The holiday season is upon us and so are those holiday tea blends, made from teas grown around the world. Some are available only during these few weeks while others are carried year round. A few of those special ones are presented here.
First, a short note about tea “blends.” The term “blend” is used by some tea vendors to mean different teas blended together but others use it to include flavored teas, saying that they are “blending” flavorings in with the tea leaves. For this article, we are focusing on the latter, that is, teas flavored in just the right proportions. Here are a few (plenty more out there):
- Holiday Spiced Flavored Black Tea (Loose Leaf) — A quality blend that is a combination of a refreshing, medium black tea and the natural flavors of cinnamon, orange, and clove. These flavors are true hallmarks of the season, showing up in everything from baked goods to vegetable dishes to even that Christmas ham. While available year round, this customer favorite is particularly popular during this time of year, and no wonder. A hot cupful with some milk and sugar not only warms your chilly fingertips but brightens your tastebuds and warms you inside! Also available in teabags.
- Davidsons Christmas Tea (Loose leaf) — A tea using the traditional flavors of cinnamon (the exotic Korintje kind), cloves, and citrus, but with an additional seasonal favorite: mint! They start with a base of exquisitely blended black teas of the finest quality that shines through in the cup and harmonizes with those natural flavorings. Small wonder that this tea has remained a best seller since 1976! Also available in teabags.
- Taylors of Harrogate Spiced Christmas Tea (Loose Leaf) — A tea created by Taylors’ master tea blenders especially for the Yuletide season, yet popular year round. The base is a blend of black teas from China. Then, this is enhanced with tangy lemon peels, fruity orange peels, cinnamon, and safflower petals for a truly special flavor that warms the soul on cold winter days. Drink without milk and possibly sweeten with a bit of honey. The tea tin is a beauty that you can re-use. History of Taylors of Harrogate.
- Stash Christmas Morning Black Tea — Wake up to this breakfast tea with its rich, multi-layered flavors (a blend of black teas and jasmine-flavored green tea) that are sure to pick you up in the early morning. The smooth, bright, and complex flavor is a great balance of brisk and sweet while being full-bodied and with a lovely aroma. A new and interesting take on traditional breakfast teas like English and Irish Breakfast. And so versatile — enjoy it hot or iced, with milk and sugar or plain.
- Stash Holiday Chai Tea Bags — A shining member of the Stash Christmas tea line-up which remains top sellers. In addition to traditional chai flavors, there are seasonal tastes of gingerbread and rum. Try this tea with milk and sugar for a full, delicious experience.
- Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea — A very popular blend of black teas with a bold combination of three types of cinnamon plus sweet cloves and orange peel. Strongly aromatic to start your day off right.
Most of the above will go great with many of the seasonal treats or can be enjoyed on their own with satisfying flavors that get you in the holiday spirit without a lot of extra calories!
Let’s not forget the teas that are available year round but come in a collectible tin for the holidays, like these from Ahmad, one of my favorite brands:
- Ahmad English Breakfast Tea in Collectible Royal Guards of London Tin — The sight of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace is a top tourist attraction while in London. I remember those black furry hats and those bright red uniforms of the guards and they went through their ritual. This tin is a great reminder and full of tasty Ahmad English Breakfast tea! The tea is a wonderfully satisfying harmony of strong, smooth Assam, bright Ceylon, and robust Kenyan teas that are strong and full-bodied — even better with milk and sugar. Great anytime of day both on its own or with foods.
- Ahmad English Afternoon Tea in a Collectible London Bus Tin — Another British cultural icon is that bright red double-decker bus! If you ever get to ride one, get a seat on the upper deck. I could see pretty far from up there when touring around London. As for the tea in this tin, it’s a favorite of the British. Afternoon tea time is totally sacred and helps them last until the evening meal. This version of the classic tea is a superb blend of selected Indian (Darjeeling), Ceylon, and Kenyan teas with a touch of bergamot to give a delicately aromatic flavor and a tangy, lemony aftertaste, lingering long after each sip. Brews a wonderful liquor that is sparkling coppery-red. The tin is airtight and can be reused for storing tea, spices, dried herbs, or whatever else you choose. Brought in from England for the holidays.
Share a cup or two with a loved ones, through a holiday tea party and share several of these with friends and family, or have your own quiet tea moment away from the hustle and bustle. Whichever tea(s) and venue you choose, here’s wishing you a splendid time!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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