Razzleberry Green from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  sorry, this limited edition tea is no longer available…

Product Description:

Our buttery sweet Chinese sencha green tea with real freeze-dried blackberries and raspberries and all natural flavors. This is a great treat for these waning days of summer. I think I’m going to make another big icy stein of it right now.

Taster’s Review:

Even though 52Teas is one of my favorite tea companies, I’ve only become familiar with their teas within the last two years.  So the limited edition teas that had sold out before I started becoming an avid customer – like this Razzleberry Green – were teas that were sadly out of my reach.

Fortunately, back in February, 52Teas offered some sample size packages of some of their retired blends.  The samples were random (I didn’t know which samples I would receive), but I was so happy to find this one amongst the samples I ordered.

This is really delicious.  The Chinese Sencha is light-bodied, buttery and sweet.  The “razzleberry” flavor is a combination of raspberry and blackberry, and it is a subtle flavor that slowly develops as I continue to sip.  The sweet “razzleberry” flavor seems a perfect match for the creamy flavor of the Sencha.

It is delicious hot, but even better as it cools.  A very refreshing iced tea!  This blend has a light sweetness to it, so I found it unnecessary to sweeten it when it was hot, but as it cooled, I found that a little sweetener (just a tiny drizzle of agave nectar) really brightened the fruit flavor.

This is a delightful tea.  I wish it were still available so that I could tell you to order some!  But I will say this:  you should visit 52Teas website and watch for their tea of the week updates (or better yet, just subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll receive an emailed update with information about each week’s tea, as well as updates on any mid-week specials).  If you love outrageous flavored teas, there is no tea company out there that does them better!

Watermelon Green Honeybush from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Review:

Our New Tea of the Week for the week of January 10, 2011

This week’s tea of the week is a special treat. Here’s green honeybush with natural watermelon flavors. If the cold weather has you yearning for a taste of summer, here’s your chance. I’m enjoying a cup of this as I write this. The green honeybush base is soft and pleasant with light citrus notes. The watermelon is sweet; I can almost feel the juiciness of it.

This is the last of our green honeybush, so don’t miss out; this will be a limited edition blend!

Taster’s Review:

I am sitting here with my Libre Mug filled with Watermelon Green Honeybush from 52Teas and the aroma is absolutely delightful.  It reminds me of the scent of Watermelon Jolly Ranchers – a smell I’ve loved since childhood.  The smell alone is making me happy that I decided to order this tisane!

So I’m overjoyed by the fact that the flavor of this tea is just as delightful as the fragrance!  This tastes just like fresh, juicy watermelon.  It tastes so much like watermelon that I can almost feel the watermelon juices running down my arm.   YUM!

I haven’t tried too many green honeybush blends, but I am really liking this one.  Honeybush typically has a honey-esque sweetness to it (hence the name), but where the “red” honeybush tends to have a somewhat nutty tone to it, this one has a fresher, lighter taste to it that is somewhat citrus-like and that citrus note really brightens the watermelon flavor.

This tisane is very summer-like to me, so I plan on keeping the rest of this pouch for my summertime ice tea brewing.  As delicious as it is hot, it is perfect as an iced tea.  It is as exhilarating as the fruit itself!

On the 12th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Happy Holidays to everyone!

First of all, sorry this will end up posting a little late.  I was up LATE last night doing the final preparations for the holiday morning, and I had figured I’d be up earlier than this!  My youngest actually slept until about 9 am Pacific Time!  I couldn’t believe it!

Anyway… I was especially excited for today’s tea, because it was one that I hadn’t yet tried!  This was the one brand new blend from the box, and from what I understand it will soon be featured as a tea of the week.

Without further mumblings from me… The CHRISTMAS Tea of the Day is…

GINGERBREAD CHAI

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Ingredients:  Premium black teas, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, pink peppercorns, natural flavors.

Taster’s Review:

Well, as I said before, this was the tea I was most excited about because I knew it was a new blend.  Of the other 11 teas, there was only one of them that I hadn’t yet tried, but was definitely on my on-going list of teas to order when finances allow. (The one tea I hadn’t tried being the Chocolate Chai from Day 2)

Anyway, on to this NEW chai!  Wow!  It’s really tasty!  It really tastes like gingerbread and chai married in one teacup!   I can taste the baked cake-y taste in the cup, and I must say that in the time that I’ve gotten familiar with 52Teas blends, Frank (the head zoomdweebie at 52Teas) has improved with achieving the pastry and/or cake-y flavor for the tea.

