Day 7-Day 18-Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar Countdown. . Spoilers!

I’ve missed a few days here and there posting my thoughts on the Plum Deluxe’s Tea Advent Calendar and thought I’d do a quick summary of the last few days. . .

Day 7- Honey Dust- This is an example of some of the goodies that are tea related that you can find in the countdown.  I’m not a huge fan of adding sugar to my teas and typically don’t use honey except for on biscuits but I’m sure I’ll find the right tea to try this lovely delight on here in the upcoming weeks. Not necessarily something I would personally pick up myself, but its cool that I’m able to try the honey dust.

Day 8- Chocolate Hazelnut Chai Tea- This black and honeybush based tea was delicious! I loved the nutty and chocolate notes way more than I thought.  This is one of those teas that I didn’t think I would like but wanted something with a hint of spice so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Really delicious and another example of a chai tea that doesn’t go overboard on the spice which I really appreciate it.  Big fan of this one and would be a tea I would like to have more of for sure, especially with the cold winter months still ahead of us here in the Midwest.

Day 9- Gratitude Blend Black Tea- This black tea based earl grey tea sounds amazing but I am not a fan of earl grey and actually have trouble even drinking earl grey teas. I’ll be passing this tea along to someone I know will love it.

Day 10- Snowman Ornament- This little ornament is very charming and would be a great addition to a desk size tree or one of the miniature trees.  I have a feeling I’ll throw this guy onto a bow to dress up a package for the holidays.

Day 11- Snowy Mountain Black Tea- Black Tea, Orange Peel, Chestnut and Vanilla flavors. . .if that doesn’t scream holiday flavors, I don’t know what does.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried this tea just yet only because I wanted to enjoy this tea with my dad on Christmas.  I thought I’d whip us up some Snowy Mountain Black Tea Lattes while we watch the kiddos open presents. I can just tell this blend is going to be a winner.

Day 12- Nice Vanilla Spice Herbal Tea- I’m literally finishing up this sample right now.  If this tea isn’t available on the Plum Deluxe site, then I’m going to beg Plum Deluxe to blend me up a ton of this herbal.  Ginger root, cinnamon chips, fennel seeds, and vanilla extract.  This tea doesn’t look like a whole lot but wow this tea is as soul soothing as you can find.  Wonderful crisp ginger marries perfectly with the sweet cinnamon and the fennel and vanilla add to that lovely playful taste.  This is one of those mugs you just wrap your hands around and sit back.  Absolutely perfect!

Day 13- Reading Nook Blend Black Tea- I have a confession to make. I am one of those tea drinkers that dislikes lavender. . .a lot.  I actually blend up my own teas and do  have a lemon lavender tea that I adore but that is literally the only lavender tea I’ve ever liked.  This blend looks to have a lot of lavender in it so I’m going to pass this tea along to someone that will thoroughly enjoy it.

Day 14- Caramelized Mango Black Tea- I’m bummed. This tea sounds amazing but I see the second ingredient is Red Rooibos.  I wish honeybush had been used, but alas, I can’t complain.  Unfortunately red rooibos and I do not get along so I will be passing this tea off to one of my Sisters who I think will love this blend.

Day 15- Slowly Unwind Herbal Tea- Wow, this tea is amazing! Sweet, fruity, with a hint of floral and earthiness. . . I don’t know why I’ve been digging herbals so much lately but this one is another stellar example of an herbal tea done right.  You’ve got your honeybush base which gives this sweetness almost vanilla touch, berries which provides a bit of a tartness with the familiar berry flavor, and you’ve got your rose which gives you that elegant floral touch.  I actually added in more rose petals because I just love rose petals that much and wanted to really kick this tea up.  Really delicious and really comforting during this busy season.

Day 16 (posted earlier this week)

Day 17- Creme Brulee Grey Black Tea- Again, another wah wah moment for me.  I know I mentioned this earlier but  I’m not a fan of earl grey and actually have trouble drinking teas that have Bergamot Oil, so this tea is another blend not for me but again I know just the right person who I think will dig this blend way more than me.

Day 18- Lift Your Spirit Black Tea- I’m one of those tea drinkers that smell the blend before they brew the tea up.  Thank goodness because I didn’t fully read the label on this blend and unfortunately for me, I see red rooibos in the ingredient list and can totally pick up on that red rooibos aroma just from the dry leaf.  I know I should probably just be a big girl and try it, but I’ve had several red rooibos blends including a few Plum Deluxe and I just know for a fact that I won’t care for this blend.  Instead of wasting the tea, I’d rather send along to someone who I know will enjoy it.

