On The Fifth Day of Christmas, Southern Boy Teas Edition!

New Year’s is right around the corner.  Do you still make resolutions for the new year?  I pretty much stopped because I never kept the resolutions so I didn’t see the point in going through the motions.  Good intentions, yeah … maybe.

Maple Bacon Iced Tea

MapleBaconSBTTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Learn more about Southern Boy Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

OK, I’ll be the first to admit it, as much as I do enjoy the bacon flavored teas from 52Teas, I wasn’t too sure about this one.  I mean, it works on a certain level for the hot tea, but I’m not so sure how good this is going to be iced.  It kind of sounds weird.  When bacon gets cold, you get congealed fat.  And even though this is vegan bacon flavor … the thought of cold bacon just sort of … evokes those thoughts for me.

And as I’m sipping this … yeah, it’s weird.  It’s … alright.  It’s not horrible, but it’s still really weird.  And I can’t say that it’s my favorite iced tea flavor, because it isn’t.

That said, Frank (chief zoomdweebie at 52Teas and Southern Boy Teas) nailed the maple bacon flavor.  This tastes like bacon.  I taste notes of maple (although, I wouldn’t complain if there were a little more maple-y notes).  I even taste the brisk black tea in the background.

To enhance the salty notes of the bacon, I added about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the hot-brewed tea (yes, I hot-brewed this pouch this time.  I don’t know why, but something inside just told me that the bacon flavors needed to be extracted via hot-brewing).  And I think that the 1/4 teaspoon adds just the right touch of saltiness to this iced tea that’s needed to bacon-ize this tea.

Yeah … it’s still weird.  I can’t see myself actually wanting this tea again … you know, craving it?  That said, I’m not hating this.  I just don’t think it will be a tea that I’d order again, because I find myself more refreshed with Southern Boy Teas’ fruit-flavored iced teas.

I didn’t love this tea but I didn’t hate it.  However, there are so many other successful flavors of iced tea out there and this one is just sort of misses the mark for me.  I like the original maple bacon tea from 52Teas served hot much better, and I guess it goes back to what I was saying at the beginning of this review:  I don’t think that maple bacon flavor works for an iced tea flavor.  Not for me, at least.  And it pains me to say that, because I love bacon.

Smoky Bacon Flavored Black Tea from 52Teas

smokybaconTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Smoked Lapsang Souchong blended with imitation bacon bits and all natural bacon flavor.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I was a little bit apprehensive to try this Smoky Bacon Flavored Black Tea from 52Teas, to be completely honest.   I had seen one review of this and the taster said that it was so bad that she had to go brush her teeth after drinking it.  That’s bad.  Funny … but bad.

So, I worried about whether this would be a tea I’d like.  I mean, I love bacon.  Seriously, it’s one of my favorite foods.  And the moment I saw that 52Teas had offered a maple bacon tea way back when (for the week of November 16, 2009 – wow … time flies!) I was buying it as quickly as I could.  That became my very first purchase from 52Teas.

But, with my prickly history with Lapsang Souchong, I was really unsure if this was a tea that I’d like.  But, when a “Bacon package” was offered as one of the rewards on the recent campaign fundraiser that 52Teas had, I decided to choose that as one of my rewards.  I figured, hey, if I don’t like it, hopefully, I’ll find someone who does and I’ll send it their way.

And, I’m enjoying this.  There is more Lapsang Souchong flavor than there is bacon-y flavor, and I’d like there to be more bacon.  I think that a slightly lighter base (perhaps a blend of Lapsang Souchong and a Keemun and a little bit of Ceylon to soften things up a bit?) might have offered a less robust background so that the bacon flavors could develop more.

However, I am enjoying this.  I’m wondering how it will taste when I combine this with some of the maple bacon tea.  I’m thinking yummy.

I brewed this the way I would brew a Lapsang Souchong, by first giving it a quick rinse and then steeping it for 2 1/2 minutes.  I added a pinch of Kosher salt and about half a teaspoon of turbinado sugar to the brewed tea.

The result is a strong tea that has a good amount of smokiness, but it doesn’t completely overwhelm the bacon-y goodness.  The sugar brings out some of the sweeter notes of the bacon, and the Lapsang Souchong does give this a nice “smoky bacon” kind of flavor.  As I said before, I’d like more bacon-y goodness, but bacon is almost like chocolate as far as I’m concerned:  more bacon = better.

Overall, a really enjoyable cuppa.  It’s difficult to compare it to other bacon teas because as far as I know, there aren’t any other bacon teas out there with which to compare it except for the bacon teas that 52Teas has created:  Maple Bacon (after I wrote this review I found a better way to brew the tea and I’ll be doing a follow up review for this blog sometime in the near future), Chocolate Bacon, and Pineapple Bacon Rooibos.  Of these four bacon teas, I think I enjoyed the Chocolate Bacon one best, then again, I’m a chocoholic who loves bacon.

By the way, yeah, I’m aware of the “bacon” teas that some of the Adagio customers have custom blended, but those aren’t bacon teas that have been made with bacon flavoring, instead, they’re teas made with Lapsang Souchong and other teas that are supposed to trick the taste buds into thinking that they’re tasting bacon.  Nice idea, I suppose, and I haven’t actually tried those so I don’t know how close to the mark they are.

But I do know that this tastes like smoky bacon to me.  As the tea cools slightly, I notice an almost “burnt” kind of flavor to it, kind of like the edges of the bacon that got a little too done.  But I like my bacon crisp so it works for me.  A good bacon interpretation.

