Time to Steep #2

Steep Theme: Warm & Cozy
Sipping on: DAVIDsTEA Hot Chocolate w/ agave & Trader Joe’s Eggnog
Listening to: Only You by Kylie Minogue with James Corden (Original by Yazoo)

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Sugar, spice and all things nice….perfect theme for the day! As we begin to embrace these colder months (well at least for some of us), there is nothing quite like snuggling up with a warm drink. Especially if that drink is the embodiment of the holiday spirit! Currently, I have 4 box teas in my possession that fit this description AND that I have been enjoying.

List of Your Warm & Cozy Mate
1. Celestial Seasonings – Bengal Spice
2. Harney & Sons Fine Teas – Hot Cinnamon Sunset
3. Good Earth – Sweet & Spicy
4. Bigelow – Cinnamon Stick

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Tea #1 – Bengal Spice (Celestial)
Herbal Tea (Caffeine Free)
Ingredients: Cinnamon, Roasted Chicory, Roasted Carob, Natural Spice, and Vanilla Flavors (w/ other natural flavors), Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves and Nutmeg
Box Blurb: “our aromatic Bengal Spice tea is like a trip to an exotic spice market in a faraway land”

My Thoughts: I must confess…this is one of those teas that could change your opinion on box teas. Never before have I tasted a box tea with such intensity, flavor and sweetness. It is unfathomable and a pleasant surprise! How do I describe this tea to everyone? One of the best Chai Teas I have ever had! Okay technically, calling in a “Chai” is not exactly correct; it is an herbal tea after all. Truthfully, it might not have Black Tea to officially label it a Chai, but it EARNS the title with every sip. (P.S. I drink either plain or with a splash of milk. It doesn’t actually need sweetener.)

Rating: 5/5 (recommends to EVERYONE I KNOW and have already re-purchased)

Tea #2 – Hot Cinnamon Sunset (H&S)
Black Tea (40-60 milligrams caffeine)
Ingredients: Hand picked Chinese black tea, cinnamon, sweet cloves, orange peel, natural and artificial flavors
Box Blurb: “a remarkably assertive tea”

My Thoughts: Incredible. While I didn’t give this tea a perfect score, it was simply because I just find myself purchasing Bengal Spice more. But at a 4.9…you can’t go wrong! Harney & Sons makes some good teas. First off, they come is the best tins – I reuse mine whenever I can! PSA Announcement: this specific tea tin requires extra love when cleaning it if you want to reuse or re-purpose it (Thank you Mr. Cinnamon). The tea comes in pyramids/sachets, so it’s very convenient and disperses flavor perfectly. The name is rings true to its taste: “Hot Cinnamon Sunset“. It is the perfect late-autumn/winter tea to enjoy at night snuggled up by the fireplace. Side note: the aroma from this tea DOES fill a room in the best way possible.

Rating: 4.9/5 (Classic H&S flavor – must try at least once in your life…most likely more)

Tea #3 – Sweet & Spicy (Good Earth)
Herbal & Black Tea
Ingredients: Black Tea, Natural Flavor, Rosehip, Lemongrass, Cinnamon, Chamomile, Peppermint, Jasmine Green Tea, Anise Seed, Ginger Root, Orange Peel, Orange Oil
Box Blurb: “It’s not easy being good but someone has to do it”

My Thoughts: It was “Cousin’s Night” when I first had this tea. As my cousin rejoiced at my tea collection that they were about to dive into, I was intrigued by this little guy they brought over. As I eyed the packet, it occurred to me that I’ve seen this at Walmart before and never had given it a second glace. I always assumed it was just some random Walmart brand that wasn’t really worth the while. OH WAS I WRONG! If this isn’t a ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ moment, I don’t know what is! I must admit, I have only had this specific flavor and so I cannot speak to how the brand is as whole yet. So what is this tea like? Not to be a cliche, but it’s sweet and spicy. The cinnamon and other spices embrace each other, the green tea & soothing partners add a calmer sweetness, but it is the orange that bridges the two together and makes this tea what it is. Let be honest…what says holidays like cinnamon, orange and cloves?!? Flavorful and intense – my preference is no milk or sweetener.

Rating: 4.9/5 (New to the tea and will be repurchasing)

Tea #4 – Cinnamon Stick (Bigelow)
Black Tea
Ingredients: Black Tea, Cinnamon
Box Blurb: “full bodied and robust with a sweet cinnamon finish”

My Thoughts: I can’t lie, it’s not 100% fair to compare this against the other three teas. Unlike the ones above, this tea is just black tea and cinnamon. It has no other added flavors/partners to harmonize with the cinnamon (which is what I really enjoy in the other teas). While its simplicity is wonderful, and shouldn’t be cause for a point deduction…it did for me. This tea is made for people who are very selective or people who appreciate simplicity in their teas. The taste isn’t overwhelming, overpowering or intense; it is mellow and almost soothing.  Sometimes cinnamon can cross that line of being too intense and spicy, but this tea isn’t one of them. It is best enjoyed plain or with a little milk & sweetener. Keep it simple with this tea and you will appreciate everything it brings to the table.

Rating: 3.9/5 (Would repurchase when I’m in the mood)

 

With love, Steph

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