Not surprisingly, the ginger is dominant in this cup.  But, it doesn’t taste over-ginger-y either.  That is to say, it doesn’t taste like Frank just got really happy with the ginger root.  It tastes like gingerbread, not an overpoweringly-ginger-flavored chai.

The other spices are very well balanced and they carry a full-flavored taste that fills the palate with warm spice.  The black tea base is a little understated here but not so much that it can’t be tasted.  That’s not a complaint!  I like that it doesn’t try to intrude upon the other flavors.  The tea is there, it just doesn’t overwhelm the cup.

Because what really makes this chai outstanding is the gingerbread flavor!  It really is yummy, I love the cake-y taste!  It adds such a delightful dimension to the already delicious chai.

When I had originally ordered this sampler box for myself, my initial thought was “great, I can just order the sampler, and since I will have a small sample of the new Christmas blend, that will be one tea from 52Teas that I won’t need to buy because I will have already tried it!”  But, as it turns out, this is one tea that I WILL have to order, because of all the chai teas that I’ve tried from 52Teas, this one is the BEST by far!  Gee, thanks Frank.  My wallet thanks you too.  Yeah.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope that Santa brought you LOTS of tea to enjoy!

 

On the 11th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Today is Christmas Eve… and I still haven’t finished all the holiday preparations.  I still have presents to buy!

Yeah… I’m not the most organized individual you’re likely to meet.  That’s putting it mildly!

It may not appear so by just reading these words, but … I’m about to have a panic attack!  Good thing I have some tea to help soothe my nerves!

And the tea that I’m enjoying today is …

NEAPOLITAN HONEYBUSH

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Our caffeine-free African Honeybush (If you are still not familiar with honeybush, it is very similar to Rooibos, but a bit sweeter and without the woody aftertaste that rooibos frequently has) blended with organic vanilla beans, organic cacao nibs, freeze-dried strawberry pieces and all natural flavors. This is a real treat hot or iced!

Taster’s Review:

I can’t believe that I haven’t yet written a review for this tea!

Well, no time like the present, eh?  This is a tea that I’ve had on hand for some time now.  I am not going to say its my favorite tisane from 52Teas, because it isn’t, but, I do like it quite a bit!  I think I like it even more now than I did when I first tasted it.

For those of you that have one, I recommend brewing this in a Libre Tea Glass (or similar type vessel).  I put the leaf into the main chamber of the glass, screw on the straining lid, and sip the tisane through the strainer.  This enables me to keep the honeybush in the liquid as I sip it, and the flavor continues to intensify.  This tea just keeps getting better and better the longer it steeps!

After steeping just six minutes, my first few sips were delicious.  I could taste a good combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, together with the somewhat nutty/honey sweet taste of the honeybush.  But now, after continuing to steep some additional 15 or 20 minutes after those first couple of sips, the flavor is even better.  The chocolate – RICH!  The strawberry – SWEET!  The vanilla – CREAMY!  I think I actually like this tisane better than the ice cream after which it was created!

The flavor is really smooth and creamy, just like ice cream.  The only real difference is the temperature and the slightly nutty taste that comes from the honeybush.  I have tasted this tea hot and iced, and it is really tasty either way.  I found it to be very refreshing this past summer when I iced it.  Right now, I’m finding it to be particularly soothing on the nervous tension I’m experiencing due to my shopping dilemma.

This tea is such a wonderful treat!

On the 10th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Wow… just 3 more sample packages left.  I am going to miss this!

It’s been a lot of fun – these mystery samples, even though I’ve already tried all but one of them previously.  It’s a bit like visiting an old friend.

And when I think about it, I don’t know that I could have had enjoyed this experience with any other company.  Having tried so many offerings from 52Teas and having not yet found one that disappointed me, I knew that I would enjoy this package of 12 mystery teas.

So, thank you, 52Teas for being what you are!  A great company dedicated to creating the most interesting tea blends possible.  I wouldn’t want it any other way!

On the 10th Day of Christmas, 52Teas gave to me…

STRAWBERRY ZABAGLIONE

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

This was a suggestion from one of our customers, and I spent an hour digging through my email folders and searching our facebook page, but I couldn’t find the original suggestion anywhere, so I couldn’t put his or her name on the blend.

Anyway, when I first got the suggestion, I realized I was going to have to MAKE some Zabaglione to try, because not only had I not tried it before, but I had never HEARD of it before. Well after trying it (for those of you who never have, I would say it is something like a custardy (flavor, not texture) whipped cream with a hint of wine. After trying it, I was not at all sure that we would be able to make a tea that hinted of the complexity of Zabaglione, but after some trial and error, we now have… [Strawberry Zabaglione]

Taster’s Review:

Well, today, I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet, mostly because I have an appointment this morning and time is ticking away!

