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london fog

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 1-Spoilers!

Day 1!  The 12 Teas of Christmas set from 52Teas really lets you surprise yourself, with the name of the tea hidden under a silvery scratch-off label on the pouch.  It is one of the most fun and most unique daily tea surprise sets I’ve tried.

Today I tried Foggy Coconut Black Tea. In the past I tried Smoky Coconut from 52Tea and enjoyed it, but Foggy Coconut is a new one to me!  As soon as I opened the pouch I was wrapped in the distinct citrus scent of earl grey. The fog in the name clearly refers to the London Fog drink, made with earl grey tea.  Among the black tea leaves were big curls of white coconut.

Historically, earl grey teas are always walking that balance between crisp bergamot and creamy vanilla, so pairing an earl grey tea with smooth coconut was a winning idea.  Even without milk, this tea is full bodied and has plenty of cream taste. The coconut adds a rich buttery feel and taste without causing too much of that oil slick on the top of your tea.  All the vanilla creaminess is balanced with just enough of earl grey’s tried and true orange zest to make for a delicious and complex flavor experience.

This tea is also appropriately Christmassy: brew up a cup of Foggy Coconut in honor of the foggy night that Rudolph earned his place among Santa’s reindeer.

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

My inspiration behind this blend is one of my favorite coffee shop drinks: a London Fog Latte! I order mine with coconut milk and half the usual amount of vanilla syrup (otherwise, it’s just too sweet!) One day as I was sipping on this drink, I found myself contemplating the beverage. I love the way the hints of coconut play with the bergamot but I found myself wishing that the coconut notes were stronger. (I do love me some coconut!) I also found myself wishing that the tea notes were stronger – which I felt would be accomplished if it didn’t have so much milk product in it – but then, the coconut notes would not be present. Then the idea hits me: why not make my own version of this drink with these improvements in mind!

And here we have it: I started with a base of Assam and Yunnan for a rich, bold, malty flavor. Something that could hold it’s own even with the strong note of creamy coconut. Then I added bergamot – I didn’t want to go too heavy on the bergamot because I didn’t want the coconut and bergamot competing with each other. I wanted enough bergamot to be tasted but not so much that it would interfere with the coconut flavor. Then I added some vanilla bean. Again, not a heavy vanilla taste – just enough to lend creaminess to the coconut and soften the edge of the bergamot and strong teas.

Then I went coconuts! This is a strongly coconut flavored tea but there’s enough bergamot there to give the cup the flavor that I was going for – this cuppa is my ideal London Fog! It’s got lots of coconut flavor without the milk drowning out the flavor of the tea. No “latte” required here, there’s enough creaminess to the flavor. Of course, if you want to go latte, that’s OK – but I’d recommend trying it without first!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

London Fog from Harlow Tea Co

I’ve been on a big afternoon tea kick lately. (Not like I’m not always on an “every time, every place” tea kick, but still.) My rules for a great afternoon tea? Refreshing, comforting, caffeinated but not buzzy, something that wakes me up as much as it helps me find peace and relaxation during the craziness of the day. Harlow’s London Fog seemed to fit the bill of just what I was looking for, with lavender and lemon to balance the caffeination of the black tea.

Following suit from the name, I brewed this one strong in about half the amount of water I’d normally use, swirled in some honey and filled the rest of my cup with steamed coconut milk for a delicious London Fog latte.

As for flavor, this one delivers on the lavender big time. It’s a delightful and slightly unexpected play on Earl Grey, and it hit the perfect balance of caffeine + calm for me once the afternoon doldrums hit. I’m not getting a ton of lemon in my cup, but I suspect that has more to do with my addition of milk than the tea itself.

It takes a lot for an earl grey to blow me out of the water, but this one hits all the notes I’d hope for plus a twist of the unusual with the addition of lavender. A great blend to grab when you need a little afternoon pick-me-up, for sure!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy: Harlow Tea Co.
isla_280x280.21631377_bq0qbgvlDescription

Ingredients: Earl gray tea, lemon peel, and lavender flower.

Contains caffeine

Ever had a London fog latte? Well I wanted to make my own version. This black tea, with a hint of citrus and lavender, is perfect on its own or in a latte.

Want to try the latte? Steep the tea in 4 oz. of water, strain and add to 4 oz. of steamed milk for the perfect tealatte.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

#MusicAndTeaMonday: London Fog from Harlow Tea

It’s #MusicAndTeaMonday and I hope you will join us by posting on your favorite social media!  #MusicAndTeaMonday: London Fog from Harlow Tea is the tea I chose today and the song pairing is London Calling by The Clash!

It’s been a while since my last flavored Earl Grey so I thought I was about due and  London Fog from Harlow Tea stood up to the test!  The black tea base is of medium strength and the flavors are a slight notch above medium.  The Earl Grey-ness is peppy but the addition of the lemon peel and lavender flowers really take it to the next level in terms of flavor.

London Fog from Harlow Tea  is such a comforting cuppa.  I would share this with just about anyone – it’s that type of tea.  Now…let’s get on to the music pairing for #MusicAndTeaMonday.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  Harlow Tea Co

isla_280x280.21631377_bq0qbgvlDescription:

London Fog Loose Leaf Tea (My version)

Ingredients: Earl gray tea, lemon peel, and lavender flower.

Contains caffeine

Ever had a London fog latte? Well I wanted to make my own version. This black tea, with a hint of citrus and lavender, is perfect on its own or in a latte.

Want to try the latte? Steep the tea in 4 oz. of water, strain and add to 4 oz. of steamed milk for the perfect tealatte.

Packaging shown is the 3 oz. size with a recyclable paper container. 1 and 2 oz. sizes come in stand up pouches .

