So how do you spice up your tea at Christmas?
When I was a bit of a tea newbie, I didn’t even know spice tea was really a thing, except for masala chai. And now when you go look for a holiday tea, there are so many to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. How do you find the one that tastes like Christmas to you?
I think a good Christmas tea is a bit of a combination of several flavor families – spice, some kind of citrus or fruit (like apple, cranberry, or pear), and maybe even some more unusual ingredients like a little cocao (like this one from Oliver Pluff) or coconut, for example.
Finding right combination of flavors is the trick – I’m not an anise fan, for example, but if other spices or flavors are in there that complement it well, it can actually be okay.
The first Christmas spiced tea I ever tried is Harrod’s Christmas spiced loose leaf black tea; I stumbled across it on one of my trips to England – must have been at least a decade or more by now. That has become my go-to Christmas tea ever since, though I have recently started expanding and trying others.
I think it’s a bit like what you like to eat from growing up – at least I tend to gravitate to flavors that are familiar, like how the chocolate chip cookies your mom made or the cinnamon rolls your grandma made are always the best. Funny how nostalgia can contribute to the flavor of food!
So Harrods spiced black tea has some even more interesting ingredients that, while I don’t know that I know what their flavors taste like by themselves, I suspect it may be because of them, that when they are added up with other spices and citrus, they make for a magic combination. The two flavors include blackberry leaves and safflower petals.
(Of course, I LOVE the Harrod tea tins as well. This year was the first year since I’ve gotten them, that Harrods didn’t do a new tin design, and I was so disappointed! 🙂
The spiced tea from The Tea Shoppe also has blackberry leaves, while Fortnum’s Christmas black tea has the safflower petals and cocoa nibs (and it seems like Fortnum’s may change up their formula occasionally, so be sure to check the current year’s ingredients before purchasing).
I will say, however, that I love both the Holiday Blend from Oliver Pluff, and Betty’s Spiced Christmas tea, which I tried for the first time this year. In both of them it’s all about the citrus and the cinnamon or warming spices. The most Christmas flavors of all Christmas flavors!
So that’s a few thoughts about spiced black tea I enjoy to festive up my daily Christmas cuppa throughout the holiday season.
Would love to hear about others’ favorites, and get ideas for new ones to try!