Bonfire Toffee from Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bonfire Toffee tea from Bird and Blend should be part of everyone’s fall and winter brewing. A full bodied black tea is sweetened with the brown sugar and butter notes of caramel and toffee. The blend stops from being too sweet by the addition of crisp apple and smoky lapsang souchong.

If you aren’t into smoky teas, give this one a try. The smoke is mostly in the scent of the brew, and gets lost beneath black tea and toffee tones in the taste.

This tea feels like taking a walk in the fall. The robust black tea is wrapped around you like a wool scarf, and you can smell the pleasant char of your neighbor’s wood stove on the air. Take a bite out of a fresh apple and follow it up with something sweet, like holiday caramel candy.

I had been curious about trying Bonfire Toffee for its blend of sweet and savory, and the tea does not disappoint. Brew up a cup for your next leaf-peeper trip, or your next winter bonfire.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend

Traveling 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!

Chocolate PuErh from Numi Organic Teas

Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh bags are the perfect intro to flavored Puerh: organic yet inexpensive, and bagged for easy travel. In fact it was the very first tea I pulled from my very first sampler, an inexpensive add-on in my amazon cart. This is also sold loose leaf by the pound.

I have to admit I was skeptical because not only did I dislike chocolate, but I also had heard “fishy” things about the fermented tea. But as a scientist, I had to test these assumptions, and the evidence supported the null hypothesis. This was a light bodied, full flavor tea, that I’ve found is impossible to screw up in the brewing process.

This silky brown infusion reminds me of a hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows fresh from the campfire, and ooooooh that tiniest hint of that nutmeg. Alton Brown would be proud.  As a final touch of perfection, cue a chef’s kiss, no sweetener was needed!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Pu-Erh
Where to Buy: Numi Tea

This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Campfire Blend from Whispering Pines Tea Company

campfire-blendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Whispering Pines Tea Company

Tea Description:

It was late autumn in the upper peninsula of Northern Michigan. I had the campfire going steady with pinewood and maple leaves. A slight breeze off of the lake brought me closer to the embers while the call of a Barred Owl and crickets echoed through the empty lakeshore. The wind pushed the smoke towards the full moon. The smoky haze in the air played like the moonlight across the water, giving life to an empty sky. Then, as if rehearsed a hundred times, the entire landscape went silent. All I could hear was the crackling of the fire and my own steady breath. The wind had stopped, the owl and crickets wouldn’t dare make a sound. Even the haunting call of a loon was cut short, echoing across the silvery glasslike waters for what felt like forever. There was only the popping of a fire and the lonely breath of a woodsman. At that moment, sending chills down my spine not even the hottest fire could have warmed, the cry of a lone wolf sang out from the pine forest behind me. The silence was broken and, moments later, the orchestra of nature began singing once again.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Campfire Blend from Whispering Pines Tea Company represents a first for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever tried a tea with roasted cedar leaves before.  If I have, I certainly don’t recall it, and I have a feeling that I would have remembered trying a tea with roasted cedar leaves!

That’s one of the things that I really appreciate about Whispering Pines – their blends are crafted without artificial flavors and they utilize locally sourced ingredients like the roasted cedar leaves to create something completely unique, something that you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

And this blend is really quite tasty!  I like the cedar!  It lends a very rustic, woodsy sort of flavor – as does the chicory and cloves.  These three ingredients work very harmoniously together.  This tastes like a walk through the woods.  Leaves crackling beneath your feet as you walk, the air is crisp and fresh.  There is a log cabin not too far away and a fire is burning in the fireplace, scenting the air with notes of wood that is roasting in the fire.  But mostly what fragrances the air is the smell of the trees that surround you.

This tea has a very autumnal sort of taste with it’s resinous cedar leaves, and the warmth of the cloves and chicory.  The black tea adds a rich, flavorful backdrop.  I don’t taste a lot from the rooibos … maybe just a hint of woodsy flavor from the rooibos, but it seems to lighten up the black tea flavor just a little bit so that the flavors of the cedar, chicory and cloves can be experienced.

A really nice cuppa to curl up to – any time of year!  Any time you want to evoke the thoughts of an autumnal walk through the woods, that’s the time to break out this tea and let it take you on that journey.

Russian Samovar from Mahamosa Gourmet Teas, Spices & Herbs

Russian Samovar from Mahamosa Teas
Russian Samovar from Mahamosa Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Mahamosa Gourmet Teas, Spices & Herbs

Tea Description:

This tea blend is derived from an old Russian recipe. As the name implies, it is perfect for serving from the traditional Russian teapot, the “samovar”. Russia is known for its love of teas which first arrived from China through Mongolia. Tea is the most popular non-alcoholic drink in Russia. Zoom into this classic blend and note the dark leaves, smoky in appearance. This blend is highly aromatic. It is light bodied, and in accord with the appearance of the leaves, a hint of smokiness.

Leaf:  Dark leaves

Body: Light

Aroma and Taste: Highly aromatic, hints of smokiness

Intensity: Medium

Color:  Orange

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Russian Samovar from Mahamosa Gourmet Teas, Spices & Herbs is one of the smoothest morning brews I have had in a very long time.

When I opened the bag and put the leaves into my steeping basket I could smell a faint aroma of vanilla, although this is not listed as an ingredient I felt it had to be a natural aroma in the tea. I also was able to taste a light vanilla flavor as well but as the tea cooled more the vanilla aroma dissipated. The flavor mellowed into a simply smooth delicious black tea.

I have enjoyed this tea on several occasions and each time I plan to do a review on it but I just find myself sitting back and enjoying my morning cup which tells me I really like this tea.

I won’t say it is a complex tea layered with different flavor notes or anything like that. Rather it is a simple morning cup that wakes you up gently, smoothly, and allows you to start moving without feeling jittery or anxious. It is very pleasant to sip, welcoming on the palate and such a lovely cup.

I have been impressed with the teas from Mahamosa thus far, I still have a couple to try but so far I give a huge thumbs up!

Mahamosa contributes 50% of their profits to charity which gets my approval as well!

Now getting back to this tea … it says in the description that it is smokey. Well, you know, its not really all that smokey, at least not in the manner of a Lapsang Souchong anyway. Its rather difficult for me to label it as smokey because usually that is a flavor that is up front, in your face, and in this tea is simply is not. For some that may make this tea more or less attractive The smokiness is light, and in a strange way far less in the flavor than in the feel of the tea. I don’t know if that makes sense or not. It does have a very light campfire side aroma but there is this light sweetness to it that makes me think more of a lightly roasted marshmallow than the campfire smokiness itself.

Another cool thing about this tea company is they also offer spices and herbs which I do need to replace a lot of my outdated spices soon, they, like tea, also lose flavor after too long. So for those of you who need another great reason / excuse to buy more tea … there you go! You probably need to replace spices as well!