I have previously reviewed this tea, and you can read that review here.   This is another favorite from 52Teas.  The flavor is amazing!  The strawberry tastes authentic – just like a fresh, juicy strawberry!  The creamy “zabaglione” tastes very custard-like (which is what I understand a zabaglione is supposed to taste like).

The black tea base is strong and supports these flavors well. Together, it is a delicious treat!  Drink it in the morning to enjoy dessert at the breakfast table!  Drink it in the afternoon for a delightful pick-me-up.  A splash of milk will bring out the creamy tones of the custard!

Yum!  I’m glad this tea was a part of this package because it definitely is one of the shining stars from 52Teas accomplishments this past year!

On the 9th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

This isn’t the only “12 Days” type of thing that I’ve chosen to become involved with this holiday season.  I am also in a 12 Days of Christmas art swap through a Yahoo! art group that I’m in.  You can learn more about that swap here and see some of the art pieces that I’ve received in that swap, as well as the art piece that I made for the swap.

Both of these 12 Days “thingies” have been a lot of fun for me … and there is a part of me that is just a little sad that they are both almost over.

But rather than think about when it will end… I think it is much better to focus on the here and now.  And right here and now, it is time to unveil the tea of the day for today!

BUTTERED CINNAMON RAISIN TOAST

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

So, a raisin flavored tea is pretty unique in and of itself; cinnamon-raisin tea: a bit cooler, but at 52teas, we don’t just push the envelope, we shove. So, I’m happy to present our tea of the week for the week of January 4, 2010: Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast flavored black tea.

We started with our premium Indian black teas base, added just a touch of smoked Assam teas for a tiny bit of toastiness, then we added real golden raisins, cinnamon stick bits and natural raisin and cinnamon flavors. We topped it all off with just a hint of natural butter flavoring. The result: Well, you will have to try it to believe it.

Taster’s Review:

I was a little surprised to find this tea in this 12 Teas of Christmas box.  Pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless; mostly because this tea is not one of 52Teas permanent collection teas.

However, I think it SHOULD be in their permanent collection, because it is so good.  I tried this tea when it was first introduced (and you can read my first review of this tea here), I mean, how could I resist?  It just sounded too unusual and interesting to pass up.

One thing that I really like about this tea is that it is a little different each time I brew it.  When I first reviewed it, the cinnamon flavor was a little subtle, this time, as I sip it, the cinnamon is front and center.  The butter is a little lighter this time around, but still present.  The raisin flavor is a little stronger, and I am getting a little more of a smoked/toasty taste too.  The overall cup is still sweet, but it is a little more spiced with a stronger cinnamon note.

One thing that I did say in the previous review that remains true today – this is definitely one of 52Teas most interesting blends!  I am so happy that I got to revisit it!

On the 8th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Yep… you read that right.  Today is the 8th day.

I still can’t believe it’s Christmas already… this year seems to have flown by!

So much has happened this year… my first born graduated from high school, and she got engaged to a wonderful guy.  I’m thrilled he will be joining our family.  My youngest started 4th grade!  It’s been quite a year.

Anyway, enough of that, or I shall be writing this review with teary eyes.  To avoid the tears, lets get to the tea of the day, shall we?

MALTED CHOCOMATÉ

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

This is roasted yerba mate with organic cacao nibs and all natural chocolate and malt flavors. It is one delicious energy kick! If you missed our last yerba mate blend, you can read more about mate and it’s properties here. This is our first roasted mate blend. The previous mate blends were made with green yerba mate. The difference in flavor is similar to the difference between a black and a green tea, though the roasted mate still has tiny bit more of a vegetal taste than black tea.

Taster’s Review:

Another favorite from 52Teas, and for good reason.  With this one, it’s all about the chocolate, baby!  Of all the 52Teas I’ve tried thus far, this one is by far the most chocolate-y (although, if you are a chocoholic like I am, I also highly recommend the Chocolate Malt Honeybush from My Sweet Honeybush, which I would say is probably neck and neck when it comes to chocolate-y-ness).

I previously reviewed this tea for the Tea Review Blog, and really my feelings about this delicious tisane have not changed.  It is still just as rich and delicious as it was when I wrote the review.

The Yerba Maté does have a vegetative quality to it but I don’t find it distracting.  What is especially nice is how well the roasted aspect of the Yerba Maté enhances the flavor of the chocolate.  The flavor is sweet, pleasantly toasty, and decadent.

