Blue Star

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Dark Chocolate, Drying, Passion Fruits, Spicy, Tannic
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Organic, Vegan
Edit tea info Last updated by 52Teas
Average preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 10 oz / 295 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “TTB #13 What a unique blend! I was disappointed by my first couple of sips, but the flavors really began to pop as my cup cooled down. Passionfruit is definitely the dominant element, but I’m...” Read full tasting note
    75
  • “I was crazy busy before New Year’s Eve doing my level best to get December’s Teas out before that day – which I’m happy to say that I did manage to do, but not with much time to spare. It seems...” Read full tasting note
  • “Day 13 of our Advent Tea Swap. From amandastory516. The description for this tea sounds so interesting – passion fruit, cacao, and cayenne. Not something I’d pick out for myself but I’m curious to...” Read full tasting note
  • “There are two listing for this tea so I’m just using the first one. I’ve been really excited to try this tea since I saw the description go up on 52teas. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. First...” Read full tasting note
    96

From 52teas

Tea of the Week for October 28, 2019!

Our Fourth Tea from our “I Love The Pacific Northwest” Collection!

Portland is the home of Blue Star Donuts – which is the home of the best donuts I’ve ever tried. Yes, Portland is also the home of Voodoo Donuts, but they can’t compare to Blue Star. Oh, sure, Voodoo Donuts makes their donuts into some rather interesting shapes that are for adult eyes only – but Blue Star makes donuts for the adult taste buds with their unique flavor combinations. I must admit that I have several favorite go-to flavors when I visit Blue Star donuts and because of this, I need to keep the visits to the minimum.

One of my favorite flavor combinations is a cake donut with a passion fruit & cayenne pepper icing which is then sprinkled with cacao nibs. It’s sweet & tart with just a hint of spice. The dark chocolate crunch of the cacao nibs add a nice texture & flavor. It’s really unlike any donut I’ve ever tasted.

So I decided to create a tea inspired by this donut flavor. Now, mind you, this IS NOT a donut flavored tea. This tea is inspired by the flavor combinations of this particular donut: passion fruit, cacao nibs & cayenne pepper – but does not have any actual donut/bready/dough-y type of flavor to it. To craft this blend, I started with our blend of organic black teas: Assam, Ceylon & Yunnan. Then I added cacao nibs & some cacao shells (because I love them!) & just a few dried, minced cayenne peppers. I didn’t add a lot of cayenne peppers, I just wanted enough to perk up the taste buds, but not enough to set ’em on fire.

Then I added some passion fruit essence & some freeze-dried passion fruit powder. The last time I did a passion fruit blend, I used air-dried passion fruit & quite frankly, it turned out to be a very sticky, messy endeavor – one that left me wondering if it was worth it for a few bits of passion fruit to show up in the blend. So instead, I decided to try out the passion fruit powder because: a) less mess, b) intense flavor, and c) did I mention less mess?

So that is to say that you can’t really see the passion fruit in this because the powder has since sort of dissolved & infused itself onto the leaves – but you CAN taste it. It is distinctly passion fruit-y that is not so different from the distinctly passion fruit-y icing that you’d get on one of those aforementioned donuts. The only real difference here is that it isn’t quite as sweet as the icing because I didn’t add sugar to the blend – but I suppose you could if you want it sweeter.

It’s truly a tasty cup. A black tea backdrop with a forward sweet-tart passion fruit flavor. In contrast, the cayenne is super subtle – but that gentle burn is there. The cacao softens the passion fruit notes a bit. And here is where the flavor differs a bit from the actual donut flavors, because with the donut, the cacao nibs are like “sprinkles” on the donut & you get more crunch from the nibs than you do actual chocolate flavor. Here, you’re not getting “crunch” – because it’s a tea – but you get a really nice, smooth cacao note that adds some depth to the cup – and balances it out a bit so that it’s not all about the passion fruit.

So for those of you who were hoping for a tea version of the donut – this isn’t that. I wasn’t going for that. I wanted something that would celebrate some of the flavors that I experience when I visit Blue Star Donuts. And I’ve definitely accomplished that! Oh yeah – and this is also organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!

organic ingredients: black teas, passion fruit powder, cacao nibs & shells, cayenne peppers & natural flavors

About 52teas View company

At 52teas.com, you will find unique, hand-blended artisan loose leaf teas: a new limited edition creation every week of the year. We pride ourselves on offering truly unique, one-of-a-kind tea blends that you won’t find anywhere else.

4 Tasting Notes

75
624 tasting notes

TTB #13

What a unique blend! I was disappointed by my first couple of sips, but the flavors really began to pop as my cup cooled down. Passionfruit is definitely the dominant element, but I’m getting hints of dark chocolate from the cacao nibs and a little spicy kick in the back of my throat thanks to the cayenne. It is just a bit drying, which I don’t enjoy, but otherwise a fun flavor combination and a nice change of pace.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Drying, Passion Fruits, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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151 tasting notes

I was crazy busy before New Year’s Eve doing my level best to get December’s Teas out before that day – which I’m happy to say that I did manage to do, but not with much time to spare. It seems like every time I get close to getting caught up, I end up having to tweak a tea or something and it throws me behind schedule again. I’ve come to realize that it’s probably going to be a never ending process because I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my teas (or so I’ve been told).

