Holiday brew ha-ha: Tea time at the Posse

teaYep, the holiday craziness is nearing its zenith right about now (although there are still a few days to go), so won’t you stop, take a deep breath, sit down, and have a relaxing cup (or two) of tea with me?

What I’m drinking now:

Several lovelies from a tea goodie bag given to me at Thanksgiving by my sweet niece who lives near Savannah and visited a tea emporium or two near there:

Mystic Dragon tea from the Spice & Tea Exchange ( A lovely Japanese Sencha and Chinese Dragonwell green, flavored with rhubarb, strawberry, mallow and cornflowers. Just slightly fruity for a refreshing cup anytime.

Blood Orange Smoothie ( Craving Creamsicle flavor but not the icy chill? This tea just might fit the bill. Its creamy blend of rooibos and vanilla, orange, and flowers is yummy with milk or even a splash of cream.

Want something a little less sugary but no less enjoyable? I have been reaching often for the Georgia Tea Company’s ( Walnut Green and was crestfallen when I ran out of my little sample in less than three days. This is an ultra-smooth brew that skews a wee bit sweet, but is balanced out well with the nutty accords. It has, of course, walnuts (there was a large walnut chunk in my bag), hazelnuts, pineapple bits and almond flakes. This would be great after a Chinese meal, the perfect accompaniment to nibbling fortune cookies.

I am still loving the rooibos (red tea) version of Mariage Freres’ Marco Polo. Same great flavor as the classic black, but it’s a treat to be able to drink it at any time of day, even before bedtime.

Another favorite still in rotation: Georgia Tea Company’s Nutcracker Rooibos, with its mix of silver dragees and white candy snowflakes. This cute brew with a marzipan vibe would delight even the youngest tea drinker. Again, a caffeine-free brew for any time of day.

I had hoped to try (and perhaps fall in love with) a few tea samples that I’d ordered from Art of Tea at the first of December, but alas, it was not to be. Apparently, they were completely snowed under from Black Friday / Cyber Monday volume and so my tea stash won’t be arriving until later this week. And the way things are going, I’m thinking I’ll be quite lucky to get it by Dec. 24.

BTW, I know it’s the Monday before the big holiday, but a little gift bag of tea could be a nice last-minute gift, with a few assorted samples enclosed (maybe with a few disposable tea bags in case the recipient doesn’t have any type of infuser). Tuck in some hot chocolate, just in case there are kids involved, or not 🙂 and you’re good to go. Wrapped up in cute packaging it makes for a sweet little present. And who knows, you might send someone else down the rabbit hole and have a new tea buddy.

So please do share, what are you enjoying now, tea-wise? And for those of you who celebrate, wishing you all a very merry and blessed Christmas!!

  • Neva says:

    Walnut green tea – that’s what I discovered lately and I drink it regularly nowadays. Usually I love my green tea plain. My favourite one is Kukicha, ok and Genmaicha – with fried rice. Enjoy the holiday season!

  • Musette says:

    I’m sick as a porcupine so I’m drinking whatever peppermint tea is in the cupboard. LOL! on the tea sampler: I just got some fun teas for that very purpose (for you!) xoxoxoA

    • Ann says:

      Oh, how sweet you are, but so sorry to hear you’re sick. Sure hope you are feeling much, much better by now. It’s a bummer to be ailing this time of year, so hope you’re fit as a fiddle and back in the saddle by mid-week.

  • Lisa D says:

    Ann, sweetie, I am NOT SUPPOSED TO BUY ANY MORE TEA until I get through what I already have in the cupboard…..:-)

    • Ann says:

      OK, OK, Lisa! I’m in the same boat as you are. I do try to use mine up, but somehow it just keeps coming in. I have to sneak it in, because if DH saw it I would have some ‘splainin’ to do, ha!

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    In the old house we had a tea shelf, everything is so much smaller here in the apartment that we now have a tea cupboard. You wouldn’t believe it. And what do I reach for 9 times out of 10? Instant coffee. Yes, I know, but I love it.
    I love to send tea with gifts or even make a tea sampler the gift.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, Portia! A tea cupboard sounds good to me. My tea is partially in the pantry, partially in a mini fridge, that I was supposed to use to store perfume (next summer for sure). I like tea gifts, too, and they pack so nicely into another package. As for the instant coffee, hey, you love what you love and it’s all good. Enjoy!

