On the 1st Day of Christmas my 52Teas delivered to me. . . .

If you are a fan of 52Teas, you are probably aware of their amazing Christmas promotion.  For the last few years, 52Teas has offered a 12 Teas of Christmas set.  Included in each set are 12 different teas to enjoy while getting into the holiday spirit. Now what is unique about this is that the flavors are a mystery.  Each label has a foil sticker that you scratch off to find out what the tea is. Such a fun, inventive and unique way to enjoy the holidays.

And the presentation couldn’t have been better! The teas were lovingly addressed to me and in a fun gift box, with a note on when to start drinking the teas. So very festive indeed!

So for the next 12 days, I’ll be reviewing the 12 Teas of Christmas.  Without further ado. . . .The 1st Day of Christmas tea is. . . {insert drumroll}

Partidgeberry in a Pear Tea

This is a green tea with huge chunks of berries and what I can only assume are huge pear chunks. You really can’t get more festive looking than this tea.  Simply gorgeous looking. Brewed up and allowed to steep per the package instructions.   (The official description is below)

After drinking this tea and finishing off the package, I can honestly say I can’t imagine a better way to kick off this fun promotion. The green tea was rich and buttery while the pear gave the tea this unique sweetness and the berries complimented the brew with a tang.  Very well done and well balanced. This is for sure a tea that can easily go wrong but it really works well.

Like I said, I drank this tea down and am still impressed by how many infusions I was able to get out of each serving. I know typically you are lucky to get 2-3 infusions out of each tea but this tea I was able to infuse 5 times. Sure the flavor wasn’t as strong but those notes were still there being as festive and merry as possible.

If all of the teas are like this one, we are in for an awesome holiday treat!

Tea Description: This was one of my favorite Christmas teas from Frank’s era, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I loved it so much for the tea (although the tea is really delightful!) or the name because – seriously – so clever! Right?

So what is a partridgeberry? Well, my research on Wikipedia tells me a partridgeberry can be a creeping herbaceous shrub native to North America (scientific name: mitchella repens) or it can be a lingonberry (scientific name: vaccinium vitis-idaea). Since I have neither mitchella repens nor vaccinium vitis-idaea at my easy disposal, I decided to choose the easiest/most accessible of these two to include in this blend: the lingonberry.

Prior to blending this tea, my experience with the lingonberry was limited to trips to IKEA and seeing lingonberry jam on the shelves (and at one point, I purchased some of that jam to make a sauce for meatballs. No, I didn’t get the meatballs from IKEA.) I also purchased some lingonberry glogg last year. That was pretty tasty.

Official description of this tea below. Click here for the Mad Tea Musings.

Frank’s description of this tea went like this:

Yes, okay, I am a very silly man. I just couldn’t resist.

Back when I was planning to create all new blends for the 12 teas of Christmas sampler, I was trying to figure out how to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas song. I figured out this one and some sort of Turtle® chocolate treat blend. Three French Hens might have been some kind of French vanilla, but four calling birds completely stumped me.

Well, anyway, here’s our buttery-sweet Chinese sencha blended with wild-harvested Partidgeberry (Mitchella repens), dried pears and natural pear flavors. Silly or not, it is delicious if you like pears.

Yes, I love pears! And I’m much more familiar with pears than I am partridgeberries. And this is technically not supposed to be a partridgeberry tea but a pear tea.

I started with organic Chinese Sencha (just like the original recipe!) and added dried pears and instead of using wild-harvested Partridgeberry, I used internet-purchased lingonberries. And they look pretty in this blend, like little red crystals amidst the long spears of green tea and the chunks of pear. It looks very Christmas-y, this tea.

organic ingredients: green tea, pears and natural flavors

ingredients: lingonberries

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Green Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea will be available in very limited quantities beginning December 28th at 52Teas!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Holiday Tea Alert!! David’s Tea Advent Calendar 2016 Days 1-6. . . . Spoilers!

Last year, I splurged on a David’s Tea advent calendar to sip all December leading up to Christmas, and it was the BEST decision ever. So when I got the notice for this year’s calendar up for preorder, you’d better believe it was in my cart before I could say jingle bells. I’ll be tackling these teas a week at a time– let’s get started with days 1-7!

Day 1: Snow Day, a delightful chocolate mint honeybush herbal. This one was all me, as my fiancé can’t stand mint-flavored things (he thinks they taste like toothpaste. I think they taste like more-for-me! ;)). This one came across as more of a carob-mint, without the overt sweetness of chocolate that I was expecting. But it was still tasty, needing no milk or sweet while still acting as a yummy after-dinner treat. I did find there to be an interesting mint after-tingle that lingered post-sip– some might find this off-putting, but I liked it!

Day 2: Jumpy Monkey, a coffee bean yerba mate. I’ll be honest, I haven’t had coffee in over 18 months. I’ve never been a huge fan (preferring tea genuinely instead), but when I realized that drinking it didn’t even make my body feel very good, I gave it up entirely. I made an exception for this cup, and it was worth the risk– notes of coffee and vanilla with some of that energy-boosting mate side effect we all know and love. I don’t know that it was worth it to me to pick this one up again, but my coffee-loving dude couldn’t get enough of it!

Day 3: Genmaicha. This one seemed to be fairly straightforward and traditional to me, green with TONS of rice, both toasted and popped. I’m not the biggest fan of straight green tea, but something about the vegetal and malty mix of rice in this one gave me some popcorn undertones that were straight-up delicious. I’d reach for this one again when I want something less frilly and fancy.

Day 4: Serenity Now, a fruit-forward hibiscus and lavender herbal. I could see how some would hate this blend– the hibiscus is ever-present, and you can’t hide from the floral lavender at all. But I loved it, you guys. In fact, so much so that I may end up grabbing a whole bag for myself! I love lavender in my teas, and think this would one make an excellent iced tea or lemonade infusion. Mmm. I kinda want another cup right now, actually.

Day 5: (full disclosure: I went to brew a cup of Serenity Now before sitting back down to write this next one. If that doesn’t convince you of my newfound love for it…) Coffee Cake, a black tea with large, visible chunks of fruit (pineapple?) and a heavy cinnamon scent. Surprisingly (and gladly), I can’t taste much of the fruit in my cup. To me, coffee cake is all cinnamon and crumb, it’s fruitcake (gross) that has weird chunks of candied fruit hangin’ out in it. This one has predominantly cakey cinnamon notes with hints of vanilla and that elusive pastry-quality. I’d sip this one again, but probably wouldn’t purchase because the fruit was weeeeird, you guys.

Day 6: Apple Cider, a fruit-and-cream herbal with big chunks of apples in the mix. Calling this one a cider is strange to me, as I usually associate cider with spices, and there are none to be tasted in this cup. Instead, I get bright and crisp apple balanced with creamy vanilla. A great cup that needs no extras to really make it pop. I may be ordering some more of this one!

Day 7: Nutty and Spice, oolong. This delicious cup is exactly as described, nutty and spicy and full-flavored. This is a rare oolong that takes milk and sweet well. Honestly, it reminds me so much of another David’s classic, Forever Nuts, except with some caffeine and the oolong base rather than herbal. If you’re a fan of Forever Nuts, I think you’d like this one. Overall, a great first week! Lots of hits and only a few ehs– nothing I’d even go so far to count as a miss. Looking forward to trying a whole new batch next week!

Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Davids Tea
Description:  No longer available on website, but individual teas can be purchased at link above

Ready for the most anticipated gift of the year? This magical tea-filled advent calendar delivers a delicious new surprise every day. Behind each door hides a single serving of tea. No peeking! The surprise is worth it.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!