that your taste buds will tingle with bubbly happiness because this is tangy and tasty and leaves you wanting more!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Tea and Tins
Description

White tea, safflowers with champagne flavor and red raspberry flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

These Are A Few of My Favorite Teas!

Continuing the Birthday Par-TEA (yep- you can call me a nerd now), I thought I’d share some of my favorite teas that I’m currently obsessing over.  Earlier this morning I wrote a post about my favorite vessel for brewing tea- The WALL Tea Infuser from Boreal Wildcraft.  So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to chat about the teas I’ve been enjoying with this brilliant mug.

(1) Peeps Genmaicha from A Quarter To Tea. . 

I recently did a review of this tea and am still drinking this tea on a daily basis.  I’m a HUGE fan of genmaichas so when you combine that gorgeously toasted tea with a marshmallow flavor. . .I’m 100% on board!

This tea is part of A Quarter To Tea’s Spring Collection. . one that I had to pick up several ounces of.  If you are a fan of floral teas, you have to check out Lauren’s Honeyed Apricots and Amonds Chun Mee.  After one sip of this tea, I was back on the website buying 2 oz.  I’ll be reviewing this tea shortly on its own but just had to share the love for this spring inspired blend.

(2) Graveyard Mist from 52Teas. . .

This blend of marshmallow root, green tea, spearmint, and vanilla provides such a lush and haunting flavor that I’ve declared this tea as my ultimate favorite tea.  Graveymard Mist is one of those teas that relaxes me and I’ve found so much comfort drinking this brew.  From having sinus infection to having a bad day at work, this tea delivers a spot on flavor that just creates a soothing and relaxing feel.  Luckily, our beloved Anne (aka LiberTeas) recently reblended this tea so I was able to get my hands on a new batch.  (Thank you, Thank you Thank you Anne!)

My husband and I shared a pot of this tea the other night and this new batch delivers all those same feels as the blends that Frank blended a few years ago.  I feel a petition needs to be created to keep this tea in stock at all times.

(3)  Any tea from Wendigo Tea Co.

Wendigo Tea Co is one that really opened my eyes to what a high quality straight tea can deliver.  All of Skye’s teas are ripe with amazing robust flavors and the fact that they are all named after different mythical creatures makes these teas even more alluring to me.  Highly recommend these teas and they brew up gorgeously each and every time.   Plus, the fact that you are able to enjoy these teas for multiple steepings. . .you can’t go wrong.

My personal favorites are Yeti, Bigfoot, and Nessy, but the King Dragon Oolong is something to behold.

(4) Extinction Event from Tea Historic

Can we just take a moment and chat about this tea company? I mean c’mon. . .combining marvelously high quality teas with dinosaurs. . .it’s such a great match! The logo alone gets me every time. A Dino Tea Party!

Extinction Event is a blend of black dragon and white jasmine pearls.  The flavor is phenomenal. Rich and robust with lingering notes of a floral finish.  This is another tea I’ve spent many tea sessions with.  To make sure that you get an equal flavoring of both teas, Tea Historic has even prepackaged the teas for you for easier preparation.    I’m excited to check out the rest of the line of teas they offer.

(5)  Custom Blended Teas from The NecessiTeas and BlendBee

Being a sucker for a green tea mint combo, I am always on the hunt for different ways to spruce up this combination. And that is where they amazing ladies at The NecessiTeas and BlendBee come into play.

Linsey at The NecessiTeas has graciously reblended and created different blends for me based on her current lineup of teas.  She takes dessert teas to a new level! With teas like Strawberry Cheesecake, Carrot Cupake, and her new blends- Jelly Bean and My Peeps. . .I’m gobbling these teas down like it is nobody business.

For being flavored teas, I’m able to even pull out up to three steepings.  Flavors are spot on and even though you do have to buy in larger quantities from her site, trust me. . .it is worth it.  Her hand blended beauties are teas you just can’t get enough of.

If you don’t follow Linsey on Instagram, I highly encourage you too. Her pictures are amazing and incredibly drool worthy!

BlendBee offers customized teas with fresh quality teas and inclusions that are second to none. Jamah’s attention to detail on each of her blends is outstanding and her customer service is amazing. I’ve had several conversations with Jamah through email where I’ve felt like I’m being a bother and a pain because I’d like this blend this way or this blend that way and she is always so incredibly courteous.

Along with BlendBee’s pre-made blends, you can also create your own.  I’ve made blends like Orange Cranberry Yum (don’t judge my names, I’m terrible at being creative- ha!) and Honey Lemon Green.  The process is incredibly simple and the fact that you can include different herbals to add in a healthy kick makes the experience even better.  I drink BlendBee teas daily and have found myself consistently looking for these blends in my stash to share with others.  I’ve even served these teas at my nieces birthday parties and have shared several pots of these teas with my dad.

These are just a few of my favorite teas that I’ve been enjoying but that is what makes tea such an amazing experience.  There are so many different brilliant teas out there that I have yet to experience from companies that I have yet to meet.  I have so many different teas that really are my favorites that I keep on hand at all times, but these are just a few that have recently captured my love and affection.