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christmas tea

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 12

Day 12!

Wow!  It’s finally here, Christmas morning!  And the final tea of the 12 Teas of Christmas is Gingerbread Brûlée Black tea.  It is a perfect choice for the grand finale: after all, what is more showy and celebratory than creme brûlée?

This black tea features fragrant and delicious pieces of candied ginger accompanied by festive gingerbread spices.  The dry leaf smells like putting your nose in a tin of gingerbread cookies, dark, spicy, a little peppery, and plenty sweet.

Brewed, this tea is robust and flavorful, don’t let the dessert theme lull you into thinking this is a mild blend.  The black tea base has plenty oomph to wake you up no matter how early your family is opening Christmas presents.

I personally love kick-your-tastebuds strong chai flavors, but this tea made me realize that there is more than one way to have a tasty ginger tea.  I really appreciate the caramelized black tea tones and I’m glad the ginger isn’t so hot that it drowns out the other flavors.

The molasses tones from the gingerbread are a perfect match for the crispy, burnt sugar flavors of the brûlée.  There is just a perfect hint of heat from the candied ginger root, and the comforting warmth of other cookie spices.  If you can’t bake a tray of gingerbread cookies, brew a pot of this tea instead and make your kitchen smell like the holidays.

Merry Chistmas!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

This is a tea that I had planned out way back when I was still in the planning stages of taking over 52Teas – but kept putting off again and again. Why? I don’t know. But I sure am glad I finally blended this because WOW! It’s ah-ma-ZING!

I started out with a blend of black teas (Yunnan, Assam & Ceylon) and added ginger & candied ginger, a bit of cinnamon & cloves, some freshly shaved nutmeg as well as some creme brulee essence to complete the tea. 

The cuppa starts out with strong gingerbread notes with mere hints of the creamy brulee. The ginger is definitely present in at the start, so there’s no mistaking that this is, indeed, a GINGERBREAD brulee. As I continue to sip, the custard-y notes of the creme brulee start to emerge and the flavors seem to come together and become more smooth with each sip. By the end of the cup, I find a very lovely balance of both creme brulee (and I even some of that bittersweet burnt sugar in there!) and gingerbread. 

And of course, this is organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yule Fuel from For Tea’s Sake. . . . .

Scent is one of the strongest senses tied to memory, and there is something distinct for all of us about the holidays! There are the cinnamon pine cones in every store, you start being able to use you fireplace, and everything smells like apples. Yule Fuel by For Tea’s Sake is hands down the best holiday tea I’ve ever had. It smells like the holidays with cinnamon and cloves immediately confronting your senses. One encounter with the aroma of this tea will make it obvious that it is aptly named.

I brewed this black tea at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius) for five minutes as directed. It brewed into a nice rich color. The cinnamon and cloves which are prominent in the aromatic profile of this tea are reduced to supporting, but important, players when brewed. The flavor that comes out in the brewing process is a lovely vanilla which helps remove the bitter aftertaste that is common for black teas and often puts people off of drinking black teas without sugar or cream. Saying this is a smooth black tea may be an understatement for this blend. This blend needs no assistance from sugars or cream, but I suspect that the addition of either would create a lovely flavor profile as well.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this blend. From the aroma to the flavor profile that is presented once brewed, this tea is one that you need to have in your collection.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  For Tea’s Sake
Description

This is a holiday blend tea so if interested click below right around the holidays to see if the blend is coming back!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea 24 Advent Calendar 2018 from Tea Revv. . .

Nothing says holidays like starting each day with a surprise gift. Advent calendars are literally the gift that keeps on giving. Usually they are filled with chocolate but for the tea lover on your list, I recommend checking out the Tea 24 Advent Calendar 2018 by Tea Revv. 

Tea Revv was kind enough to send me a sneak peak of their upcoming advent calendar and just from the looks I was excited. The advent calendar box was smaller than I anticipated but its true when they say good things come in small packages! The box is beautifully designed with geometric snow-capped mountains and two little geometric penguins. It certainly evokes the idea of winter and fun.

Inside are 24 small satchets with 2 cups of loose leaf tea each. The satchets are all stacked on top of each other, with the Day 1 tea on top. One thing I will say is that those who like the surprise of opening a door or scratching off a label to discover what the tea of the day is will not get that here. As you pull out one satchet, the next day’s satchet is right there with all the details of the tea. For me, the surprise factor is not essential and I actually like having all the details about the tea (including ingredients and brewing instructions) conveniently in front of me. In addition, the satchets are sleek and carry the geometric theme throughout with colorful and fun holiday images.

One other face-value perk of Tea Revv’s Tea Advent Calendar is it’s price. Relative to other companies offering advent calendars, Tea Revv is not very expensive and thus a great gift for every budget.

Now, how can I talk about a tea calendar without discussing some of the teas? I pulled out a couple of teas just to get a feel for the different blends the calendar has to offer. There is a lot of black teas and warming winter/holiday ingredients. Chai lovers would certainly be pleased. However, there are also fruit tisanes, rooibos blends, green teas, etc. Something for everyone.