Learn even more about this tea here

Mighty Organic Earl Grey Tea from Tea Leaf Co.

MIGHTYOrganicEarlGreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Leaf Co. 

Tea Description:

A GBOP grade of black tea for this earl grey and blended with extra bergamot essence creates an infusion especially well suited for London fogs or for those seeking a strong bergamot flavor in their tea. Much stronger than the classic, malty notes, and a lively cup.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Mighty Organic Earl Grey Tea is the last of four teas that Tea Leaf Co. sent me to sample.  I figured I’d save the Earl Grey for my last day as a tea reviewer and go out with all my favorites!

When I opened the pouch, I was a little surprised by the aroma.  I could smell the bergamot, certainly, but I could also smell licorice.  I thought my olfactory nerves were deceiving me!

I brewed this tea in my Kati Tumbler (seriously, folks, if you haven’t gotten yourself one of these yet, you really SHOULD!)  I measured 1 bamboo scoop of tea into the basket of my Kati and then poured 12 ounces of boiling water into the tumbler.  I let it steep for 3 minutes.

After the brewing was complete, I lifted the cup to my nose to smell the brewed tea.  Again … I smell licorice!  Weird!  At this point, I’m starting to worry that I’m coming down with something.

But the flavor is NOT licorice!  The flavor is bergamot!  Distinctly!  It’s tangy and it’s a little sweet, it’s citrus-y and it’s bright.  It’s bergamot.

So don’t let my weird experience with the aromatics throw you off – this is an Earl Grey tea – a “Mighty” fine Earl Grey!  The black tea is richly flavored and has a pleasant, robust taste that’s just right to greet you in the morning and give you that gentle shake awake that you need.  It has notes of malt that mingle with the bergamot in a pleasant way.

The bergamot – along with the orange peel – offers a sunny flavor.  These two citrus notes together create more of a citrus-y flavor rather than a straightforward bergamot note which I don’t really mind because I can still taste the distinguished flavor of bergamot.

Overall, a really good Earl Grey.  Where does it rate in my Earl Grey ratings?  I think it would be somewhere in the upper echelon of Earl Grey, but it’s not in the top three, or even the top ten.  It’s much better than many of the Earl Grey teas I’ve tried, but not as good as some.  I’d definitely recommend it to the Earl Grey aficionados out there – it’s absolutely worth trying, you might find your new favorite even though I didn’t find mine!

Mindful Morning Blend from Plum Deluxe

mindful-morning-blendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe

Tea Description:

The mindful morning blend is the Plum Deluxe take on classic Earl Grey.

Everyone loves Earl Grey, but we found a way to make it even better so that we can start every day with a tea blend that is truly luxurious. We began with our absolute favorite black tea, Ceylon – it is a tea from Sri Lanka that has a gentle vanilla flavor to it. We then added a tiny pinch of sweet honey, a bit of flavor and color with the cornflowers, and topped it off with the bergamot oil that makes earl grey so famous. The orange peels give it a final flavor boost.

All Plum Deluxe teas are hand-blended and infused with love in Portland, Oregon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m enjoying my second cup of this tea.  With the first cup, I neglected to “shake” the pouch and this is one tea where you want to do that.  There are honey crystals in the tea and they tend to settle to the bottom of the package so you want to mix it up a little before you scoop out the tea.

I wasn’t too sure about having honey crystals in my tea.  I have often said that I prefer it when tea companies don’t put sugar, honey crystals, stevia or other sweeteners in my tea because I like to decide if I want to have a sweeter tea.  I like to make that decision for myself and not have it made for me.  But, I like the honey in this.  I like the touch of honey flavor.

To brew this, I used my Kati Tumbler.  I decided to use the tumbler rather than the tea maker because I didn’t want to put honey in the tea maker.  I don’t know why, but, I made the catastrophic mistake of attempting to heat milk in an electric tea kettle a long time ago, (before there was a Breville One-Touch) and since that time, I have been very careful about what I’ll put in my kettles.

Learn from my mistake and don’t ever heat anything except water in tea kettles.  Just say no.

After shaking the pouch and getting some of those honey crystals to the surface, I measured 1 bamboo scoop of tea into the basket of my Kati and added 12 ounces of boiling water to the tumbler.  I steeped the tea for 3 minutes and removed the basket.  Now I have a tumbler full of Earl Grey yumminess.

This is actually a spin on an Earl Grey Creme tea.  And it’s quite lovely.

The black tea base is a smooth, medium-bodied Ceylon.  It has a pleasant flavor that’s a little earthy and a wee bit malty.  It has a slightly dry finish, indicating some astringency.  I would say it’s mildly astringent and it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the cup or the smoothness of the sip.

The bergamot is not exceptionally strong in this blend, but I think that’s probably because the vanilla notes have softened the bergamot, creating a lovely citrus-y, creamy flavor that hints at caramel tones.  Bring in the light honey notes from the honey crystals and that’s where this tea really “hits the sweet spot.”  The honey plus the caramel is delightfully delicious.

I do get a bright, tangy note of bergamot that’s softer than a typical Earl Grey.  Then again, this isn’t a typical Earl Grey and it’s not meant to be.  The vanilla adds a touch creamy.  The orange peel highlights the brightness of the bergamot.  And these flavors mingle in a really beautiful way with the aforementioned honeyed caramel.  Mmm!

This is the first tea that I’ve tried from Plum Deluxe, and I’m so pleased with it!  I really like what I’ve seen (and tasted!) from this company thus far.  I love that they’re a company based locally (Portland, Oregon) and I was touched by the story that inspired the company.   And I just LOVED getting a purple bubble envelope in the mail the other day!  What fun!  (Get it?  Plum Deluxe?  Purple Envelope?  Loved it!)