French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam Black Tea/52Teas – Ashmanra –

A good vanilla black tea is a shelf staple in my opinion. Sometimes you need black tea but you want something to soften it, or make it a little bit pampering or luxurious.

French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam is a blend of first and second flush Assam leaves. They are strong, malty, and brisk. While the tea is piping hot you don’t notice the briskness as much, but as it cools it becomes increasingly more drying.

I am loving it as a morning cup, but I could definitely see it as an afternoon pick-me-up as well. The vanilla softens the Assam a little and blooms roundly after the swallow. That’s when the briskness kicks in and makes you pick up your cup for another sip.

I take my tea plain, but this could definitely handle both milk and sugar if you like your tea that way. In fact, I can see this being turned into a decadent dessert drink as a sweet latte or with the addition of vanilla creamer.

As for me, I will continue to enjoy it just as it is! And since it is so good with snacks, I think it is time to grab a cookie or two!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Review: Lion’s Blend/Friday Afternoon

This afternoon I felt like getting woke — both energetically and politically — so I chose Lion’s Blend from Friday Afternoon Tea.

This tea is essentially an Earl Grey with added rooibos & orange. The rooibos in Lion’s Blend gives a nice vanilla/sweetness that balances out its citrus/bergamot flavors. (I’m a huge fan of red rooibos, which I think throws in creaminess and joy to any cup.) Despite the rooibos, I still find this blend a little astringent. I like it, but it’s not on my must-have re-buy list.

However, I’m super happy I bought this blend because the proceeds go to an important charity that assists trans people with getting their mental health needs met (https://seattle.eater.com/2020/6/8/21284453/seattle-cafe-friday-afternoon-tea-donates-trans-mental-health-funds-jk-rowling). All of Friday Afternoon’s Harry Potter themed (https://fridaytea.com/collections/j-k-rowling) teas’ proceeds go there.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with a children’s book writer from 20 years ago, Jo (J. K.) Rowling has been saying a lot of transphobic things. You can Google it if you want. It’s mean stuff.

Friday Afternoon Tea saw this and decided to use its teas and the fans of her work to show that the fandom is progressive and kind! I love this. It’s a win-win situation.

It’s possible to love someone’s work without loving them. I also feel this way about horror/fantasy author HP Lovecraft. (He was really, REALLY racist. He thought Hitler had some good ideas.) It’s possible for people to be geniuses in one way but very, very behind in others.

That’s where this tea comes in.

Thanks, tea. You always give me balance in a crazy world.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black/Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Friday Afternoon 

Description

Lions, tigers, and griffins, oh my! This tea is dedicated to our bold, righteous Gryffindor brethren. They can find courage and happiness in the darkest of places, especially when bolstered by the bright citrus notes in this tea!

Ingredients: Rooibos, Assam black tea, orange peel, marigold, natural flavorings

All of our teas available online are gluten-free and sourced from organically certified farms. Most are vegan, but some may include honey (indicated in ingredients).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Cupcake/52Teas

I am picky when it comes to my Earl Grey teas. I like them to be balanced. So often the bergamot is too strong, the cream flavors too artificial tasting or the black tea base is too weak.

Almost every tea manufacturer puts out their version of an Earl Grey and sadly I have a box full of Earl Grey teas that just didn’t make the cut. What is the point of drinking something that you don’t love?

When I saw that 52 Teas was again offering their Earl Grey Cupcake tea I really was interested. The tea itself is very pretty, full of star-shaped sprinkles. The smell of the dry leaf is very heavy on the bergamot so I was at first worried that the bergamot would be too overwhelming.

I steeped the tea for 3 minutes. The instructions on the packet indicate that the tea flavor develops as the tea cools, about 10 minutes. I am happy to report that this tea is lovely. The black tea base is solid, it is malty with very little astringency. The bergamot is perfect, not too strong at all, and the back end of the taste is a delightful vanilla flavor. The vanilla is not artificial tasting, it is a nice, natural flavor.

I did try the tea at the 10 minute mark and I do agree that the vanilla becomes much more prominent as the tea cools. I have been so pleased with all of the teas I have tired thus far from 52 teas and this tea is no exception. I highly recommend this tea if you love Earl Grey.

This probably would rank in my top 5 Earl Grey teas of all time and that is saying a lot as I have tried many!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Gingerbread Brulee/52Teas

I found a super simple recipe to make tea infused hot chocolates and I have been making them since. 10/10 would recommend this recipe by Savvy Eats which can be found here.

