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caramel

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 11-Spoilers!

Day 11!

Christmas Eve already: are you excited?  The penultimate tea of the 12 Teas of Christmas is Caramel Monkey Bread Rooibos.  Monkey Bread is known for its cinnamon sugar and bouncy yeast bread base. This tea has plenty of cinnamon scent as soon as you open the bag.  But the cinnamon is sweet, not too hot or spicy, just the comforting warmth of a kitchen spice cabinet.

Brewed, the caramel notes come forward, enhanced by the natural toasted-sweet flavor of the rooibos.  If I were blind folded, I might guess that this tea flavor was snickerdoodle, with all the cinnamon sugar goodness that I taste.  There is that hint of caramel or caramelized sugar among all the spice. Is there such a thing as caramel- drizzled-snickerdoodles?  If not, this tea is making me think that maybe there should be.

The great part about this blend is that it is a decaf rooibos base, so you can drink it before bed (or as you are setting out the cookies for Santa), and still get some sleep before Christmas morning.  Well, as much sleep as you can with all the excitement and sugar plums dancing in your head!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Red Rooibos
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

This is one of the final teas (tisanes) that Frank crafted during his time with 52Teas and I have a wee confession – I hadn’t tried it until a day or two before I blended this batch. I had the tea in my stash – but it was still sealed … never opened! At the time when I received this tea in my subscription package, I was preparing to take over 52Teas: testing samples from my wholesale sources, setting up the website and blending teas. I was so busy back then I was running around like a crazy woman with her hair on fire and to be honest, I really didn’t have time to sit back and enjoy a cuppa. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed most of the samples that I was sent by my wholesale sources, and I definitely was enjoying the teas that I was blending and then taste testing – but I didn’t have any time left to sit back and enjoy a cuppa that wasn’t directly related to taking over the operations of 52Teas.

So I stashed this tea away in my tea cupboard and – forgot about it! Yes, I forgot about this blend completely until someone mentioned that they’d like this tea to be reblended as part of this year’s 12 Teas of Christmas box. So a few weeks ago, I dug out that pouch and tried it out before I attempted to reblend it – so that I could get a fairly good idea of what I was going to do with this blend.

And as I sit here now, sipping on the results of that blending session, I must say that I’m a little bit impressed with myself. I often worry that I’m just not good enough to be a tea blender – but it’s times like now that I realize that I AM good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I’m worthy of my self-appointed title of “Mad Tea Artist” because this is REALLY GOOD. It’s sweet, caramel-y, with a nice cinnamon note and a bread-y note that tastes a lot like … well, it tastes like freshly-baked monkey bread!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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
Description:

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!

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
Description:

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!

Organic Greek Mountain Tea from Kilo. . . .

My sample of Organic Greek Mountain Tea from Kilo looked so unusual in the bag I had to give it a try.  It looks a bit like sage or a white tea, grey-green in color and fuzzy to the touch, with a chain of full, yellow blossoms.  I needed my big infuser to handle all the lush stems, leaves, and blossoms of this tea.

I followed my usual pattern for lightly flavored herbal teas and steeped these leaves with boiling water, lots of leaves, and waited a good ten minutes.

Brewed the tea is very fragrant, vegetal but sweet, almost like brown sugar and okra.  There’s a hint of something in the scent that reminds me of savory dishes in the kitchen, like black pepper or oregano: herbal but spicy.

The taste of this tea has some of the familiar lemon and chamomile notes, gently floral, sweet and bright.  But this tea goes behind the chamomile flavors and has a more fermented great tea base beneath all that sweet lemon.  The sweetness is worth noting, there is a very forward, almost-caramel note in the scent and aftertaste.

This was a unique blend in looks, smell, and taste, not to mention it is an herbal tea packed with good things to help you live a long and healthy life.  Unless you go into the mountains to pick some more tea and encounter the gods of Mount Olympus, that is.  Safe travels and happy brewing!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Kilo
Description:

This variety, Sideritis Scardica, comes from the legendary Mount Olympus, in the Balkans, situated between Thessaly and Macedonia. It has been tested for antioxidants by Brunswick Labs, (www.brunswicklabs.com) the leader in bio-analtyical testing. It has a mild and very pleasant taste and aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

My Favorite After-School Special: Marshmallow Krispy Treat from The Necessiteas

The Marshmallow Krispy Treat, the staple of after school snacking or easy, no-bake sweet treats.  And now, we can taste this simple dessert in tea form.  This blend uses a black tea base sweetened up with mini marshmallows and puffed rice cereal pieces.  The dry leaf smells sweet and buttery like the crispy breakfast cereal.

When brewed, the blend tastes more caramel than marshmallow.  This tea is best with a bit of milk to pump of the mini marshmallow sweetness, otherwise the black tea base takes over the other flavors.  This is a tasty blend, but it doesn’t quite match its name or ingredient list.  I think this blend might have been better-suited for a genmai chai blend with lighter grassy teas and toasted rice built in.

However, I understand that green teas aren’t for everyone.  If you’re a black tea lover this will be a unique dessert flavor with enough bold black tea tannins to suit your preferences.  Or if you’re skeptical of a tea with puffed rice, rest assured that this tea tastes much more like creme brulee or caramel drizzle than rice cereal.

Next time, I’ll have to top off my mug with some added marshmallows of my own!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description:

Why not take the awesomeness of Marshmallow Krispy Treats and transform them into a tea? Well that’s exactly what we’ve done! The outcome is an incredibly tasty blend filled with ooey- gooey goodness!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!