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Tea of the Week for October 14, 2019: S & S Green Tea!

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S & S Green Tea!

Our Second Tea from our "I Love The Pacific Northwest" Collection!

Tea Description: Ever hear of Salt & Straw Ice Cream? They have locations throughout California now, but they got their start right here in the Pacific Northwest. Their flavors are fun and unique. I mean, how many other ice cream joints out there have a chocolate caramel potato chip cupcake ice cream? (Yeah, that's for real - it's the scoop I got last time I was in there and it was so good!)

So with this tea, I decided to celebrate the Pacific Northwest by celebrating Salt & Straw. I was inspired by two of my favorite Portland flavors: Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper and Pear & Bleu Cheese. (Yeah, they sound weird but they are really amazing.)

I started with organic Chinese Sencha for it's sweet, buttery flavor and it's creamy texture. Then I added just a little bit of Green Rooibos to add lightness & enhance the fruity flavors to come. I added strawberries, pears, some black peppercorns & a touch of cream cheese essence (instead of bleu cheese), some honey essence & a hint of brandy essence (instead of balsamic - don't worry, there's no alcohol in this blend!)

It may seem like a really weird concept & yes, I'll be real: I was worried about it at first but it really works together nicely. Some of the flavors are a bit more subtle than others but they all work together in this very unique yet flavorful blend that reminds me so much of Salt & Straw. They make some really unique flavors that may seem a bit weird when you first read the menu but when you taste it - the flavors are sublime!

Salt & Straw is such an inspiring place when it comes to flavors - they are anything BUT basic! I like to think that 52Teas is similar in that regard & this blend is anything but basic! The pear & strawberry flavors are forward, with notes of cream cheese & honey in the background. A subtle bite from the black pepper lingers toward the end of the sip and into the aftertaste. A very subtle note of brandy that weaves its way in & out. Very unique. Very tasty.

Note: I test all my teas first without sugar & then with a teensy bit of sugar added to taste the differences in flavor. I must say that this tea benefits from the addition. The flavors really come to life with the addition of just a teensy bit of sugar (about half a teaspoon per 12 ounces of tea). Still good without the sugar - this tea tastes more like what I envisioned for the blend (which was a combination of the two ice cream flavors) with the bit of sugar.

This unique, only found at 52Teas blend is all natural & organic, VEGAN, gluten-free, allergen-free & alcohol free! 

organic ingredients: green tea, green rooibos, strawberries, pears, black pepper, calendula petals & natural flavors

Wowza! I'm blown away by this blend! The flavors work together so well & the more you sip, the more flavors that come into focus.

The strawberry & pear is the first flavors I picked up on. This is a really good combination of fruits that I don't recall putting together in the past - but I do think I'm going to be working with the combination again in the future after tasting this! The next flavor that revealed itself to me was the cream cheese - it's more of a tangy, creamy flavor than a distinctly cream cheese flavor. That is to say that it doesn't taste like cheesecake - it tastes more like the cream cheese you might taste if you were to taste it without all the sugars and other ingredients that go into the cheesecake. 

The black pepper starts out subtle - but as I am nearing the end of my cup, I am picking up on a lot more of a peppery bite. It's not spicy nor is it intended to be. There's just this little bite of something that perks up the taste buds a bit. Just a little bit of something that makes your palate take notice & say, "Hey, what was that?" 

I'm also noticing more honey & brandy notes as I continue to sip - but they are the most subtle of the flavors in this blend. Again - that's intentional. I wanted this blend to be less about the honey & brandy & a little more about the other flavors here. I wanted the honey & brandy to sort of meld into the other flavors to play as accents to the other tastes of the blend & that's happening.

I'm so happy with how this blend came out.

As I mentioned in the above description, I do recommend just a teensy bit of sugar - about half a teaspoon per 12 ounces of tea - to encourage the flavors to develop. You don't have to add the sugar, of course, but I do suggest trying it that way!

to brew: shake the blend before you measure. the black pepper will most likely settle toward the bottom of the pouch, so you want to redistribute it to include some in every measurement! use 2 1/2 grams of tea to 12 ounces of very hot water (175°F). allow to steep for 2 minutes. strain. allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. I enjoyed this tea hot but enjoyed it even more as an iced tea!

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