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52teas 12 Teas of Christmas – December 15

I absolutely love breakfast. It is by far my favourite meal of the day; something that I sometimes fall asleep looking forward to. I don’t like breakfast when it consists of little but sugary stuff, or something I have to gobble on the go (which happens far too often for my liking) – no, I need breakfast to be large and hearty and full of fat and protein for the rest of the day.

Eggs. Eggs are just about my favourite food in the world. Cheese. Toast. Bacon, which is pretty much the only part of a pig I will eat. Okay, maybe ham sometimes. Turkey and chicken. (What? Those are totally breakfast foods.) Hash browns. Tons of spice! Salsa. Cream, especially over eggs. Pancakes, with butter and fruit and syrup. Oatmeal, with whatever crazy things mixed in that you can think of. Cups of milk and fruit juice. Aaaaand…tea, of course! Usually black tea, but I will make wild exceptions.

I am not, however, the sort of person who makes “breakfast smoothies,” although I do like smoothies. Too much fruit, I guess, and not enough meat or eggs. Oh, and most people think of a breakfast smoothie as something containing a banana, and I am not supposed to eat bananas. In fact, that is the reason I did not order this tea when it was first released – I noted that the ingredients included banana. Granted, I’ve never been clear on how problematic banana might be when it’s steeped, given that no one explained to me exactly how my allergies could be triggered by bananas, just “don’t eat them.” So I’ve avoided teas with banana for a while now, just to be safe.

More recently, I’ve finally, tentatively, tried tiny amounts of tea with banana and worked up to full cups, and determined that I don’t seem to get any kind of reaction to steeped bananas. Cool.

So I’ve had a few cups of this now, and really quite like it. I’ve also taken it to work, and made it into an actual tea smoothie with mango and coconut puree, and that was awesome.

There’s quite a bit of leaf in this little packet, since it’s honeybush; I might be underleafing it some and compensating with the steep time, but I’ve gotten 3 cups of it so far and there’s maybe one or two more cups left. The smell of it is quite sweet, and really overpowering; it reminds me a lot of what Rainbow Sherbet did to my kitchen. I let this cool down because I have it with (what else?) breakfast, so it’s usually not that hot by the time I get to it. But that’s fine, because smoothie, right?

The first time I had it, it was sort of sweet and fruity in a non-specific way…but I didn’t steep it more than a few minutes. This time I gave it several minutes, and that seems to have changed the taste profile considerably. The strongest flavour that comes through here now is definitely banana, which is strikingly weird to me simply because of how long it’s been since I actually had banana.

Underneath that, the flavour that is suddenly coming out more is actually honeybush, not the other fruit. I’m not entirely certain if I like that; something about honeybush is a little weird to me. Combined with the other fruit, there’s almost a bubblegum aftertaste that reminds me of stuff dentists put in your mouth.

Still, it’s pretty good. My impression of it on various cups has ranged from “quite good,” to “awesome,” so I almost think it’s one I’d want to experiment with and maybe I should get a bag of the re-blend while I still can.

Oh, and I just tried adding a drop of cream to the last of this cup. That brings out the smoothie experience a lot, since it adds that smoothie creaminess, which is lacking in the flavour alone.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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I’ve always been a tea drinker – I grew up drinking Tetley’s Orange Pekoe and their Chai, and considered myself to really like tea.

I’ve been working various retail jobs to put myself through higher education. One day at my store, a customer left a newly purchased bag of loose-leaf behind. We waited for three days for said customer to return, but they (likely not realizing where they had left their bag) did not return to claim the would-be brew. Too bad for them; lucky for me! I claimed the bag, took it home, and awkwardly made my first cup of loose-leaf tea with the only strainer we owned which was small enough.

I haven’t bothered with Tetley since. For the most part (and due to convenience), my patronage is limited to David’s Tea and Teavana. I also order from 52teas and Verdant Tea.

My rating system – hah, I don’t have a rating system. I rate teas a lot like Ebert rates movies. Everything’s relative.

I may often forget to mention it, but you can safely assume everything I drink is sweetened in one way or another – most rock sugar, or honey for green and white teas. I have not yet achieved drinking most tea clear. The few teas I drink unsweetened include milk oolong and genmaicha so far.

The guy in my avatar can be bought at Teaopia or here: http://www.jas-etea.com/products/Jingdezhen-%22Easy%22-Gaiwan-%22Blue-on-White-Phoenix%22-100ml.html

I currently work for Teavana. But I just work there, and my opinions about any of their teas are entirely my own and not meant to be reflective of the views of the company.

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