Whenever the holidays roll around, it seems as though coffee drinks reign supreme in terms of flavor, drink variety and caffeine, but that is not true in its entirety. Teas often bring out distinct flavors, like cinnamon, hints of vanilla and chai; these are especially nice around the holidays if you are still looking for flavor but not a drink that is overpowering. Here are a couple varieties that will make your tastebuds content this holiday season:

Kashmir Tchai by Kusmi Tea

Kusmi Tea does not disappoint when it comes to bringing out the chai flavor of your typical caffeinated beverages. The tea itself features notes of cinnamon, cardamom all pair nicely with black tea leaves. Let it steep for about 4 minutes in water to get all the blended flavors in just one sip. To enhance your drink and make it a little more savory, add a dash of milk or some honey to give it that touch of sweetness. Find it on Amazon or check your local grocery store to see if they carry it.

Green Dragon Oolong by Temple Coffee Roaster

If you’re in the Davis area around the holidays, a must try is the Green Dragon Oolong at Temple Coffee Roasters. The tea incorporates light, but distinct notes of jasmine blended with green tea leaves that warms your whole body. This specific tea always reminds me of the tea served at Yank Sing, a dim sum must in the Financial District of San Francisco. The oolong itself pairs quite well with the typical holiday marinated meats as well as some oven-roasted vegetables. If you are feeling particularly simple, take your tea to-go, proceed to your Netflix list of holiday movies and let the festivities commence. At the moment, you cannot purchase the tea leaves itself, but you can absolutely order as many beverages of it in store.

Cinnamon and Vanilla Tea by Stash

The company Stash incorporates the flavors of cinnamon and vanilla so well that it blends into a warm, comforting flavor when the temperatures outside begin to drop. This tea is superb if you want hints of vanilla, but not quite to the point of total dominance over the other flavors. When steeped in hot water for about 3 minutes, the cinnamon-vanilla blend makes you want to sit on the couch with warm blankets and put on an old movie. You can purchase the tea online at Stash, Amazon, or your local grocery store.

Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea

This tea seriously warms the soul with its black tea leaves accompanied by cinnamon, bergamot, vanilla and citrus. Instead of just using oils for the citrus flavoring there are actual peels of orange in the tea sachet that let the citrus flavors come alive! Let it steep for about 3-4 minutes in order to get the full blend of flavors. You can either drink the tea by itself or pair it with some candied orange peels, raisin scones, or even some fabulous sugar cookies. Head over to Amazon to purchase or check your local grocery store.


Matcha may not necessarily come to mind when thinking about the holiday season because of its lack of spices, but it makes up nicely with its full bodied flavor, lingering sweetness at the end of the sip and festive green color. What's nifty about this tea is that you typically mix the matcha powder with hot water to create this frothy, creamy consistency that makes drinking it  a tad more special than just regular tea. If you're a little more daring, you could also whip up a matcha latte if you forego the water for milk. Pair your matcha tea with all of the other sweet, spice oriented desserts of the holidays and your taste buds would be in for a pretty great surprise. You can find Matcha at your grocery store, health food store, but my personal favorite from Rishi can be found on Amazon.

These teas all bring out the flavors of the holidays in terms of their spice content, unique flavors and ability to pair well with festive dishes. The next time you're looking for a tea that hits your spice craving around the holidays, look no further. Your tastebuds will thank you!