Pineapple Bacon Flavored Rooibos Blend from 52Teas


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

Did you think we were done playing with bacon teas?

So did I. But check this out: I was thinking about how much I enjoy a Hawaiian pizza or just a nice ham with a pineapple glaze and nice juicy pineapple rings baked on it… My wife is of the opinion that meat and fruit should not be mixed, but… well, nobody’s perfect, right? Anyway, I was thinking that if ham and pineapple is good, pineapple and BACON would be even better. And when I was thinking about what base tea to use, it occured to me that the woodiness that I personally somewhat dislike about rooibos might go well with pineapple and bacon, and oh boy does it! Juicy pineapple, salty bacon and refreshing rooibos are an amazing combination. Not to mention that it’s a guilt-free indulgence.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I was kind of excited about this Pineapple Bacon Flavored Rooibos Blend from 52Teas because I did enjoy 52Teas’ Bacon tea as well as their Chocolate Bacon Tea, so I had high hopes for this tisane.  And … I LOVE pineapple on my pizza.  I’m not big on ham and pineapple on pizza, but, I love bacon on just about … well, anything, I mean, if it’s something that I enjoy eating, bacon can only make it better.  It’s kind of like chocolate in that respect.  Everything tastes better with chocolate … and everything tastes better with bacon.

And while … I’m not hating this Pineapple Bacon Rooibos … there’s just something that’s not quite singing a song that is making me want to get up and do the happy dance.  The bacon … is missing something.  I think it’s the smoky element that I miss.  If there was some way to add a smoky taste to this … perhaps with just a teensy bit of Lapsang Souchong … this might be better.  Or it might be better with a little more maple flavoring to enhance the bacon.  Or perhaps both additions might improve this one a bit.

The flavor of the pineapple is definitely noteworthy here – it tastes sweet and juicy and I like it.  The bacon is also there … it’s just not there … enough.  I even added a pinch of salt to the cup to bring out that saltiness of the bacon and that just didn’t do quite enough to bring out the smoky flavor of the bacon that I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and that’s what is missing.

The rooibos is tasted here too, and even though I don’t usually love rooibos, it works together with the pineapple and the bacon pretty well.  And overall, this is pretty tasty.  But, it just tastes a little … odd.  It almost tastes like bubblegum.  Pineapple bubblegum.  Pineapple bubblegum with artificial bacon flavoring.  Yeah.  That’s what I taste.

Not horrible, but, not exactly what I was hoping for either.  Maybe I’ll have to try some of it with a little bit of Lapsang Souchong to see if I like it better like that.

And while we’re on the subject of bacon flavored teas … hey, Frank, how about a bacon and candied pecan pancake with caramel drizzle flavored tea.  Now that … would make me do the happy dance!

Chocolate Bacon from ManTeas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  ManTeas

Company Description:

Get it here first!

It’s about time we added some teas to our ManTeas line of manly teas, so here’s a new offering available exclusively on 52teas (at least until I find time to add it to the ManTeas.com site).

We’ve blended our premium Indian black teas with organic cacao nibs, imitation bacon bits and natural (and believe it or not, Kosher and vegan!) flavors. For those of you who have feared the imminent heart attack associated with trying one of these carnival/fair delicacies, fear no more. Enjoy your chocolate covered bacon treat in tea form!

Taster’s Review:

ManTeas is an offspring of one of my favorite tea companies, 52Teas (which happens to be an offspring of the now closed Zoomdweebies Tea Bar in Wichita, Kansas).  Having tried one of thier cornerstone teas – Maple Bacon – before it became a “ManTea” and really enjoying that tea, I knew I had to try this.  After all, is there any pairing in the world more brilliant than bacon and chocolate?  (Actually, there probably are, but, it should suffice to say that I love chocolate covered bacon)

The black tea base here is the basic black tea blend that is used by Zoomdweebies/52Teas/ManTeas in most of their black tea blends.  Occasionally, they’ll use something different, like a Yunnan, or perhaps add some Lapsang Souchong to the blend… but, for most of the blends, including this one, they use a blend of Blue Mountain Nilgiri and Assam and it works well with this particular blend.  It has a strong, brisk presence without overwhelming the chocolate and bacon flavors.  (Because let’s face it, if you’re going to order a tea called “Chocolate Bacon” tea, you want to taste the bacon and chocolate in the tea, right?)

The bacon part of this concoction reminds me very much of the Maple Bacon tea that I mentioned a few moments ago.  And, if you read the review that I provided the link for above, you will see that in my previous tastings of the Maple Bacon tea, I had some difficulty actually tasting the bacon flavor.  But, since that time, I have learned the secret – a pinch of salt!  A pinch of salt gives this tea just what it needs so that the bacon flavor is able to express itself properly.

Now, as for the chocolate – well, if you’ve read any of my reviews of the past, you are probably familiar with my love of chocolate.  The chocolate flavor here is nice, and it doesn’t overwhelm the bacon taste.  It is a pleasant balance… but the chocoholic in me is still wanting more chocolate despite the realization that more chocolate would possibly overpower the harmonious combination of flavors that is in my teacup right now.

Overall, I really enjoyed this tea.  It is very unique and some would even argue a bit of a novelty (noveltea?) but I for one appreciate unusual and unique flavors such as this.  It makes life just a little more fun when I can go to my tea cabinet and choose a tea like this – something that is a little different, something fun, and still get that enjoyment from sipping a delicious cup of tea!