To be quite honest, I would prefer this to a chocolate ice cream malt any day, if for no other reason than that I find tea to be infinitely more soothing and comforting than ice cream.  Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream (and malts!), but if given a choice between ice cream and tea… I’d choose tea every time.  And even though this is not technically a “tea” because it’s made from Yerba Maté leaves and not tea leaves, I still love how wonderful this really is.

And even though it is rather soothing and comforting, the Yerba Maté definitely is rather invigorating!  I wouldn’t recommend sipping on this just before bedtime.  I find the caffeine in Yerba Mate to be more stimulating than that in tea, but without the “jolt” that coffee delivers – and without the inevitable nausea (at least for me) that follows the coffee jolt.

This is truly a delicious blend – one that is definitely worthy of its place in 52Teas permanent collection, one I am glad was featured in this 12 Teas of Christmas box, and one that should definitely be on the shelf of every chocolate lover!  It’s so good!

On the 7th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

I have a confession to make… today was the one day that I had to “spoil the surprise” because I won’t be home most of the day tomorrow… and I probably won’t have time to post a review on the morning of the 20th, so I had to open this package late on the 19th.

But, since it is about 11:30 pm Pacific time as I write this, I guess I could argue that it IS the 20th somewhere.  Right?

Ah… the sacrifices one must make when they review teas!

The tea of the day for December 20th is …

BANANA PEACH

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

…like a banana peach flavored green tea with real no-sugar-added dried banana and peach pieces. Think of it like tea with a hint of cool refreshing fruit smoothie added in. Enjoy!

Taster’s Review:

I can’t believe that I haven’t yet written a review for this tea!  I’ve had this tea for quite a while now, and it just may be my favorite from 52Teas.  Before I tasted this tea, my favorite was Chelsea’s Chocolate Banana Rooibos, but, I do believe that this one has taken the number 1 spot.

In fact, shortly after I tried this tea (and instantly fell in love with it), I bought the rest of what 52Teas showed as in stock so that I wouldn’t run out of it.  I thought that like so many of their blends, this one would be a limited edition.  I still have plenty of this tea on hand, and now that it is part of 52Teas permanent collection, I guess I needn’t hoard it.  Life is short – we should enjoy the teas we love most more often!

The flavor of this tea is just perfect.  The Chinese Sencha green tea is lush and sweet.  It has a buttery essence to it that can be experienced both in the taste and the mouthfeel, and since there is very little astringency to this tea, I can enjoy that buttery essence well into the aftertaste.

The union of flavors works so well in this cup.  The fruit flavors are sweet and remind me a bit of fruit nectar sans the pulpy texture!  I can taste the banana flavor just a little stronger than the peach, but I think that both compliment each other very well.  When combined with the fresh green tea base, it becomes a delicious, fruity treat; it is very much like tea with a hint of smoothie!

This is absolutely delightful!

On the 5th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Good things come to those who wait?

I’ve heard this before, but, is it really true?

Well, in the case of these 12 Teas of Christmas, I have had many (well, five so far!) good things come to me as I’ve been waiting patiently for each day to arrive.  However, I suspect that I would have still had these teas even if I hadn’t waited.

But don’t tell the kids that.  It is important for them to know that good things come to those who wait.  I don’t know why it is important for them to know this.  For some reason, my parents thought it was important that I know this, and now, 52Teas feels the need to echo that sentiment.

But… we needn’t wait any longer!  Today’s tea of the day is…

CHOCOLATE MINT BLACK TEA

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

We had a special request to create a stunning chocolate mint tea to serve at a wedding reception and to offer as wedding favors for guests at the wedding. The result was so awesome, I think we should share it with our other customers. So, without further ado, here is our featured tea of the week for the week of July 13th, the ultimate dessert tea, our chocolate mint flavored black tea, with real organic cacao nibs, fresh cut peppermint and all natural flavors.

Taster’s Review:

This tea came as a very welcome surprise this morning!  I have tasted this tea (you can read my review of it here), but it is such a delicious tea, I don’t mind that at all.

This one tastes just as good as I remember it:  a bright, crisp minty taste and a smooth, rich chocolate flavor.  The black tea is robust and strong but rather than interrupting the flavors of the chocolate and mint, it somehow manages to enhance them.

The best part of this tea:  the chocolate and mint flavors intensify as I continue to make my way down the cup.

The worst part of this tea:  when it’s gone.

This was a delicious treat.  I can’t wait to see what tea I’ll be enjoying tomorrow!

On the 4th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Ah… Patience.  As a child, I was often told “patience is a virtue” in response to whatever it was that I wanted and wanted that instant.  I like to think of myself as a patient individual, but I am finding it quite difficult to maintain my composure with these tea samplers from 52Teas.

