The Rest of the Plum Deluxe Tea Advent Calendar Run Down. . ..

If you have been following along, here are the rest of the goodies included in the Plum Deluxe Advent Tea Calendar along with some final thoughts regarding this whole experience. . .

Day 19- I think this is a little star shaped candle, but I’m not 100% sure.  Honestly, the candle is so little, I’d be a little scared to burn it.

Day 20- Coconut Macaroon Dessert Tea- This blend features red rooibos and if you have been following along with this countdown, you know I’m not a fan of red rooibos so this blend will be passed along to someone I know who will enjoy it.

Day 21- Thoughts for this blend were posted on the 21st.

Day 22- Raspberry Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans- As delicious as this sounds, I’m not a huge chocolate or espresso fan so I’m going to pass these along to my stepsons who I know will love them.

Day 23- Holiday Embrace Herbal Tea. . . Oh sigh. . another blend with red rooibos in it.  Too bad this one didn’t have green rooibos because the blend sounds amazing! Cranberries, orange peel, hibiscus, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and clove. . .sounds so festive and amazing.

Day 24- This tea got its own post on the 24th!

Day 25- Chocolate Cinnamon Black Tea (I think)- I knew Christmas was going to be crazy so I pre-tried this tea out and loved it but I can’t seem to find my notes. the tea was chocolaty with the right amount of cinnamon to elevate the flavors.  I really loved this black tea blend and would have no problem devouring more if anybody didn’t like theirs. . . . .

We are now done with the Plum Deluxe Advent Tea Calendar.  For the most part, I enjoyed the offerings. I will say that if I do this calendar again, I will only get the teas (if that is an option) since I wasn’t a huge fan of the treats that were included. I was hoping for more tea related treats but then again, the calendar can really only hold so much.

As a side note, If you are a picky tea drinker like myself where you don’t care for all black flavored teas or red rooibos, I will say this may not be the calendar for you. I was hoping for more of a variety of teas like green flavored teas, green rooibos teas, or even more white teas, but almost all of the teas had a black tea base.  Just a personal preference. Again, I’m pretty picky about my flavored teas.

What I did love about this calendar was the calendar itself.  I’m going to try to figure out a way to cover up the snowflake parts of the decoration so I can use this calendar all year round to keep me on track with what teas I need to review, drink, and just enjoy.  Being someone who has a crazy huge amount of teas, sometimes blends that I was super excited for get pushed back to the back of the cabinet and I forget they are there. With this calendar, I’m hoping I can keep on track with what I need to drink and what I have.

I also found some amazing teas that I wasn’t for sure I’d love and I hope they get released to purchase on the Plum Deluxe site.  If not, I’m happy that I did step out of my box and tried so many different black flavored teas.  Something I should do more often!

All in all, I’m happy I took the jump and ordered this calendar.  If nothing else, it was a fun experience and reminded me how much I adore Plum Deluxe.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe

This is the final posting about the Plum Deluxe Tea Advent Calendar

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Day 7-Day 18-Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar Countdown. . Spoilers!

I’ve missed a few days here and there posting my thoughts on the Plum Deluxe’s Tea Advent Calendar and thought I’d do a quick summary of the last few days. . .

Day 7- Honey Dust- This is an example of some of the goodies that are tea related that you can find in the countdown.  I’m not a huge fan of adding sugar to my teas and typically don’t use honey except for on biscuits but I’m sure I’ll find the right tea to try this lovely delight on here in the upcoming weeks. Not necessarily something I would personally pick up myself, but its cool that I’m able to try the honey dust.

Day 8- Chocolate Hazelnut Chai Tea- This black and honeybush based tea was delicious! I loved the nutty and chocolate notes way more than I thought.  This is one of those teas that I didn’t think I would like but wanted something with a hint of spice so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Really delicious and another example of a chai tea that doesn’t go overboard on the spice which I really appreciate it.  Big fan of this one and would be a tea I would like to have more of for sure, especially with the cold winter months still ahead of us here in the Midwest.

