(Sad) Sipdown #4- Mom’s Birthday Cake Black Tea/52 Teas -CuppaGeek-

Sipdown #4 on my sipdown/tea time journey for 2021 and what a sad sipdown it is.

52Teas is a beloved tea company to many tea enthusiasts.  However, the both awesome and sad part about 52Teas is each of the teas are a limited edition in their own way and typically if you fall in love with a blend- you have to ration yourself or your tea loving heart might be broken.  Reason is- 52Teas literally blends up a tea a week throughout the year so there is always new and fun teas to try but on the flip side- restocking on a blend that you adore doesn’t always happen.

That is why this is a sad sipdown.  This blend may actually be my favorite 52Teas blend ever edging out Graveyard Mist ever so slightly, more than likely due to my new love of black teas.  This blend literally has it all- a little sweet, a little spice, and a little sass. And no matter how you brew this gem, the flavors are always spot on.

Today for my “me tea time”, I prepped up water at 212F and allowed the tea to steep between 3-4 minutes and cool for a moment or two. This tea is just such oh sooo good..   The black tea notes hang in the background while the orange, dates and ginger mingle together in perfect harmony.  There is a sweetness that I think is supposed to be the cake part but I’m getting more vanillaish notes than anything else.  I paired this tea with a stroopwaffle and was truly enjoying my me moment today.

I’ve enjoyed several tea pots of this lovely and sadly, this is the last of this blend in my stash.  I do spy with my little eye another cake blend currently available on 52Teas so I might just try that one out but if you ever hear of a reblend for this one, I encourage you to check it out. . .or maybe I don’t. . .more for me (haha).


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This blend is no longer available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea Time with Friday Afternoon Tea – CuppaGeek-

Each and every year, tea enthusiasts take a look at their tea stashes/cupboards  and decide to take an earnest attempt at sipping down the tea that they currently own for a variety of reasons.  This year, I’m joining in on this venture for a different reason- I want to dedicate more time to myself.  2020 was a hard year on my family.  Between one of our son’s being diagnosed with cancer to losing a beloved member of our family to an extremely hectic and challenging political cycle (my 9-5) to everything in between which includes basically being a “single parent” for a good chunk of the year while my hubby took care of our son, Parker while he was getting treatment at St Judes.  For so many, 2020 will always be an exhausting and stressful year.  But, it is time to now look at 2021 and make new habits and choices to set the year off right.

One the new habits I am truly striving to establish for myself is literally time for myself.   I am very fortunate to have been working from home for a few years now but with the kiddos also being home and remote learning, that tea time that I always really enjoyed fell by the way side.   And I have too many delightful tea goodies to have that happen.  So I have literally set up time each day on my calendar to take a moment, pop onto Steepster, log my teas, see tea lovelies everyone is enjoying all while enjoying a cuppa myself.  If you aren’t familiar with Steepster, I highly encourage you to check it out. Steepster is a great place to log your tea tasting notes while engaging with other like minded tea friends.  A lovely environment that I am thrilled to be engaged with once again.

To start 2021 off right, my Black Friday Friday Afternoon tea order finally arrived on 1/3 so I thought these would be a nice treat to ring in the new year.  I mainly ordered a variety of black flavored teas but my mystery sampler was also included in this order so there were various tea samples to dig into as well.

#1 Sipdown:

I’m No Prize was the first sample I grabbed.  This blend is  black tea, ginger root, star anise, rose, jasmine blend with cinnamon flavoring.  I’ve been seeing a lot of rose flavored chai blends lately and the idea of mingling floral and spiced flavors was incredibly intriguing.  Brewed up with water at 212F and steeped for 3 minutes, this tea was a joy.  You could literally pick out each flavor on its own and they all worked together nicely.  Pops of ginger, star anise, and cinnamon worked wonderfully well with the rose and jasmine.

I was able to get a few infusions out of the sample serving and enjoyed every sip.  Really lovely blend and one I could see re-ordering more of in a heart beat.