But, so far, I’ve managed to deal.  I try to keep myself occupied and not to think about that cute little red box.  (The presentation on these sampler packages is fantastic, by the way!)

But, since today has finally arrived… I need wait no longer!  Today’s tea of the day is…

SHERI’S BLEND

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Back when I first started blending teas, before I went into business, I created this amazing, caffeine free blend of red rooibos, apricot pieces, cinnamon and marigold flowers. It was and it remains my wife Sheri’s all time favorite out of everything I’ve created. It also happens to be consistently our number one bestseller at Zoomdweebies.

I also think I got the best comment I’ve ever heard on a tea blend before with regard to this tea. A customer took a sip and exclaimed, “This tastes like Christmas!” I’m not sure where that came from, but I was happy to hear it.

Taster’s Review:

I was so happy when I opened this package this morning and saw that it was rooibos!  I was hoping that it would be a caffeine free blend, because I am a little sleepy and I would very much like to head back to bed for a nap after I get my youngest daughter on the bus this morning, and I didn’t want caffeine to stimulate me.

But I doubt you tuned in here for that information …  Let’s move on to the tea!

This is a tea that I’ve tasted and reviewed previously, but it is one that I’ve been out of for a few months now, and quite frankly, I miss it a lot more than I thought I would!  This is one that has really grown on me.  I liked it just fine from the first time I tried it, but since that time, I have grown rather fond of it.  Is it my favorite from 52Teas?  No.  But, it is an excellent rooibos blend!

The cinnamon and apricot work very well together – so well, in fact, that they pretty much mask the flavor of the rooibos which is just fine with me.  I do get an occasional “rooibos” flavor that crosses my palate, but, the flavor of the rooibos is not the primary focus of this blend.

The apricot is sweet and has a very authentic flavor, and it is well seasoned with the cinnamon.  The cinnamon really livens up the flavor of this cup.  The apricot is really delicious, but it is the cinnamon that gives this tea its pizzazz!  Without the cinnamon, I think this blend would be rather ordinary.

Not that ordinary is bad, mind you, but, when it comes to 52Teas, I’ve come to expect something out of the ordinary!  And, it would seem that they deliver on that expectation – time and time again!

Now … my thoughts begin to wander to what tea is next in my box of Christmas wonders from 52Teas …

On the 3rd Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

This sampler package has been so much fun, and I have only just begun!

As you can see by the photo to the left, Santa is being a bit of a meanie and won’t stand for even THINKING about opening the pouches early.  Does that mean that because I did, I’ll be cast upon the naughty list?

But while I did certainly think of opening the package early, I didn’t.  I am finding it to be too much fun to wait until morning and open the package!  I can’t remember the last time I was so excited to open a package of tea in the morning – much less brew it!

Not that I don’t enjoy brewing tea – I LOVE IT.  But, to say I’m not much of a morning person is an understatement!

Anyway, let’s get on with today’s tea, shall we?  Today’s mystery tea is…

COCONUT CREAM PIE

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Our Coconut Cream Pie flavored black tea has been one of our bestsellers here at Zoomdweebie’s since we opened. In addition to the pouches of this tea that we’ve sold, we sell a LOT of beverages made from this tea, in particular, this is probably our all time bestselling iced tea latte, one sip of which has led people to exclaim, “That’s like coconut cream pie in a glass!” I’ve also been frequently challenged on our assertion that our tea lattes are all fat-free, particularly with this tea.

It is simply so decadent, so wonderfully sweet and satisfying, that people cannot believe that we didn’t just liquefy a slice of coconut cream pie and serve it to them in a glass.

For the 52teas version of this tea, we are adding some honking-big flakes of unsweetened coconut to our premium black tea blend along with coconut and vanilla flavors. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and I promise that next week, we’ll get back to more creative pursuits.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  This is certainly one of my favorites from 52Teas, and for good reason.  It is very true to its name – it really tastes like coconut cream pie! – and I love coconut cream pie.

As you can probably safely guess by now, I have previously reviewed this tea.  But while it is nice to come across a tea that I’ve not tried yet (like yesterday’s Chocolate Chai), I am loving this opportunity to revisit some of my favorites.

My opinion of this tea hasn’t really changed; I therefore see no need to reconstruct my review of it.  I will simply say that this is delicious!  Sweet, creamy, and smooth.  It makes an incredible latte, although I find it just as nice without the “latte” and served with a shortbread cookie.  The one thing this tea lacks is the pastry crust of the pie, so a shortbread cookie completes the dessert!  It would also be quite nice with a piece of biscotti, if you have it!

However you choose to serve it, this is one tea that I highly recommend.  It is absolutely yum!

