It is finally December and coming close to being my favorite time of the year: Christmas. FAVA Tea sent me their 12 Tea Gift box, which acts as both a gift and a potential advent calendar. I, of course, will be following along, but first, I wanted to share these teas with you. Thankfully, I have plenty of tea to do this review and continue my festive tea drinking. I think part of the fun was doing all the Christmas themed photos and making everything festive. The box came with 12 different festive teas and some disposable tea sachets. Here are my thoughts on the 12 teas:
Pistachio Torte Black Tea: Ooooo boy. Have I mentioned before that Pistachios are my favorite? This was the very first one I dove into and I absolutely am enthralled. The aroma reminded me at first of amaretto, but soon after my nose picked up something nutty and something akin to marzipan. A quick look at the ingredient list confirmed my thoughts and I was happy that I picked up on that. The taste was a slightly subdued version of that bit still ever so lovely to drink. There was a warmth to this tea that just settled in the stomach and spread throughout the entire body. I could taste a slight nuttiness meet my tongue in every sip, as well as the sweetness and almond notes from the marzipan drops. This tea is incredibly smooth and nice on the senses, and I did try to make another steeping from it. It was quite a bit lighter but still very pleasant to drink.
Ingredients: Black tea, pistachios, flavor, rose petals, Marzipan drops, almonds.
Frosty’s Brew Black Tea: I could get a huge waft of orange cream went straight to my nose as I poured the hot water in. It was quite decadent and it reminded me of an orange creamsicle with hints of vanilla. Did I mention that it was creamy. The tea brewed a nice brown-orange color with brighter orange edges, and I noticed a small oil film on the top of the tea creating a really lovely glitter like appearance. The taste is extremely orangey. There was a nice black tea base that came up after with very citrusy undertones and some possible toasty notes coming through, as well. I think a possible taste separation is occurring with more of the orange on top and black tea on bottom, could be the natural flavors or oils of the orange?? I really like it regardless. As it cooled, a very subtle creaminess snuck in, which I believe is the white chocolate.
Ingredients: Black tea, white chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, soya lecithin, natural vanilla), orange slices, natural flavor
French Breakfast Black Tea: MHMMM. That was my thought when I opened up the tea pouch and it continued to be in my thoughts as I brewed this tea. An immediate aroma of caramel and vanilla wafted up as I poured in the boiling water, and my…did it smell heavenly. It reminded me of a dessert in a cup, reminiscent of creme brulee. If this is a French version of a breakfast tea, I am in. The taste was a bit lighter than the aroma but held a delicate balance of black tea to that smooth vanilla/caramel note. This was very smooth and a very, very lovely tea. It almost had a buttery feeling to it, just gliding over the taste buds. As it cooled a bit, I noticed that it had a bit of natural sweetness to it, but not overwhelmingly so. I enjoyed every second of this tea.
Ingredients: Black tea, cran-raisins (cranberries, sugar, cherry juice from concentrate, citric acid, natural cherry flavor with other natural flavors, elderberry juice concentrate, sunflower oil), pineapple bits (sugar cane (Thailand), pineapples, citric acid (max 1%)), safflowers, calendula petals, white cornflowers, flavor
Fava’s Winter Blend Black Tea: I really am enjoying these orangey teas. The aroma was just pure orange sweetness and a very slight bit of spice and cream. How so many of these teas have a smooth aroma, I have no idea, but they just smell so smooth and creamy. The taste of it was also so smooth and very orange heavy. There was a good balance between orange notes and the black tea creating a fairly bodied tea that did have a bit of a lingering finish. It had a bit of natural orangey/citrus sweetness, and I only noticed a little bit of the spice when it cooled down a bit more. I really, really enjoyed this tea and downed it quickly.
Ingredients: Black tea (47%), apple pieces, cinnamon pieces, coriander, flavoring, cardamom pods, orange slices, pink peppercorns, cloves
Spiced Caramel Apple Black Tea: It is a little bit refreshing to have an apple tea that does not have cinnamon in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love cinnamon apple, but I like to explore beyond as well. The aroma was exactly as expected. I smell a bit of spice, with a caramel apple front. I love the aroma, but I love any kind of apple tea. The tea brewed a lovely bright orange color. It is definitely subtler than the aroma but still tastes nice and was fairly light. The main notes are the spicey ginger (still fairly subtle) but there is a sweeter caramel taste with the black tea. The whiff of aroma with each sip also enhances the experience. There is a slight apple taste that lingers in my mouth but is not super evident when I am sipping on the tea.
Ingredients: Black tea blend (China/Ceylon), orange peel, apple cubes, ginger pieces, cream-caramel pieces, whole cloves, natural flavoring
Health Nut Green Tea: Out of the 12 tea blends, this one was probably my least favorite or second to last. It just did not blend as coherently together. The aroma was a bit nutty with smooth coconut notes. The more I sniffed around, the more sweet notes I noticed, somewhat similar to a nutty pina-colada. Perhaps it could have been a user or brewing error, but none of the pina-colada elements really came through much when sipping on it. Instead, there were heavy green tea roasted notes with a tinge of nuttiness like almond or hazelnut. The one ingredient I was quite intrigued by was the sea salt, but I didn’t really get any taste of it when sipping.
Ingredients: Organic green tea, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, almond, almond brittle crunch, maple powder, natural flavoring, sea salt, dehydrated lemon, chicory root.
