• Reviews

    Handmade Tea Orange Peppercorn Breakfast

    Country of Origin: Sri Lanka and India Leaf Appearance: small and dark, colorful peppercorns Ingredients: Ceylon, Assam, peppercorns (black, white, green and pink) and burnt orange peel Steep time: 5 miniutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser Liquor: reddish brown Every month I look forward to my +Handmade Tea shipment because I know there will always be something unexpected. March’s blend brought orange peels that have been burned with a Crème brûlée torch. Each shipment includes a mini tin of the ingredients and I definitely found myself lingering on the orange peels. They smelled amazing! The base teas were rich and earthy with a mild astringency but not overly…


  • Reviews

    Handmade Tea Sweet Potato Pie

    Country of Origin: Taiwan Leaf Appearance: small and dark with lots of marshmallows and sweet potato pieces Ingredients: oolong, sweet potato pieces, marshmallows Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser Liquor: dark amber The Formosa oolong base of this tea was earthy and sweet with no bitterness or astringency. The tasting notes that accompanied it described the taste as raisiny and I can definitely see that connection. The sweet potatoes added a meaty thickness while the sweet marshmallows rounded out the flavor profile. I was worried that they might make things too sweet but this blend had great balance. The only other time that I’ve…

  • Reviews

    Handmade Tea Kava Paw-Paw

    Country of Origin: Africa Leaf Appearance: dark red, small and needle-like. giant chunks of fruit Ingredients: honeybush, kava-kava root, dried papaya Steep time: 5 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser Liquor: reddish brown For those of you that aren’t familiar with Handmade Tea, it is a monthly subscription service. Each shipment includes a brand new blend along with individual tins of the ingredients. Tasting everything separately and then together is a great way to build your palate. This month’s blend was interested because I have never tried kava-kava or dried papaya in a tea. Honeybush is a close cousin of rooibos and I actually prefer because it…

  • Reviews

    Handmade Tea Krampus Brew

    Country of Origin: not listed Leaf Appearance: tightly rolled, juicy cherries Ingredients: gunpowder green tea, dried cherries, cinnamon, and cloves Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 185 degrees Preparation Method: Liquor: gold I’m always raving about +Handmade Tea‘s blends but they really are just that good. The December offering was one I wish I could buy by the pound. It featured a smoky gunpowder green tea base. It was smooth and sweet with just the right amount of astringency. The cherries added a hint of tart sweetness. Although they were dried, they had a deliciously juicy look to them. I’ve only seen cherries used in a few teas but they worked really well in…

  • Reviews

    Handmade Tea November Bouquet

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: potpourri with small and twisted black tea mixed in Ingredients: Fujian black tea, rose petals, jasmine flowers, lemon balm Steep time: 4 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser Liquor: reddish brown This tea certainly was a bouquet as the name implies. Some of the rose petals were quite large and when I looked closely, I realized that they were actually entire flowers. The smell of the dry leaves was very strong, reminiscent of potpourri. This gave me some hesitation since I’m not a big fan of floral teas. Thankfully the floral element was much more subtle in the taste of the…

  • Reviews

    Handmade Tea Harvest Brew

    Country of Origin: black tea is from Central Eastern Africa Leaf Appearance: dark tea leaves, very fall looking with all of the spices mixed in Ingredients: black tea, allspice, cinnamon chips, ginger root Steep time: 5 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: mesh infuser and ceramic teacup Liquor: reddish brown October’s blend from Handmade Tea was inspired by two of Caleb’s (the founder of Handmade Tea) favorite pumpkin beers, Southern Tier Pumking and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. If you like cinnamon spice then this blend is for you! The base black tea is a touch peppery which echoes the strong allspice. The cinnamon ginger add a warm sweetness that tempered all of…