On the 2nd Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Yay!  I don’t think I’ve looked this forward to counting down the days before Christmas since I was a kid!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas – it’s my favorite holiday.  I love decorating my tree (I have a very unique set of ornaments, most are handmade!) and the best part is spending time with my family and experiencing the magic of the holiday through the eyes of my kids.

But, that’s the thing!  There is something that is so magical about the season for children!

I have been able to recapture some of that magical feeling – thanks to 52Teas!  Today’s sampler package says “Ah, Ah, Ah!  Do NOT open until December 15th”  As I read this, I could almost feel Santa’s finger shaking in my direction, as if to indicate that I might get nothing but coal in my stocking if I peek!

Today’s MAGICAL Tea of Christmas is …

CHOCOLATE CHAI

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Information:

This is a match made in heaven. Our traditional, hand-blended masala chai with organic cacao nibs and milk chocolate chips. So chocolatey, it should be illegal. Don’t miss out, this one is going to go FAST!

Taster’s Review:

I was really excited this morning when I opened this pouch because this is one that I’ve not tried before.  I’ve had their Mayan Chocolate Chai and their Chocolate Cheesecake Chai and even their Decaf Chocolate Cheesecake Chai (which, incidentally, I think tastes even better than the regular version!)

But not their Chocolate Chai.  I was very interested to see how it differed from these other varieties, so, needless to say, I was very antsy while I waited for the tea to brew!  If I could have made time go faster during that four minutes, I would have!

This is really good.  Much more chocolate-y than I would have expected (because, well, I am a chocoholic, and I usually expect there to be not enough chocolate).  The black tea is a smooth, rich base and I like the interplay between tea and chocolate here.  The chocolate seems to enhance the tea and vice versa.

That being said, I feel that the spices are lacking just a little bit.  I attribute this primarily to my being a bit biased when it comes to spiced chai blends; the spices just don’t taste very balanced.  Perhaps a little black pepper or a little bit of cloves?

Don’t get me wrong, I really do like this tea for what it is, and I am not disappointed at all!  I love the chocolate in this, and it is perhaps the best chocolate tea that I’ve tried from 52Teas.  But it isn’t the best spiced chai I’ve had from them.  However, it is still very delicious – an absolutely splendid tea for this time of year! – and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to try it!

Now … I am left to wonder which tea it shall be tomorrow?  Ah… the anticipation!

On the 1st Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

This year as a special holiday promotion, 52Teas offered a special 12 sampler package which is comprised of 11 of their best-selling teas, and 1 brand new tea (for Christmas day!).  The “rules” are simple:  open one cleverly disguised sample package per day – labeled simply with the day that it should be opened (today’s sample package reminded me that I should only open it on December 14, because “Santa is Watching”).

Inside the sample package includes a new label – the label for the tea – and enough of the tea for several cups.  Today’s special tea is:

Piña Colada Honeybush

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

We create a lot of different blends here on 52teas. It is one of the things I absolutely love most about my job is experimenting with new flavor combinations and creating new and unique blends. I have to admit that some of our experiments are more successful than others. Some of the blends we create are good, some are great, and a few, like this week’s Tea of the Week, are just phenomenal!

Sweet African honeybush appears to be MADE for tropical flavors. Combine it with dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes and a touch of rum flavor, and you’ve got a tea so soothing, relaxing and pleasing to the senses, that, like I wrote on the label, you ought to be required to sip it from a hammock on the beach.

We hope this tea blows you away as much as it did us. I’m seriously thinking this might be one to enter into the World Tea Championships next year. Enjoy!

Taster’s Review:

This is one of 52Teas best.  Although, to say “one of 52Teas best” is a bit vague, not only because I happen to say that quite a bit, but because 52Teas makes a lot of great teas.  It would be difficult to actually pinpoint their “best.”

However, this tisane happens to have the distinction of placing 3rd at the North American Tea Championship.  Not too shabby!

You can read my original review of this tea here.  My opinion of the tea hasn’t changed!  The flavor is excellent.  It is pleasantly sweet from the honeybush base, and the flavors of pinapple, coconut and rum are well-balanced.

I am really glad that this tisane was included – it’s a little walk down memory lane!

Tomorrow, I will be posting about the 2nd Tea of Christmas, which is… well… we will just have to wait to find out tomorrow!

Chocolate Bacon from ManTeas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  ManTeas

Company Description:

Get it here first!

It’s about time we added some teas to our ManTeas line of manly teas, so here’s a new offering available exclusively on 52teas (at least until I find time to add it to the ManTeas.com site).

