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!

Bonfire Toffee from Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bonfire Toffee tea from Bird and Blend should be part of everyone’s fall and winter brewing. A full bodied black tea is sweetened with the brown sugar and butter notes of caramel and toffee. The blend stops from being too sweet by the addition of crisp apple and smoky lapsang souchong.

If you aren’t into smoky teas, give this one a try. The smoke is mostly in the scent of the brew, and gets lost beneath black tea and toffee tones in the taste.

This tea feels like taking a walk in the fall. The robust black tea is wrapped around you like a wool scarf, and you can smell the pleasant char of your neighbor’s wood stove on the air. Take a bite out of a fresh apple and follow it up with something sweet, like holiday caramel candy.

I had been curious about trying Bonfire Toffee for its blend of sweet and savory, and the tea does not disappoint. Brew up a cup for your next leaf-peeper trip, or your next winter bonfire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend
Description:

Traveling tea merchants used to carry tea from east to west,all the way across Russia… well, their horses did anyway! It’s said the campfire smoke would infuse into the loose tea leaves at night creating smoked teas. Add some caramel, apple and toasted cinnamon and you get a spectacular Bonfire Night treat!

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!

Fireside Spice from Tiesta Tea. . . . ,

The holiday season means– okay, well, a lot of things. But one of them is definitely INDULGENCE. And frankly, friends– it gets a little exhausting after a while. My body needs a break from all the sugar and carbs and alcohol and parties and and and– well, you get the picture.

Enter this tea. A delightful hibiscus (don’t run away, hibiscus-haters– it works here!) based with loads of fruit and spice, it’s a perfect ringer for actual mulled wine, but without that liver-taxing alcohol. Even just the dry leaf is impressive on this one: loads of spices, huge bits of cinnamon sticks and fruit all suspended in a beautiful, bright red hibiscus base. Rather than the off-putting and overwhelming tartness that make so many dislike hibiscus, the strong flavors of the spice are actually the perfect balance, and can totally stand up to that infamous pink flower. The tart actual mimicks wine here, giving you that same mouthfeel so ubiquitous with a plummy red.

All the indulgence of the holiday season with none of the negative consequences– sign me up!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but could come back for the holiday season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

EggNaughTea from The NecessiTeas. . . .

The holidays are fast approaching and that means eggnog. Lots of eggnog. And eggnog means eggnog lattes!!! They don’t say “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing.

I figured what better tea to make as an eggnog latte than EggNaughTea, a caffeine-free blend of honeybush, nutmeg, marigold petals, marshmallows, and flavoring? However, to be able to discern the tea from the latte, I also decided to make it as a plain tea. Both were brewed in 200F water for a little over 5 minutes.

Sipping on the hot tea, I can tell this is a high quality honeybush base, especially since it is one of the only things I am tasting. Sweet honey flavor. I wish I could say I was tasting the nutmeg, vanilla, or rum that is supposed to be here but alas they are lost on me.

Nevertheless, while I may find it a little lackluster tea plain, this is making for an ah-mazing latte! It boosts the nutmeg and vanilla in the regular eggnog, while the honey of the base makes this scream “decadent dessert”. Think sweet creamy custard deliciousness.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

This tea is a holiday blend so check out The NecessiTeas site for all of their great holiday blends!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!