#2 Sipdown:

Butterfly Blend was the second sample that grabbed my attention.  A black tea blend with honey, strawberry, orange peel and lemongrass.  When I first opened the sample- the first thought that came to mind was how much this tea smelled like a strawberry candy.  I was eager to enjoy this one so I prepped up my water at 212F and again allowed the tea to steep for 3 minutes.  Sadly, I think my taste buds are changing and this blend was too sweet for me.    The first sip – my taste buds were super happy.  Super sweet honeyed strawberries was what I was getting.  However, after a few more sips, it was like I needed a bit of something else to round out that sweetness, possibly even a bit more black tea.  The blend itself is beautiful to look at but just doesn’t seem to be the right tea for me.

#3 Sipdown:

Courtesan’s Blend was the last of the three samples I enjoyed during my tea time sipdown.  I will be honest, I’ve received this blend a few different times in my mystery samplers from Friday Afternoon and I have never really enjoyed the blend.  But again, looking at the ingredients I should.  Oolong, clove, cinnamon, and vanilla flavoring.  All sounds delightful.  When you first open the sample pack as well, the blend smells delightful.  To my dismay, those aromas (for me) did not translate into any noticeable flavors until the very end of each sip if not the after taste.  Then I could pick up the oolong, clove, and cinnamon notes.  If the flavors were more pronounced, I have a feeling I would be in love with this blend.  But after trying this blend so many times, I think this one just isn’t for me.

All in all, not a bad little tea party (that spanned a few hours might I add).  The winner for me is I’m No Prize which is already on my list to re-order the next time I order from Friday Afternoon.

Let us know if you have any tea related goals for 2021. We’d love to hear them!


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Where to Buy: Friday Afternoon

Day #1 Adagio Teas Advent Calendar -CuppaGeek-

Today is the second official day of the tea advent calendar season but to avoid spoilers- I’m going to review the lovely Adagio Teas Advent Calendar a day behind so without further ado. . . . .

Day #1- Spiced Apple Chai

Spiced Apple Chai is a tea blend from Adagio Teas that I know very well.  I have enjoyed this one quite often.  This lovely black tea based flavored chai is pretty much like fall in a cup but I like to enjoy this one with a twist. A shot of rum or a dollop of cream just adds a nice next level feel to this brew.

Brewed with fresh prepped water at boiling and steeped for right around 2-3 minutes this blends yields a distinctive distinctive apple flavor along with what I would consider the traditional chai spices-ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon .  Flavors that you would expect to go well together and a chai you want to enjoy on a cool day where wrapping your hands around a mug brings your tea loving soul so much love.

Adding the additional extras of course are optional to enjoy this lovely cuppa and what is great about this particular blend, there are so many different ways you can enjoy- western brewed, as a latte, adult like with a shot of this or that, cold brewed with or without a touch of maple syrup, truly the possibilities are endless which makes this one of my favorite Adagio blends.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

Our Spiced Apple Chai features the timeless, comforting combination of apples and spice. A lively blend of black tea, classic spices from Indian Masala Chai and bright notes of crisp apple. Juicy and pleasantly sweet, like warm applesauce, with clean, refreshing texture. We suggest two heaping teaspoons per 8 oz cup. Sugar, cream or soy if desired.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A Mellow Black Tea/Kaley Tea- CuppaGeek

This year has been something.  Might I even say this might be the worse year I’ve ever experienced at least for my family. . . but I try to always look at the brighter side.  Between all of the nation wide situations going on like COVID 19 and the current political climate here in the States, my family has been hit with a lot of health related hardships that has left a void in our hearts.  But through all of these hardships and what felt like a never ending cycle of bad news and stressful situations, I found solace and peace each and every day within a cuppa tea that was constantly by my side during those hard weeks of September through the present day.  Each day, no matter what else was going on or how I felt- I made sure that I had a cuppa tea at the ready to help soothe my soul and keep me going.  One of those cuppas that I enjoyed was Kaley Teas’s black tea.

