688 Tasting Notes
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Christmas Tradition!
This isn’t hugely different from the other mint and vanilla teas I’ve tried so far, but it is pleasant to drink. It’s very creamy, especially with milk added, and this combined with the peppermint give a kind of candy cane flavour. There is something buttery here that I’m not 100% keen on. Maybe it’s the popcorn? Either way, it makes it just a little bit too rich for my liking. I’ll try this one without milk next time, because I think that’s how I’ll ultimately prefer it. When there’s a silver ball in the mix, I’ll be able to admire the shimmer, too! A pleasant treat for Christmas Eve, even if it’s probably not one I’d restock.
On the tenth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…GenmaiCHAI!
This is another one I’ve been curious about for a while, although not quite enough to spring for a whole pouch. I like chai, but genmaicha is something I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with, along with green tea generally. Still, I’m glad I found it here, because it’ll let me satisfy my curiosity.
A good thing, because it’s actually a nicer combination that I would have thought. The genmaicha provides a wonderfully nutty background, while the chai spices provide the majority of the initial flavour. I do like 52 Teas Chai blends, so it’s perhaps not surprising that I really like the balance of spices here. This is one I’ll be glad to have in my stash well into the new year — perfect for cold days when I want something a little different to drink!
On the tenth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Winter Nog!
There haven’t been all that many rooibos teas in either of my 12 Teas Christmas samplers this year. I prefer black tea on the whole, so that’s okay with me, although I do like to have a few non-caffiene options around. That’s why I was pretty pleased to find this one, in the first instance.
I brewed this up as a mid-morning treat, and, despite initial reservations, actually really liked it. My fear at first was that the rooibos would be wholly overpowering, as it’s all I could smell both dry and while brewing. I gave it about 3.5 minutes, added a splash of milk, and took a sip. That’s where I was rewarded. The eggnog taste here is pretty good. There’s a lot of rooibos, too, but it kind of complements the slightly alcoholic flavour and the sweet creaminess that are present here. As eggnog teas go, this probably isn’t my favourite, but it’s not half bad. The snowflake sprinkles are cute, too!
On the ninth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Winter White!
I was a little confused by this one at first. The leaves look so dark in the pouch, I was convinced it was going to be a black tea. Surprise, then, as I read the card. This one does brew up remarkably dark for a while tea, but you can tell that’s what it is upon tasting. I’m glad I stuck to a short brew time, as the base is slightly astringent. Maybe my water was still a touch too hot, but I can work on that for future cups.
Base aside, the flavour here is brilliant. I can taste white chocolate and coconut clearly, and there’s a hint of creaminess swirling around, too. I like that the teas in this box have been really well flavoured. One of the things that annoys me most about flavoured tea is weak flavourings, but that’s something that Della Terra seem to be able to avoid really well.
Anyway, this tea is a little different from the normal run of Christmas teas, which all seem to feature cinnamon, so it was a welcome find in the box today. One I’ll definitely return to!
On the ninth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Candy Corn!
Another one I’m glad to have a little bit more of. I had a whole packet of this back around Halloween, and I drank it all in record time. So, not a new one, but definitely a good one!
There are at least five big pieces of candy corn in my pouch, and not a whole lot of black tea. I think this altered the taste a little from when I was drinking cups from a 2oz pouch, where the ratio of tea to candy corn was a whole lot higher. A cup from this sample sized packet is a lot sweeter, thanks to all the melted candy corn, and a lot weaker. I didn’t actually put milk in this time, although I was previously. However I drink it, I still love the flavour. Sweet vanilla creaminess, a touch of black tea…fabulous! I thought this one might make an appearance after a couple of comments I read from Frank on here, and I’m glad it actually did.
On the eighth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Butter Rum!
This is one I’ve long thought about picking up a pouch of. I never have, for some reason, so I’m glad I’m getting a chance to try it now. The first sip is wonderful — I can definitely taste rum (and it’s a pretty accurate flavouring, too), and then comes a smooth buttery sweetness that really rounds the whole thing out. This brews up pretty strong and dark, so I added a splash of milk. I wasn’t sure if that’d be odd at first, but it actually suits this tea quite well. Something about the creaminess, maybe.
