On the First Day of Christmas, 52Teas sent to me. . . . .

Every December we happily look forward to the Christmas teas that 52Teas puts together for their Christmas box. Our Sister will be giving us the daily low down on which teas made their way into the box this year .  . . . .

The First Day of Christmas

Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup Black Tea

For the First Day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me….coconut crusted French toast with cardamom syrup! This was the tea of the week for June 15, 2015 and at that time I had not yet heard of 52 Teas, so I am really excited to have the chance to try this. It sounds like pure Heaven!

The dry leaf smell is creamy, maple-y, and coconut-y! There are big chunks of coconut and cardamom pods. Maple and cardamom tend to go well together and, in my humble opinion, coconut just goes well with almost anything!

I steeped this tea for about 3 minutes with very hot water and I also added just a tad bit of agave. This is so, so good! The cardamom shines through so well, its not overpowering though. Sometimes I feel that cardamom can add such an intense flavor and end up outshining the other ingredients, but here it just accents everything. The combination of coconut and maple add this nutty sweet and creaminess. I am very much enjoying this one, so this holiday TEAson (see what I did there?) is off to a fantastic start! I am going to enjoy the rest of this cup now and also finish the entire sample bag- and can I be honest with you guys? I feel like I haven’t done that in a really long time. I mean yeah I’ve found the teas I’ve been ordering to be very enjoyable, but to finish off the cup and the rest of the tea leaves? That’s rare for me these days so i’m really happy to be loving this tea so much.

So cheers to you and yours, enjoy this lovely symphony of flavor, and come on back tomorrow to see what I have to say about Day #2!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

I think we should kick off this holiday countdown with some BREAKFAST – don’t you? How about some delicious coconut crusted French Toast with a touch of butter and some sweet maple syrup that’s been infused with the warmth of cardamom? Sound good? Yeah, it sounds good to me too!

Here’s our original description for this tea:

This tea was inspired by a very memorable breakfast. Coconut crusted French toast that was topped with melted butter and a cardamom syrup. I went a step further and added maple flavoring because it sounded like a good idea. It tastes even better than it sounds!

I stuck close to the recipe here although there’s a bit more cardamom here than in my past versions. I wanted to highlight the cardamom!

organic ingredients: black teas, toasted coconut flakes, cardamom pods & natural flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

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.

Spotlight on The NecessiTeas. . .

 

The SororiTea Sisters has always been a great place  for finding different teas and tea companies to check out.  But we really only look at the teas and not so much the tea companies behind those delicious brews we drink each and everyday.   Today we are starting a new series of posts that will start doing just that. . .taking a deeper look into the creative minds and wonderful owners/blenders/crazy tea scientists who keep our cuppas brimming with our favorite brew.

So without further ado. . . . .Let’s start off the series with a company that can blend a dessert tea like no one else. . . .

Name:  The NecessiTeas
Owner:  Linsey Manning
Founded:  2007

Thank you Linsey for being our first company to be featured.  I know several of The SororiTea Sisters adore your blends and we’ve had a blast reviewing the delicious treats in the past.  But I would love to know, what made you decide to go into the tea business to being with?

The story behind it all is a bit funny…  I was raised in a very strict LDS (Morman) family and we weren’t allowed to drink tea or coffee, it is just part of the religion so I didn’t grow up having a love for tea, I really didn’t even know what it was. I remember my mom having a few boxes of Celestial Seasonings in the cupboard (decaffeinated of course) and on a rare occasion, if we were sick or something, we would get a cup.

That is really the ONLY memory I have of tea!  My first “real” experience with tea was in 2007, we were watching the local news and they were taking about things to do for Valentines day. They were featuring my favorite hotel, the Grand America, and talking about a special Valentines day afternoon tea experience.  They were showcasing their sipping chocolate (a real fancy hot chocolate) and it caught my attention, I knew I had to see what this afternoon tea was all about.  When we got there I remember how special they made us feel. The tea ware was so pretty, I was nervous to even touch it!  The waitress gave us a tea menu and it was like reading gibberish, I finally just told her to pick something for me.  She brought out the teapot and strainer and poured my first cup and reminded me to place the strainer over the cup each time I pour. I wasn’t impressed with the flavor of the tea, in fact, I had to keep adding sugar just so I could get it down and I spent half the time fishing tea leaves from my cup because I kept forgetting to use the strainer.

