Some weeks ago, I went to Savoy Tea Company in search of autumn blends. One thing I like about the place is there are little “sample jars” of each tea to sniff and examine to aid in the selection process. This is so much more helpful than merely looking at artwork and ingredient lists on boxes.
This variety was dark in the container with little orange bits and smelled wonderful, so I grabbed a package to go with my other autumn selections.
The directions on the package called for a five minute steep! I was a bit surprised at the notion of such a long one but . . .ok.
When the water hit it, this tea smelled like Christmas to me. I stood over the steaming cup reminiscing about sweet winter spices and the fresh oranges I used to find in my Christmas stocking. Finally, the timer went off and I got to sample it.
The tea was strong and sweet with cinnamon and a good tea base which didn’t seem to mind the long steep at all. The orange was less strong after brewing but still a good balancing presence amid the background flavors.
A word of warning: This is NOT a subtle tea. If you favor delicately scented, poetry-in-a-cup sort of blends, do not waste your time with this tea. It is strongly flavored with cloves and cinnamon. If you hate red hots, this is not for you. I’ll admit to some hypocrisy here—I’m the one always griping about the chia artists who get heavy handed with the cinnamon oil—yet strangely enough, I really like this variety. Perhaps it’s because I’m not terribly subtle either.
This stuff was very spicy, a little stingingly so. It made my beloved Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice seem like kids stuff as this packed a much bigger punch. I found it a good morning blend. With a nice bite from the spices and a good kick of caffeine from the black tea, it certainly woke me up!