52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 9-Spoilers!

Day 9!

The 12 Teas of Christmas are counting down! Day 9’s blend is Chestnut Praline Green tea.  This tea is the epitome of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Tightly rolled green tea leaves bring a bit of smoke and a bit of natural nuttiness to form the base of this blend.

The forward flavors are all brown butter and roasted chestnuts. This tea reminds me of every old-fashioned candy that tastes best this time of year, like toffee or butterscotch. Using a green tea base lets more of the nuttiness come to the forefront, instead of competing with a bold black tea.

This tea is smooth yet crispy, with warming notes and a hint of saltiness that makes you think of peanut brittle. If you can’t eat these old-fashioned desserts, just brew a cup of this tea blend instead.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: 52Teas

For our Ninth Tea in our Holiday countdown, I created this tea – inspired by the newest member of our family, Jimmy! I asked him for some ideas for a Christmas tea and he listed off a bunch of different flavor ideas, and two of those flavors were Chestnuts and Pralines – I’ve not done a Praline tea yet and I also didn’t have any chestnut teas planned for the season, so I thought it would be perfect to combine the two.

And YUM! This is a delightful flavor combination!

I started with a blend of organic Chun Mee and Gunpowder green teas. I added chestnut and praline essences (don’t worry – this is nut free!) and a little bit of cinnamon for some seasonal warmth. Then I tossed in some calendula petals for a little color to the blend. 

This is sweet, smooth and nutty and deliciously holiday-ish!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Macadamia Praline Matcha from Red Leaf Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description: 

Macadamia praline Matcha is incomparable to many other treats because it can be taken with other refreshments or as a standalone treats depending on the scenario. It is excellent for young children because of the health benefits that both macadamia and Matcha rewards their many takers. It bright colored appeal also draws many takers towards the sweet depths enclosed. This great Matcha treat adds its well rounded charm to many main meals during the day.

Learn more about this flavored matcha here.

Taster’s Review:

I love Red Leaf Tea’s flavored Matcha as everyone is probably pretty aware by now … and there is such a vast array of flavors available!  This Macadamia Praline flavored Matcha was very appealing to me:  I love Matcha, I love Macadamia Nuts and I love nuts that have been caramelized with a crunchy Praline coating.  I figured this one would be a tough flavor to beat!

And while I am enjoying this flavored Matcha, I can’t say it’s my favorite.  It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but, I’m just not getting a whole lot of the caramelized praline flavor that I had hoped for.  I taste the sweet, creamy Matcha, and I taste the macadamia nut flavor, but not a lot of caramelized flavor here.  I get a hint of the sweet, caramel notes here and there, but, not enough to where I feel like I can proclaim this as a favorite.

But that’s alright … they can’t all be my favorite.  And I am enjoying this.  I prepared this Matcha using mostly hot water, but I withheld about 2 tablespoons of the hot water that I would normally use, and replaced that with a bit of warmed milk to make a latte of sorts.  The result is a deliciously creamy treat.

The macadamia nut flavor is strong here, and I taste the Matcha, and these two components really work well together.  It is sweet, slightly vegetative, nutty, and not the least bit bitter.  I do taste a slight (very slight) artificial note to the overall bowl of Matcha, just a bit of chemical-y kind of flavor.  It doesn’t disrupt my enjoyment of the Matcha but I would really rather it not be there.

Overall, I enjoyed this Matcha, and I found that the last few sips of the Matcha were even more enjoyable than the first few … the chemical note seems to tone down as I continue to sip, and whether this is because the other flavors have built up on my palate or because the bowl has cooled down, I don’t know … but I do know that I like it much better.  Perhaps the way to have this is as a chilled latte then?  Yummy!

Caramel Praline Delight from Ovation Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ovation Teas

Tea Description:

Black tea with caramel pieces, cacao nibs, and hazelnuts with caramel praline flavoring.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I had been drooling over this tea every time I’d visit the Ovation Teas’ website, so I finally had to break down and order some.  I could no longer resist!  I had to try it!

And am I ever so glad I finally gave in to my temptation concerning this tea, because it’s spectacular.  The first time I brewed it, it was tasty, but I was just a wee bit disappointed by the bitterness I tasted.  I suspected that the black tea base had something to do with it so I decided to try it again and steep it for just 2 minutes, to see if that would improve the results.

Unfortunately, with the two minute steep time, I found that the flavors were not as strong as they were at 2 1/2 minutes … but, I have discovered the way to make this tea absolutely perfect!

This tea is one that you should allow to cool slightly before sipping, because the flavors really emerge as the tea begins to cool.  Not cold, or even warm or tepid … this is still hot, but it isn’t fresh-from-the-teapot hot.  Steep it for the 2 1/2 minutes (in the Breville One-Touch… otherwise, change the brew time to 3 minutes), and then allow it to cool for about five minutes or so before drinking.  Perfection!

The black tea base is a hearty black tea, I suspect it is an Assam or a blend containing Assam.  I think this because there is a hint of malty taste, as well as the tendency to become bitter with an extended brew time.  The base offers a good, solid background of black tea flavor:  earthy and rich.  It melds together nicely with the flavors of caramel, hazelnut and chocolate.

And … YUM!  Caramel?  Hazelnut? AND chocolate?  Yes please!  With my first sip or two, when the tea was still piping-hot, I noticed the caramel most distinctly.  Now that the tea has cooled a bit, the three flavors seemed to have merged into a super-flavor, exhibiting notes of each component without interruption.  In one sip, I notice notes of sweet, creamy caramel along with the nutty flavors of the hazelnut and the smooth richness of the dark chocolate.  The flavors are all there and they work together so well – like a chocolate covered, hazelnut and caramel confection.  Imagine that, dropped into a cup of hot tea, and allowing it to melt.

That’s what I taste right now.  And it’s so delicious!