This post has been sponsored by Mark T. Wendell. All opinions expressed are my own.
We kicked off the Autumn season with an October collection of herbal teas from our dear friends over at Mark T. Wendell. Today, we are pleased to introduce their second collection of the season for the Thanksgiving holiday. It is a trio of specially crafted blends to evoke the warm and comforting flavors of November.
To pair, we have baked a delicate Pumpkin Caramel Loaf topped with a cinnamon streusel that perfectly compliments a hot cup of tea on a brisk Autumn afternoon (morning or evening too).
Flavors of Autumn
- Spiced Masala Chai Blend - This full-bodied blend of India black tea is flavored with warm spices like masala, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and cardamom. It is especially delicious when served with hot milk to create a delicious, spicy Chai.
- Vanilla Bourbon Rooibos Herbal - This delicious blend features South African Rooibos and vanilla bean traces. It is delightful served hot or cold. Rooibos (aka red bush tea) is a flavorful, caffeine-free alternative to its counterparts, black and green tea. Traditional rooibos is created by fermenting the leaves, resulting in its red-brown colour. It also boasts of many health benefits which is why it has quickly become such a popular drink.
- Amaretto Cherry Black - Another blend of black tea, this Ceylon (Sri Lankan) black tea features sour cherry pieces, red cornflower petals, pink cornflower petals and natural cherry essence. It is visually as pleasing as it tastes. Delicately sweet tasting and fragrant, this Amaretto blend beautifully captures the spirit of the winter holiday.
The Art of the Brew
As I have shared in the past, loose leaf brewing is my preferred method. I think when you are handling high-quality tea leaves, this method ensures the richest result.
There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a bruncheon and that is exactly the theme of today's post. I wanted to keep the afternoon light yet festive for my guests.
In my Uwade Kyusu, I chose to brew the Spiced Masala Chai Tea which I think paired beautifully with today's recipe. You can taste the warm spices of the tea which played well into the flavors and spices of the pumpkin loaf.
Like with all teas, let your pot steep for 4-5 minutes before serving.
As mentioned above the Spiced Masala Chai Tea is also delicious when brewed with milk for an ultra comforting cup that will surely warm you up this season.
If you are looking to find the perfect gift for your holiday hosts or fellow tea lovers, I suggest browsing through the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company catalog. Their teas are a perfect addition to any gift basket. The quality is unmatched and right now for all LTG readers, when you use “LivingtheGourmet” at checkout, you’ll save 15% off an order of $50!
Low Tea (aka Afternoon Tea)
There is something incredibly comforting in the autumn/winter months about a hot cup of tea and a freshly baked delight. Be it scones, a sweet loaf, cookies, or even a pastry- it surely brings the holidays to life.
It is hard to believe we are nearly days away from Thanksgiving now, but once the baking begins, something in the air shifts for me.
This Pumpkin Caramel Loaf has been one of my favorite treats to make recently, and it is incredibly easy to make as well. The batter comes together in minutes and offers a couple of variations as well.
- Cream Cheese Swirl - If you like you can make this loaf with a cream cheese filling. To do so, blend 8 oz. of cream cheese with ½ cup confectioners sugar, 1 egg, and a splash of vanilla. Divide the batter, pouring half into the loaf pan, then pipe the cream cheese, and top with the remaining batter. Bake as directed in the recipe card.
- Cinnamon Sugar Swirl - Alternatively you can also make a cinnamon sugar swirl. Mix ½ cup sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Divide the batter, pouring half into the loaf pan, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, and top with the remaining batter. Bake as directed in the recipe card.
- Caramel Swirl - Today's recipe features a homemade caramel filling. You can also use homemade caramel but make sure its sauce not syrup you are using. The directions remain the same, when dividing the batter, pour half into the loaf pan, then spoon a liberal amount of caramel sauce and drizzle throughout. Top with the remaining batter and bake as directed.
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