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These are individually packaged tea bags (environmentally bad but soooo convenient!), and when I rip one open I get a very strong sent of cloves…a hit of cinnamon…maybe a bit of ginger. I give another sniff looking for the orange peel smell but I can’t say I really find it. There might be a slight citrus tang sort of rounding out the spicy smells, either from the orange or the dried lime. Overall, a very yummy smelling tea!

No instructions on the box, but thanks to the informative people on this site I now know that white teas should be brewed with cooler water. Unfortunately I don’t have a thermometer, so I guess with the water temperature based on the noise my kettle is making (that lull between the louder sighing noise and the full-on boil).

Steep for ~9 minutes (oops, got distracted making breakfast), and I expected it to be very bitter. Nope, no bitterness, just a delicate spicy-tea taste. I figure the delicacy of the taste is because this is white tea, not the stronger-tasting black I’m used to.

The liquid tea smells like cinnamon and cloves, though I like to think I can catch a note of orange in there, a slightly different zing to the scent. First sip is…hmm a little bland? I try the slurp, that brings out the spice taste a bit more, and there’s a tingle on the front of my tongue. No spicy burn in my throat though. And not much tea flavour (maybe because of the white again?). I sip a bit more, but my taste buds aren’t really getting the flavour much. I know you’re typically not supposed to add things to white tea because it drowns out the flavour but…in goes a little squirt of honey and a tiny dab of cream. I like the result, but it may be because it now tastes like a faintly spicy creamy-sweet hot drink of indeterminate composition. Oops.

Thankfully I have a whole box of this to experiment with. I think next time I’ll try either hotter water or an even longer steep, just to see if that brings out more taste. And be a purist and resist the urge to sweeten-cream everything I drink…

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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In hopes of standardizing my ratings a bit more I’ve devised my own scale:

1 – 19: (F-) Ugh. Given to Mr. Sink Drain to enjoy after a couple sips. Never again. Would only give away with a strong warning (or to someone I didn’t like).

20 – 29: (F) Ick. Managed to finish the cup out of stubbornness, but tasted bad the whole time. Will throw out/give away any I have left.

30 – 49: (F+) Meh. I didn’t warrant an “ugh” or “ick” it but I can’t say I enjoyed it. Will throw out/give away any I have left.

40 – 59: (D) Okay. Not a truly bad tea but just personally not my thing. Will (try) to finish but won’t reorder.

60 – 69: © Decent. Drinkable and getting towards good but just falls a little short. Will finish but won’t reorder.

70 – 79: (B) Good. Enjoyed this tea. Will likely reorder at some point but probably won’t be a tea shelf regular.

80 – 89: (B+) Very good. Would definitely put on my “reorder” list when I run out.

90 – 99: (A) YUM! A favourite. Would go on my “pre-order before I run out list” to keep it on hand.

100! (A+) OMG! Mind blowingly-good. The tried-and-true favourites that I MUST ALWAYS HAVE.

I am an acknowledged book addict, intrepid snowboarder, amateur teaite, crafter-creator, eager debater, ICU nurse, reluctant runner, animal lover, tree hugger + future world traveler.

With a palate ruined by years of hot-sauce-on-everything, espresso-based lattes and university student cooking I prefer bold teas and often miss nuances unless they are the gustatory equivalent of a two-by four. I don’t enjoy bitterness and love chais.

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