However, the dainty little tea sandwiches, scones, and desserts are what really won me over.  I had so much fun that I returned a week later to share the experience with a few other friends.  This time our waitress recommended a different tea. I remember lifting the cup to my mouth and the aroma was incredible, I closed my eyes and took my first sip and instantly fell in love.  I loved it so much that I ended up drinking 4 pots of it and purchased some to take home.  I made some for my husband and he fell in love as well.  We both loved the experience of making tea that it became our nightly ritual.

As time went on, I started purchasing more teas online, I started collecting tea cups, and I purchased every tea party book I could find.  I started hosting tea parties at my home for friends and family and it warmed my heart watching their faces light up with the whole experience.  One night I was showing my husband a  new tea book I had just bought and I was going on and on about all the fun ideas and amazing recipes.  He stopped me mid sentence and said “if you love tea so much, why don’t you start your own business?”  My own business, how was I going to do that? See, I got married and had my first of 4 boys at 19 and all I’ve ever done was be a stay at home mom.  My husband started his own business at 18 and new exactly what to do, he told me he would help me step by step if this was something I wanted to pursue.

It was that very night that The NecessiTeas was born!

I think a lot of us started off our tea obsession the exact same way.  You fall in love with one blend and all of a sudden you’ve got a tea stash that is full to the brim and you are stuffing tea in every nook and cranny you can find.

Your site offers such a great range of flavored teas . . .what is the inspiration behind those blends? 

I have a HUGE sweet tooth so many of my ideas come from my favorite desserts. I will get ideas while walking down the ice cream isle at the grocery store, I also get ideas from some of my favorite hand soaps or candles. I also get ideas from other tea companies. Sometimes I will see a blend and think to myself, how can I make this even better or how can I put my own twist on it.  And many times customers will email me and give me ideas that they have.

What is your favorite tea. . .doesn’t have to be one of your own blends either. . . . 

That’s a tricky question! All my blends are my favorite, I couldn’t bring myself to sell them if they weren’t. And like the seasons, my taste is always changing! An all time favorite would have to be my Almond Cookie and my new and current favorite might be my Marshmallow Krispy Treat.

Have you ever had a great idea for a tea but the blend just didn’t come together?

That is also a hard one to answer because I have had SO many not turn out! Each time I work on new blends, I might have 20 ideas and only 5 make the cut.  I am super picky and if I don’t absolutely LOVE it, I wont sell it.  This winter I was really let down by a White Chocolate Chai blend I was attempting. I haven’t given up just yet so who knows, you might see it on my site one of these days!

Are there big plans in 2017 for The NecessiTeas?

I started The NecessiTeas as a hobby but this last year I have wanted more than anything to really make it grow!  I want MY blends to be in everyone’s kitchen cupboards!  As always, I am working on new flavors and continuing to push the envelope.  I am also working on a new look and new packaging and I have also created a new brand that I am hoping to add to The NecessiTeas very soon.

I know my kitchen cupboards are filled with shiny tins full  of your delicious blends.  

Do you have any special activities you like to pair tea with? I’m partial to sharing a pot of tea with my hubby while we chill and watch Netflix.

I recently got in to planning so each time I sit down to plan I have a cup of tea by my side.  I also have a cup keeping me company while answering emails, watching YouTube or a movie at night.

I know I’m quite partial to your hand blended teas and just adore them.  What new flavors can we expect to see in 2017?

I have many in store, some that I am hoping to add to the site very shortly. I am also pushing myself out of my comfort zone and will be using tea bases I don’t normally use and also mixing different teas together.

A big Thanks to Linsey@The NecessiTeas for being our first featured Spotlight company.  If you are interested in learning more about The NecessiTeas,  you can check them out on SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.  

For our readers, The NecessiTeas has offered a coupon-SIP10.  I highly recommend checking out their site if you are interested in flavored teas that are fresh, quality, and taste amazing.  I’m quite partial to My Morning Blend and I’ve been known to drink pots of this tea on Saturday mornings.

