Firewater from Pelican Tea gets its name from the addition of hot habanero peppers to the tea. But hot peppers aren’t the only unusual ingredient, this solid black tea also has toasted brown rice, an ingredient that is usually found in green tea genmai cha teas.
I always like to get a whiff of my tea leaves before I brew them, but I was a little nervous about sticking my nose in the bag this time. Would I get a noseful of hot peppers and run away sneezing like in the cartoons? Well, I got lucky, this tea smells savory and earthy and a bit like baked bread from all the starchy brown rice, but no burning or sneezing.
I let the leaves steep and took in the scent of the brewing tea. Still no bite of spice, just more toasted cereal tones from the rice, and a robust black tea. Taking a sip, I finally get a glimpse of the hot peppers. At the back of each sip there is the slightly smoky, chipotle flavor of habanero peppers, and a warm burn of capsaicin down my throat. It’s not so spicy as to be unpleasant, but it is definitely a distinctive experience. All the forward flavors of the tea focus on the nutty, roasted rice.
This would be a great tea for those who like rice in their tea, like in genmai cha. Or this would be a winner for those of you who like the spicy soup sipping broth products out there. The brown rice and earthy black tea take over most of the flavor palette in this tea, but the passing flame of hot pepper spice with each sip makes this something special.
All in all Firewater is a really unique blend that would be a fun gift for any lover of all things hot and spicy.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Pelican Tea
The original Pelican Tea, and an instant classic. Habanero-infused Orange Pekoe black tea and toasted brown rice contribute to an unpretentious blend that’s as comforting as it is spicy.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
My stepdad is the hot sauce king. The man can handle heat. I don’t do too bad but he is a beast. The rest of my family…not so great with spice. So, when my sister and I were at the One of a Kind show not too long ago and we were looking to get my step dad some hot sauces, it was put on me to try them out. Habeneros were just the tip of the iceberg…well, more like a volcano. One particularly hot concoction was made by a farmer that crossbred peaches with hot peppers and that really took me by surprise. Funny enough, the vendors all kept telling me that I had some incredibly high tolerance for spice which means I guess I kept my cool but at some point I was dying inside. Nonetheless, spice is relative and I have yet to find a “spicy tea” that truly took my back. Let’s see how this goes.
Alright so its no hybrid peach/pepper level of spice but there is a slight tingle from the heat that hits the back of your throat. It’s actually got a nice sweet heat flavor with the juicy peach that sets in just before the habenero/ginger surprises you. I think what actually is an understated player here is the cucumber. The peach melts away to the cooling cucumber which, to me, is what paves the way for the spice to pop. It’s the bridge needed to bring the peach and habenero together and it fills this role beautifully.
Of the spicy teas I have tried,this has more of a kick than others. In fact, I even got my stepdad to try it out who said he liked the habenero flavor. However, the spice is kept in check by the other components in the tea making for a well-rounded and tasty beverage. If you want to burn your face, this won’t do that for you but if you want a delicious tea, well you’ll find that here.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: A Quarter To Tea
This tea is SPICY!
Sweet peach, with cooling cucumber, a touch of tart hibiscus and ginger and habenero pepper flakes make a tea that is excellent both hot and chilled. Guaranteed to warm your tastebuds up this winter.