  • poodle says:

    Stop tempting me with more teas! I said I wasn’t going to buy anymore for a while and could I stick to it? Hell, no. I was in the grocery store and they had a wonderful display of the Stash Christmas teas and well, how could I not bring home something called Christmas in Paris? I also bought Christmas Eve, Holiday Chai, and one other. I even went back and got a few boxes to tuck into some Christmas gifts. They’re quite tasty. Yesterday when I was at the store again the shelf is pretty much empty. I guess I’m not the only one who likes them.
    Christmas is Paris is on the sweet side with notes of cocoa. Holiday chai is a nice smooth chai. Christmas Eve is minty cinnamon.
    The other tea I’ve recently discovered is Numi’s Toasted Rice green tea. I got a few bags of it in a perfume swap and ended up buying more of that one too.
    Mystic Dragon sounds good. I like rhubarb. I made a rhubarb liqueur this year which was delicious.

    • Ann says:

      I know, I know — sorry (hangs head slightly in shame)! But those Stash teas sound a treat and you enjoyed them, so that’s what counts. A rhubarb liqueur, you say? I’m not much of a drinker at all, but that must have been lovely. How did you make it?

  • Enname says:

    I am not a big one for flavoured tea … but I will drink mariage frères French Breakfast. Dark tea with chocolate undertones. Otherwise I have some second flush reserve darjeeling from the East India Company (and as a historian I am weirded out by typing that. Guilt ridden too, even if it is now owned by an Indian) and a Lap Sangsouchong from China that a friend bought back. Delicious smoked tea. There is also the Japanese sencha with toasted rice in it from Kyoto. Any semi decent Assam will also seize me.

    We won’t speak of how much tea I own!

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, yes to the French Breakfast — I tried a cup of it awhile back at a friend’s. You’ve got some great tea going on there. I will have to try that sencha with rice, but can’t do lap sang: it’s just too smoky for me, alas.

      • Enname says:

        Genmai matcha – that would the correct name of the tea. Good served chilled as well on a hot day. Reduces the bitterness of normal matcha. Good Oolong is always a must for long days, fresh tipped jasmine.

        I know that the Lap Sang is not for everyone. I mostly drink it at night as a dessert… but then again my favourite note in perfume is also smoke, so I suspect there is a trend going on there. Someday, if you feel up to it, try blending a tiny bit of the Lap sang with a really good Earl Grey … gives some depth to the earl grey and cuts the smoke. Mariage Freres does this a fair bit with some of their caramel black teas (the wedding tea).

        Good French Earl Grey (flavoured with peach and rose petals) is also nice, but being in Australia means I can’t import tea with ‘flowers’ in it and so it is only a poor imitation.

        • Ann says:

          Thanks for all the info and suggestions — will definitely have to try those! I adore MF’s wedding tea, so that tells me I’ll probably like it. 🙂

  • Suzanne says:

    Ann, that Walnut Green tea sounds awful darn good, and I’m not even a fan of green tea. But walnuts, hazelnuts, almond and pineapple? Mmmm. 🙂

    I can’t say that I’ve gone down the tea rabbit hole (because coffee is still my favorite drink) but you keep edging me close to it. At the moment, Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial tea is getting my “yummiest” vote. Also, after not drinking chai tea in a couple years, simply because I was tired of it, now I’m back. I guess because it’s winter, I’m craving the heavy thump of spice.

    That was very sweet of your niece. Did she choose Mystic Dragon for you because of your love of rhubarb?

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! It really is a great blend and I’m sorry i drank it all earlier in the year 🙁 Glad to see you’re a fan of the MF WI — it really is yummy. I didn’t think of that about the rhubarb, but maybe? Thanks!

    • Sun Mi says:

      I like tea and coffee, but one way I’ve had tea that you might like was prepared by a Pakistani friend in college. He brewed several tea bags in a saucer on the stove (he usually used Tetley’s British Blend) – boiled them until it the tea was nearly black, and then usually used sweetened condensed milk in it. You could also do cream/sugar. It was pretty yummy. 🙂