Anyway, those same people who tell me that I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my teas have also ordered me on a bit of a vacay so that I can catch my breath. Tonight, I’m back at it full-time – so I decided that i needed a pot of tea to get things going. This is the tea that I grabbed.

I am really in love with this tea. It came out just the way I wanted it to. A really great passion fruit flavor, just enough cayenne to add a bit of warming to it without being too spicy – and the cacao is just enough to add a pleasant touch of chocolate without interfering with the passion fruit. It reminds me a lot of the donut that inspired it – except that this has a bit more chocolate flavor to it because with the donuts, you just get the cacao nibs – and because they aren’t infused into the flavor and serve as “sprinkles” to the donut, you don’t get a strong chocolate flavor – instead, you get some chocolate-y notes with some texture that actually nicely contrasts the cake-y donut.

But since I have yet to discover how to make a tea crunchy and still smooth and sippable, you just kinda have to imagine the crunchy texture of cacao nibs with this tea. Or I guess you could nibble on some cacao nibs while you drink this tea. But you really SHOULD drink this tea because it’s totally yummmm!

tea-sipper

I hope whatever bit of vacation you had was lovely!

52Teas

It was really just a few days that I was “ordered” to take off because I had a very busy October through December … so basically, a few days off that I took at home so I was still responding to correspondence and such, I just wasn’t allowed to go to my tea studio to work. But, I think it was beneficial, because I was able to go in there last night with a clear head so that was definitely nice.

tea-sipper

I figured it wasn’t a VACATION vacation, but hope it was nice anyway. :D

52Teas

Thanks – it was! I love what I do, but when you have so many deadlines coming up all so close together as I did in that three month period – it got a bit stressful. So, I was glad to take a breather for a few days.

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881 tasting notes

Day 13 of our Advent Tea Swap. From amandastory516.

The description for this tea sounds so interesting – passion fruit, cacao, and cayenne. Not something I’d pick out for myself but I’m curious to try it.

I left this one to steep far longer than I intended, so I’m wondering if that might have something to do with the taste. It’s not exactly bitter, but it’s definitely more dry and the flavors just aren’t coming through. I’m not really sure about the flavor of passion fruit, but I’m not tasting cacao or cayenne either. It reminds me a lot of the Whiskey and Fig tea I had a little while back. A very dry tea with little flavor. I’ll save my rating on this one until I can steep a proper cup. Hopefully the flavors will come through more with a better steep.

Flavors: Drying, Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96
84 tasting notes

There are two listing for this tea so I’m just using the first one.

I’ve been really excited to try this tea since I saw the description go up on 52teas. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

First I want to acknowledge something—this tea sounds weird. Like seriously strange! I’m guessing most people would be a little dubious if not turned off by the flavor combo. I actually would have been one of those people a week ago. But universe works in strange ways I guess.

Last Wednesday afternoon I was in the Portland airport to fly back to California after spending a couple weeks in Oregon to visit friends and family. It’s a really nice airport with lots of yummy food options so I got there in time to grab an early dinner. There’s a number of nice shops and restaurants before and after security and since I had time I wandered down to check Powell’s Bookstores little annex store before getting in the security line. I’d already bought a few books from the main downtown store so I didn’t let my self look for long, my bags were already heavy enough.

Across the hallway from the little Powell’s shop is a Blue Star Donut. I’d tried them out last time I was in Portland and was mildly disappointed. The Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut is one of their specialities and while the donut itself was a good texture the flavors just didn’t do it for me. I decided I’d just stick to Voodoo as my weird Portland donut shop(the mango one and the chocolate frosted voodoo doll shaped ones with raspberry filling and pretzel “needles” are my favorites).

But I’m in PDX with a sugar craving and there’s only one donut shop so I decide to give Blue Star another go. I ordered the Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib Donut(the fluffy brioche kind not the cake one Anne mentioned in the tea description but they use the same flavors) to eat there and an Apple Brandy Crumble cake one to stash in my bag for a mid flight treat. Maybe it was because I was coming in with fewer expectations than my first try but those donuts just blew me away! While the Apple Brandy was perfection it was a more typical desert flavor combo. The Passion Fruit Cocoa was pure genius. The combo of spicy and sweet, chocolate and fruit with a little crunch was unique and delicious. I was so sad that I only discovered them as I was literally leaving town.

Then I see this tea go up a few days later! I was a bit scared going in with such high expectations but I wasn’t disappointed. Anne captures the balance of the flavors so well and they do go excellently with the base tea. The passion fruit tastes really natural but the tea it self isn’t stick from the powder like Anne was worried about. The spice level was nice, not overwhelming but it makes the other flavors pop nicely. It was great hot and the little bit I accidentally left in my cup and drank a few hours later cold was just as good.

Highly recommended.

52Teas

I’m so glad you liked it. I’ve heard from a couple of the subscribers who have tried it and they also have loved this. I’m glad. It is a little weird but it is one of my favorite donuts from Blue Star (I don’t even go to VooDoo donuts anymore, I far prefer the Blue Star brioche donuts to anything VooDoo makes.)

52Teas

PS: It is usually sold out when I go to Blue Star, but I also highly recommend their Cointreau Creme Brulee – but warning, it is an adult only donut.

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