One of the first teas I tried was the Day 1 tea, Frosted Fruit Spice. Frosted Fruit Spice is a black tea with cinnamon, ginger, apple, cloves, cinnamon quillings, amaranth petals, safflower petals, and natural flavors. The dry leaf and steeped tea have a deliciously sweet and spiced fruit smell. It has me thinking of fruit filling in a winter-themed fruit pie. Flavorwise, that spiced fruit pie filling transfers over to the taste though more subtle than the scent would suggest. Mostly that is because there is a floral component that is strongly coming through and conflicting with the pie filling. The floral picks up some of the base tea which gives it a bit of a drying effect. I don’t love that drying but the spiced fruit component is really tasty and the reason I keep reaching for my mug and with a splash of milk that is the flavor that is highlighted with the floral and drying drowned out.

I also tried Ginger Green. Ginger Green is a much simpler blend which simply combines green tea and ginger pieces. I was curious to try something other than a black blend and this is the first non-black tea I grabbed from the pile on my table. Now I should preface this by saying I am not a green tea lover and for that reason this tea will never be my favorite. With that said, I should note that it is actually a nice tea. The ginger has just the right amount of flavor and burn to keep things interesting against the green tea base. The base has a lot of umami flavor. Usually greens are grassy but to me this has more of a seaweed flavor. It took my by surprise but also had a richness to it that is more consistent with the winter theme of this tea advent calendar box.

All in all, I have enjoyed the teas I have tried so far and I am just getting started. I look forward to exploring all the blends this calendar has to offer.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Tea Advent Calendar
Where to Buy: Tea Revv
Description

2018 Blends Include: Chilly Willy Chai, Cranberry Apple, Notorious Eggnog, English Breakfast, Coffee Lover, Spiced Apple, Christmas Cake, Ice Cream Earl Grey, Relax, Ruby Amaretto, Golden Turmeric, Gingerbread Man, Belly Bestie, Pumpkin Pie Chai, Irish Cream Breakfast, Rum Pud, Snowballs, Christmas Eve tea, Breakfast Pancakes, Ginger Green, Chocolate tea, Ruby Chai, Achooo, & Frosted Fruit Spice.

Winter is here. But fear not. Defrost those hands kick back relax with Tea 24.  24 seasonal loose leaf tea blends! Each sachet has its own winter illustration packaged in a beautifully designed box. All designs produced in-house. Each sachet contains enough tea for two cups or one large mug. Brewing advice on front of sachets.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Winter Pine from Tea & Tins. . . . .

My favorite thing about this tea is how beautiful it is!! It could make a beautiful decorative centerpiece with the vibrant red peppercorns and orange pieces. It says Christmas season all over it.

The flavor is predominantly green tea, followed by orange, with a very subtle hint of almond in it. I was unable to pick up any of the peppercorn or safflower flavors. This would be a delightful cup of tea next to a fireplace on a winters eve, or a holiday break morning tea with scones.

I would suggest using an open tea basket to see the beautiful collage of mixture. I’d hazard a guess that this could also make a refreshing iced-tea on a steaming hot summer day, when you long for winter days!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy:  Tea & Tins
Description

Loose leaf green tea: a festive combination of sweet almond and refreshing orange invokes the warm times of holiday season.

Ingredients: green tea, orange slices, planed almonds, flavoring, pink peppercorns, safflower.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jack Frost from Bluebird Tea. . . . .

There are a lot of minty candy-cane inspired teas out there this time of year, so I was excited to try a more focused, herbal take on mint tea, with Jack Frost from Bluebird Tea.

 

This herbal blend is mainly spearmint and eucalyptus with a hint of sweeter flavors like coconut and vanilla.  That hint of sweetness makes all the difference– pure spearmint tea has a bit too much icy bite, feeling more like medicine than a calm cup of tea.  Jack Frost was smooth and cool without being too fierce or leaving me frozen.

It might sound odd to drink a mint tea at a hot temperature, but I’ve found it very calming both in my mind and in my cookie-crowded stomach.  Mint is supposedly good for your digestion, so it’s been a nice blend to have on hand with all the rich eating of the holidays.  If nothing else, the crisp, minty feeling on my tongue helps me feel refreshed during the bustle of the winter season.  Since Jack Frost is an herbal blend, it’s naturally decaf and perfect for that before-bed brew.

The first time I brewed this tea, I was a bit baffled to see blue-green glitter in my mug.  Had my holiday crafting spilled over into my tea?  It turns out that the extra sparkle is from the snowflake sprinkles in the dry leaf.  Once heated, the sprinkles melt and add a little shimmer and a little sweetness to the lush, green spearmint.

Jack Frost is a great blend for when you want to clear your mind and have the power and focus of fresh, clean, winter snow.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea
Description:

The mischevious Jack Frost is a crisp, cool cuppa. With icy spearmint, frosty coconut + snowflake sprinkles, Jack Frost will sure nip your nose + toes!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!