I have tried this with A Quarter to Tea’s Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding, Bird and Blend’s Monkey Chops and this time I am using 52 Tea’s Gingerbread Brulee. Each time has been delicious and distinctly flavored by the tea.

You start by cold brewing 1-1.5 teaspoons of tea in 1 cup of milk. The recipe says to do this for 20 minutes which I followed the first time and had a flavorful drink. Since then, I have set the cold brew up earlier so it steeps for longer just so I can get more flavor (usually I leave it cold brewing anywhere between an hour and 6 hours). It probably isn’t necessary for it to sit that long but it makes me happy. I also usually double the recipe, using 3 teaspoons of tea for 16 ounces of milk.

When the milk is done cold brewing I get to preparing the drink on the stove. If I doubled the milk, as I did with this hot chocolate, I also double the recommended cacao powder and chocolate chips, but still only use the one tablespoon of sugar. I tend to use either a 1:1 mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, or just milk chocolate chips. I have salted caramel chips that I think I will try one time just to change things up but this particular hot chocolate was made with all milk chocolate chips because that was what was most easily accessible.

Now that I am drinking this hot chocolate, I think all milk chocolate chips was the right way to go. This tea is so true to gingerbread but the kind you’d make at home that isn’t overly processed or sweet. That means it is heavy on the ginger and has a richness from the molasses. That depth is balanced nicely by the sweet and creamy milk chocolate, a balance that might have been tilted more to bitter if there was semi-sweet chocolate in the mix. Not that that would have been particularly bad, just more adult and sometimes you just like the nostalgia of a sweeter, creamier hot chocolate. And nostalgic this is because it essentially tastes like I made gingerbread cookies and then let one just melt into my hot chocolate. So. Good!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is not available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

FarmHouseTeas-Tropical Genmaicha Green Tea

Hello to my wonderful tea friends! It is finally March and we are starting to see a bit of a reprieve from the crazy cold winter we had.  This month is actually pretty special to me because, well, I turn 40 in just a few weeks.  I’m really not all that wrapped up in age, it just seems like this year is going to be a pretty big year for my family.  I’m turning 40 and my kiddo is becoming a freshman at high school.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked him to stop growing (he is taller than me).  Sigh. . . .But at least I have a fun tea to chat about from my monthly subscription plan with Farmhouse Teas (aka St. Fiacres Farm).

This month it was like my friends at FarmHouse Teas just knew what I would like because it is like they flavored up a genmaicha just for me. . . .Tropical Genmaicha Green Tea is this month’s blend.  I’m a sucker for a solid genmaicha and couldn’t wait to see what FarmHouse Teas had come up with.

This genmaicha flavored blend is a bit different than other flavored genmaichas I’ve had in the past.  Most of the flavored genmaichas I’ve had in the past were dessert like or sweet sugary.  I was excited to check out a tropical genmaicha.

Brewed up with freshly prepped water at 180F and allowed to steep for well, a bit- I sort of got distracted with a work project and forgot I had tea brewing.  I am happy to report though that this blend tastes fabulous, even though the steep was a bit longer than it really should have been, especially since there is hibiscus in the blend.

This blend is delicious and a perfect tea to drink today to enjoy this warm spell hitting our Midwestern area.  The tea is a bit tart but that is more than likely my fault due to the oversteep.  Beyond that, the tea is fresh with all of the beloved roasted toasted flavors that only a genmaicha can deliver with fresh pops of berries and a sweetness that I’m not entirely sure where it is coming from.  There is stevia in this blend but the sweetness doesn’t taste like stevia.  I’m wondering if the sweetness isn’t coming from the large peach pieces in the blend.

All in all, a pretty unique take on a flavored genmaicha.  As I look at the ingredients, I’m thinking this blend would be an amazing cold brew- hibiscus, lemongrass, coconut flakes, goji berries, peach pieces, and stevia.  I’m a bit worried how the stevia will be in a cold brew but hopefully there is just a smidge added so it won’t be identifiable. (Not in the stevia fan club)

Each and every month I so look forward to my FarmHouse Teas package.  Last month I wasn’t crazy about the blend, but the blend was completely out of the box and I appreciate the effort (plus the tea was coated in cocoa powder and I’m not a huge chocolate fan).   Highly recommend their monthly tea service if you are in the market for a hand blended unique blended tea each and every month.  I know I’ve been a subscriber for a while now and I don’t see myself cancelling anytime soon.  Especially if they keep making blends like this one.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  FarmhouseTeas

Description

This blend is part of the month subscription plan.  Click below to hear more about FarmHouse Teas plan.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!