Strawberry Rose Champagne/The NecessiTeas. . . .

A while back I won an Instagram giveaway which made me the proud new owner of a Sacred Lotus Love tea tumbler and the recipient of three NecessiTeas blends: Orange Fluff, Pineapple Mimosa, and this tea, Strawberry Rose Champagne. However, the giveaway was for people living in the U.S. and since I live in Canada, I provided my father’s address, which is in California. I have used my Dad as a tea mule many times before so I knew this would be fine with him.

Normally, my dad mails me anything I send to him but this time around he personally delivered the goods since he came to Toronto for my brother’s college graduation. This personal delivery was of course accompanied by my Dad’s typical comments like “tea is for sick people” and “tea has no flavor” and “why do you keep buying tea?” In fact, this time around he told me he had no interest in tea and even if I offered him tea, he would not try it. This was particularly entertaining because later that same night, I brewed this tea as a teapop and he all of a sudden was intrigued. After confirming that the tea was cold, he even asked to try it!

He sniffed it first and said it smelled interesting and then at first sip looked at me and our conversation went as follows:

Him: “I thought this was tea?!” Me: “it is” Him: “no, it’s soda” Me: “no, it’s a teapop”

He then told me that this was “ingenius” and then proceeded to drink two glasses of this tea. He was amazed that it was actually flavorful and carbonated and delicious, all without added sugar (which is especially important to him as he is diabetic).

When I finally got to try it, I enjoyed it quite a bit too. It was a touch too floral at times but it had a nice berry flavor. I hope that was because of the tea and not the strawberry perrier I used to make this a teapop. It also had an effervescence that was very reminiscent of champagne and a touch of that familiar alcohol dryness.

It’s a nice tea and definitely does well as a teapop. I like that it is different than so many other fruit blends that rely heavily on hibiscus/rose hips to create a flavor. I wish there was less rose, but that is more my personal preference than a criticism of the tea. With that said, given it converted my ever-critical father into a believer, I am definitely delighted I got a chance to give it a try and I am pleased I have a whole lot more leave left to experiment with.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas

Description

Inspired by the delicate floral and fruity notes in a glass of sweet champagne, this tea blends the voluptuous scent of blooming roses with the sweet flavor of fresh-picked strawberries. Steep up this bubbly concoction with friends before your next GNO or for your better half after a romantic dinner for two. Cheers!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 5-Spoilers!

Day 5!

The 12 Teas of Christmas has had a nice variety of tea types and flavors so far, so I am never bored with the flavors in store for me. Today is a green tea with fruity, creamy tones: Blackberry Custard Tart Green. There nice purple dried blackberries in the dry leaf and plenty of juicy dark fruit scent in the bag.

Brewed, the creamy, vanilla pudding flavor of the custard comes through more strongly, adding a smooth mouthfeel alongside all the delectable dessert tastes. I appreciate that green tea was used as the base for this blend to give the blackberry and cream more room to shine. A black tea might have taken over with its own tartness and tannins. The green tea adds a gentle vegetal note that compliments the berries, and a bit of nuttiness that feels like the fruit tart cookie crust.

This is a nice blend for midway through your day, when you want something with a little pep but not too sweet or caffeinated. It is bright but decadent and the perfect way to treat yourself during the busy holiday season.


Here’s the scoop!

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

One afternoon as I was perusing through my Pinterest feed, I found a recipe for Blackberry Custard. It looked exceptionally good and whenever I see a dessert recipe that looks exceptionally good, I immediately think about how I’d translate that recipe to a tea flavor. Yep, I’m kind of nerdy like that. So I thought … hmmm, blackberry custard sounds like a winning idea for a tea. Then I remembered that there was already a Blackberries & Cream Shou Mei so how different could a blackberry custard really be?

So, I thought, what if it had a delightfully buttery pastry crust? Well, then it would be a Blackberry Custard Tart.

So that’s what inspired me to make this with my green tea base (a blend of organic Chun Mee and organic Gunpowder). I added blackberry, custard and pastry flavors. Then I tossed in some of those big, beautiful freeze-dried blackberries. This is really good!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 3- Spoilers

Day 3!

Today’s flavor is Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush.  Right away I notice the fragrant raspberry scent and see the vibrant color pop of dried raspberries in the dry leaf.

This is an herbal blend that reminds me a bit of those thumbprint jam cookies that pop up on cookie plates during this time of year.  This blend is a bit more marzipan than butter cookie, but the almond nuttiness still pairs well with the natural caramelly, woodsy flavors of the honeybush.

I think this blend is best when brewed hot and strong for maximum flavor from the honeybush. Play up the dessert name by serving it as a foamy latte. Perfect for a before bed brew while putting out the cookie plate for Santa.


Here’s the scoop!

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

When it comes to my tea flavors, there is usually some sort of inspiration behind it. Quite often, it was a flavor conceived during an afternoon of browsing through Pinterest. (I do like Pinterest!) I don’t really recall where I got the idea for a Raspberry Almond Cookie tea – but if I were to place a bet, my bet would be that I found it during a Pinterest browse.

I’ve never had a raspberry almond cookie. But when I think of “Raspberry Almond Cookie” – my mind evokes a thought of one of those little thumbprint type of cookies, you know, the cookies with a little indentation in the center where you could put a dollop of jam or marmalade? So, imagine that – if you would. A delicate almond shortbread that engulfs a little mound of raspberry jam.

