52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 7-Spoilers!

Day 7!

Have you had any figgy pudding yet this season?  How about fig newtons? If you like figs, you will love today’s tea: Sticky Fig Oolong. This tea is also our first oolong of the 12 Teas of a Christmas set this year.

This tea has plenty of the bright, mineral taste oolongs are known for. These flavors are the right match with the sweet-yet-fresh fig taste. Beneath all the oolong brightness, the tea has a bit of complex, roasted, caramelized taste, making the fig part of the blend feel more like a candied dessert.

I’m always a bit intimidated by unflavored oolongs, so having a touch of holiday dessert flavor mixed in made this oolong more approachable for me. The sticky fig flavor isn’t overpowering, so if classic oolongs are your favorite teas, you will still find this blend to be very enjoyable.

I haven’t run into many fig tea blends so this is a great unexpected flavor for a holiday tea set, rounding out the Christmas theme.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea was inspired by one of my customers who is also a frequent poster on Steepster, who – in one of her posts – mentioned that she’d like to see a fig tea from me. So here it is (and it won’t be the last, fig is one of my favorite fruits, I just haven’t gotten around with experimenting with fig in tea yet . . . but now that I have, I think I’ll keep it up because – YUM!) 

So I started with these three ideas in mind: Holiday tea, Oolong tea & Fig tea. I crafted a blend of Oolongs – Ruanzhi, Wuyi and Qingxin cultivars – which I chose because I wanted the Oolong to be a little more fruity and a little less floral. To this lovely Oolong blend, I added some figs. For the holiday element, I added some cinnamon. For the final touch, I added a little honey essence. 

Really lovely – this tea. The oolong is smooth and sweet. It has pleasing notes of fruit with just a hint of floral. The fig is well-defined and the honey compliments the fig nicely. The cinnamon is warm and inviting without overwhelming the cup. As I say: really lovely! It’s also organic, VEGAN, gluten free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 6- Spoilers!

Day 6!

It’s not Christmas morning yet but today’s tea is a great blend to have at breakfast: Banana Pancakes Black Tea. Put your nose in the bag, and you’ll see that the tea smells like your favorite diner or breakfast restaurant, with plenty of maple syrup flavor and a whiff of sliced banana.

Brewed, there is a pleasant starchiness in the black tea that suits the natural starchiness of the banana and adds to the pancake feeling. The maple and banana flavor combination reminds me of banana nut muffins or banana bread. This is a fun, sweet blend on its own but it would also go great with a few mulling spices for a banana chai, or with some coconut milk or nut milk for an almost banana nut cereal taste.

I’m always a fan if banana teas, so I was more than happy to go bananas over this brew!


Here’s the scoop!

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

I don’t think it’s any big secret that I love banana teas. So when I go a couple of months without releasing a banana tea – I really start to miss them. And it seems like it’s been quite some time since I’ve done a pancake tea (actually, I haven’t done a pancake tea since the famous Pancake Breakfast tea which I reblended back in January of last year.) So, I’m thinking – why not bring these two flavors together in one tea?

I started with a fantastic blend of black teas from China: an Assamica from the JingMai Mountains, a Fujian Black and a Yunnan Gold. Then I added some bananas along with pancake and maple essence. But don’t worry, it’s vegan and gluten free – and depending upon how you serve it, its also sugar- and fat-free!

Take a sip on this and experience a stack of banana-filled pancakes dripping with maple syrup! Yummy!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 4-Spoilers!

Day 4!

This tea has a great name and great flavor: Ginger Cola Black Tea. This tea is meant to reference the old timey soda shoppe flavor of ginger cola. Not to be confused with ginger ale, there is plenty of dark caramel cola taste and the sweet buzz of ginger. I think flavor comes from a time where sodas had more spice, like the New England Moxie soda, or even the cherry and spice flavors of Dr. Pepper.

Enough about soda, getting back to tea. I’m not sure what kind of tea is used as the base in this blend, but the leaves are a little longer and more tightly rolled than the typical black tea base, so they were chosen specially for this blend.

This tea smells and tastes remarkably like cola but in such a way that it’s spice still suits the tea. A touch of cloves and the caramel cola taste are balanced with the warm heat of candied ginger. The spices makes this appealing as a hot beverage but the cola flavors do make it promising as an iced tea too if you are so inclined.

As a fan of both ginger tea and ginger cola, this has been one of my favorite blends so far in the set. Hope I get a chance to order more!


Here’s the scoop!

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

I have a confession. I have been cheating on tea with a cola. Not like all the time – not even every day . . . but every once in a while, I’ll crack open a can of the ginger cola that’s made by one of the 2 big cola giants. I’m not going to name names because I don’t want to get a ‘cease and desist’ order – but it’s in a slender, tall, bright copper-orange can and it’s sold by individual cans rather than by the 6 or 12 pack.

Anyway, I originally only bought one can of this stuff – you know – just to try it. Curiosity. But I was hooked after my first sip. It’s so good – that little touch of ginger cuts through the syrup-y sweetness that usually turns me off when it comes to soda.

I happen to like the cola flavored teas (in most cases, more than I like cola itself) so I decided I should try to craft a ginger cola black tea to get me over my affair with the cola because I like it better when tea is the main beverage in my life.

So I started with a base of black teas from China (Golden Yunnan, Fujian & Assamica grown in the Jing Mai Mountains) and added ginger as well as some candied (sugared) ginger and some cola essence. And WOWZA! I’m loving it! This is tasty as a hot tea but it excels as an iced tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl of Time from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Up to today’s bat is the Earl of Time, a Quarter To Tea blend that blends a black Earl Grey with vanilla and black currant.

I’m not sure why it’s called Earl of Time, but I SUSPECT it’s because Earl Grey got a message from a Time Lord to add these inclusions for a COMPELLING BREW.

Time Lord: “Listen, I’m from 3030, and Skynet just figured out a bangin’ way to make your trademark beverage a little more exciting.” Earl Grey: “My trademark beverage? I just throw a little bit of citrus into my black tea.” Time Lord: “Believe it or not, that’s going to be YOUR THING. You will be known through ALL OF TIME for that one thing.” Earl Grey: “What about my charity work? My metal band? My hand-tatted doilies?” Time Lord: “No.” Earl Grey: “My way with words? The fact that I am an expert cat cuddler?” Time Lord: “None of that makes it to the future.” Earl Grey: “So I’m just… like… a spritz of bergamot?” Time Lord: “And now… some vanilla and black currant. Try it.” Earl Grey: “That’s DELICIOUS! So creamy! That berry flavor, with the slight citrus edge! WOW! I might write a poem about it.” Time Lord: “It’ll be forgotten to the sands of time, but sure, I mean, go ahead.” Earl Grey: “Roses are red / violets are blue / I like this tea / and so might you.”

(illustration by Super Starling herself!)

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

A fun and fruity twist on the classic Earl Grey! This one features black currant, vanilla, with that classical satisfying punch of bergamot.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!