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On the Twelfth Day of Christmas . . . (2017 Edition)

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Merry Christmas!

Today is Day 12 - the last day of our Holiday countdown - in other words, it's Christmas Day! But you probably already knew that! I hope your holiday season has been joyful - and that our special countdown with TEA has helped to brighten each of these 12 days!

 Cookies for Santa (Black Tea)!

Tea Description: Here's what was going through my mind as I crafted the recipe for this blend: 'if I were Santa, what kind of cookies would I want?' 

Usually, as a family, it's our tradition to put Peanut Butter Blossoms out for Santa. You know, the peanut butter cookie that's topped with a chocolate kiss? Yeah, my whole family loves those. I do too - which is why I started the tradition that way. I mean, those cookies were favorites of mine from childhood - my gramma used to make them every holiday and I loved them. 

But when I started that tradition with my children, it represented a slight compromise because I seem to be the only person in my house that really adores ginger and would love to make a soft ginger snap cookie with candied ginger with hints of other warm winter-y spices like allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg and then add some cacao to the dough because - CHOCOLATE.

If I were Santa, that's the kind of cookie I'd want waiting for me! 

So this tea represents that cookie in a teacup. I started with a black tea base of Ceylon, Assam, Yunnan and Keemun teas (all organic) and added lots of ginger (ginger root & candied ginger). Then I added some allspice and cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and some cacao nibs & shells for a nice chocolate-y note and a little bit of essence for a special cookie-like taste. 

YUM! This tea has a delightfully spicy cacao cookie flavor! The perfect tea to leave out for Santa - and if you want to leave out some milk to go with the 'cookies', just go latte - this tea tastes FANTASTIC as a latte!

organic ingredients: black teas, ginger root, candied (sugared) ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cacao nibs, cacao shells, calendula petals, nutmeg & natural flavors

As I now look over the list of teas that we presented in our 12 Teas of Christmas box this year, it seems to be quite predominately treat-ish: Holiday Marmalade; Chocolate, Hazelnut & Strawberry; Peach Blackberry Crumble; Banana Marshmallow Treat; Brownie Batter with Nut Butter Swirl; Caramel Cheesecake; Maple Marshmallow Treat . . . even the Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup and the Crisp Cranberry Soda can be considered a treat because neither of their 'food' counterparts are something that I'd indulge in regularly. 

And now we have Cookies for Santa! 

I guess it's pretty clear that you guys (and I) love the dessert-y flavored teas, huh? 

Hey, that's OK! Better to indulge in a cuppa tea!

Now, let's talk about this tea. This tea has a gentle warmth to it in the beginning, but as you near the bottom of the cup, you'll find that the heat from the ginger builds. It starts at the back of the throat and radiates to the entire palate - I can now feel it on the tip of my tongue and the insides of my cheeks! It reminds me a lot of one of my favorite cookies: Liz Lovely's Ginger Snapdragons - and of course their website doesn't appear to be operational at the moment and will hopefully come back soon. Seriously though - those cookies - to die for! (And they're even Vegan & Gluten Free!)

There's a subtle chocolate tone to it - it's not a strong, in your face flavor - but it's there. The other spices are there too - and they help enhance the ginger tones. In the background, I get notes of slightly caramelized, freshly baked cookies. Quite yummy!

to brew: Don't overleaf! I found that when I overleafed this one, the tea came off a bit muddied but if you go with just a slightly rounded teaspoon of tea to 12 ounces of nearly boiling water, you get a lovely cuppa that's a little lighter in flavor but has a pleasant representation of all the flavors. However, if you go latte - and I highly recommend it! - extra leaf is essential! 

steep for 2 1/2 minutes, strain & enjoy. A wee bit of sugar enhances the cookie notes. 

When consumed straight (not a latte) - this tea benefits from that 10 minute cool time that I usually recommend with all my black teas. The addition of the milk will cool the tea a bit so you can reduce that time - unless you steam the milk - in which case - give it that cool time! 

Happy Holidays!!! A HUGE thank you to all of you who have helped to make this year's countdown a success!

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