The title for this tea really says it all.  No fuss, no complex this or that- this is a lovely black tea that is mellow on flavor but still quite delightful.  Brewed with freshly prepped boiling water and allowed to steep for right around 3 minutes- this tea has a bright note of crisp maltiness with a touch of astringency that really keeps you going sip after sip.  Every once in a while I noted a bread like flavor or a potentially raisin finish.  This black tea stood up to a few steepings and I even think I oversteeped for a moment or two and still enjoyed the cuppa and wanted more.  From the description I found on the tea (after doing some searching on the site), there was some comments about floral and bergamot orange flavors, I’m not so sure my palette picked up on those but I’ll be curious to see if my other SororiTea Sisters do.

Kaley Tea is a company that I’m not 100% familiar with and their website looks like they are still working on bring their story to market.  I’m quite excited to check out their other teas and I just adore how they label each tea with a reassuring title like a mellow black tea or a graceful green tea.  For someone like me who has been finding themseleves looking more for straight tea blends instead of flavored ones, this one is a keeper.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Kaley Teas

Description

Black twiggy twisted tea leaves turn into a light shimmering copper golden liquor with every steep. Floral notes mixed with rice paddy hay provides a distinct base. A finale of bergamot orange and chocolate gives way to bee’s honey, making up a colorful bouquet of delicate & sublimely refined flavours. Bright coppery infused leaves emanate floral perfumes, enmeshed with sugary, citrusy notes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rave Coffee and Tea! -CuppaGeek-

Even though I am a huge tea drinker, I do love my coffee as well.  I actually start each day with coffee.  Being not a morning person, I’ve bumbled tea steepings one too many times and it seems like coffee is just an easier choice for me- plus coffee is just an alluring smell for thing in the morning.

Recently I tried a coffee tea blend where there was actual coffee in the tea blend itself  (not coffee flavorings) and I fell in love with this unique blend.  Around the same time, Rave Coffee reached out to the SororiTea Sisters to see if we would be interested in checking out their coffee and it was like it was meant to be.  When the coffee arrived- I was floored. The coffee smelled amazing, fresh, and vibrant.  Along with the coffee was this really lovely education pack.   I’ve never seen such a cool education guide to help you learn and explore your coffee.  There is so much info on how to brew your coffee, how to taste it, they even included a coffee tea tasting log.  Very very cool and slick in style.

Before I started experimenting with the tea and coffee blend, I decided I wanted to try the coffee on its own and it was amazing.  My particular palette I feel is more set up to tastes the unique properties of tea more than coffee but what I can say is that this tea was divine.  Rich, smooth, without any bitterness and addicting!  I found myself eagerly drinking cup after cup as regular coffee, lattes, cold brews, you name it- I tried it- and always with success.  Just plain delicious and highly recommended.

When it was time to start brewing the coffee up with tea- I decided to go with an blend of Assam to get that right taste.  I also added a few cocoa nibs just to give the coffee and tea a bit more flavor to play off of.  Brewed up the tea with 212F prepped water for right around 2 minutes.  The result- Delicious mix of the two worlds that I adore- coffee and tea.  Each flavor is allowed its own time in the spotlight- you can literally tell the familiar notes of coffee with the familiar notes of tea.  I was assuming there might be a mixing of flavors but there really isn’t.  Which sounds a bit odd, but I’m actually enjoying this and my own little experiment tastes a lot like the coffee tea blend I had not too long ago.  I’m excited to really explore this idea more with different coffee and tea blends.

I’ve had several different coffee subscriptions from a lot of different places but Rave is one I’m really excited to get going to really take a deeper dive into all things coffee and possibly even blend up a puerh coffee blend on my own.  Rave Coffee has so much to learn on their website just in general but it will be fun to really take the time to enjoy their coffee like I do some of my favorite teas and to take the time to really learn about that cup of joe I enjoy so much in the mornings.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Where to Buy: Rave

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!