Christmas in September: Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company

I’m a bit out of season to review Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company, but today is a grey and dreary day so a cup of tea with “cheer” in the name feels like a good fit.

This blend features black tea, peppermint, and cinnamon.  Even in the dry leaf you can smell all three distinct flavors.

Having peppermint and cinnamon in the same blend is like sitting in a snowbank next to a campfire: there are both cooling and warming elements happening at the same time.  I enjoy blends that make use of these flavors. Beyond their flavor profiles, both peppermint and cinnamon bring their own type of sweetness.

Peppermint has a creaminess beneath all its icy mint, almost tasting like vanilla.  Cinnamon has a more earthy, herbal sweetness, more in line with cloves or licorice.

With both of these flavors set against the robust backdrop of black tea, you get a full-bodied brew with a very tactile mouthfeel, both cooling and warming. This is a fresh take on the “spiced black tea” trend that pops up every fall and winter.  The mint and cinnamon together really make this unique and festive.

I’m feeling full of cheer already!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.
Description:

Sit back and relax with your family this holiday season while sharing this delicious, guilt-free tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate from 52Teas. . ..

Let me just start by saying that this is one of my favorite teas. I love it soooo much!! Unfortunately it is not currently available on the 52 Teas website but if it is offered as a reblend make sure you stock up because this is ah. may. zing!

Alright, now that we got that out of the way we can discuss the awesome new method of enjoying this tea and so many others that I have learned of recently. What’s that method you ask? A latte! Not just any latte though…a CHOCOLATE MILK latte. Honestly, it is life-changing. So simple and yet I never thought of it until a tea friend mentioned it. It takes the latte to a whole new level. Try it. You won’t regret it!!

For instance, this particular tea, 52 Tea’s Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate is all the more true to its name when made this way, and I didn’t even think that was possible because even plain this completely tastes like its namesake. However, the heating of the chocolate milk and the mixing of that and the base tea gives a more dark chocolate vibe that elevates this to a richer and more sophisticated treat. That dark chocolate note intermingles wonderfully with the peppermint which comes off more crisp in comparison. It’s almost like a liquid After Eight but with the perfect amount of marshmallow fluffiness to add a pleasant lightness to the overall drink.

It truly is a revelation. That applies both to the tea itself and to chocolate milk lattes.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint Creme Brulee from A Quarter To Tea. . .

I am a creme brulee fiend. It is one heck of a tasty dessert and it is one of those flavors that always ends up in my shopping cart. So when this tea (complete with glitter balls and cute candy cane sprinkles) showed up in my monthly subscription box, I was all too excited to give it a try.

I steeped it per the package directions, in 185F water for 3 minutes. The brewed tea filled the entire kitchen with the smell of bruleed sugar deliciousness.  Flavor-wise, there is definitely a sugar sweetness but as much as I thought peppermint would be a great addition, I feel it is a bit too medicinal for this tea. It takes over and though there is a sweet mint aspect, there is also a burn that is far too distracting. With that, any hope of caramel from a bruleed brown sugar aspect or any creamy custard notes are drowned out.

I had high hopes for this one but it was a bit of a miss for my personal preferences.I want more brown sugar. More custard. Less herbal mint.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint Bark from The Sunshine Cottage. . . .

The name Peppermint Bark evokes memories of the crisp scent of mint with the sweet smell of white chocolate in a certain kitchen goods store I love to visit. I can almost feel the big bar breaking raggedly in my hand as the strong scent of mint stings my nose! Then you carefully gather all those little bits that broke off and pop them in your mouth before taking a big bite, and the white chocolate melts on your fingers.

The scent of this tea hit spot on with that memory. Fresh, sharp mint and rich, creamy white chocolate tickle your nostrils. The white chocolate is less obvious in the scent of the steeped tea but its sweetness is there, keeping this from falling into being a ho-hum plain peppermint.

Even though it is still winter as I drink this, we are already having some spells of hot weather where I live, but that’s okay because nothing refreshes quite like mint when you need to cool off.

A cooling cup it is, too! In winter, a hot cuppa will always warm you, but this is so very minty that I can also drink it hot OR cold on a hot day for refreshment. I have only had it unsweetened, but for those who like sweet tea, I really think this would be amazing that way.

The mint really is the star of the show in this tea, and even though I usually favor spearmint over peppermint by a long margin, the peppermint in this tea had delicious flavor, really sweet and fresh tasting without the edge of bitterness that sometimes creeps in with peppermint.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Sunshine Cottage
Description

Creamy white chocolate and crisp mint make this holiday tea a real treat. Perfect for a toe thawing, pick me up after an afternoon on the slopes, or for sipping by the fire after a wonderful meal!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sweet Peppermint in the Shape of a Heart from Tea Drops. . .

I got a sample of Sweet Peppermint from Tea Drops in some teamail from a friend.  Most of the tea I drink for fun or for reviews are loose leaf teas, with the occasional bagged tea as well.  I personally haven’t tried many instant teas, so at first I was a bit baffled with the right way to brew this sample from Tea Drops.  Simply put the tea-cake into hot water and stir. How easy is that?

Let me draw attention to the adorable fact that this Sweet Peppermint sample came pressed into the shape of a heart.  The cuteness of this tea-cake is the essential detail here, and is what makes these Tea Drops teas such cute gift ideas. They have other shapes like stars and flowers as well as the heart shape I tried.

Brewed this tea is mildly minty, very sugar and sweet, with some creamy vanilla tones.  The little compressed tea-cakes might be an easy solution to brewing tea on the go. Consider stashing a few of these in your desk at work for when the going gets tough and you only have a mug around for tea-brewing.

As a tea, this blend is okay.  The cuteness of the presentation is its true benefit and enjoyment. Definitely worth a try for the novelty of their super-cute tea-cakes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Tea Drops
Description:

A fuller bodied Peppermint tea experience that’s refreshing to the senses with a kick of genuine spearmint. Naturally caffeine-free, this is the perfect anytime tea – morning, day, or night.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!