Day 9- Gratitude Blend Black Tea- This black tea based earl grey tea sounds amazing but I am not a fan of earl grey and actually have trouble even drinking earl grey teas. I’ll be passing this tea along to someone I know will love it.

Day 10- Snowman Ornament- This little ornament is very charming and would be a great addition to a desk size tree or one of the miniature trees.  I have a feeling I’ll throw this guy onto a bow to dress up a package for the holidays.

Day 11- Snowy Mountain Black Tea- Black Tea, Orange Peel, Chestnut and Vanilla flavors. . .if that doesn’t scream holiday flavors, I don’t know what does.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried this tea just yet only because I wanted to enjoy this tea with my dad on Christmas.  I thought I’d whip us up some Snowy Mountain Black Tea Lattes while we watch the kiddos open presents. I can just tell this blend is going to be a winner.

Day 12- Nice Vanilla Spice Herbal Tea- I’m literally finishing up this sample right now.  If this tea isn’t available on the Plum Deluxe site, then I’m going to beg Plum Deluxe to blend me up a ton of this herbal.  Ginger root, cinnamon chips, fennel seeds, and vanilla extract.  This tea doesn’t look like a whole lot but wow this tea is as soul soothing as you can find.  Wonderful crisp ginger marries perfectly with the sweet cinnamon and the fennel and vanilla add to that lovely playful taste.  This is one of those mugs you just wrap your hands around and sit back.  Absolutely perfect!

Day 13- Reading Nook Blend Black Tea- I have a confession to make. I am one of those tea drinkers that dislikes lavender. . .a lot.  I actually blend up my own teas and do  have a lemon lavender tea that I adore but that is literally the only lavender tea I’ve ever liked.  This blend looks to have a lot of lavender in it so I’m going to pass this tea along to someone that will thoroughly enjoy it.

Day 14- Caramelized Mango Black Tea- I’m bummed. This tea sounds amazing but I see the second ingredient is Red Rooibos.  I wish honeybush had been used, but alas, I can’t complain.  Unfortunately red rooibos and I do not get along so I will be passing this tea off to one of my Sisters who I think will love this blend.

Day 15- Slowly Unwind Herbal Tea- Wow, this tea is amazing! Sweet, fruity, with a hint of floral and earthiness. . . I don’t know why I’ve been digging herbals so much lately but this one is another stellar example of an herbal tea done right.  You’ve got your honeybush base which gives this sweetness almost vanilla touch, berries which provides a bit of a tartness with the familiar berry flavor, and you’ve got your rose which gives you that elegant floral touch.  I actually added in more rose petals because I just love rose petals that much and wanted to really kick this tea up.  Really delicious and really comforting during this busy season.

Day 16 (posted earlier this week)

Day 17- Creme Brulee Grey Black Tea- Again, another wah wah moment for me.  I know I mentioned this earlier but  I’m not a fan of earl grey and actually have trouble drinking teas that have Bergamot Oil, so this tea is another blend not for me but again I know just the right person who I think will dig this blend way more than me.

Day 18- Lift Your Spirit Black Tea- I’m one of those tea drinkers that smell the blend before they brew the tea up.  Thank goodness because I didn’t fully read the label on this blend and unfortunately for me, I see red rooibos in the ingredient list and can totally pick up on that red rooibos aroma just from the dry leaf.  I know I should probably just be a big girl and try it, but I’ve had several red rooibos blends including a few Plum Deluxe and I just know for a fact that I won’t care for this blend.  Instead of wasting the tea, I’d rather send along to someone who I know will enjoy it.

Here’s hoping that Days 19-25 contain some amazing goodies for me!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Advent Calendar
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe


Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the 8th Day of Christmas 52Teas Sent To Me (Spoilers!)

Continuing with our 12 Days of Christmas countdown, today I was excited to scratch off the label and see a flavored green tea. So if you are following along and don’t want to be spoiled on what today’s tea is, you might want to stop reading here. You’ve been warned 🙂

The 8th Day of Christmas Tea is. . . ..Buttered Spiced Rum Green Tea. 

