1321 Tasting Notes
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.
On the sixth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Honeybush!
And that name is a mouthful indeed. Dry, the leaf actually smells mostly alcoholic, in a vaguely indefinable way. I assume it’s something to do with the production? I half remember reading some comments on here to that effect once. Anyway, this is a new one on me so I’m interested to try it!
Brewed, the scent is more as I expected – mostly nutty and chocolatey. It came out pretty light, so I left it without milk. Probably a good idea, as there’s a light oily film on the surface.
To taste, this is a slightly odd one. I can actually taste something of the alcohol I detected in the scent, although it’s not strong. I can also taste something that’s almost peanut butter, a touch of chocolate, and maybe a hint of cream cheese/cheesecake. Possibly I just need to let this one air a little, and try it again when I don’t have a cold. I think I’m going to like it, but I do want the flavours to be a little more defined. I do like the base here, and I think it will fit well with the flavours once I’ve given the whole thing time to settle a bit.
On the sixth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Mouse King Cuppa!
This is another sweet one, rather like Fireside Spice at first sip. Subsequent sips do reveal the cranberry and almond (?) flavours, though, in addition to the cinnamon and other spices. I think it’s almond I’m tasting, although I still have a cold so I’m not certain on that. I’m sure of the cinnamon – it’s the strongest flavour here to me at the moment. I do wish the cranberry was stronger – I think that’s what would set this apart from other winter-style teas. All of the spice and cinnamon I’m tasting at the moment is making them all blend together in my head, but I suppose that’s to be expected. My cold isn’t helping on the taste front, I don’t think, so I’m going to save plenty of this for a later date. I do like it, though. The cranberry makes it a little different, and I’m hoping that when I recover I’ll be able to taste more of it. For now, though, not bad. Considering.
On the fifth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Caramel Oolong!
I wasn’t sure whether I’d be up to drinking flavoured tea today, but my throat was feeling a little better this evening, so I took a chance. I’m glad I did, because it cheered me up no end!
Oolongs haven’t traditionally been my favourite teas, but this is one of the rare exceptions. The oolong itself reminds me a little of the Nilgiri Frost that Butiki use in their Maple Pecan Oolong. It has similar large, dark, wiry leaves and a similar taste. None of that metallic heavy mineral flavour — just a light, clean, non-astringent but sturdy base. The caramel tastes a little bit fake, but not overly so. You can definitely tell it’s caramel, and it’s strong enough to be easily tasted over the base tea. There are small cubes of caramel among the dry leaves, too, which melt and add to the indulgent, definitely dessert-like flavour.
Oolong and caramel are two things that I think do go well, and there’s no exception here. I’ll happily finish the sachet, and it’s one that I’ll be coming back to when I want a sweet Christmas time treat without the calories. Yum!
On the fifth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…French Toast!
I’ve got a cold AGAIN, so I haven’t actually opened today’s sachet. French Toast isn’t a new one on me, though. I’m already working my way through a pouch at work. I’ve been drinking it most afternoons, and it’s one I’ve definitely found really enjoyable this autumn. It’s rich, quite sweet, definitely cinnamony. I did expect it to be slightly more savoury, as I’ve said in previous tasting notes, but it’s nice regardless. I always drink this one with milk at the moment, but maybe I don’t need to. Something to try, perhaps. Anyway, an extra cup of two of this is certainly a welcome addition to my stash. It’s hardly going to go to waste!
On the fourth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…S’Mores Genmaicha!
Yaaaay! One I’ve not tried before, and don’t have lurking in my stash! I’ve had one cup of S’Mores Chai, as far as I can recall, but I’ve not as yet tried this. The dry leaf is encouraging, and smells very chocolatey, and there are pieces of rice, popcorn, chocolate and marshmallow among the green tea base. Should be good!
In practice, this isn’t quite as great as I wanted it to be. The toasty, almost burnt flavour of the genmaicha comes over first, and then the chocolate slowly starts to develop. The green tea emerges in the aftertaste, but that’s about all there is to the flavour. I’m not getting much of a sweet kick, or any marshmallow, and so I’m not put particularly in mind of a s’more. In this respect, S’Mores Chai did a better job. It’s by no means bad – I just wanted more of the ingerdients to come over in the flavour, and probably less strength on the genmaicha front. I’m getting toasty, like a s’more, but there just not enough follow up flavour to really convince me. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this, though, because I’d always have wondered.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Cinnamon Diletto!
This one smells absolutely and completely of cinnamon, both dry and brewed. I guess that’s the point, which is fine, and it’s nice to see a rooibos blend appear in the box. They’ve all been black so far! Cinnamon really is pervasive in Christmas teas, though – there’s really no escaping it. Probably a good thing I like cinnamon, really!
The cinnamon and the rooibos pair pretty well here, as they’re both quite earthy, warming flavours. The rooibos is quite strong, and is definitely detectable underneath the cinnamon flavouring. That in itself is quite strong, and the whole thing comes over a little harsh. I added milk, and that improved things a little, but I might try adding some sugar as well next time. It’s just a little overwhelming on its own, although is more palatable when softened down with milk.
This isn’t my favourite of the selection so far, although you can’t argue that it’s Christmassy!
On the third day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Peppermint Perfection!
Peppermint, vanilla, chocolate, black tea, and adorable red and white sugar sprinkles. That’s what I’m getting from this tea. It’s pretty similar to a couple of other Della Terra blends I’ve tried recently, although I don’t think it’s exactly the same. I’m calming down after my manic morning now, although I’ve got a headache to show for it, so hopefully I can have a mostly calming, organised, and efficient afternoon to make up for everything. That’s the plan anyway.
I’m drinking this without milk, and I think that was the right decision. The vanilla gives this a very creamy flavour, anyway, almost like melted vanilla ice cream. The chocolate is pleasantly rich in the background, just about detectable, and the mint is similarly subtle. The combination is a really nice one – creamy, minty, with just a hint of chocolate and black tea. A really nice winter tea – not specifically Christmas – but not especially unique. I’d probably like it more if there was something to differentiate it from other mint chocolate teas, although the strength and decadence of the vanilla is going some way towards achieving that. Not bad at all!