Cherry Almond Gunpowder from 52Teas. . . .

Cherries typically are paired with chocolate which is delicious but I have to say I’m more of a nut kind of gal. So when 52Teas released this Cherry Almond Gunpowder Tea, I was like- take my money now!

Cherry Almond Gunwpoder from 52Teas is a handblended tea with a green tea (gunpowder) base with dried cherries and sunflower seeds added in along with natural flavors.  First whiff of this, you definitely come away with this nutty robust aroma.

Brewed with water prepped right under boiling and allowed to brew for 3 minutes, this tea just kept giving off these nutty notes that kept me standing attention by the kitchen timer. I eagerly awaited that beeping noise telling me my tea was ready to go.

After the tea cooled for a few moments, I took my first sip. I have to say this tea is quite dynamic.

Rich strong smoky flavors came across while being entangled with this sweetness from the cherries while the sunflower seeds marvelously  round out the nutty tones.  I can’t say that I’m getting almond but I’m extremely happy with the flavors I am getting.  With the gunpowder tea being the base,  this tea has this robustness that brilliantly works against the sweeter tones.

Being the fan of gunpowder teas that I am, I will say I was a bit hesitant about this blend.  I wasn’t sure how  the cherries would play along side the richness of the green tea, but wow is the flavor profile for this tea just magnificent.  . So much so I even emailed 52Teas and asked how much of this tea was in stock because I wanted to purchase whatever they had left.

Sorry to all that didn’t get to try this tea because I bought the rest of what 52Teas had to offer.  It was a beauty!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

This Is My Boomstick from Geeky Teas. . . . .

I feel like This Is My Boomstick is the kind of tea that Confucius drank while he was doing all that writing. Boomstick strikes the balance of meditative and action. Boomstick is the flavor of Chinese calligraphy, fireworks, and wall-building. (FACT: it’s not possible to see the Great Wall from space. How disappointing is reality?) Boomstick tastes like intellectual conversations and long travels.

The tea itself shows up in cute little rolled-up balls. When I showed them to a coworker, she said “that must be a tedious job.” I like to imagine that the workers are watching Netflix while hand-crafting, like I crochet on my couch during Handmaid’s Tale or what-have-you. It seems like a job one can do somewhat automatically after a little practice. Or, at least, I hope it is.

As the tea steeped, the balls at the top of my gravity steeper unfurled downward. The balls at the bottom puffed upward. They were like stalactites and stalagmites reaching for each other.

It’s a flavorful, robust green, but not too tart or overwhelming. I’d say this falls into the “just right” category, a quintessential straight green. Definitely worth a try, even if just to watch the unfurling. It’s a lovely moment to just enjoy in the present.

I couldn’t find any Confucius quotes about tea to wrap up this post, so we’re going to end on this:

“Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” ― Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Geeky Teas

Gunpowder tea from china is crafted from hand-rolled green tea leaves. The oxidation gives it a smoky flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Pearls (Hong Zhen Zhu) from Silk Road Teas. . . .

I recently finished up my sample of Red Pearls (Hong Zhen Zhu) from Silk Road Teas. I’m not going to lie…a single, small, dramatic tear ran down the side of my face as I consumed the last sips of this wonderful infusion!

The color of the liquor itself was VERY dark laying there in my cuppa. It paired perfectly with the rainy days we have been having lately. Not that this is a gloom and doom cup but more like a comforting cuppa, instead!

This is a high-grade Mao Feng leaf that has been rolled into shiny small pearls and oxidized to a deep brown color.

It’s softly aromatic, offers a touch of smokiness, and has a light, naturally sweet finish.

The word I keep coming back to with this taste of tea is molasses! Not sure why but that is what this one reminds me of…molasses! It’s sweet, dark, thick, bold, tarry-malty, and delicious!

A black tea many to most would be PROUD to have in their stash! I know I was darn delighted!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Silk Road Teas

A high-grade Mao Feng leaf has been rolled into a shiny small pearl and oxidized to a deep brown color. The result is an unusual and rare Fujian Province black tea that is softly aromatic, offering a touch of smokiness and a light, naturally sweet finish. Cup color is a rich red and clean. Our lot is very well made, the craftsmanship is apparent. This style of black tea was once quite common but in recent years has become rare as the processing of the leaf is quite difficult.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sherlock Holmes Inspired Tea from First Edition Tea Co.

Sherlock Holmes is certainly a classic literary character. There are various renditions of him on the market and everyone has their own favorite. My personal favorite is the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock. Though, regardless of which Sherlock you know and like, we can all agree that he is a bit of a jerk. Brilliant and has his soft spots, but “rough around the edges” is a bit of an understatement when it comes to this classic character.

With that in mind, I would say Mr. Holmes and a Smokey English Breakfast seem like a fitting pairing. Rough around the edges with a hint of sweet, and it doesn’t hurt that the base is traditionally English. Plus, among other things, the lapsang can invoke memories of the character’s well-known smoking habit.

Just like Mr. Holmes and his personality, smokiness in tea is a harsh and polarizing flavor component. It can be off-putting for some but when done right, as it is here, it creates an interesting scent and flavor, like a campfire. It is a bit like tobacco in taste but not bitter in the slightest. There is also a sweetness here though, like a hint of honey that compliments the smoke quite nicely. It’s subtle but it’s there and it keeps this tea from being one-note, and though I don’t personally sweeten my teas, I could see this taking sweetener quite nicely.

As far as smokey teas go, this is a nice take on a classic and in my mind, it is quite well suited to the literary masterpiece that inspired it.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  First Edition Tea Co.

A mysterious blend of traditional English Breakfast tea packed with plenty of pipe smoke, a hint of bergamot, nettle, and a surprising touch of honey sweetness. Perfect for sipping while lost in your mind palace. It’s elementary.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Honeybush Tea from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

Talk about being SURPRISED and HAPPY! From what I can see THIS Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Honeybush Tea from A Quarter To Tea appears to be VEGAN! Woot! I have been eyeballing some of their teas but they seem to contain dairy (butter) in most of them. This one doesn’t! YAY!

According to their website this contains: honeybush tea, cocoa nibs, apple pieces, rose hips, red peppercorn, pumpkin mini sprinkles (icing sugar (vegan), modified corn starch, corn starch, fractionated palm kernel oil, cellulose gum, soya lecithin, vanillin, polysorbate 60), cinnamon bark, orange peel, cloves, safflower, natural flavors.

I will say that the TASTE is comparable to a flavored Chai. So if you like Chai – Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Honeybush Tea from A Quarter To Tea – will probably be right up your alley!

The spices are nicely done. They are of medium strength but linger for quite a while. The cocoa nibs are subtle but important to the overall flavor. The vegan candies make this a bit on the sweet side. The vanilla flavors – of course give it a curved creamy edge.

It’s hard to believe this is ‘just a honeybush’. There flavors are so lovely you almost forget about what is being used for the base. This was a neat surprise and nicely done flavored tisane!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honebush
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

Smoky and spicy with just a touch of lapsang, but ultimately sweet and pumpkin-y with plenty of custard notes. Definitely brings flavor to the tea party.

If you liked Smoky Sweet Potato Pie last year, you’ll definitely like this as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!