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Tea Time in December 2023 Box

Tea Time in December 2023 Box

Dec 15, 2023

Mazharul Islam Chowdhury

Tea Time in December 2023 Box

This month's tea and pastry box is a curated journey of flavors, featuring an array of unique teas and complementary pastries that promise to delight your senses. We firmly believe that uplifting other companies in business is better than the negative competition of the capitalistic model so in this box we are featuring two local Washington based companies. Sugimoto & Yabumoto Krystal Kandz. Please check them out if you have not had a chance! 

In the Origins section, experience the rich, toasty warmth of Sugimoto's Hojicha from Japan, a roasted green tea with a deep, soothing aroma and a sweet, nutty taste. It pairs beautifully with our selected pastries like Yabumoto Krystal Kandz's S'mores and Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers, which accentuate its roasted notes. 

The Fruity or Floral category introduces Honey Ginger Chamomile from the USA, a caffeine-free blend that soothes with every sip, ideal with the spicy zest of Ginger Biscuits and Ginger Thins. 

Finally, explore the festive Explorer selection with the Candy Cane tea, a merry mix of black tea, chocolate, and peppermint. 

Each cup and bite in this box promise a delightful escape, blending tradition and taste in perfect harmony.

Follow our My Tea Time blog series for an immersive exploration of your monthly tea experiences. Without further ado, let's start our December tea experience!

Origins

Get to know your Origins Tea!

Hojicha, a unique variety of Japanese green tea, is celebrated for its enchanting roasted character. Unlike conventional hojicha made from late summer bancha, Sugimoto's hojicha uses a superior grade of early harvest kukicha. This selection undergoes a meticulous high-temperature roasting, transforming the stem into a toasty brown hue, unlocking a profound aroma and a rich, layered flavor profile. Known for its natural sweetness, smooth flavor, and roasted scent, this low-caffeine tea is perfect for evening relaxation and can be enjoyed in multiple infusions, revealing its subtle complexities with each steep.

Tea Name: Hojicha - Sugimoto - Japan

Teamaker: Sugimoto Tea Company

Origin: Japan

Elevation: Approximately 300 meters above sea level

Cultivation: Select higher grade kukicha from early harvests

Harvest Date: Early Spring

Brewing Instructions: For an ideal cup of Sugimoto's Signature Hojicha, use 1 tablespoon of tea leaves for every 8 ounces (about 240 ml) of water. Heat the water to 185°F (85°C) and steep the tea for 2 minutes. This hojicha, known for its rich, toasty aroma and natural sweetness, can be infused a second time for 1 minute, offering a low-caffeine, warming beverage perfect for relaxing evenings. Each infusion brings out a unique aspect of its delightful flavor profile.

Tea Aroma and Taste

Discover the enchanting world of Sugimoto's Hojicha, a roasted green tea that stands out in the realm of Japanese teas. Its unique aroma is reminiscent of a cozy, autumn evening, with a toasty and subtly sweet fragrance that invites relaxation. Upon tasting, the tea reveals a rich blend of flavors - a harmonious mix of roasted nuttiness and a natural, gentle sweetness. This hojicha is a testament to the art of tea roasting, creating a taste that warms the body and soothes the mind.

Appearance: Toasty brown, Reflecting their high-temperature roasting, Clear amber-colored liquor.

Smell: Roasted aroma, intertwined with hints of caramelized sweetness

Taste: Natural sweetness, nutty notes and roasted aroma

About the farm and Farmers!

Nestled in the lush landscapes of Japan, the farm producing Sugimoto's Hojicha is a testament to tradition and quality. The farmers, with generations of knowledge, cultivate their tea with a deep respect for nature, ensuring each leaf embodies the essence of its surroundings. Their commitment to using higher grade kukicha from early harvests is a reflection of their dedication to producing tea of exceptional quality.

Background on the Farmers:

The farmers behind Sugimoto's Hojicha are custodians of a rich heritage. With skills passed down through generations, they combine time-honored techniques with a deep understanding of the land. These artisans view tea making as an art form, with each step, from cultivation to roasting, performed with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that every batch of Hojicha they produce is a celebration of their legacy and passion for tea.

Pastry Pairings

Savor the exceptional pairing of Sugimoto's Hojicha with two distinct pastries. The smoky sweetness of Yabumoto Krystal Kandz's S'mores crystal candy perfectly complements Hojicha's roasted depth. Similarly, the Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers from Korea, with their crispy texture and rich filling, enhance the tea's warm, nutty notes, creating a luxurious and indulgent experience, ideal for an evening of relaxation and gourmet delight.

S'mores - Yabumoto Krystal Kandz – USA

Experience the delectable fusion of Yabumoto Krystal Kandz's S'mores crystal candy with its crunchy exterior and gooey center, mirroring the classic s'mores delight of graham crackers, melted chocolate, and toasted marshmallows. This exquisite candy, with its smoky, sweet layers, pairs impeccably with the deep, roasted notes of Hojicha tea, creating a harmonious blend of warmth and indulgence.

Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers – Korea

The second pairing is of Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers from Korea with Hojicha tea. The wafers offer a harmonious blend of crispy exteriors and creamy chocolate-hazelnut centers, complementing Hojicha's woodsy notes. This combination balances the tea's roasted notes with the wafers' sweet, nutty richness, creating a luxurious taste experience and a perfect contrast in textures. Together, they make an exquisite treat, ideal for a relaxing evening.

Palate Cleanser (for taste testing): Saltine crackers are provided in our tea box to clean the taste of your mouth including spicy, bitter, or sweet.

(Read more about Tea J Tea’s recommended way of tasting: Sip-Bite-Sip)

Fruity or Floral

Discover the restorative embrace of Honey Ginger Chamomile tea, a delightful blend crafted in California that promises more than just a soothing sip. Infused with the finest chamomile and ginger, each cup offers a tranquil retreat, perfect for unwinding or rejuvenating. This tea, with its sweet and spicy notes, is a balm for the senses, promising relief and relaxation in every soothing brew.

Tea Name: Honey Ginger Chamomile – USA

Processing: Blended and air-dried

Year: 2023

Caffeine Content: Caffeine-free

Brewing Instructions: For a perfect cup of Honey Ginger Chamomile Bliss, use 1-2 tablespoons of tea leaves per 8 oz (240 ml) of water, adjusting for your preferred strength. Bring the water to a full boil at 212°F (100°C) and steep the tea for 4 minutes. This infusion process releases the full spectrum of flavors and aromas, making it an ideal soothing beverage for any time of the day.

Tea Aroma and Taste

Step into a world of tranquility with Honey Ginger Chamomile Bliss, a tea that blends the soothing essence of high-quality chamomile with the invigorating warmth of ginger. Each sip is a journey to relaxation and rejuvenation, perfect for those seeking a natural remedy for stress, nausea, or a simple, calming indulgence.

Appearance: Golden hue, embodying the comforting blend of honey, ginger, and chamomile.

Smell: Floral Chamomile and zesty ginger, undertones of honey, calming and invigorating.

Tasting Notes: The chamomile provides a gentle, floral sweetness, while the ginger adds a subtle spicy warmth. The addition of honey rounds out the flavor profile, offering a smooth soothing finish. 

Pastry Pairings

Enjoy the perfect tea-time pairing with Scotland's Ginger Biscuits and Sweden's Ginger Thins. The bold, spicy ginger flavors and crisp, buttery textures of these biscuits create an exceptional complement to the soothing, roasted notes of a warm cup of tea, elevating each sip into a cozy, comforting experience.

Ginger Biscuits – Scotland

These Scottish ginger biscuits from Walkers offer a delightful crunch from oat flakes and candied ginger pieces, balanced with a bold, spicy ginger flavor. The crisp, buttery texture complements the warm, soothing notes of the tea, making them a perfect, comforting pairing for a cozy tea time experience. Suitable for vegetarians and crafted with high-quality ingredients, they are a treat for ginger aficionados.

Ginger Thins – Sweden

Anna's Ginger Thins, with their crisp texture and a harmonious blend of fresh ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, offer a delightful contrast to the smooth, roasted flavors of the chamomile tea. Their spicy warmth complements the tea's notes, creating an exquisite pairing that enhances both the cookie's zesty taste and the tea's comforting aroma. 

Explorer

Explorer Tea: Something New

Embark on a flavorful journey with the "Candy Cane" black tea, a festive blend from the USA that brings the holiday spirit to your cup. This unique tea combines rich black tea with the indulgent flavors of chocolate and the refreshing zing of peppermint candy, creating a smooth, delightful experience that is both comforting and invigorating, perfect for explorers of taste and tradition.

Tea Name: Candy Cane – USA

Processing: This tea is expertly crafted, blending high-quality black tea leaves with festive ingredients like peppermint leaf, candy cane pieces, and cocoa nibs for a rich and varied texture.

Year: 2023

Caffeine Content: Moderate

Brewing Instructions: To enjoy the full essence of Candy Cane tea, use 1 tablespoon of tea per 8 oz (240 ml) of water. Heat water to 195°F (90°C) and steep the tea for 180 seconds. For those who enjoy a deeper flavor, a second infusion is recommended, steeping for an additional 60 seconds. This tea's complex layers are best appreciated with each careful infusion, revealing more of its festive character.

Tea Aroma and Taste

Candy Cane Explorer is not just a tea; it's a celebration in a cup. With its vibrant blend of black tea, chocolate, and peppermint, each sip brings a festive fusion of flavors. The aroma is a mix of sweet chocolate and refreshing peppermint, while the taste is a delightful balance of richness and coolness, perfect for holiday moments or whenever you need a cheerful pick-me-up.

Appearance: Black tea leaves, speckled with colorful candy sprinkle and red candy cane pieces.

Smell: Delightful harmony of sweet chocolate, refreshing peppermint, hint of the classic black tea earthiness.

Tasting Notes: Candy Cane Explorer reveals a smooth, chocolatey richness that is perfectly balanced with the cool, crisp flavor of peppermint.

 

Are you interested in previous Subscription Boxes from previous months? Check out Last Month’s box (November Month Tea Time in A Box). 

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