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The Subject: Holiday Spice Black Tea from The English Tea Store.
Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Orange, cinnamon, cloves
Aroma, dry: Strong cinnamon and cloves
Aroma in the cup, plain: Strong cinnamon and cloves
Taste, plain: Strong cinnamon and cloves, somewhat edgy
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Strong cinnamon and cloves
Taste, enhanced: Cinnamon and cloves with orange coming through, smoother
2nd Infusion: Lighter liquid, milder flavors, less edgy
Chilled: Tasty with sweetener
No, we don’t have our calendars confused. It’s Spring. So why try a tea that contains flavors more associated with Winter holidays? Just ’cause.
Actually, the only reason we associate cinnamon and cloves so strongly with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, is because that’s when we usually have them. So, trying this tea when flowers are in bloom, birds are singing (not the ones in the photos, they’re stuffed), and we’re enjoying hot dogs and burgers charred on the grill is just a bit of reconditioning.
Cinnamon and cloves are always strong, even overpowering, fragrances, so it’s no wonder that our first whiff when opening the plastic pouch was of those two scents. The orange gets totally lost. Fear not, for it does come to the forefront later on. Hubby finds the fragrance befitting a cheery celebration, whether Winter or Summer.
The first infusion is a rich-looking and tasting reddish brown with strong cinnamon and cloves and a bit of edginess. As it cools, that edginess turns into a slight bitterness. A splash of whole milk and a bit of that blue packet sweetener soon smoothes out the edges. Better than that, it brings out the orange flavor. As the tea cools slightly, the orange flavor comes out even more (just as I promised). The taste is great for Spring time events, including Easter, and Summer time teas.
The second infusion has a lighter liquid in both color and taste. In fact, if you find the first infusion too strong to drink straight, let some one else drink it and go for the second infusion. The orange flavor comes through more, and the edginess is greatly reduced. You might want a sprinkling of sweetener, but not much.
As for the chilled version, it was very satisfactory with a touch of sweetener (cinnamon tends toward bitterness).
We deducted a teapot due to the strong cinnamon and cloves. They’re not bad, just a bit too strong. One good thing, though, is that they make the tea taste almost like mulled cider.
Disclaimer: We bought this tea from the company named. Regardless, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.
You can find more great reviews at Little Yellow Teapot Tea Reviews!