Wisconsin Ginseng Green Tea: The aroma of this tea was quite sweet and fruity flavoring, definitely a result of the ginseng and maybe something else – the apple? There was also a little depth to the aroma as some grassy green tea notes crept in as well. The color of the brewed tea was a light yellow-green. The taste was not what I was expecting. The green tea had elements that shown through with bits of apple sweetness to it. I could not really taste too much of the ginseng, but I felt it a bit more on my taste buds (I have no idea if that makes sense, but it does to me). It was very smooth and light-bodied, and quite easy to drink. The extra elements to this tea hid some of the grassiness of the green tea.
Ingredients: Organic Green Tea, Apple Pieces, Natural Flavoring, Ginseng (grown in Wisconsin)
Maple Kringle Rooibos Tea: This tea is definitely a dessert-like tea and not necessarily one that I could have every day but as a special treat. Honestly, though, this seems like Starbucks/specialty Cafe quality drink in less than 5 minutes. It is fairly sweet, much sweeter than I am used to, but has a maple richness that I really enjoy. There are some spicy elements to it as well, maybe ginger that I am sensing. I just really am enjoying this tea. I have heard of the wonderful world of kringle, but I feel as if this brings me slightly closer. My mom and I ended up making this one into a lovely tea latte. After first trying it, I knew that it would be perfect for doing so, and I was right. The sweetness was a bit subdued by the soy milk and I did not really have to add any sweetness (besides a slight honey drizzle).
Ingredients: Organic red bush, organic honey bush, cinnamon, buckwheat (contains no wheat), palm sugar, almond flour, natural flavor, nutmeg powder, coconut shreds, mace powder, marshmallow root, stevia leaf, Himalayan sea salt, turmeric powder (may contain trace amounts of sugar).
Pumpkin Harvest Rooibos Tea: This tea immediately gave me festive vibes, and I do have to fully warn one thing: Do NOT stick your nose straight into the bag to smell the aroma. Just do not. There are little particles that will make you sneeze and cough, and while it is a wonderful aroma, it is not worth the sneezing. There was quite a spicy aroma that wafted up from the tea that was heavier than I expected and quite full-bodied. I fully expected this tea to be spicy in taste as well, and I was not disappointed. However, there was a slight sweetness that was apparent after each sip. The ginger is taking a lot of the front of this tea, not really super pumpkin flavor. They taste however lingers in my mouth more towards the back. As the tea cools down more, I can definitely sense more sweetness. A sweet-spicy is how I am describing this. A very strong rooibos chai reminding me a bit of pumpkin pie spices.
Ingredients: Organic redbush, organic honey bush, cinnamon, buckwheat (does not contain wheat), cinnamon, puffed brown rice, ginger, caramel, vanilla powder, natural flavor, skor bits, nutmeg powder, mace powder, roasted pepitas, sea salt, stevia.
Salted Caramel Drop Rooibos Tea: The aroma of this tea was sweet, with a typical rooibos aroma and a slight toastiness. At first, the tea appeared a bit redder, and as I allowed the caramel to melt a bit more, a caramelly reddish/brown color appeared. The cup made with the infuser was a bit light, with a prominent and upfront rooibos taste with a sweeter ending to each sip. As I brought more tea into my mouth, I could sense a sweeter caramel taste but it was not super prominent. The character of this tea was quite smooth and light-bodied. Examining the leaves yet again, I noticed that there was rice in this! What!? It helped narrow down a note that I could not put my finger on, but thought there was a slight toastiness and resemblance to some genmaicha. After I was able to get the caramel to totally melt, the entire brew was quite sweeter and was quite similar to salted caramel!
Ingredients: Organic rooibos, puffed brown rice, caramel, natural flavor, buckwheat (does not contain wheat), skor bits, vanilla powder, sea salt.
Reindeer Drool Herbal Tea: At first, a really smooth aroma came through, but then transitioned to fruity hibiscus notes. The color of this tea was a light pinkish-red color. The taste reminded me a bit of a berry and cream combination. The tea was ridiculously smooth with a very mild flavor, and luckily was not overrun with hibiscus notes. As I got further into the tea, there was a natural fruity sweetness that settles upon my palette. It honestly is quite mild and not super complex until it starts cooling, that is when more came out. A more tart feeling lingered on my tongue and all around my mouth. I think this tea would make a good cold-brew.
Ingredients: Apple pieces, orange peel, hibiscus blossoms, blackberry leaves, almonds, carrot shreds, star aniseed, cinnamon, silver linden blossoms, freeze-dried cranberry slices, pomegranate arils, and rose petals.
Sweet Slumber Herbal Tea: I drank this is hopes to go to bed early, so, I started at 7:30pm. The aroma made my eyes droop a bit, so I took that as a good sign. I noticed immediately chamomile, spearmint, and citrus notes. The hibiscus made this tea a deep red coloring. The taste was quite unique, in a good way, but honestly my taste buds were overwhelmed at first. Honestly, half a cup later, I still was a bit confused. I could feel the spearmint, and there was quite a bit of sweetness coming from this tea. In some way, I feel like the plethora of ingredients cancel each other out and leave just a jumbled mess with a super sweet end. Maybe it is fruity. Honestly, I cannot determine too much. As it cooled, I was not really able to finish it as the stevia started popping through a bit too much.
Ingredients: Organic chamomile, organic hibiscus, apple pieces, spearmint, rosehips, orange peel, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, sea salt, stevia, natural flavoring.
Price: This 12 Tea Gift Box was $19.99 for all 12 teas. I was honestly a bit shocked that the price was so low. Honestly, I was expecting it to cost a bit more.
Packaging: The packaging of this tea was quite normal, being a tea pouch. I did not notice any tea aroma leaking from the bags, which was nice.
Sourcing: No sourcing information is available from what I can see.
How are you celebrating the holiday season? Do you have some seasonal blends or an advent calendar to bring you joy? Let me know in the comments, Happy Brewing!