Saturday, December 18, 2010

Special tea blends for the December holidays

I recently wrote about Stash's surprising Christmas Morning blend. Here are some other holiday-related teas ...

• Fruitcakes have a bad rap, but the same combo of fruity flavors makes for a great seasonal tea blend from Rishi: Organic Cinnamon Plum. This award-winning infusion uses hibiscus for a rich red liquor, and licorice for a chewy tang. Pair with shortbread for a lighter dessert than pie.

• Mighty Leaf put together a special blend called Holiday 2010, also using heavy fruit — but several summery and tropical fruits: cranberry, orange, papaya, apple, peach with the tea and spices. Haven't had this, but sounds intriguing.

• Adagio makes a yummy Christmas blend, with cinnamon, cloves and orange peel. Making glogg or mulled wine? Add some of this as it simmers. (Steer clear of Adagio's Candy Cane tea. Yuck.)

• Harney & Sons' White Christmas Tea is interesting — the usual black tea blend with wintry spices added, like almond, vanilla and cardamom, but with the added twist of chamomile. It creates a light underpinning not usually found in heavily spiced holiday blends.

• Another innovative ingredients list is on SerendipiTea's Holiday Cheer: "peppermint, mint, cloves, cardamom, ginger, spearmint, orange peel, black tea." I had some of this a while back — the mint in the black tea is jarring, then bracing, and somehow the ginger ties it together with a kick.

• Republic of Tea has the best name for its holiday blend: Comfort and Joy. It's a basic black tea blended with the usual spices, and it's Republic of Tea so it's not cheap.

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