Catskills Mountain Tea was founded by Ashley, a Catskill and Mid-Hudson Valley area native. She works to bring the romance and folklore of Catskill Mountains to her company and to share the beauty and experiences of the Catskills to your daily cup, with tea blends that are reminiscent of memories that she has and treasures. I have tried to collaborate with Ashley before, but the package was lost in the mail. She is one of my advent calendar sponsors, so when she sent the samples, she also sent me a few blends to try: Harvest Moon Pumpkin Chai, Gnomes Blend, and Fireside Memories. Here are my thoughts:
Harvest Moon Pumpkin Chai: I feel like my senses might be playing tricks on me, but the immediate thought I had when I smelled the brewed tea was: Is that a berry/fruity aroma? The dried leaves had a very spicy aroma of ginger and cinnamon, so I was not expecting a fruitier aroma. But no, alas, the aroma almost reminded me a bit of apple pie but with hints of blackberries as well. Looking at the ingredient list, I definitely knew I was not crazy. The color of the brewed tea was a lovely shade of orange copper. The taste was a bit lighter than I expected. The front end of a sip has that fruitier element again, but I can feel the spice mix of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg on the backend. Honestly, I have never had a chai with fruitier elements to it and I really love it. As I went through the tea more, it turned into more of a fruity black with main notes of apple, rosehips, and slight hibiscus sweetness, than the chai element. But considering that it is a loose-leaf blend, that could easily change my next cup.
Ingredients: Black tea, cinnamon, apple and rosehip pieces, ginger, cardamom, black + white pepper, hibiscus + calendula + sunflower petals, clove, nutmeg, infused tea oil, and candy pieces (for fun)
Gnomes Blend: The aroma of this tea could melt the heart of anyone and is so pleasant. My mom and I are actually quite obsessed. The aroma is slightly fruity with almost a vanilla almond note taking the front stage of this tea. Absolutely intoxicating. The taste is also exquisite, I do not know if words will actually do justice to how much I love this tea. The tea blends perfectly the fruit notes of the rosehip and hibiscus while saving a more mellow taste of the almonds and cocoa nibs. The fruitiness is not too tart and it actually compliments the entire tea. It is a particularly strong tea with very bold and robust flavors. Almost like a symphony of flavors in my mouth. I used a french press a couple of times to make this tea, and I love how saturated the tea gets at the end. This would make a wonderful tea cocktail or simple syrup.
Ingredients: Apple, rosehip, hibiscus, almond and Cocoa bean pieces, and infused tea oil
Fireside Memories: I will forever and always adore smoky teas, they just remind me of bonfires, fall, and just warmth. As for this tea, it reminds me so much of a campfire, I adore it. I do know a few people who might not be as big of a fan of this, but I love the taste of smokiness and bonfire. The aroma is straight smokiness with a little bit of natural lightness to the tea. But as I start sipping on the tea I immediately notice the smokiness with little hints of sweetness at the end of it. Placed right at the end of my tongue. All in all, this tea is more smoke heavy instead of balanced between smoke and black tea. But that is exactly how I like my smoky teas. I know, it is a little strange, but I love the feel of having a “bonfire in a cup” to drink.
Ingredients: Black tea, safflower petals, smoke infused, and real maple syrup
Price: At the time of posting, these teas are $20 for a large bag of loose leaf tea. The Fireside Memories and Gnomes Blend are currently sold out, and I am not sure if they are seasonal or if they will be coming back.
Packaging: These teas are packaged in a standard tea pouch, with a small plastic window in the front. I only noticed a little bit of the aromas coming out of the teas, and due to the plastic, I will make sure to keep the teas in a dark place.
Sourcing: There is no sourcing information available on the website that I can find.
It is beginning to be the tail end of Fall and the fall blends are starting to sell out! I cannot believe that Christmas is less than a month away. Are you still drinking fall blends or are you starting to look to Christmas blends? Happy Brewing!