Here’s hoping that Days 19-25 contain some amazing goodies for me!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Advent Calendar
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hibiscus Twist from The Cozy Leaf. . . .

I know I’m not the BEST person to blog about a tea called Hibiscus Twist. That’s because I’m not the biggest fan of the flower. But when I read the other ingredients of this herbal offering from The Cozy Leaf – I thought I would give it a whirl.

Officially described on The Cozy Leaf website as an Artisan Loose Leaf Herbal Tea (Caffeine Free) – Organic – offering – the flavor of this is tangy-tart and fruity with a delicate touch of spearmint. I will not tell a lie…the spearmint is what drew me in.

As the loose contents steeps a beautiful crimson color fills the cup!

I do prefer this offering ICED over the hot cuppa option but each person is different and this is one of those herbals that can easily please the masses!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Cozy Leaf
Description

A tangy tart herbal blend that is sure to add a smile to your tea time and has been bringing a healthy smile to my face since May of 2010! This brews a beautiful crimson cup that is excellent hot or cold! One of my favorite summertime treats is to add some lemonade or fresh berries to a delicious brew of Iced Hibiscus Twist (excellent paired with blackberries and fresh spearmint)! Another easy treat is to make an extra strong brew and freeze the concentrate in ice cube trays. Then pop the frozen crimson ice cubes into fresh made lemonade! The crowd goes wild!! This is also a fabulous tea to have premade in the refrigerator for the unexpected guests. Nothing like having a premium and healthy beverage right at your fingertips to leave an impression!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the 7th Day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me….Crisp Cranberry Soda Green Rooibos Tea!

On the 7th Day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me….Crisp Cranberry Soda Green Rooibos Tea! So for this one, the smell of the dry leaf brought back memories! When I was younger my mom was really into sparkling water mixed with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime. As a little girl, I of course always wanted to copy her. This blend smells exactly like that “soda” drink tasted…down to the carbonation. Although, I’m not sure how you can “smell carbonation”, but I swear I can!

                This blend is a total thirst quencher. I’m drinking it hot because I’m not very into icing my teas, but I can imagine this would be so amazing iced. I love the green rooibos base. It is lighter and not as “woody” as red rooibos. The cranberry is not super tart, but it’s still present and I feel like I can taste a little bit of lime or citrus. Then,  of course, there is the “soda” aspect. If you did not tell me that this blend was meant to taste like a “soda” drink, I would still have thought it did- that is how accurate this tea portrays crisp cranberry soda. It is so crisp and it tastes so hydrating I am literally gulping it down. I really did enjoy this one and I feel like it totally represented its name 100%. It would be amazing in the summertime as an iced beverage or even as a tea-popsicle! This one is a winner for sure!


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

April Siesta from 52Teas. . . . .

Okay April Siesta, I see you, okay. Now I want to start off this review saying that my love of this tea was 110% unexpected. The ingredients are not my usual (aside from chamomile- because unlike a lot of people, I actually am a fan of chamomile). However, the ingredients of lemon, orange, and licorice definitely scared me. Licorice, not as much as lemon and orange. I am not usually the kind of girl that wants tart tea or citrus flavors. When I smelled the dry leaf, I could smell citrus and it definitely made me second guess trying it and just writing it off as a “no”. But- I forged on and made myself a cup. I have always loved chamomile. I just think it is a great herb, not only because I love its honeyed taste, but because it is just so soothing. I get a lot of anxiety and a lot of nausea, especially when I am stressed. Chamomile always helps, even if its in a small way, there is always something positive that I receive from a cup of chamomile tea.

I tried this tea sans agave at first, and while I don’t think that it actually needed any sweetener I still added some. I probably wont next time because it really isn’t needed (I am known for accidentally over-sweetening my teas!). The first thing I noticed was the smell of orange and lemon- lemon more so than the orange. Meh. I really dislike citrus. Thankfully the smell is more powerful than the taste. The citrus is still there, but its tolerable. The next taste I notice is definitely the honeybush and chamomile! Both have sweet, honey, herbal qualities about them. Yum! The last thing I notice is the licorice and also the star anise, which of course have qualities all their own- sweet, but in a different way. I don’t normally like the flavor of licorice, but I think it all depends on what it is. There are these Italian black licorice candies that i’ve tried and they taste horrid. But I’ve tried licorice flavors in teas and I don’t always hate them. I guess it all depends on what it is and what it’s mixed with and how it’s done!