We’ve blended our premium Indian black teas with organic cacao nibs, imitation bacon bits and natural (and believe it or not, Kosher and vegan!) flavors. For those of you who have feared the imminent heart attack associated with trying one of these carnival/fair delicacies, fear no more. Enjoy your chocolate covered bacon treat in tea form!

Taster’s Review:

ManTeas is an offspring of one of my favorite tea companies, 52Teas (which happens to be an offspring of the now closed Zoomdweebies Tea Bar in Wichita, Kansas).  Having tried one of thier cornerstone teas – Maple Bacon – before it became a “ManTea” and really enjoying that tea, I knew I had to try this.  After all, is there any pairing in the world more brilliant than bacon and chocolate?  (Actually, there probably are, but, it should suffice to say that I love chocolate covered bacon)

The black tea base here is the basic black tea blend that is used by Zoomdweebies/52Teas/ManTeas in most of their black tea blends.  Occasionally, they’ll use something different, like a Yunnan, or perhaps add some Lapsang Souchong to the blend… but, for most of the blends, including this one, they use a blend of Blue Mountain Nilgiri and Assam and it works well with this particular blend.  It has a strong, brisk presence without overwhelming the chocolate and bacon flavors.  (Because let’s face it, if you’re going to order a tea called “Chocolate Bacon” tea, you want to taste the bacon and chocolate in the tea, right?)

The bacon part of this concoction reminds me very much of the Maple Bacon tea that I mentioned a few moments ago.  And, if you read the review that I provided the link for above, you will see that in my previous tastings of the Maple Bacon tea, I had some difficulty actually tasting the bacon flavor.  But, since that time, I have learned the secret – a pinch of salt!  A pinch of salt gives this tea just what it needs so that the bacon flavor is able to express itself properly.

Now, as for the chocolate – well, if you’ve read any of my reviews of the past, you are probably familiar with my love of chocolate.  The chocolate flavor here is nice, and it doesn’t overwhelm the bacon taste.  It is a pleasant balance… but the chocoholic in me is still wanting more chocolate despite the realization that more chocolate would possibly overpower the harmonious combination of flavors that is in my teacup right now.

Overall, I really enjoyed this tea.  It is very unique and some would even argue a bit of a novelty (noveltea?) but I for one appreciate unusual and unique flavors such as this.  It makes life just a little more fun when I can go to my tea cabinet and choose a tea like this – something that is a little different, something fun, and still get that enjoyment from sipping a delicious cup of tea!

Here’s The Latest Scoop…

An update about our current contest!

Frank, the owner/head guru/mastermind behind 52Teas, has offered to MATCH our prize!  That’s right – this week there will be two winners of our contest!  That’s DOUBLE the reason to enter!

TWO prizes of Kitchen Sink Green Tea!  Double the yummy deliciousness!

Please click here for the review and contest details on how to enter and WIN!

Kitchen Sink Green Tea from 52Teas & A NEW CONTEST!

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Company Description:

I know many of you think I am crazy; I’m confirming your suspicions with this week’s blend, which is TRULY and completely one-of-a-kind and definitely a limited edition blend. I could not recreate this if I tried. In varying and unknown proportions, this tea has all of the following blends mixed into it:

Apple ~ Apricot ~ Blackberry ~ Blueberry ~ Cranberry ~ Cherry ~ Ginger ~ Grapefruit ~ Key Lime ~ Lemon ~ Lime ~ Mango ~ Orange ~ Peach ~ Pineapple ~ Raspberry ~ Strawberry ~ Watermelon ~ Ginger, Peach and Lemongrass ~ Tangerine ~ Banana ~ Honey Lemon ~ Guava ~ Cran-Raspberry

There are fruit peels, dried fruit, freeze dried fruit, some ginger and some lemongrass mixed in it. It is spectacularly ridiculous. I’m not sure if you will taste each of the flavors in every cup or if every cup will be a little different, but it will definitely be interesting.

Taster’s Review:

I brewed up a cup of this so that I can start writing about it… however, it disappeared from my cup before I could start writing!  Yep… it’s that good.  So, before I could start composing this review, I had to go and brew myself a second cup.

Wow!  This is one seriously fruit-flavored tea.  Because it’s got so many different flavors in there, it’s difficult to discern one from another – and I’m having a hard time trying to describe for you what I’m tasting right now.  What I can say is that it’s absolutely delicious!

On Steepster, I think I described the flavor as a huge fruit salad composed of the largest assortment of fruit ever.  Or something like that.  But, I think a  more accurate description would be a fruit smoothie blended with the largest assortment of fruit ever… and replacing the yogurt with a smooth, sweet green tea base!

