When it’s raining cats and dogs out, the sky is dark, and the lightening is bright, there is nothing quite like a latte made with a warming dessert tea. Normally, that warmth comes from a spice like cinnamon or clove but this time I decided to go a different way and picked out Bonfire Coffee by Bird and Blend Tea Co., a smokey black tea with caramel and apple.
I brewed up the tea rather strongly, steeping 4 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes. I topped the steeped tea with 8 ounces of frothed 1% milk.
The first thing I noticed when drinking the tea was the smoke from the Lapsang Souchong black tea. No surprise there given that Lapsang is always one strong tea.With that said, the milk sat atop the smokiness making for a smooth and creamy smokey flavor, as opposed to a more harsh smoke, until the end of the sip when the smoke just broke free and lingered in the aftertaste. The aftertaste is also where I most noticed the presence of a caramelized sugar/burnt caramel quality that was intermingled with the milk and Lapsang throughout the sip but came through more clearly in the aftertaste. Apple was missing in the latte but my guess it was drowned out by the more prominent flavors of the milk and the Lapsang.
It’s a nice tea but definitely not for the faint of heart. If you are not one for smoke, stay away from the Bonfire.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend Tea Co.
Travelling 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!
Leaf Type: Black & Green Teas
Where to Buy: Tea and Other Things
The first thing you inhale is the rich, smokey scent of a freshly opened new book. This tea starts off full of character with toast like notes, ending with a sweet rich caramel, and finally leaving you with a nostalgic feeling of a good, classic story.
Genmaicha (Japanese Green Tea + Roasted Rice), Hojicha (Roasted Japanese Green Tea), Lapsang Souchong (Chinese black tea that has been smoked over oak), Caramel pieces (Contains sugar + milk products)
Learn more about this tea here.
This tea was so intriguing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a tea for me.
This blend has so many uniquely different types of tea going on that I think it actually hurts the blend. The Lapsang Souchong absolutely dominates the rest of the tea and all you really get is a smoky black tea taste. The caramel, genmaicha, and hoijcha are lost in the blend. I do like Lapsang Souchong but this one I just really didn’t care for. It was an overload of smokiness.
Maybe if the Lapsang Souchong was taken down some, then the rest of the other blends could pop out and shine. Or maybe if the Lapsang was taken out completely. Now that would be a tea I would be all about.
The other unfortunate issue with this tea was that this tea and a sample tea were shipped in a regular letter style envelope without any padding or tissue paper to protect the tea. A lot of the tea was crushed and to even get the tea out of the envelope was hard. The Fresh Books tea was a 50g package and it was a pretty big package. The sample tea I think was protected by the 50g package and was completely fine. I’m not sure if this is why the blend tasted the way it did. The boyfriend had the sample pack (Cream of Early Grey) and really liked it.
This Etsy store showcases some fun sounding teas including fandom teas. I may check them out later or even send them a message asking if they can create this same blend without the smokey black tea. I think that blend would be amazing!