And that’s exactly what this tastes like. I taste a good amount of raspberry and almond flavor and even a hint of buttery cookie. This is a naturally caffeine free treat – so it would make for a perfect dessert-y drink that you can enjoy before bedtime without worry that it’ll keep you up past your bedtime!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 2-Spoilers!

Day 2!

I am a big fan of 52Teas’ genmaicha flavors.  They blend them with a bit of marshmallow root to take the slightly savory toasted flavors right over to marshmallow treat territory.  I haven’t met a 52Teas genmaicha I didn’t like, so I was so excited to see today’s tea was Candy Cane Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha.

This tea works with their classic marshmallow treat genmaicha base and adds the vanilla mint flavors of a candy cane.  This is such an unusual pairing. The roasted puffed rice in genmaicha evokes such a warm and toasty feeling in my mug, and now it is paired with the other end of the spectrum with frosty peppermint.

The mint pairs well with the green tea, and the vanilla candy flavor goes with the marshmallow root. The puffed rice adds a little bit of sweet breakfast cereal notes in the background. Another tasty genmaicha from 52Teas and a fresh take on the holiday candy cane tea.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This is our first NEW tea of our 12 Teas of Christmas box (we reblend 8 teas every year, and create 4 new blends – but this year we did things just a little different . . . more on that on Day 8 of the countdown!) and this new tea is something special! Every year, I like to include at least one minty tea in the Christmas box because mint and the holidays just seem to go together, right? Last year, we didn’t have a minty tea in the Christmas box, and it wasn’t until I started working on the teas of the week for December that I realized that I hadn’t crafted ANY minty teas for the holiday season so I needed to come up with something quick and that’s when I came up with the idea for the candy cane white tea which I loved, particularly because of the candy canes that I used in that blend, an organically crafted, all natural, vegan, gluten free and allergen free candy cane. I simply fell in love with these things so when the holidays approached this year, I ordered some and then came up with the blend for which I’d be using them!

Also, I was a little surprised that this year, none of the Genmaicha blends were outstanding vote catchers in our poll especially considering that last year, we had two stand out Genmaicha vote getters – and since I do have quite a few Genmaicha fans out there, that suggested to me that people needed a new, interesting Genmaicha blend!

And here it is!

I started with organic Genmaicha and added peppermint, vanilla beans, marshmallow root and of course some bits of the aforementioned candy canes. The result: a yummy marshmallow treat-y cuppa with crisp, cool notes of peppermint! It tastes like a holiday marshmallow treat! So good!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 1-Spoilers!

Day 1!  The 12 Teas of Christmas set from 52Teas really lets you surprise yourself, with the name of the tea hidden under a silvery scratch-off label on the pouch.  It is one of the most fun and most unique daily tea surprise sets I’ve tried.

Today I tried Foggy Coconut Black Tea. In the past I tried Smoky Coconut from 52Tea and enjoyed it, but Foggy Coconut is a new one to me!  As soon as I opened the pouch I was wrapped in the distinct citrus scent of earl grey. The fog in the name clearly refers to the London Fog drink, made with earl grey tea.  Among the black tea leaves were big curls of white coconut.

Historically, earl grey teas are always walking that balance between crisp bergamot and creamy vanilla, so pairing an earl grey tea with smooth coconut was a winning idea.  Even without milk, this tea is full bodied and has plenty of cream taste. The coconut adds a rich buttery feel and taste without causing too much of that oil slick on the top of your tea.  All the vanilla creaminess is balanced with just enough of earl grey’s tried and true orange zest to make for a delicious and complex flavor experience.

This tea is also appropriately Christmassy: brew up a cup of Foggy Coconut in honor of the foggy night that Rudolph earned his place among Santa’s reindeer.

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

My inspiration behind this blend is one of my favorite coffee shop drinks: a London Fog Latte! I order mine with coconut milk and half the usual amount of vanilla syrup (otherwise, it’s just too sweet!) One day as I was sipping on this drink, I found myself contemplating the beverage. I love the way the hints of coconut play with the bergamot but I found myself wishing that the coconut notes were stronger. (I do love me some coconut!) I also found myself wishing that the tea notes were stronger – which I felt would be accomplished if it didn’t have so much milk product in it – but then, the coconut notes would not be present. Then the idea hits me: why not make my own version of this drink with these improvements in mind!

And here we have it: I started with a base of Assam and Yunnan for a rich, bold, malty flavor. Something that could hold it’s own even with the strong note of creamy coconut. Then I added bergamot – I didn’t want to go too heavy on the bergamot because I didn’t want the coconut and bergamot competing with each other. I wanted enough bergamot to be tasted but not so much that it would interfere with the coconut flavor. Then I added some vanilla bean. Again, not a heavy vanilla taste – just enough to lend creaminess to the coconut and soften the edge of the bergamot and strong teas.

Then I went coconuts! This is a strongly coconut flavored tea but there’s enough bergamot there to give the cup the flavor that I was going for – this cuppa is my ideal London Fog! It’s got lots of coconut flavor without the milk drowning out the flavor of the tea. No “latte” required here, there’s enough creaminess to the flavor. Of course, if you want to go latte, that’s OK – but I’d recommend trying it without first!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!