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unique teas

Cinnamon Pear from 52Teas. . . . .

I served a number of teas to some friends yesterday and this one came out as the favorite flavored blend we tried. No big surprise since 52Teas is one of the best tea blending companies I have come across.

I like the black tea base. It doesn’t bow down and disappear, but sails right along with the flavors. It isn’t super astringent like a lot of black tea bases in flavored blends. The cinnamon was nice – not red hot candy cinnamon but the kind of cinnamon levels you would expect in Grandma’s fruit pie.

The pear aspect was a little harder for me because I don’t eat pears. I like them fine, but I find them really mild and usually reach for an apple instead. I am an infrequent pear eater. So I can say this definitely has an apple/pear vibe, but I couldn’t pinpoint what kind of pear for you. The pear aficionados among you probably could pin it down right away. But the mild fruit flavor is very pleasant.

This is a nice blend with cinnamon to escape the ubiquitous orange/clove/cinnamon blends that are hanging around during the holidays. A breath of fresh pear…(sorry, couldn’t resist!)


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is no longer available but click below for what flavored black teas are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the 1st Day of Christmas my 52Teas delivered to me. . . .

If you are a fan of 52Teas, you are probably aware of their amazing Christmas promotion.  For the last few years, 52Teas has offered a 12 Teas of Christmas set.  Included in each set are 12 different teas to enjoy while getting into the holiday spirit. Now what is unique about this is that the flavors are a mystery.  Each label has a foil sticker that you scratch off to find out what the tea is. Such a fun, inventive and unique way to enjoy the holidays.

And the presentation couldn’t have been better! The teas were lovingly addressed to me and in a fun gift box, with a note on when to start drinking the teas. So very festive indeed!

So for the next 12 days, I’ll be reviewing the 12 Teas of Christmas.  Without further ado. . . .The 1st Day of Christmas tea is. . . {insert drumroll}

Partidgeberry in a Pear Tea

This is a green tea with huge chunks of berries and what I can only assume are huge pear chunks. You really can’t get more festive looking than this tea.  Simply gorgeous looking. Brewed up and allowed to steep per the package instructions.   (The official description is below)

After drinking this tea and finishing off the package, I can honestly say I can’t imagine a better way to kick off this fun promotion. The green tea was rich and buttery while the pear gave the tea this unique sweetness and the berries complimented the brew with a tang.  Very well done and well balanced. This is for sure a tea that can easily go wrong but it really works well.

Like I said, I drank this tea down and am still impressed by how many infusions I was able to get out of each serving. I know typically you are lucky to get 2-3 infusions out of each tea but this tea I was able to infuse 5 times. Sure the flavor wasn’t as strong but those notes were still there being as festive and merry as possible.

If all of the teas are like this one, we are in for an awesome holiday treat!

Tea Description: This was one of my favorite Christmas teas from Frank’s era, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I loved it so much for the tea (although the tea is really delightful!) or the name because – seriously – so clever! Right?

So what is a partridgeberry? Well, my research on Wikipedia tells me a partridgeberry can be a creeping herbaceous shrub native to North America (scientific name: mitchella repens) or it can be a lingonberry (scientific name: vaccinium vitis-idaea). Since I have neither mitchella repens nor vaccinium vitis-idaea at my easy disposal, I decided to choose the easiest/most accessible of these two to include in this blend: the lingonberry.

Prior to blending this tea, my experience with the lingonberry was limited to trips to IKEA and seeing lingonberry jam on the shelves (and at one point, I purchased some of that jam to make a sauce for meatballs. No, I didn’t get the meatballs from IKEA.) I also purchased some lingonberry glogg last year. That was pretty tasty.

Official description of this tea below. Click here for the Mad Tea Musings.

Frank’s description of this tea went like this:

Yes, okay, I am a very silly man. I just couldn’t resist.

Back when I was planning to create all new blends for the 12 teas of Christmas sampler, I was trying to figure out how to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas song. I figured out this one and some sort of Turtle® chocolate treat blend. Three French Hens might have been some kind of French vanilla, but four calling birds completely stumped me.

Well, anyway, here’s our buttery-sweet Chinese sencha blended with wild-harvested Partidgeberry (Mitchella repens), dried pears and natural pear flavors. Silly or not, it is delicious if you like pears.

Yes, I love pears! And I’m much more familiar with pears than I am partridgeberries. And this is technically not supposed to be a partridgeberry tea but a pear tea.

I started with organic Chinese Sencha (just like the original recipe!) and added dried pears and instead of using wild-harvested Partridgeberry, I used internet-purchased lingonberries. And they look pretty in this blend, like little red crystals amidst the long spears of green tea and the chunks of pear. It looks very Christmas-y, this tea.

organic ingredients: green tea, pears and natural flavors

ingredients: lingonberries


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea will be available in very limited quantities beginning December 28th at 52Teas!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Irish Whiskey Cream from Tea & Absinthe – The Other Irish Breakfast

As the weather gets colder, I get a craving for sweeter, more dessert-like teas.  So when it was the first real, cold and blustery day of the season, I was excited to taste Irish Whiskey Cream from Tea & Absinthe. The dry leaf smells mild but sweet, like black tea with a hint of caramel.  When brewed, this blend smells amazing, as rich and decadent as crème brûlée.  I take my tea without milk or sugar, and the dessert flavors were still very forward and enjoyable.

While there is “cream” in the name, the sweetness in this tea is less like vanilla frosting and much more like salted caramel or burnt brown sugar, with just a bit of vanilla underneath.  Cocoa bits are listed in the ingredients, but any chocolate flavor gets buried under the more caramel and toffee notes.  I’m sure the “whiskey” in the name is a recommended brewing partner for this tea on those evenings when you need a little bit more warmth and merriment.  The tea itself doesn’t have any overtly whiskey tones, nothing smoky, but the roasted-sugar flavors do remind me of certain amber libations.

I was careful not to over steep this blend, as the Irish breakfast Assam black tea base could get strong very fast.  Keeping an eye on my brew times, I’ve had no bitterness and all creaminess. I could definitely see myself brewing up a cup of Irish Whiskey Cream from Tea & Absinthe and topping it with whipped cream on a snowy day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tea & Absinthe
irish-whiskeyDescription:

“The Other Irish Breakfast” – Black tea Assam, cocoa bits, flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

French Toast from 52Teas

I’ve sampled this tea twice and gotten different impressions of it, so it has a lot of facets to examine. The first time I tried it, I mostly picked up on the maple.

“Mmmm,” I thought. “Sweet, sweet Canada.” My eyes fluttered with visions of maple leaves, Mounties, moose, and POLITENESS. Oh my goodness. So much HUMAN DECENCY.

And health care! The bountiful health care! O CANADA!

The second time I tried the tea, I got a lot of malty richness. I got less of the syrup, and more of the toast. The depth of the black tea made me think about a nicely crisped bread piece. Hmmm.

Neither time did I get a lot of cinnamon/butter, which I thought was a little odd, since I feel like cinnamon and butter are pretty key. Maybe a future sip will yield it, but even if it doesn’t, this is a pretty swell mixture.

I would happily sip it while watching a Toronto Maple Leaf ice hockey game, traipsing through the Yukon territory, or practicing my français in Montreal.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas

52teas3_1430856114__73092

This tea is no longer available but these black teas are!