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savory black tea

Sakurambo/Lupicia – ashmanra –

Photo Credit: Lupicia

A good friend surprised me with a box containing a Lupicia green rooibos blend and two sample sachets. I couldn’t wait to try them all! This was first pick.

A quick peek at google to find out whether it was a black or green tea so I could set the kettle to the proper temp told me it was cherry scented and I did not look any further. But it was a conundrum. Go ahead and make a fruity tea even though I was having waffles and maple syrup for breakfast, or rummage through my stash to find a plain black? My experience with Lupicia was that their fruity teas are SUPER fruity and it might all be too sweet together, but I decided I really wanted to try these sooner rather than later!

Then rats rats rats! I tasted the waffle before sipping the tea! I like to try a new tea unadulterated to get the full flavor. Nevermind, a few sips would clear the palate to give me the true taste.

And that’s where it got confusing.

Nice black tea base…yes, a hint of cherry but not super fruity, rather…..smokey? What is that? What is happening? Not smokey….SAVORY. And then…..warmth from a little spice starts to glow. Is that pepper? I don’t like peppery chai and this wasn’t offending me so what was it? Was the syrup messing with the true taste of the tea too much?

Here is where I had to stop everything and look up the tea to find out what was going on. The savory was coming from rosemary! And the spice was pink peppercorns, which I couldn’t see in the sachet at all but when I tore it open it was there. If there is going to pepper in my tea, I highly prefer pink peppercorn to any other kind.

This tea was a great pairing with the sweet syrup and waffles. The rosemary gave deep herbal notes and enhanced the black base while the pink peppercorns gave warmth and spice and a nice, lingering aftertaste that cut the sweetness of the food without the raw heat of black peppercorns. The cherry wasn’t cough syrup cherry or candy cough drop cherry, but a nice, realistic Japanese cherry that was not too sour.

This gets a thumbs up from me! In future I would buy it loose leaf so I could see those adorable bright pink/red peppercorns looking like tiny cherries!

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia


SAKURAMBO is A fresh, intriguing blend of black tea scented with juicy Japanese cherries, one of our best-selling flavored teas of all time. The tea is topped with crisp rosemary and pink peppercorns imitating the ripe fruit. Visually appealing, this tea will make a great gift. Try its delicious sister product, SAKURAMBO VERT, which is a green tea blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

(photo credit:  Lupicia)

Tomato, Basil, and Black Pepper Black Tea from 52Teas

Hello 2017! Welcome! Yes. . .  I know I’m a few days late but I’m very ready to welcome this new year in.

This year I’m not going to make resolutions but I am going to make myself explore different types and flavors of tea.  I thought this tea would be the perfect tea to get that ball rolling.


Yesterday I made a few homemade soups for my hubby’s and my lunches. One of those soups was a tomato bisque. I had a little veggie juice left over and enjoyed myself a glass. I don’t drink a lot of V8 or anything like that, but every once in a while I found myself craving it.

That is where this tea can absolutely come into play.  There aren’t a lot of savory teas out there but everyone in awhile one will cross my path and I find myself devouring it.

Prepped up per the package recommendations- (212F-2 1/2 minutes- allowed to cool for 10 minutes) I was excited to see how this tea would taste.    Smoky savory notes with a heat from the black peppercorn while the tomato and basil bring the flavor together to a solid and flavorful finish.  This tea reminds me of a sweet yet savory tea but not sweet fruity like. Sweet like that familiar sweet and tangy flavor that is unique to what a tomato can deliver.

This is one of those teas that you surprisingly can’t get enough of. I found myself craving more after every sip.  I think next infusion I’ll let the tea steep a bit longer and not allow the tea to cool for so long.  If you have a chance to check out this tea or any savory tea, I recommend it. It definitely provides a nice change of pace from all of the teas I typically drink.

I have a feeling this will be a tea that I’ll be sad to see the end of.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas

This is a reblend that was crafted for one of 52Teas’ ambassadors. He didn’t actually request this reblend outright, instead, what he did is ask me to reblend my favorite tea. (Isn’t that nice?) Since I have several “favorites” from the 52Teas archives, I ultimately came to my decision by determining several factors:  which tea I missed the most, which tea I wanted to try blending the most and which tea comes to mind first when I ponder the question: “what is my favorite 52Teas blend?” This tea – Tomato, Basil & Black Pepper Black Tea – won the most points overall in that decision making process.

Fortunately, the ambassador was very excited about trying the tea – so that was a bonus!

The original description of this tea went like this:

When our good friend, LiberTEAs [Yep, that’s me!] asked us to create this blend, I have to admit that I tabled the idea for a few days, thinking she would forget about it. We’ve created some unusual blends, but tomato, basil and black pepper? Really?

Well, she  didn’t forget about it and though it took me a while, here we are.

We’ve blended our premium Indian black teas with just a tiny touch of lapsang souchoung, sun-dried tomatoes, black peppercorns, basil and natural flavors.

This is just a little different from the original because a) different black teas in the base, b) I crushed the black pepper with my trusty mortar and pestle and, c) I used freeze-dried tomato bits rather than sun-dried tomatoes.

For the base, I used my black tea base of organic Assam, Ceylon and Yunnan teas, plus I added a small amount of Lapsang Souchong – just enough to add a hint of smoke but not enough to overwhelm the cup. Then I added organic, natural flavors and freeze-dried tomatoes, organic basil and crushed organic black pepper. (You’ll still find some whole peppercorns in there too!)

This tastes amazing. If you liked the original blend – I’m confident you’ll enjoy this. Or, if you didn’t try the original blend and the idea of a tomato, basil and black pepper black tea sounds too interesting to pass up – please don’t! If history is any predictor, this tea will not stay around on my tea studio’s shelves.

Taster size is approximately 15g.

ingredients: organic teas, freeze-dried tomatoes, organic basil, organic black peppercorns & organic natural flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!