Winter Spice / Tease Tea

Whole Star Anise!

What a surprise it was to open the 30g pouch and find that!

It makes it a bit more festive. The dry aroma is faint. Somewhat creamy, spicy, and nutty. My first cup of this was a bland mess but I didn’t want to give up. It’s a unique tea blend; slight creaminess hinted once the tea enters your mouth which turns into a peculiar spicy flavor; which I’m assuming comes from the ginger and the cinnamon. Calming is generally not a descriptor I use when talking about black tea, however, with the chamomile this tea has a nice calming effect.

Everything in this tea blends well together and yet I’m finding myself somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps because they say spice in the name I expected more kick. The first cup was steeped between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes so the next cupping was upped to 5 minutes. I’m currently on a third cup also brewing 5 minutes but adding a 1/2 tsp more of tea. The first taste at 5 minutes was the same as the second cup so the brewing time was upped to 7 minutes. Unfortunately, this removed the creaminess and the spices seemed to have disappeared altogether. The tannins have taken over a bit more and there is a definite astringency in the after taste.

Overall, a nice blend but one that needs at least 4 minutes for full flavor and is not suggested for those who don’t appreciate a light tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tease Tea
Description:

This festive favourite is back for a limited time! A naturally flavoured black tea featuring notes of cinnamon, spice & everything nice. The perfect way to get into the winter spirit!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Chili from MEM Tea. . . .

To put it simply, I first picked up Red Chili tea from MEM Tea because it involved chocolate.  What can I say, I have a sweet tooth! This black tea blend is made up of a healthy dose of cacao shells, and smelled so lush and sweet in the tin I had to try it.

When I got the tea home, I really began to notice how beautiful and enticing the loose leaf looked: with shiny, blood-red ancho pepper skins, pale pepper seeds, the warm sienna tones of the cacao shells, and the dark, twisty black tea leaves.  As you might know, I’m a fan of chai teas, so I love to see lots of variety in color and shape in my blends. Red Chili is another great entry into the spicy black tea category on my shelf.

Brewed, this tea is sweet and decadent on its own, no sugar or milk required.  There are surprising amounts of both creamy vanilla and deep chocolate, all wrapped up with a warming buzz of hot pepper heat at the end of each sip. This is a great blend if you enjoy mexican-style hot chocolate, both creamy and spicy all at once.

Despite the hot pepper notes, this is very much a dessert tea, and I would recommend it even to those tea lovers who aren’t too excited about spice.  I find myself gravitating towards Red Chili tea after a meal when I want a little something devilish and sweet. It is a delicious blend for any chocolate and tea lover.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  MEM Tea
Description:

This beverage is smooth, creamy, and well-balanced with a pleasantly lingering heat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Yule Fuel from For Tea’s Sake. . . . .

Scent is one of the strongest senses tied to memory, and there is something distinct for all of us about the holidays! There are the cinnamon pine cones in every store, you start being able to use you fireplace, and everything smells like apples. Yule Fuel by For Tea’s Sake is hands down the best holiday tea I’ve ever had. It smells like the holidays with cinnamon and cloves immediately confronting your senses. One encounter with the aroma of this tea will make it obvious that it is aptly named.

I brewed this black tea at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius) for five minutes as directed. It brewed into a nice rich color. The cinnamon and cloves which are prominent in the aromatic profile of this tea are reduced to supporting, but important, players when brewed. The flavor that comes out in the brewing process is a lovely vanilla which helps remove the bitter aftertaste that is common for black teas and often puts people off of drinking black teas without sugar or cream. Saying this is a smooth black tea may be an understatement for this blend. This blend needs no assistance from sugars or cream, but I suspect that the addition of either would create a lovely flavor profile as well.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this blend. From the aroma to the flavor profile that is presented once brewed, this tea is one that you need to have in your collection.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  For Tea’s Sake
Description

This is a holiday blend tea so if interested click below right around the holidays to see if the blend is coming back!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea 24 Advent Calendar 2018 from Tea Revv. . .

