Nepali Breakfast/Nepal Tea

When prepping breakfast, I learned that I can’t use my toaster oven and kettle at the same time. That was an interesting discovery that made for a two-step breakfast: bagel first (since the toaster oven was already on) and tea second.

Another discovery: Nepali Breakfast by Nepal Tea is not a straight black tea like I thought it was. When I opened the package, I immediately got a big whiff of masala spices which surprised me. Upon closer inspection of the package, it turns out the package says black tea + spices so I guess this confusion is just on me. Oops.

Anyways, when brewing this up, I did so according to the company suggestion on the package which is to steep the tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. That is against my usual steeping parameters but hopefully Nepal Tea knows best.

After steeping the tea I brought up the Nepali Breakfast page on the Nepal Tea website only to notice that the site says to use not quite boiling water for 4-5 minutes. I also noticed on the Nepal Tea website they recommend steeping this with milk and/or sugar. Again, I did not see this until after I steeped the tea so I did not do this.

Trying the tea, the first thing I noticed is how much sugar probably would have helped this tea. I normally don’t add anything to my tea (unless I am having a latte or smoothie, etc.) but this tea is more bland than the scent of the dry leaf would have you expect. I think perhaps sugar might coax out those spices nicely since nothing really stands out. With that said, despite the fairly harsh steeping parameters, there is no bitterness or astringency here. Mostly just some cinnamon, a touch of clove, maybe a little pepper and a smooth black tea that doesn’t really impart much flavor.

I think this tea has potential but for me it fell short. The smell of the tea really had me thinking I was in store for a punch of spice but barely got a tap on the shoulder.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Nepal Tea

Description

Start the day the Nepalese way with our unique Masala Chiyah.

A blend of Orthodox, CTC teas and our special masala spice mix. Experience the color of CTC, flavors of Orthodox with the ‘zing’ of the home-made spice mix.

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!

Red Hot Hibiscus from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co. . . . via Sipsby Box

Happy Monday morning tea friends! Hope your weekend was a great one. Mine was mainly because my Sipsby Box arrived for February.  I’ve been a subscriber to Sipsby for sometime and I have to say, their selections just keep getting better. This month I only received one tea that I know I won’t be able to drink and that is mainly due to medical reasons.  I was super happy to see one of my favorite tea companies in my box, The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

If you haven’t had tea from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co, I encourage you to check them out. Flavored and Straight Tea drinkers alike can find delicious offerings.  This particular blend, Red Hot Hibiscus, was the perfect way to enjoy some subtle Valentine vibes before the big day later this week.  Consisting of organic cinnamon, hibiscus, and orange peel, this blend had my name written all over it.

I brewed up with water prep at boiling and allowed to steep for about 5 minutes and cooled for an additional 4.  I was slightly nervous this tea would deliver a super tart punch first sip in, but that wasn’t the case at all. The main flavor that really comes across is the cinnamon and this cinnamon isn’t overly spiced.  Just a delicious solid flavor. The tartness from the hibiscus and citrus notes from the orange peel really pull together and mingle gorgeously with the cinnamon, providing you almost with this sweetly spiced orange punch tone.   A delicious evening treat and a nice change of pace from the traditional chamomile evening blends I usually enjoy.

Overall, an incredibly delicious herbal that is simple and to the point.   I ended up drinking my entire pouch of this tea in one night and sadly wish I had saved some to try as a cold brew.  Nevertheless, this blend reminds me just how much I do enjoy The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co and appreciate my Sipsby Box.

Can’t wait to dig into the other goodies I received later today!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.
Description

Sweet cinnamon and tart hibiscus are blended to a perfect balance. Orange zest provides a fruity background. This tea is fantastic hot or iced and actually deserves extra steep time for its full flavor to shine!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Winter Spice / Tease Tea

Whole Star Anise!

What a surprise it was to open the 30g pouch and find that!

It makes it a bit more festive. The dry aroma is faint. Somewhat creamy, spicy, and nutty. My first cup of this was a bland mess but I didn’t want to give up. It’s a unique tea blend; slight creaminess hinted once the tea enters your mouth which turns into a peculiar spicy flavor; which I’m assuming comes from the ginger and the cinnamon. Calming is generally not a descriptor I use when talking about black tea, however, with the chamomile this tea has a nice calming effect.

Everything in this tea blends well together and yet I’m finding myself somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps because they say spice in the name I expected more kick. The first cup was steeped between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes so the next cupping was upped to 5 minutes. I’m currently on a third cup also brewing 5 minutes but adding a 1/2 tsp more of tea. The first taste at 5 minutes was the same as the second cup so the brewing time was upped to 7 minutes. Unfortunately, this removed the creaminess and the spices seemed to have disappeared altogether. The tannins have taken over a bit more and there is a definite astringency in the after taste.

Overall, a nice blend but one that needs at least 4 minutes for full flavor and is not suggested for those who don’t appreciate a light tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tease Tea
Description:

This festive favourite is back for a limited time! A naturally flavoured black tea featuring notes of cinnamon, spice & everything nice. The perfect way to get into the winter spirit!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Chili from MEM Tea. . . .

To put it simply, I first picked up Red Chili tea from MEM Tea because it involved chocolate.  What can I say, I have a sweet tooth! This black tea blend is made up of a healthy dose of cacao shells, and smelled so lush and sweet in the tin I had to try it.

When I got the tea home, I really began to notice how beautiful and enticing the loose leaf looked: with shiny, blood-red ancho pepper skins, pale pepper seeds, the warm sienna tones of the cacao shells, and the dark, twisty black tea leaves.  As you might know, I’m a fan of chai teas, so I love to see lots of variety in color and shape in my blends. Red Chili is another great entry into the spicy black tea category on my shelf.

Brewed, this tea is sweet and decadent on its own, no sugar or milk required.  There are surprising amounts of both creamy vanilla and deep chocolate, all wrapped up with a warming buzz of hot pepper heat at the end of each sip. This is a great blend if you enjoy mexican-style hot chocolate, both creamy and spicy all at once.

Despite the hot pepper notes, this is very much a dessert tea, and I would recommend it even to those tea lovers who aren’t too excited about spice.  I find myself gravitating towards Red Chili tea after a meal when I want a little something devilish and sweet. It is a delicious blend for any chocolate and tea lover.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  MEM Tea
Description:

This beverage is smooth, creamy, and well-balanced with a pleasantly lingering heat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!