52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 8-Spoilers!

Day 8!

Today’s tea is French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam Black Tea.  I’m already excited seeing the name, because I love what 52Teas does for marshmallow teas, whether it is the marshmallow root or a little extra flavoring, they always taste great.  Even in the bag, the creamy vanilla scent is so welcoming and relaxing.

When the holidays are keeping you busy and you want a pick-me-up like a cup of hot chocolate, but you don’t want a chocolate-flavored tea, this blend can really hit the spot.  It has plenty of black tea robustness and caffeine, but is coated in marshmallowy goodness. Feel free to add milk or actual marshmallows to your mug to make a pseudo-hot-chocolate.

This would make a nice house blend to have on hand and bring out for tea parties or guests. The vanilla is classic and creamy without being too sweet, and the black tea base is pleasantly malty and full-bodied. For when you want a cup of tea with a familiar, comforting flavor with a touch of fancy French vanilla.


Here’s the scoop!

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

I started with a blend of Assam teas that includes a first flush Assam as well as a second flush Assam. Together, these two Assams create a rich, flavorful, fruity and malty cuppa. It’s a powerful blend of Assam teas – it’s going to get you revved up in the morning – or revive you in the afternoon when you need a perk-me-up. To these teas, I added some vanilla beans and marshmallow root as well as some French vanilla extract. I also added some cornflower petals to make it pretty (but not enough to add a strong floral note.) The vanilla and marshmallow notes soften the edge of the Assam nicely – you still get that robust black tea flavor but you also get this sweet, soft, fluffy vanilla-y/marshmallow-y note that is quite divine. And it’s also organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cauldron Cake Genmaicha from 52Teas

52Teas recently did a whimsical and tasty set of Harry Potter inspired tea flavors.  One of these blends is Cauldron Cake Genmaicha. I love the toasty puffed rice and warming green tea of genmaicha and 52Teas is the master of fun genmaicha flavors.  Throw in a Wizarding World twist and I couldn’t wait to try this tea.

Cauldron Cake Genmaicha is inspired by a chocolatey, frosted cupcake.  Alongside the familiar starchy rice flavors there are smooth cacao nibs, nutty cacao shells, and creamy white chocolate chips.  A dash of sprinkles makes the loose leaf look even cuter. This tea looks very festive prior to brewing, with a wide variety of shapes and colors, and smelling like a sweet cake dessert.

This blend reminds me a bit of the honeybush-based blend Rocky Road.  Both blends have cacao nibs, cacao shells, and white chocolate chips. However, 52Teas has been able to fit even more vanilla frosting flavors into the Cauldron Cake Genmaicha blend.  The extra creaminess comes off as marshmallowy when paired with the puffed rice and roasty green tea.

I tend to drink my genmaicha teas without any milk or sugar, but this might be a fun latte to try in the future.  Just be sure to top it off with a little whipped cream and sprinkles for the full effect.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: green genmaicha
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

Our fifth and final new tea for Harry Potter Month 2018! When I was going through my ideas for Harry Potter inspired teas, this one was at the top of the list because CAKE! Originally, I had considered doing this one as a black tea, however, I already had two black teas planned for the month so I decided to rethink the blend and create this as a Genmaicha blend instead.

Now, I haven’t ever had a Cauldron Cake, but the Harry Potter Wiki describes them as a mass-produced cake from Qizilbash Quality Confectionery in Pakistan. I confess that I’m not at all familiar with confections from Pakistan either. So when I went about creating this tea, I decided that a cauldron cake is probably a lot like a cupcake – only probably a bit more rounded at the bottom like a cauldron.

So I did my best to go with that kind of inspiration: a chocolate cupcake … err … cauldron cake with a cream filling and perhaps a light coating of chocolate ganache over it and then garnished with colorful sprinkles. And here we have our organic, Matcha infused Genmaicha blended with cake essence, cacao nibs, cacao shells, vanilla bean, white chocolate chips (vegan, of course) and sprinkles (also vegan, nut-free & gluten-free!)

It’s quite yummy and I believe that Honeyduke’s would be happy to serve this tea to their patrons!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Cross Bun from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

I was too chicken to order a full supply of this springtime blend, but I did get a free sample so I got to get a taste risk-free.  Hot Cross Bun is one of the Easter flavors released by Bluebird Tea Company. This is a black tea and rooibos tea blend, though rooibos makes up the majority, so you won’t be overloaded with caffeine.

The scent of this blend was vibrant and noticeable right out of the bag.  Some of the black tea was clearly a smoky lapsang souchong, but the smoked flavor was closely followed by a powerful, sweet vanilla scent.  Quite the flavor duo.