Nothing says holidays like starting each day with a surprise gift. Advent calendars are literally the gift that keeps on giving. Usually they are filled with chocolate but for the tea lover on your list, I recommend checking out the Tea 24 Advent Calendar 2018 by Tea Revv. 

Tea Revv was kind enough to send me a sneak peak of their upcoming advent calendar and just from the looks I was excited. The advent calendar box was smaller than I anticipated but its true when they say good things come in small packages! The box is beautifully designed with geometric snow-capped mountains and two little geometric penguins. It certainly evokes the idea of winter and fun.

Inside are 24 small satchets with 2 cups of loose leaf tea each. The satchets are all stacked on top of each other, with the Day 1 tea on top. One thing I will say is that those who like the surprise of opening a door or scratching off a label to discover what the tea of the day is will not get that here. As you pull out one satchet, the next day’s satchet is right there with all the details of the tea. For me, the surprise factor is not essential and I actually like having all the details about the tea (including ingredients and brewing instructions) conveniently in front of me. In addition, the satchets are sleek and carry the geometric theme throughout with colorful and fun holiday images.

One other face-value perk of Tea Revv’s Tea Advent Calendar is it’s price. Relative to other companies offering advent calendars, Tea Revv is not very expensive and thus a great gift for every budget.

Now, how can I talk about a tea calendar without discussing some of the teas? I pulled out a couple of teas just to get a feel for the different blends the calendar has to offer. There is a lot of black teas and warming winter/holiday ingredients. Chai lovers would certainly be pleased. However, there are also fruit tisanes, rooibos blends, green teas, etc. Something for everyone.

One of the first teas I tried was the Day 1 tea, Frosted Fruit Spice. Frosted Fruit Spice is a black tea with cinnamon, ginger, apple, cloves, cinnamon quillings, amaranth petals, safflower petals, and natural flavors. The dry leaf and steeped tea have a deliciously sweet and spiced fruit smell. It has me thinking of fruit filling in a winter-themed fruit pie. Flavorwise, that spiced fruit pie filling transfers over to the taste though more subtle than the scent would suggest. Mostly that is because there is a floral component that is strongly coming through and conflicting with the pie filling. The floral picks up some of the base tea which gives it a bit of a drying effect. I don’t love that drying but the spiced fruit component is really tasty and the reason I keep reaching for my mug and with a splash of milk that is the flavor that is highlighted with the floral and drying drowned out.

I also tried Ginger Green. Ginger Green is a much simpler blend which simply combines green tea and ginger pieces. I was curious to try something other than a black blend and this is the first non-black tea I grabbed from the pile on my table. Now I should preface this by saying I am not a green tea lover and for that reason this tea will never be my favorite. With that said, I should note that it is actually a nice tea. The ginger has just the right amount of flavor and burn to keep things interesting against the green tea base. The base has a lot of umami flavor. Usually greens are grassy but to me this has more of a seaweed flavor. It took my by surprise but also had a richness to it that is more consistent with the winter theme of this tea advent calendar box.

All in all, I have enjoyed the teas I have tried so far and I am just getting started. I look forward to exploring all the blends this calendar has to offer.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Tea Advent Calendar
Where to Buy: Tea Revv
Description

2018 Blends Include: Chilly Willy Chai, Cranberry Apple, Notorious Eggnog, English Breakfast, Coffee Lover, Spiced Apple, Christmas Cake, Ice Cream Earl Grey, Relax, Ruby Amaretto, Golden Turmeric, Gingerbread Man, Belly Bestie, Pumpkin Pie Chai, Irish Cream Breakfast, Rum Pud, Snowballs, Christmas Eve tea, Breakfast Pancakes, Ginger Green, Chocolate tea, Ruby Chai, Achooo, & Frosted Fruit Spice.

Winter is here. But fear not. Defrost those hands kick back relax with Tea 24.  24 seasonal loose leaf tea blends! Each sachet has its own winter illustration packaged in a beautifully designed box. All designs produced in-house. Each sachet contains enough tea for two cups or one large mug. Brewing advice on front of sachets.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!