Anyway, this is a pretty perfect winter tea. I think I’m going to enjoy a cup on Christmas Eve, and maybe another with Christmas pudding on the big day itself! I was hoping desparately that I wouldn’t be disappointed with this one, and I’m thankfully not. I might actually get around to buying a full bag after all!
A sample from Angrboda
I’d been curious about this one for a while, and I have to say it’s one of the most unusual teas I’ve ever tried. I’ve only ever tried one pu’erh, and never a while, so it’s been an interesting experience! I let the water cool a little, then added just over a teaspoon of the buds. They’re pretty well odourless, and the liquor remains a very pale yellow, really almost clear. I wasn’t convinced there’d be much flavour to discern, but it just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a tea by the colour of the liquor!
I wasn’t sure what to expect on first sip. There’s something a little bit earthy in the taste…almost compost like, in a way, but very faint. There’s also something that puts me in mind of green tea, an almost vegetal note that reminds me somehow of asparagus. There are also aspects of the flavour that make me think of white tea…a sort of floral, hay-like sweetness. Some others have said sugar cookies, and I agree with that. It’s an overlying flavour, but definitely there, although subtle. Pretty much everything about this tea is subtle, actually. None of the flavours scream out or dominate, but they all occupy distinct layers of the flavour, and contribute something different to the whole. It’s a complex tea, and I got a lot from it. It’s certainly not a boring or straightforward cup, so I’m looking forward to trying this again. It’s probably not one I’d want all the time, but definitely worth a try. It’s an intriguing tea, that’s for sure! Thanks to Angrboda for sharing this with me!
On the eighth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Eight Candles!
This is one I’ve been wanting to try since last year, so I was really, really pleased to find it in the 12 Days of Christmas box this morning. I brewed it up straight away, and wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed. First off, the dry mix is just so pretty. Blue star sprinkes, gold balls, pieces of caramel, mini marshmallows…there’s just so much going on, it’s lovely.
I gave it 3.5, nearly 4 minutes, and drank it without milk so that the golden sparkles could shimmer prettily in my cup. Both the caramel and the marshmallow can be clearly tasted, and there’s a generic sugary sweetness lurking in the background, too. The black tea base is beautiful and smooth, strong enough to drink happily without milk, while not overwhelming the flavouring. I’m glad there’s enough for another few cups left, because this might well become one of my favourite caramel teas. It is very sweet, so it’s not one I’d want to drink all the time, but as an indulgent treat it’s absolutely perfect! I’m glad I finally got the opportunity to try this one.
On the seventh day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Weeping Angel!
This isn’t a new one on me. I actually bought a whole pouch about this time last year, and happily drank it all up. I’m more than pleased to have a little bit more – it’s so delicious!
I think this time I’m getting a bit more popcorn and a bit less caramel toffee. Last time, my pouch was all about the caramel, but there’s definitely more nuttiness this time, which isn’t a bad thing at all. That’s one of the reasons I don’t mind trying reblends of teas I’ve already had, or a sample from a different batch. Sometimes you get a completely different angle on something you thought you knew.
I added a little milk to this, as my throat is still really sore, but I think it might actually be better minus the milk, with a piece of crystal sugar instead. One to try later! I’m deliriously happy to have some more of this, though. It’s probably one of my all time favourite 52 Teas!
On the seventh day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Almond Biscotti!
Dry, this smells really, really delicious. Like marzipan, with a biscuitty undertone. Or a freshly opened box of biscotti, more to the point. I usually do get a tin of Italian biscotti for Christmas, so it’s quite an evocative scent for me. Looking forward to this one!
I was worried at first, because the liquor was quite dark green/yellow, even after just a couple of minutes. It actually tastes delicious, though. The almond flavour comes through first, and does have a biscuit like taste about it, too. It’s hard to describe accurately, but it does taste like an almond biscotti! The green tea base is fairly unobtrusive, but matches the almond flavour well. The flavouring is so strong it’s quite hard to taste the green tea at all, actually, which is a bit of a shame. Still, I’d rather have good flavour than a lot of bitter green tea. I have a feeling this one might actually have been okay, though. Still, great stuff this is.