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On The 1st Day of Christmas . . .

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It's the FIRST Day of our Christmas Countdown with TEA!

Happy December 14th - or if you're one of the happy owners of our 12 Teas of Christmas Box - today is the FIRST day of our annual countdown to Christmas! And what's the best way to count 'em down? With TEA of course! For this year's first day of Christmas countdown, we went with a reblend that we thought was not only appropriate for the day, but it was also one that got a considerable number of votes in our poll!

 A Partridgeberry in a Pear Tea! (Green Tea)

Tea Description: This was one of my favorite Christmas teas from Frank's era, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I loved it so much for the tea (although the tea is really delightful!) or the name because - seriously - so clever! Right?

So what is a partridgeberry? Well, my research on Wikipedia tells me a partridgeberry can be a creeping herbaceous shrub native to North America (scientific name: mitchella repens) or it can be a lingonberry (scientific name: vaccinium vitis-idaea). Since I have neither mitchella repens nor vaccinium vitis-idaea at my easy disposal, I decided to choose the easiest/most accessible of these two to include in this blend: the lingonberry. 

Prior to blending this tea, my experience with the lingonberry was limited to trips to IKEA and seeing lingonberry jam on the shelves (and at one point, I purchased some of that jam to make a sauce for meatballs. No, I didn't get the meatballs from IKEA.) I also purchased some lingonberry glogg last year. That was pretty tasty.

Frank's description of this tea went like this:

Yes, okay, I am a very silly man. I just couldn’t resist.

Back when I was planning to create all new blends for the 12 teas of Christmas sampler, I was trying to figure out how to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas song. I figured out this one and some sort of Turtle® chocolate treat blend. Three French Hens might have been some kind of French vanilla, but four calling birds completely stumped me.

Well, anyway, here’s our buttery-sweet Chinese sencha blended with wild-harvested Partidgeberry (Mitchella repens), dried pears and natural pear flavors. Silly or not, it is delicious if you like pears.

Yes, I love pears! And I'm much more familiar with pears than I am partridgeberries. And this is technically not supposed to be a partridgeberry tea but a pear tea.

I started with organic Chinese Sencha (just like the original recipe!) and added dried pears and instead of using wild-harvested Partridgeberry, I used internet-purchased lingonberries. And they look pretty in this blend, like little red crystals amidst the long spears of green tea and the chunks of pear. It looks very Christmas-y, this tea. 

organic ingredients: green tea, pears and natural flavors

ingredients: lingonberries

Tasty! And as I eluded to above, it is quite the perfect tea to use for what will be our "First Tea of Christmas."

This is truly a delicious pear tea - and the lingonberries do come out a little bit in the flavor - it's not a strong flavor, but as I said in the description, this is supposed to be a pear tea, so the emphasis should be on the sweet, juicy pear flavor. 

And this tea definitely does focus on that pear taste. The green tea is sweet and buttery and smooth. The pear is abundant in the taste. The berry sort of weaves its way in and out, never as a very strong or distinct flavor, but is perhaps best noticed in the aftertaste.

I like this one a whole lot!

To brew: use a rounded teaspoon of tea to 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 180°F) and let steep for 3 minutes. (Yes, you read that right, THREE minutes.) I am recommending 3 minutes to this tea because I felt that the pear flavor came through better with a 3 minute steep rather than the 2 minute steep - and I didn't notice any bitterness with the additional minute - so it's really worth the extra 60 seconds!

Strain and let cool for at least 5 minutes. This tea is really delightful hot but even better cold - so this would be one to cold-brew!

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