And yes, I can taste the tea.  It is made with a Chinese Sencha, and  I can taste it’s rich, buttery flavor with just a hint of vegetation.  Not grassy, and not even strongly vegetative… just a mere insinuation of lush green-ness to go with the sweet flavors of fruit.

This tea is fantastic hot, and equally as good iced too.  I do recommend adding a little sweetener (I chose agave nectar) to it because it really brings the fruit flavors to life.  A truly delicious and unusual tea delight!

CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT:

CONTEST IS OVER

CONGRATULATIONS TO Melissa Wrzesniewsky & michelequake!

thanks to all who entered!  Watch our blog for more exciting giveaways! ~LiberTEAS

It’s about time for another SororiTEA Sisters contest, don’t you think?

This week, you can win a 2 oz. pouch of KITCHEN SINK from 52Teas!  And, if you’ve read the review above, you know I’m speaking from experience when I say that this tea is absolutely, ridiculously delicious!

Here’s how to enter to win:

1.  Post a comment on this review. Be sure to include a way for us to contact you if you win.

2.  That’s it.  Just… comment on this review, and you’re entered into the contest.  Simple, right?

To earn additional entries into the contest and increase your chances of winning, you can:

a)  Click on our Facebook widget on the right of the blog and become a fan!  If you’re already a fan, that’s great!  Just let us know!

b)  Post a link to this contest on your Facebook page to share with your friends!

c)  Blog about this contest!  Be sure to include a link to this contest and let us know so we can check out your blog!

d)  Twitter about this contest!  Be sure to include the link!  (Also, please follow Anne & Jennifer on Twitter!)

OK… so that is FOUR additional ways that you can earn entries into this contest!  We will be drawing the winner by random draw on Sunday, August 8th!  So ENTER NOW and please TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Company Description:

Our caffeine-free African Honeybush (I know this is two Honeybush blends in a row, but I couldn’t resist), blended with dried pineapple and just a touch of freeze dried cherries and natural flavors. We’ve included the natural essences of cake, pineapple, brown sugar and even a hint of maraschino cherry to top it all off.

This was the tea of the week for the week of April 19, and as I am writing this, there are 15 pouches left of this fabulous flavor.   As someone who has tried many of their flavors, I can attest that this is a company that does honeybush blends right!  This tea is absolutely decadent and delicious – a perfect substitution for dessert!

Taster’s Review:

Pineapple upside-down cake is more than just a dessert; for me it’s like comfort food.  That yummy, caramelized crust of brown sugar, pineapple slices and cherries.  The rich, buttery cake.  A slice of pineapple upside-down cake is a little bit like a slice of paradise!

Yes, I love pineapple upside-down cake, but, it is something that I don’t prepare very often (read this as saying:  I never prepare it) because I cook for a rather finicky group (aka my family) and I can just imagine their reaction if I did make it:  “Pineapple upside-down cake?  Why did you make that?  Why couldn’t you just make a *normal* cake?”  This reaction would be complete with a whine in their voice.  Then, I would be left with the cake to eat all by myself (now that I’ve typed that out and read it to myself … I’m thinking maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to actually make an upside- down cake sometime soon.)

In the meantime, I can indulge my taste buds in this dessert in a teacup from 52Teas.  And they nailed it with this blend!  The dry tea smells quite delicious – I can smell the pineapple and I can even smell the buttery cake.  My mouth started watering when I first opened the pouch!  I could hardly wait for the eight minutes to pass while it steeped!  I wanted my pineapple upside-down cake!

YUM!  This tea is so good!  The buttery cake-like flavor is very dominant, it really tastes like liquefied cake – so rich and decadent!  The pineapple is sweet, and there is just a hint of cherry.  But what really brings this tea all together for me is the caramel-y taste of the brown sugar.  This tastes just the way I remember pineapple upside-down cake tasting!  (Yes, it has been that long since I’ve had pineapple upside-down cake that I have to qualify the last remark as “the way I remember”)

The honeybush base is perfect for these flavors.  It is sweet and honey-like, with a pleasant nutty taste, but it is not overly assertive in the blend and does not interfere with the buttery cake-y, pineapple-y, caramel-y, kiss-of-cherry flavors.

After my initial sip, I chose to add just a sprinkling of raw sugar to bring out some of the finer details of this tea.  It does have it’s own sweetness so just a little bit goes a long way here.  Next time, I might add a little bit of muscovado sugar to bring out some of the more molasses-y caramel notes.  That being said, if you are one who prefers not to add any sweetener of any kind to your tea, this tea is still quite delicious without the addition.  This is truly a lovely way to indulge in the comfort of pineapple upside-down cake!

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