I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it. Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.
The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger. The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.
Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins. Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat. There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable. No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.
I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon. This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Some of my holiday wishes have definitely come true, with lots of delicious holiday tea blends in my cupboard. I was even lucky enough to get a tea advent calendar this year (mine is from Plum Deluxe). With plenty of festive tea brewing in my mug, my tea dreams now turn towards tea accessories.
I feel like I’m taking more pictures of tea than ever (and tagging them with #365daysoftea). My tea leaves would get to show off their color and shape in a clear glass teapot like this one from Bluebird Tea or this one from Teaposy. There’s always something cozy about my favorite ceramic teapot, but having a clear glass teapot would make my tea shelf more elegant, and make for more eye-catching tea pictures in the new year.
Daruma Good Luck Canister
I was looking into fun tea storage options when I came upon the Daruma Good Luck tea canister— with a face! Apparently these canisters have a tradition where their eyes are blank at the beginning. When you first get the canister, add one eye and set a goal for yourself. When you achieve the goal, you can add the other eye. It’s never too late to learn more about tea-related traditions. As we enter the time for resolutions, setting a goal seems like the appropriate thing to do. Maybe I will get some extra motivation from setting the goal with a Daruma’s eyes.
Fortune Telling Teacup
Fortune telling and tea leaves have a long history, but I wasn’t aware of just how many teacups are made just for that divining purpose. There are some great fortune telling teacups on Etsy. I’m enchanted by the aesthetic of these teacups. Some cups are laid out with playing card designs, others have zodiac symbols, some have mysterious pictographs I don’t recognize, and some of the fancier ones have full illustrations. I would probably need some tea-reading lessons along with the teacups before I can really look into my future and plan ahead for the new year.
Whether or not I’ll be telling fortunes in the new year, I will definitely continue brewing tea!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Here’s an awesome Golden Monkey black tea blended with marigold petals and organic champagne flavors. Not only that, each pouch contains a unique fortune for 2015. We are only making 70 of these, so get yours today.
Learn more about this tea here.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a sip of champagne. As I’ve said before, I’m just not all that big on drinking alcohol. (I’m a TEA-totaler!) But this Golden Monkey Champagne Black Tea from 52Teas is a nice way to enjoy some ‘champagne!’
First of all, I have to mention the fortune! What a fun idea! I liked opening the pouch to discover what my fortune for 2015 will be. Here’s what mine said:
This year: someone will do something “for all the tea in China” and then have a monopoly on Chinese teas.
Yeah, it’s a little corny and silly, but it’s fun. It’s a little ‘out of the box’ and that’s what I’ve come to love about 52Teas – the whole concept is a little out of the box! A different tea every week? That’s a little crazy! But it’s crazy good!
And that’s why I want to keep 52Teas going. Check out my Kickstarter campaign and help me keep this company going – I need your support! Every little bit will help!
But, let’s talk more about THIS tea, shall we?
The base of this tea is a Golden Monkey, and it’s delicious! It’s rich, robust, and full-flavored. It has chocolate-y notes along with that earthy, leathery flavor that I’ve come to love about a Golden Monkey. A hint of smoke in the distance. Undertones of caramel. It’s very smooth and has a pleasant, thick texture to it. There is some astringency at the tail but it doesn’t disrupt from the enjoyment of the overall flavor. It’s not bitter. It’s just really, really LOVELY!
The champagne flavors have been added in a smart way – they don’t go overboard. They’re not too much. It has a light, champagne-y flavor that complements the overall tea. I can taste the champagne but more importantly, I taste the nuances of the Golden Monkey and when you have a tea like this Golden Monkey – you WANT to taste it! I like how the champagne is represented here, in a way that I can taste it (it’s especially noticeable in the aftertaste) but not so much so that it overpowers the excellent flavors of the tea itself.
This is a really enjoyable cuppa. I’m surprised that more people haven’t grabbed this one up! It’s a really lovely tea.
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Our luxurious Champagne & Rose Cream pairs our Glenburn Silver Needle with sweet champagne, fresh cream, and delicate rose notes. The initial sip delivers a lingering sweetness and tang of champagne. Rose and cream notes remain long after each sip. The malty flavor of the Silver Needle tea adds to the champagne flavor and there is a bubbliness that can be felt on the tongue. With each continuing sip the rose and cream notes become stronger. We recommend drinking this tea at a cooler temperature.
Ingredients: Glenburn Silver Needle, Rosebuds, Amaranth, Organic Natural Flavoring (vegan)
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m impressed with this Champagne & Rose Cream White Tea Blend from Butiki Teas! That shouldn’t surprise me, of course, because I’m often impressed by this company … that’s why Butiki Teas is one of my favorite tea companies. They know what they’re doing!
I’ve tasted several different champagne flavored teas, but I think that this one just may be the most impressive to date. The champagne notes are so clear and on point. The white tea base is delicate and sweet, and accentuates the champagne very nicely, and I especially appreciate how these two flavors don’t seem to be competing with one another. They meld almost seamlessly, offering a flavor that is both champagne and tea – but in a soft, delicious way that is in keeping with the nature of the white tea. The rose is also subtle here, and the floral notes linger on the palate.
The sip starts off sweet, with notes of champagne and white tea making their presence known immediately. A soft rose note comes through next. Throughout the sip, I notice notes of cream, but it isn’t a heavy cream taste. It’s sort of there, just beneath the rose notes.
I have mentioned on more than one occasion on this blog that I’m not much of a consumer of alcoholic beverages, but one thing that I do remember from the days when I did consume an alcoholic beverage or two is how quickly champagne would go to my head. I’d start feeling “bubbly” very quickly (I guess I’m kind of a lightweight when it comes to booze), and I guess the reason I bring that up is because I’m feeling bubbly (but in a non-intoxicated way!) over this tea too!
A really amazing tea!