Today was a day where I drank a lot of black teas so to see a green tea was such a great change of pace. This tea had all of the aroma of a typical chai with a soft overlaying sweet layer.  Steeped up per the parameters indicated on the back of the pouch, I let the tea cool for the 5 minutes recommended and took my first sip.

As much spice as I picked up from the dry leaf, I was happy to see that the spices weren’t overpowering and the tea itself had an incredibly lovely sweet touch. I’m assuming that is the Buttered Rum part coming to play.  The green tea base just adds to the sweet buttery feel that this tea really exudes.

All in all, a wonderful tea that reminds you of a chai without having those strong chai flavors. Basically a chai for non chai drinkers like myself.  I love the fact that the tea base is green tea too. Just calms those spices down so they don’t smack you in the face at the beginning of every sip.

Here is the official tea description and Mad Musings. I write my review before looking at the official description.

Tea Description: Hot Buttered Rum is a traditional winter drink – something that will help warm you up when it’s cold outside. As I’ve often mentioned, I’m not much of a drinker of alcohol – tea is my drink of choice – but I still enjoy the idea of a warm, soothing cup of hot buttered rum – so I decided to create a tea that brought those flavors to life while still enjoying my favorite drink.

I chose a buttery Chinese Sencha as my base because I felt that the natural buttery tones of the tea would highlight the ‘buttered’ part of the buttered rum. Then I added a few spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. The spices aren’t overwhelming because I wanted a gentle, warm spice flavor but not something that would overpower the flavors of creamy butter and rum. A couple of the recipes that I found online for Hot Buttered Spiced Rum called for orange zest – instead, I added some dried orange segments. The orange flavor is delicate here, just a touch of orange to brighten the cup. As I already mentioned, my goal was to highlight the buttered rum flavor so I didn’t want those flavors overwhelmed by other profiles in this blend.

The result is a gentle, warm, soothing beverage. Something that makes me want to curl up next to a crackling fire and read a good book. This one’s really nice!

organic ingredients: green tea, oranges, cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, nutmeg and natural flavors.

This one required a little bit of tweaking for me to get it just the way I wanted it. The first time I tested it, I wasn’t getting enough of a buttered rum flavor. Oh, I could taste them, but they seemed to be lurking somewhere in the distance. The second time I tested it, the buttered rum flavor was a little more dominant which made me happy, but I wasn’t getting enough from the spices. So I added a few more spices to the blend before I tested it for the third time.

Now that’s the stuff!

I managed to get a nice balance between butter and rum here – and it ends up tasting a lot more like the candies (you know, the popular candies with the hole in the middle?) – like, imagine if you were to liquefy the candies and add that liquid to a cup of green tea – yeah, that’s the flavor I’m getting here. I haven’t really had a hot buttered rum recently (I seem to remember being offered a sip of the drink once when I was young but it either: a) not memorable, or; b) I was either drunk or well on my way to getting there so I don’t remember what it tasted like. I was a bit more of a drinker in my youth than I am today.

The orange is delicate but it develops as I continue to sip. Now that I’m more than halfway finished with my cup, I’m picking up on just a little more orange. Still not a dominant flavor – it’s still much more there than it was at the start and I also notice a hint of tangy citrus lingering on my palate in the aftertaste.

The spices are not strong – this isn’t meant to taste like a chai – but they’re definitely there.

Overall, I think that this drink comes together really nicely. It’s warm and cozy – like something you might want to sip after coming in from the snow. Something soothing and calming and really pleasant.

To brew: Give the pouch a gentle shake to make sure that the spices are incorporated throughout the blend. I used a rounded teaspoon – with Chinese Sencha, it might be easier to use a regular teaspoon from the cutlery drawer rather than one of those ‘perfect’ teaspoons because the leaves are long and spear-like and they don’t fit very well in that perfect teaspoon measuring spoon. Steep in 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 180°F) and let steep for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain and let cool for about 5 minutes. Enjoy.