Be sure to check back all through the day today as we will be sharing our thoughts on a few of the different blends The NecessiTeas offers including a review from one our newest contributors, Sophia.

(All pictures used in this post are property of The NecessiTeas)

On the 1st Day of Christmas my 52Teas delivered to me. . . .

If you are a fan of 52Teas, you are probably aware of their amazing Christmas promotion.  For the last few years, 52Teas has offered a 12 Teas of Christmas set.  Included in each set are 12 different teas to enjoy while getting into the holiday spirit. Now what is unique about this is that the flavors are a mystery.  Each label has a foil sticker that you scratch off to find out what the tea is. Such a fun, inventive and unique way to enjoy the holidays.

And the presentation couldn’t have been better! The teas were lovingly addressed to me and in a fun gift box, with a note on when to start drinking the teas. So very festive indeed!

So for the next 12 days, I’ll be reviewing the 12 Teas of Christmas.  Without further ado. . . .The 1st Day of Christmas tea is. . . {insert drumroll}

Partidgeberry in a Pear Tea

This is a green tea with huge chunks of berries and what I can only assume are huge pear chunks. You really can’t get more festive looking than this tea.  Simply gorgeous looking. Brewed up and allowed to steep per the package instructions.   (The official description is below)

After drinking this tea and finishing off the package, I can honestly say I can’t imagine a better way to kick off this fun promotion. The green tea was rich and buttery while the pear gave the tea this unique sweetness and the berries complimented the brew with a tang.  Very well done and well balanced. This is for sure a tea that can easily go wrong but it really works well.

Like I said, I drank this tea down and am still impressed by how many infusions I was able to get out of each serving. I know typically you are lucky to get 2-3 infusions out of each tea but this tea I was able to infuse 5 times. Sure the flavor wasn’t as strong but those notes were still there being as festive and merry as possible.

If all of the teas are like this one, we are in for an awesome holiday treat!

Tea Description: This was one of my favorite Christmas teas from Frank’s era, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I loved it so much for the tea (although the tea is really delightful!) or the name because – seriously – so clever! Right?

So what is a partridgeberry? Well, my research on Wikipedia tells me a partridgeberry can be a creeping herbaceous shrub native to North America (scientific name: mitchella repens) or it can be a lingonberry (scientific name: vaccinium vitis-idaea). Since I have neither mitchella repens nor vaccinium vitis-idaea at my easy disposal, I decided to choose the easiest/most accessible of these two to include in this blend: the lingonberry.

Prior to blending this tea, my experience with the lingonberry was limited to trips to IKEA and seeing lingonberry jam on the shelves (and at one point, I purchased some of that jam to make a sauce for meatballs. No, I didn’t get the meatballs from IKEA.) I also purchased some lingonberry glogg last year. That was pretty tasty.

Official description of this tea below. Click here for the Mad Tea Musings.

Frank’s description of this tea went like this:

Yes, okay, I am a very silly man. I just couldn’t resist.

Back when I was planning to create all new blends for the 12 teas of Christmas sampler, I was trying to figure out how to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas song. I figured out this one and some sort of Turtle® chocolate treat blend. Three French Hens might have been some kind of French vanilla, but four calling birds completely stumped me.

Well, anyway, here’s our buttery-sweet Chinese sencha blended with wild-harvested Partidgeberry (Mitchella repens), dried pears and natural pear flavors. Silly or not, it is delicious if you like pears.

Yes, I love pears! And I’m much more familiar with pears than I am partridgeberries. And this is technically not supposed to be a partridgeberry tea but a pear tea.

I started with organic Chinese Sencha (just like the original recipe!) and added dried pears and instead of using wild-harvested Partridgeberry, I used internet-purchased lingonberries. And they look pretty in this blend, like little red crystals amidst the long spears of green tea and the chunks of pear. It looks very Christmas-y, this tea.

organic ingredients: green tea, pears and natural flavors

ingredients: lingonberries


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Green Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

This tea will be available in very limited quantities beginning December 28th at 52Teas!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!