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Pumpkin Spice from Culinary Teas


Pumpkin Spice from Culinary TeasYes, it’s another pumpkin tea – this one, a loose leaf tea with a different blend of flavors from the others I’ve tasted this season. The first thing I noticed when I opened the package of this tea is the nutty aroma.

It’s a good-looking tea, with chunks of stuff in it and lots of flower petals, and a nice aroma as a dry tea. Once brewed, the nutty aroma and nut flavor are still strong – stronger than the pumpkin and spice flavors, which, although distinguishable, are not dominant.

The spices in this one are mainly cinnamon, and the vaguely spicy flavor of rooibos, the herbal tea, though let me make it clear that this is a black tea, with caffeine; the rooibos is there as a flavoring, not as a substitute for tea leaves. Unlike other pumpkin spice teas, this one isn’t a chai – not spicy enough, and not enough of the kinds of spices that are usually in chai. However, it’s also smoother in taste and body than teas that are spicier, and that nut flavor makes it very mellow.

Although the tea has a bit of natural sweetness, a bit of sugar is not amiss. I personally wouldn’t want to add milk to it, but if you wanted to, I think almond milk, rather than dairy milk, would be the obvious choice to complement the flavors of the tea.

Culinary Teas says about this tea:

This lovely rich flavored Pumpkin Spice Tea should be the poster tea for Autumn. Just brew a pot and the season is suddenly Autumn.  Made with all natural flavorings.

Ah, but if you click on the “more about this tea” link, you get a much longer story, that begins like this:

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then you know that there’s nothing like taking a drive out into the country to look at the fall leaves in their vibrant autumn colors. Among the other seasonal offerings farmers turn out in roadside stalls throughout Canada and the US at that time of year, the vegetable that usually garners the most attention are pumpkins. And if you are luck enough to live anywhere near Richmond Ontario you will understand why. You see, it was in Richmond that a Pumpkin aficionado named Alan Eaton recently grew himself a world record breaking 1446 pounder! It that’s not enough to get you to pull off the country road you’re driving down we don’t know what will.

The wonderful thing about Pumpkin is that although most people simply carve them into Jack-O-Lanterns, in the right hands they can be prepared into the most delicately flavored soups, appetizers, main courses, and desserts. In fact the inspiration for this tea came from a spicy piece of pie our Master Taster requested seconds and thirds of at a roadside café in the heart of Pumpkin country.

Although the description says that the tea is made with all natural flavorings, if one drills deeper into Culinary Teas’ description, one finds this:

Ingredients:  Luxury black tea, Hibiscus, Rosehips, Almond pieces, Rooibos, Cinnamon pieces, Apple pieces, Natural dried orange, Sunflower + Calendula petals, Triacetin oil, Natural flavors.

I’ll bet that has you going, just as I did, “Wait a minute. Triacetin oil?” You can find more information about triacetin on Wikipedia and make your own decisions about it. I personally wonder why they need it in there, and I’m contemplating writing to the company and asking about it. If I do so, I will let all our readers know what their answer is.

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BunRab
BunRab
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1 Comment Join the Discussion

  1. Comment by October 17, 2012 @ 8:34 am
    Mark said:

    I reviewed this tea as well, I hope you dont mind I thought I would leave my feedback on it here as well. I have a feeling I got an old batch of the tea or something because it jut had a stale back flavor to it.

    Culinary Teas Gourmet Teas Pumpkin Spice Tea

    Price: >$16 (4oz bag shipping added to my total) Purchased through amazon

    Caff-O-Meter: Undetermined, I’d estimate 15-30 since the base is not all black tea

    -Smell (.5) – The smell is not very strong nor does it remind me of pumpkin or fall. Scent falls flat.

    -Taste

    +Unsweetened:
    ++Hot (.5) – Does not taste like anything other than normal tea.
    ++Iced (1) – again no flavor is present aside from just tea to me
    *I prefer my teas Iced and 1 cup to .5 packet of sweetener. So unless it wows me, without sweetener will always be lower in points so to compensate I add .5 points to the unsweetened taste average.

    -Sweetened
    ++Hot (1.5)- Adding the sweetener (1 pkg of truvia) usually makes flavors stick out, and until I added the sweetener I didn’t detect anything other than just black tea.
    ++Iced (2) – So Iced with sweetener is the only way I find this tea to be enjoyable.

    2nd Steep (2) it maintains its flavor through a second steep but I’m still not impressed.

    Summary – I really wanted to like this tea but it just didn’t do it for me. The tea was very weak, perhaps I will try to double the strength in a few days and update my rating. to me it just tastes very bland.

    If you must have some pumpkin tea now, here is a decent method to get you by (don’t expect a miracle of flavor). Pumpkin pie spice (I prefer 1 tsp per 16 oz water) “steep” it for 5 minutes hot water then add your preferred tea for a normal steep time. Strain/Sweeten to preference. I use plain lipton loose leaf for now but I can’t wait to try this with plain rooibos when I get it.

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