I personally think that this tea is better hot rather than cold so don’t let it cool too long! Also, a small dollop of honey will accentuate the spices in a very pleasant way so I highly recommend it!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Green Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is no longer available but click below to see what is.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea Advent Calendar from Davids Tea. . . Teas 8-14

Week two of 24 days of tea! Lots of hits, a few misses– overall, I just cannot stress enough what a fun calendar this is. Every year, I wonder if the $40 price tag is worth it for something just for fun, and every year, I’m reminded what a sweet treat it is to get to open a surprise on the daily, and try a few dozen new teas all in one fell swoop. We still have ten days to go, but so far, I’m super pleased with this year’s calendar.

Day 8: Organic Ginger Pear. This one has been on my wishlist for a while, so I was pumped to see it as a sample. It’s supposed to be a white tea, but I’ll be real honest with you guys– upon first glance, there is a nary a leaf to be seen in this chunky mix. Near the bottom, there are a few tiny leaves broken up, but I’d say this blend is 90% fruit and ginger. That being said, it totally delivers. It is light and sweet, just a touch spicy and both the pear and ginger flavors shine. It was the perfect tea to sip after dinner, equally sweet and dessert-like without being heavy.

Day 9: Forever Nuts. A forever DT classic. The first time I sniffed Forever Nuts in store when I discovered David’s a few years ago, the salesperson eagerly informed me that because it was “like granola– in fact, you can even eat it!”. Um, I’m okay, thanks. But it is a delicious herbal, bright pink and reminiscent of those cinnamon-sugar nuts from the ballpark that I could eat by the handful. I think I’ll save those for the munching and leave Forever Nuts just for sipping.

Day 10: Green Passionfruit. The dry leaf is absolutely gorgeous, fruity and bright with visible tea leaves. I’ll be honest, green tea isn’t usually my first choice, but the fruit balances this one beautifully and makes it a great gateway without any vegetal bitterness that can sometimes accompany greens.

Day 11: Hot Chocolate Pu’erh. My fiance’s absolute favorite drink in the wintertime is hot chocolate, hands down. So last year, when we stumbled on this blend at David’s, he couldn’t pick it up fast enough. He ran out sometime in February, but was eagerly awaiting the re-release this year. It’s a decent pu’erh, mimicking the thick and creamy mouthfeel of cocoa right off the bat, made even better with the addition of milk. It’s of course less sweet than its dairy- and sugar-laden counterpart, but it makes a great substitute for those who would prefer not to see their beloved go into a sugar coma from seasonal beverage overdose. (Ahem.)

Day 12: Bear Trap Herbal. I’ve heard a lot of hype about this one, but I have to be honest– it fell a little flat for me. It’s fruit-forward, absolutely– notes of berry and tart hibiscus are what I mostly taste, and there’s not too much depth to it. It’s certainly drinkable (and I’d bet it would be tasty iced), but fruit tea can fall a little flat without anything special to it, and I think I have better in my tea cabinet instead.

Day 13: Crème Caramel Rooibos. YOU GUYS. I had such high hopes for this one. I’d even read a description online that it sipped like liquid caramel. Hello, hi, gimme. On first sniff, it smells like a straight red rooibos to me (though there are scant caramelly pieces strewn throughout) and brewed? It drinks like straight red rooibos. Even worse, I can taste that signature medicinal rooibos flavor that so often turns me off to straight rooibos. Maybe a rooibos lover would be able to pick out flavors that I hadn’t, but this one just doesn’t do enough for me.

Day 14: Irish Breakfast. PHEW. After all the sweet, sugary flavored teas of the first fourteen days, this one was a welcome relief. Dark, malty and robust, it’s a great straight tea that takes milk and sweet incredibly well. One more installment to go, friends! This was a great week of sipping, and while I stumbled across a few misses, there were a few hits in here that I’ll definitely be adding to my permanent tea cabinet. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Davids Tea

No longer sold as a calendar, but individual teas are for sale on website.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!