Murmur from Handmade Tea. . . .

I received this tea at the beginning of the year after a tea friend signed me up for a monthly subscription to Handmade Tea. It smelled awesome and was just full of strawberry bits and cacao nibs but the white peony base had me apprehensive. However, it was gifted to me and the smell caught my attention so I got to brewing.

I made this both as a plain cup of hot tea and as a chocolate milk latte. I steeped both for 4 minutes in boiling water as per the recommended steeping parameters. In the process I managed to spill chocolate milk all over the counter, the floor, and my pajamas but I suppose there’s no point crying over that now.

I tried the latte first and I am definitely picking up on those cacao nibs. This is a whole lot of cacao flavor and not much else. Honestly what it tastes like to me is a packet of rich instant hot chocolate that’s been made with water instead of milk because it’s got the almost dark chocolate flavor (and a fairly high quality one at that) but it’s thinner than a typical hot chocolate.

The hot cup allows for more of the flavors to stand out as they aren’t being drowned out by the strong chocolate milk flavor. The base tea is floral but also has a honeydew flavor as promised on the package. Unlike what’s promised on the package, I don’t quite get the “drizzled with honey” part this tea should have per its description. There is also less strawberry flavor than I expected given the copious amounts of that ingredient in the dry leaf. What I do get is a heavier/darker taste as each sip ends and I think that is the result of the cacao.

If I am being honest, this tea is lacking a lot of the flavors described on the package which is surprising because the dry leaf is clearly built up of a variety of different ingredients that just seem to get lost in the mix. It’s by no means a bad tea but I wanted a chocolate covered strawberry and all I’m getting is a dark and fruity white tea. I wonder if maybe a smaller cup or different steeping parameters could help coax out more flavors? Luckily I still have some left I can experiment with.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Handmade Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for more information regarding  their monthly tea subscription.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha from 52Teas. . . . .

There are teas in my collection I know I can rely on and this is one of them. I come back to this tea when I want something a little bit sweet and a little bit toasty. I’m typically not someone who loves green teas, but this one I can always enjoy. The dry leaf smells like green tea ice cream and after water has been added, I smell more roasted caramel popcorn. Mmmm…

Sipping.. definitely a bit more roasty than expected. The marshmallow pops up in the background, but it’s actually more of a sweetness and not that specific gooey marshmallow flavor. I would like for it to be just a bit more present since it’s such a great flavor. The green tea is also there and lends a bit of grassiness to the roasted rice and marshmallow, but it’s more mild which I appreciate. I think this tea wouldn’t be the same if the green tea took over and dominated the other flavors.

Even though this tea doesn’t taste explicitly like marshmallow treats, I think this is quite possibly the closest you can get. It’s sweet, satisfying and just so tasty. I hope this one is reblended again and again!

Note from Anne @ 52Teas: This tea has graduated to D’s Teas – which is 52Teas’ permanent collection. It will be reblended again and again – and is available now!


Here’s the scoop!

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

Another overwhelming fan favorite!

I’m also a big fan of this tea.  I was one of the lucky ones to get one of the pouches from the first batch which was a blend of Genmaicha plus Genmaicha Uji which is Genmaicha that’s been infused with Matcha.  So, in an effort to recreate that stunning first batch, I blended an Organic Japanese Genmaicha and an organic Japanese Genmaicha with Matcha (Or Genmaicha Uji).  I really prefer it with the Uji, the little bit of Matcha adds a really nice creaminess to the overall cup.

To this, I added marshmallow root and all-natural, organic flavors.

It’s a cuppa yum!

Ingredients:  Organic Japanese Teas, organic toasted rice, marshmallow root and all-natural, organic flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cinnamon Pear from 52Teas. . . . .

I served a number of teas to some friends yesterday and this one came out as the favorite flavored blend we tried. No big surprise since 52Teas is one of the best tea blending companies I have come across.

I like the black tea base. It doesn’t bow down and disappear, but sails right along with the flavors. It isn’t super astringent like a lot of black tea bases in flavored blends. The cinnamon was nice – not red hot candy cinnamon but the kind of cinnamon levels you would expect in Grandma’s fruit pie.

The pear aspect was a little harder for me because I don’t eat pears. I like them fine, but I find them really mild and usually reach for an apple instead. I am an infrequent pear eater. So I can say this definitely has an apple/pear vibe, but I couldn’t pinpoint what kind of pear for you. The pear aficionados among you probably could pin it down right away. But the mild fruit flavor is very pleasant.

This is a nice blend with cinnamon to escape the ubiquitous orange/clove/cinnamon blends that are hanging around during the holidays. A breath of fresh pear…(sorry, couldn’t resist!)


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is no longer available but click below for what flavored black teas are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coconut Cream Pie from 52Teas. . . . .