This tea was done really, really well! I really did enjoy it and I really did find it so relaxing! I may even order a larger bag because I think this is something I would drink as part of my nighttime ritual. The citrus aspect gives it a light, fluffy, “spring” feel. The licorice and star anise give it a unique twist. The honeybush and chamomile give it an herbal/honey feel. Definite A+ from me! A must try before it is gone.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

I have a confession (although, for anyone who has read many of my reviews from back when I was a tea reviewer – this probably isn’t much of a confession) – I’m not particularly fond of chamomile. Oh, I’ll drink it (on a rare occasion) but it’s not a tea/tisane that I’ll grab enthusiastically. It’s not something I’ll brew every day – I certainly don’t like it that much.

That said, I don’t hate it either. I’m just kinda ‘meh’ about it. Not my favorite thing – you know?

I’ve crafted one blend with chamomile during my time as the Mad Tea Artist of 52Teas – At Play in the Fields of Love – which I blended as a VIT for a special customer. Now, I’m crafting my second chamomile blend – and I’m blending it with one of my very favorite flavors: Licorice! I absolutely love licorice and all herb-y things related to licorice, like licorice root, anise and fennel. But interestingly enough – this is my first time blending a licorice blend. (Although, I did use licorice root in the Butter Beer reblend.) I have refrained from using licorice as a primary flavor in my blends up until now because I realize that it is a somewhat polarizing flavor – most people either love it or hate it – and it seems like it’s a even balance between those that like it and those that don’t. It’s kind of hard to create a winning blend with a featured flavor that is so polarizing.

But I’m hoping that with this blend – I’ve done just that.

One day while cruising through the internet – I stumbled upon a recipe for a cocktail called “April Siesta.” The cocktail features Absinthe which is a licorice-y liqueur and Curacao which is a citrus-y liqueur. These two liqueurs are combined with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and simple syrup and topped off with a lemon twist.

So this is my take on this cocktail that I’ve never actually tasted but was inspired by. I started with organic honeybush, added some chamomile (because when I think ‘siesta’ – the first herb that comes to mind is chamomile), added licorice root, star anise and some citrus (orange and lemon) wedges. I didn’t want the citrus to be too intrusive because I really wanted the licorice-y flavors to be the star of the show but I didn’t want the licorice to be so sharp that those who aren’t particularly fond of licorice might appreciate this beverage too.

I love this! I can honestly say that this is my favorite blend with chamomile in it – mostly because I can’t really taste the chamomile. Instead, I get sweet licorice with light citrus background notes. Yummy!

organic ingredients: honeybush, chamomile, orange, lemon, licorice root, star anise and natural flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Evening in the Garden from Plum Deluxe. . . . .

As is true to many of us tea-lovers, I’m a big fan of taking tea time as more of a ritual than just a beverage (although don’t get me wrong– many a cups are sipping while I’m racing out the door or mindlessly doing work at my desk) whenever I can. So anytime a cup encourages me to a sense of relaxation and place during my sipping, I’m all about it. Is my garden currently covered in snow and darkness post-5 PM still practically every day? Yes. Will I pretend I’m relaxing in the late warm summer breeze after dinner while sipping this tea regardless? Also yes.

This tea boasts a honeybush base (already off to a great start for my tastes) with elderflower, rose, lemon and vanilla. While I can’t say I know what elderflower tastes like (certainly not elderberry, which I think I’d assumed upon ordering), the rest of the flavors shine through for me here with some light floral undertones. I like this one with a touch of honey, which brings those citrus notes right to the top of my sip. Smooth and creamy vanilla lingers at the end, which is just delightful. Honestly, this one has been sitting in my cabinet for too long, and I just kind of… forget about it. But every time I brew up a cup, I’m pleasantly surprised by how lovely it is.

And in late winter, I’ll take any chance I can get to evoke those warm spring evenings that I know are on their way!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Find yourself in a delightfully calming, quiet moment inside your teacup.  This tea is a blend we are very excited about!  We start with fresh elderflowers — a unique herb not as often used in teas.  Then we pair it with lemon peel and rose petals to add a floral zing that is both refreshing and relaxing.  Honeybush tea and a touch of vanilla essence add body.  The combination is simply delicious — we literally almost called this tea Elderflower Awesomeness, but this organic elderflower tea can be for whenever and whatever you want.

“Enjoy a cup of smooth fragrant Evening in the Garden tea to ready yourself for sleep and dreams of floral meadows.” – Experience Life Magazine

All Plum Deluxe teas are hand-blended and infused with love in Portland, Oregon. Each 1 oz tea packet makes 15-20 cups. All organic ingredients — no sulfites, no artificial chemicals, non-GMO.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!