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!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 3- Spoilers

Day 3!

Today’s flavor is Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush.  Right away I notice the fragrant raspberry scent and see the vibrant color pop of dried raspberries in the dry leaf.

This is an herbal blend that reminds me a bit of those thumbprint jam cookies that pop up on cookie plates during this time of year.  This blend is a bit more marzipan than butter cookie, but the almond nuttiness still pairs well with the natural caramelly, woodsy flavors of the honeybush.

I think this blend is best when brewed hot and strong for maximum flavor from the honeybush. Play up the dessert name by serving it as a foamy latte. Perfect for a before bed brew while putting out the cookie plate for Santa.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honeybush
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

When it comes to my tea flavors, there is usually some sort of inspiration behind it. Quite often, it was a flavor conceived during an afternoon of browsing through Pinterest. (I do like Pinterest!) I don’t really recall where I got the idea for a Raspberry Almond Cookie tea – but if I were to place a bet, my bet would be that I found it during a Pinterest browse.

I’ve never had a raspberry almond cookie. But when I think of “Raspberry Almond Cookie” – my mind evokes a thought of one of those little thumbprint type of cookies, you know, the cookies with a little indentation in the center where you could put a dollop of jam or marmalade? So, imagine that – if you would. A delicate almond shortbread that engulfs a little mound of raspberry jam.

And that’s exactly what this tastes like. I taste a good amount of raspberry and almond flavor and even a hint of buttery cookie. This is a naturally caffeine free treat – so it would make for a perfect dessert-y drink that you can enjoy before bedtime without worry that it’ll keep you up past your bedtime!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 1-Spoilers!

Day 1!  The 12 Teas of Christmas set from 52Teas really lets you surprise yourself, with the name of the tea hidden under a silvery scratch-off label on the pouch.  It is one of the most fun and most unique daily tea surprise sets I’ve tried.

Today I tried Foggy Coconut Black Tea. In the past I tried Smoky Coconut from 52Tea and enjoyed it, but Foggy Coconut is a new one to me!  As soon as I opened the pouch I was wrapped in the distinct citrus scent of earl grey. The fog in the name clearly refers to the London Fog drink, made with earl grey tea.  Among the black tea leaves were big curls of white coconut.

Historically, earl grey teas are always walking that balance between crisp bergamot and creamy vanilla, so pairing an earl grey tea with smooth coconut was a winning idea.  Even without milk, this tea is full bodied and has plenty of cream taste. The coconut adds a rich buttery feel and taste without causing too much of that oil slick on the top of your tea.  All the vanilla creaminess is balanced with just enough of earl grey’s tried and true orange zest to make for a delicious and complex flavor experience.

This tea is also appropriately Christmassy: brew up a cup of Foggy Coconut in honor of the foggy night that Rudolph earned his place among Santa’s reindeer.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

My inspiration behind this blend is one of my favorite coffee shop drinks: a London Fog Latte! I order mine with coconut milk and half the usual amount of vanilla syrup (otherwise, it’s just too sweet!) One day as I was sipping on this drink, I found myself contemplating the beverage. I love the way the hints of coconut play with the bergamot but I found myself wishing that the coconut notes were stronger. (I do love me some coconut!) I also found myself wishing that the tea notes were stronger – which I felt would be accomplished if it didn’t have so much milk product in it – but then, the coconut notes would not be present. Then the idea hits me: why not make my own version of this drink with these improvements in mind!

And here we have it: I started with a base of Assam and Yunnan for a rich, bold, malty flavor. Something that could hold it’s own even with the strong note of creamy coconut. Then I added bergamot – I didn’t want to go too heavy on the bergamot because I didn’t want the coconut and bergamot competing with each other. I wanted enough bergamot to be tasted but not so much that it would interfere with the coconut flavor. Then I added some vanilla bean. Again, not a heavy vanilla taste – just enough to lend creaminess to the coconut and soften the edge of the bergamot and strong teas.

Then I went coconuts! This is a strongly coconut flavored tea but there’s enough bergamot there to give the cup the flavor that I was going for – this cuppa is my ideal London Fog! It’s got lots of coconut flavor without the milk drowning out the flavor of the tea. No “latte” required here, there’s enough creaminess to the flavor. Of course, if you want to go latte, that’s OK – but I’d recommend trying it without first!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Plum Deluxe’s Advent Calendar- Days 1-5

Tea advent calendars are huge right now and I had to jump in and pick up a few for the holidays.  One of the calendars I picked up was Plum Deluxe’s Advent Calendar- one of the more expensive ones I came across, but loving Plum Deluxe, I knew this would be amazing.