I met my now-husband almost half my life ago, when I was still in high school. (This is going somewhere, I promise). A fact about him is that he HATES COCONUT. Like, violently. It’s a “texture thing.” So, for the last 14 years, whenever we split dessert, it is not the coconut dessert. I have not had coconut in about a decade and a half.

And oh gosh, guys, I didn’t realize I liked coconut so much.

DID YOU KNOW? COCONUT IS VERY SWEET AND TASTY.

When I got this coconut sample to try, I was super-hype to try it. Coconut: THE FINAL FRONTIER.

And this sweet ‘zert tea delivers. It’s so sweet and rich. It’s like actually eating a honking piece of cake/pie, minus the thigh expansion. It’s the best of both worlds.

In summary: if you like coconut, you’ll like this tea. If you’re not sure if you like coconut, you probably do, and you’ll like this tea. If you don’t like coconut… I’m not sure why you read this review. But thanks for doing so. I appreciate your time. Enjoy your day.


Here’s the scoop!

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

I was pretty excited when people asked that this tea be included in the vote for the 2016 12 Teas of Christmas, and even happier when this tea turned out to be one of the top vote getters. This has been one of the more memorable 52Teas blends for me – I love coconut! – so I was really happy to have the opportunity to reblend it.

The original description of this tea said:

Our Coconut Cream Pie flavored black tea has been one of our bestsellers here at Zoomdweebie’s since we opened. In addition to the pouches of this tea that we’ve sold, we sell a LOT of beverages made from this tea, in particular, this is probably our all time bestselling iced tea latte, one sip of which has led people to exclaim, “That’s like coconut cream pie in a glass!” I’ve also been frequently challenged on our assertion that our tea lattes are all fat-free, particularly with this tea.

It is simply so decadent, so wonderfully sweet and satisfying, that people cannot believe that we didn’t just liquefy a slice of coconut cream pie and serve it to them in a glass.

For the 52teas version of this tea, we are adding some honking-big flakes of unsweetened coconut to our premium black tea blend along with coconut and vanilla flavors.

So, obviously, I needed to change up the recipe somewhat because the black tea that I use is different from the ones utilized by Frank. I started with my black tea base of organic Indian and Chinese teas. I did use some “honking-big flakes of unsweetened coconut” as well as some vanilla beans and calendula petals.

This is very coconut-y, very creamy and oh-so-yummy! It’s been a while since I’ve had some of Frank’s version of this tea, but I’d say that I did pretty well with this blend! If my review of this tea is any indication – I think my black tea might be a bit stronger than the original version – but the other flavors are on point!

Large size is approximately 50g

organic ingredients: black teas, coconut, calendula petals, vanilla beans and natural flavors

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coconut Lime from Handmade Tea. . . . . .

Month two of my three month Handmade Tea subscription arrived. This time I kept that wax sealed envelope closed and decided I would let the tea speak for itself before reading the provided tasting note.

First thing I noticed was the big pieces of coconut in the blend. The scent of them takes over which makes since given the bright white coconut chips amidst a sea of black tea. When steeped up though, the malty assam base is what floods the nose leaving me a little bit worried that those coconut chips are just for show.

Sipping on the blend, I will say it is a pretty nice black tea. The malt is strong here. It is smooth but a little bit pithy and astringent as the sip finishes. I imagine that is the contribution of the lime element seeing as I have no other indication of its presence in the tea. There are also notes of raisin and stonefruits, sweet and jammy, with a drizzle of honey. Now and then there is a creaminess that I think is the coconut though it is faint and merely textural. To be honest, if I was blindly trying this, having not known the name or seen the dry leaf, I would have assumed this was a plain assam tea, not a flavored one.

So, having now tried the tea and assessed it for myself, let’s see how my observations compared to those laid out in the tasting note: “The black tea has light raisin notes along with a brisk astringency” – so far it seems my thoughts are in line with what is to be expected. “Next we add coconut chips to add a natural sweet flavor. Coconut also adds a thicker and more complex mouth feel” – I definitely got the mouth feel component here, though I interpreted as a creaminess as opposed to the described thickness and the sweetness I attributed to the base instead of the coconut. “Lastly, dried lime peel is added in to finish out the blend. The tartness and subtle sweetness of the citrus balances well with the coconut and raisin-like notes of the base tea” – this was lost on me.

In addition to the tasting note, the blender provides a message in which he also makes note of the stone-fruit flavor I picked up on in the tea. He also speaks to the fact that he believes this is a good winter tea which is an interesting point in light of the more tropical/summery coconut and lime flavors. However, having drank the tea, I can see how this is better for the winter given the focus on the rich base as opposed to the lighter flavoring


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Handmade Tea
Description

This is a selection from Handmade Tea’s monthly subscription plan. Click below if you want to learn more about this plan.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!