Day 6 of the Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar (SPOILERS!)

Today is Day 6 of the Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar and if you have been following along with this adventure with me- so far I’ve  had a few hits and a few misses.  And today’s goodie was a sample size offering of Plum Deluxe’s Maple Pecan Black Tea, a tea I had never had but had heard of. I had heart great things about this tea so I was wondering if this tea really lived up to the hype.

And I”m so happy to say it does. This tea is unbelievably amazing. Being one that doesn’t traditionally gravitate to black tea bases, I seriously can not get enough of this tea.  The maple flavoring is perfection and provides this gentle sweetness while the pecan notes add in that nutty flavor to contrast the maple sweetness. Each flavor playing off the other and let me tell you, this is just the beginning of the sip.

Towards the middle, you start to get this wonderful spiced tone that gives you a nice departure from the sweet nuttiness and then at the very end, you get that roasted oolong flavor that I adore. I don’t really get to much of the black tea base, just here and there as an after taste.  I do think I used too much water which is where maybe the black tea flavoring isn’t as pronounced.

I’ve been watching a lot of Food Network over the past few weeks and have been learning a lot about how to properly balance food.  This tea blend is a great example of a well balanced tea. Sweet, nutty, with a spiced and roasted tone. So much loving in one cup. This tea is already one the list to order more.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Oolong Tea
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Part of the Advent Calendar-hopefully available on the website soon to purchase more

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Madagascar Vanilla/Golden Moon

When you have a rare, quiet morning to yourself, what tea do you choose to be your companion? Golden Moon’s Madagascar Vanilla is my choice today because I need something that has the chops to follow up waffles and maple syrup.

This vanilla can’t go wrong, with the vanilla taste coming from real Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and not some mysterious dark liquid that knows beakers better than plants.

I am usually very sensitive digestion-wise to teas that are not from China, but this Indian base sits right with me. It has hearty breakfast tea flavor without the gut twisting bitterness that demands milk to tame it and sugar to tone it down. It has the light, tongue scraping sensation of gentle briskness and a touch of malt. I happily drink this sans additions.

This is vanilla tea for grownups, not a kiddie vanilla. I serve it morning and afternoon, because it does hold up well with a meal or with rich sweets. It is also a good fortifying cup. The hearty base makes it so versatile.

I can’t help but be impressed when I look at their website and see the pains they have taken to assure that the tea that comes to us is as pure as they can possibly make it. But it has to taste good, too! And this one definitely does.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Golden Moon
Description

There’s vanilla, and then there is vanilla. Sometimes “vanilla” is poured out of a small, dark bottle into your favorite boxed cake mix. That stuff is like that “iPod” you bought in Chinatown. Sure it may work, but it really isn’t the same. Our vanilla is straight from the vanilla bean. Not just any bean, but the world famous bourbon vanilla bean found in Madagascar. We chop up the beans, blend them with a pure, organic Indian tea base and let it age for over a month. Why? Because Madagascar Vanilla ends up having a fully infused, rich flavor with no weird chemical aftertaste. Sure it is a lot of trouble for us to make this tea, but it’s well worth it.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bonfire Toffee from Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bonfire Toffee tea from Bird and Blend should be part of everyone’s fall and winter brewing. A full bodied black tea is sweetened with the brown sugar and butter notes of caramel and toffee. The blend stops from being too sweet by the addition of crisp apple and smoky lapsang souchong.

If you aren’t into smoky teas, give this one a try. The smoke is mostly in the scent of the brew, and gets lost beneath black tea and toffee tones in the taste.

This tea feels like taking a walk in the fall. The robust black tea is wrapped around you like a wool scarf, and you can smell the pleasant char of your neighbor’s wood stove on the air. Take a bite out of a fresh apple and follow it up with something sweet, like holiday caramel candy.

I had been curious about trying Bonfire Toffee for its blend of sweet and savory, and the tea does not disappoint. Brew up a cup for your next leaf-peeper trip, or your next winter bonfire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend
Description:

Traveling tea merchants used to carry tea from east to west,all the way across Russia… well, their horses did anyway! It’s said the campfire smoke would infuse into the loose tea leaves at night creating smoked teas. Add some caramel, apple and toasted cinnamon and you get a spectacular Bonfire Night treat!

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!

Aronia Plum Berry from Saint Fiacre’s Farm

I had not heard of Aronia Berries prior to this lovely tea blend from Saint Fiacre’s Farm.  Apparently the berries are so sour when they are fresh off the bush they make your mouth pucker, hence their familiar, less glamorous name, chokeberry.  These berries are a new fruit flavor I haven’t encountered in herbal tea before. They are a bit sour, but not quite the same flavor as cranberry or hibiscus.  They have a little bit of darker elderberry or raspberry flavor among the tart pop, maybe that is where the “plum” comes in.

What really makes this blend so fantastic is the balance of fruit and spice.  The tart berries and juicy hibiscus are counteracted by the sweet licorice root and earthy fennel seed.  Coconut and vanilla round out the blend with some comforting bakery-like tastes.

Rich and relaxing, this is a great blend for when you want that wintry mulled wine or cider experience. Always a pleasure to find new, robust flavors in my herbal tea collection.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Saint Fiacre’s Farm
Description:

This tea features Oregon grown aronia berries, plums and cornflowers. A spin off the traditional sugar plum which is a candy that has a hard outer coating of sugar… think along the lines of the Jordan almond or an M&M type candy. A sweeter, desert like tea which comes from the licorice root and organic extracts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!