Brewed, this tea continued to open up and show off its delicious ingredients.  The smokiness cooled off, and became more like the suggestion of a fire in the fireplace.  The creamy vanilla was heightened to the decadence of buttercream icing. Both flavors were nicely balanced by sweet and tart orange zest to bring it all together.

This is a great tea for those days that you want a sweet dessert blend, but don’t want to feel too much like a pastry chef.  The whiff of rugged lapsang souchong brings a unique boldness to this brew and makes you appreciate favorite flavors like cream and citrus in a new light.  Don’t be a chicken like me and the next time you can-order a full bag of this springtime tea before it’s gone!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Rooibos
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Description:

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Carve off a Slice of Frosted Carrot Cake from A Quarter to Tea. . . . . .

In my experience I’ve found that people either love or hate carrot cake.  As for me, with my enormous sweet tooth, I’ll enjoy a slice of carrot cake any day, but that’s not always the case for others. What? Carrots? Cake?  Who’s sneaking vegetables into my dessert? I can understand the dichotomy.

Whether you love carrot cake or not, it’s hard to resist trying a tea flavor as bold and unusual as Frosted Carrot Cake from A Quarter to Tea.  From the beginning, these tea leaves have a lot going on.  This is a genmai cha-based blend, so sencha green tea and gold puffs of toasted rice are available in abundance.  Beside the rice there are actual carrot pieces in the blend, as well as raisins, and dried pineapple.  Ginger and cinnamon balance out this ingredients list and bring their usual baked-good-charms to the flavor palette.

The most impressive part of this blend is the vanilla frosting element, which actually tastes a bit tart and tangy like real cream cheese.  This isn’t just plain-old vanilla flavoring, the specific carrot-cake cream cheese frosting is alive and well in this cup of tea.

This is a green tea, so mind your temperatures and steeps times, no matter how delicious the cake aspects smell, take out the teabag after a few minutes to avoid any bitter undertones.  The frosting notes get more prominent as the tea cools.

Believe it or not, this tea does taste like carrot cake, even without sugar or milk, the fruits and veggies in the tea leaves bring enough natural starchiness and sweetness to make this blend feel full and decadent.

If you love carrot cake, you’ll love this tea.  If carrot cake isn’t your style, give this brew a chance in the name of good fun, you might be surprised by how tasty carrot cake and tea can be.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea
Description:

A cup of well-spiced carrot cake accented with raisins and pineapple for sweetness and a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Glazed Donut from 52Teas

I’ve hear about the 52Teas company for its unique and varying tea flavors (flavors like banana pudding, pumpkin cheesecake, and cotton candy), but this is my first time trying tea from 52Teas.  With a name like Glazed Donut, how could you not give this blend a try?

Glazed Donut is a black tea with organic flavors added to create the dessert-flavor of its namesake.  I brewed this tea in a variety of ways.  First, I went for my preferred style: hot tea without any sugar or milk.  With this method, the strongest glazed donut experience I had was the smell in my mug from the hot brew.  The fragrance had the sugary, frosted notes of a sweet and buttery donut.  When drinking the tea, the sweetness is much more mild, mostly tasting like quality, loose leaf black tea with the expected tart tannin flavors.

I also tried this tea as a twelve-hour cold brew.  The blend is much smoother with this method, though I didn’t find the glazed donut flavor to be any stronger.  It’s still the most noticeable in the scent and the first sip of the tea.  The later notes are all traditional black tea.

Finally, I went out on a bit of a limb for me, and I tried this tea hot, with a hefty teaspoon of sugar.  I also made sure to follow the recommended steeping instructions: brewing for 3 minutes and then letting sit to cool for 10 minutes.  Overall, I think this was the best brewing style.  Adding real sweetness to the glazed donut fragrance helped complete the flavor profile, and letting the brew cool a bit before drinking brought out more donut notes.

For best results, I recommend drinking this blend alongside a morning indulgence of your choice: cinnamon roll, danish, or glazed donut.


Here’s the scoop!

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

I originally blended this tea as part of the Breakfast Inspired Sampler Add-On for the start-up Kickstarter campaign, but I do have a few packages of this tea remaining.

This tea was crafted with a very special tea base (a Thyolo OP1 from the Satemwa estate in Malawi). It’s a fair-trade and rainforest alliance tea – and it’s seriously good stuff!

I used this tea as the base for flavors to create a Glazed Donut like experiencece – and all I can say about this is YUM! So good!

Ingredients: single estate black tea, organic calendula petals, organic all-natural flavors.

This tea is no longer available but click below for the unique flavors that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!