Unlike other tea advent calendars I’ve seen, Plum Deluxe’s calendar comes with a reusable 25 day “goodie” holder that you can reuse year after year.  The goodie holder is made out of canvas and is done amazingly well. I’m quite taken with this calendar and actually wish there wasn’t a winter theme to the artwork because I would love to hang this in my office all year long to help me drink down my current tea stash.  Unfortunately, my office is in the corner area of my family room, so it would look a little odd with snowflakes coming out of a tea pot in the crazy hot days of summer.  Nevertheless, I’m in love with this holder and can’t wait to use it during the next few winter seasons to come. 

 

 

This particular calendar contains a mix of treats and Plum Deluxe teas- sample size. Being a huge fan of Plum Deluxe teas, I was excited to jump in and get my kettle going. I used to subscribe to their monthly tea plan, but found that I had to cancel just because I had so much tea on my hands.  If you haven’t had Plum Deluxe teas, I encourage you to check them out.  Beyond having delicious teas, they have the most amazing customer service and community behind the scenes.  If you ever had any dealings with Plum Deluxe, you know exactly what I mean.

So, without further ado, I’m going to run down the first five days of treats/teas. . .

-Day 1- Sample Size  of Apple Cinnamon Warmth Black Tea

Not being a huge fan of black teas, I was still really excited about trying this tea. Like I said, I took a break from Plum Deluxe for a bit and haven’t had this tea as of yet.  Brewed with water at boiling and allowed to steep for 4 minutes then topped with frothed warm almond milk, I was in heaven. This tea was everything I needed on a Mid-West brisk evening.  The cinnamon was the star of this tea with a subtle apple note in the background and a touch of orange. I didn’t so much taste the black tea base but I don’t think this tea really needed that.  This tea is one for sure I could see myself reordering.

-Day 2- Soul Warmer Herbal Tea (Red Rooibos)-

Unfortunately, this tea contains red rooibos, an herb that I have a strong (insanely so) aversion too.  I’m one of those that adores and loves green rooibos but red rooibos is and always will be my arch enemy- so I have added this tea another’s Sisters tea package to send to them shortly. I hope they love it. It looks really pretty and I’m sure is amazing.

-Day 3- Berry Pie Dessert Tea (Honeybush)

This tea right here is hands down the best tea I’ve ever had from Plum Deluxe.  The honeybush is crisp and provides this luscious dessert feel with a vanilla backdrop, the cinnamon and cardamom provide this subtle but solid spiced feel that is reminiscent of pie, and of course the berry flavor is spot on. Just so good, so right, so simple and yet  so perfect. I want a gallon of this tea at the ready for me at any moment. That’s how much I love and adore this tea.

-Day 4- Self Care Blend Herbal Tea (Honeybush)

Brewed up with freshly boiled water and allowed to steep for about 4 minutes, I was hoping this tea would be a gorgeous blend of apricots and apple with a vanilla background based on the ingredient list.  And that is exactly what the taste was but it almost seemed like this tea needed a touch of something else to really bring the flavors to life.  The tea was good but it didn’t blow me away like I thought it would.  With the second steeping, I threw in a few cinnamon chips and this tea popped to life.  The sweet cinnamon brought the apricots, apple, and vanilla into this gorgeous spiced fruit note that blended perfectly with the vanilla flavors the honeybush was provided.  I’m now quite addicted to this connection I created.

-Day 5- 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Heart

I do like how there is a mix of teas and treats in the mix, but I was hoping for more tea related treats than a chocolate  heart.  I’m sure it will be delightful with the right cup of tea and will keep it for a treat later when I have a chocolate craving.  (I’m actually not a huge chocolate fan)

So overall, I did enjoy the first week’s offerings. Some hits and misses, but planning an advent calendar to appease the masses would be a huge undertaking and I can’t even imagine getting together something of this nature.  I’m hoping for more hits next week!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe
Description- A daily tea based advent calendar to enjoy through the holidays.

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!