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18 Tasting Notes

63

This is not my favorite, but it’s not bad. This was on sale at the grocery tonight and I’m a complete sucker for holiday teas, so decided to go for it. My hope was that this tea would be heavier on the ginger and lighter on the cinnamon, since none of the other Celestial Seasonings holiday teas that have cinnamon actually taste anything like cinnamon to me (I’ve tried Candy Cane Lane and Nutcrakcer Sweet). This tea really had me worried at first, because it smelled and tasted just like those horrible cinnamon pine cones at the grocery store. Didn’t pick up on the ginger, just cinnamon. Luckily, the cinnamon toned down and the ginger picked up a bit after the tea cooled some and I added some cream and sugar. With those additions, the tea is much more palatable and I like the warmth of the ginger. My husband said it tastes like a cookie, and he didn’t know the name of the tea! I’ll drink the rest of the box, but probably won’t get another box next year, unless it really grows on me. I’m curious about mixing it with some of my other holiday teas.

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75

Tried this one again tonight. I let it steep for about 15 minutes, in the hope of bringing out the cinnamon flavor. No dice! It just tastes like a mellow peppermint with a hint of something else to help round it out. This would probably be a good tea for someone who wants a mild peppermint. I love peppermint tea so automatically enjoy Candy Cane Lane, but do not find it especially amazing. I don’t see myself buying another box once this is gone, simply because I have a lot of other peppermint teas. I prefer Stash’s White Christmas to this one, it has ginger in it and although I can’t actually taste the ginger, it provides a nice warming sensation that counteracts the cooling sensation of the peppermint in an interesting way.

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85

After looking for weeks, I finally found Nutcracker Sweet on Christmas Eve! The description, which I’d read online, fascinated me, so I was very happy to have found it. Just had my first mug of it today. The directions suggest a steeping time of 3 to 5 minutes, so I went with 5 and added a little sugar. Based on the description of the tea, I thought it would taste pretty strong since black tea can be strong when steeped that long and cinnamon tends to be very powerful in tea. To my surprise, it’s quite mild. Very drinkable and does not need milk to smooth it out. The black tea flavor takes a back seat to the vanilla, which is just fine with me since I’ve been looking for a nice vanilla tea. Funny that I think this tea tastes more like vanilla than Bigelow French Vanilla or Carrington French Vanilla!

The tea supposedly also tastes like cinnamon and other spices, but I honestly could not detect any of them. Maybe I can taste them the teeniest, tiniest bit and they just add a special, unidentifiable something. While I would prefer if I could taste a LITTLE bit of cinnamon, I quite like the tea as is. It smells and tastes like vanilla brown sugar to me. YUM. Glad I found this one and I’m sure I’ll have no problem finishing the box. I gave 2 bags to my mother-in-law before I had a chance to taste it (gave her some of all my teas to try) so I’m curious about what she’ll think of it.

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76

I’ve tried this one twice more. Most recently, I let it steep for a good 20 minutes. Even after all that time, I couldn’t taste the ginger. Just mint, but with a hint of warmth, presumably from the ginger. Have to admit I’m disappointed since I have multiple other mint teas and was really curious about the mint-ginger combo. Also, I definitely prefer this one without any sugar or sweetener added! White Christmas is good for a mint tea, but falls flat as a mint-ginger tea.

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75

Just found this at the store last night and had to bring it home! My car is out of commission so I’ve found myself making the mile trek to and from the bus stop each day for work, plus another half mile each way since the bus stop is kind of far from where I work. Not a big deal, but I live in the middle of Alaska. It’s cold. I made myself a mug of this tea as soon as I came in the door this evening, and it was the perfect thing to warm myself up. Steeped it for about 4-5 minutes, then let it cool for a few more before drinking. My husband really only likes black teas and isn’t very fond of peppermint anything, but he remarked that it smelled good. It does! It smells like peppermint with a definite note of cinnamon and vanilla. Yum! When I drank it, the peppermint flavor was very obvious (of course), but I could taste something else in the background. Could kind of tease out vanilla as part of the “something” but could not specifically identify cinnamon. However, I really enjoyed the flavor and found myself sniffing it before each sip! Mmm! I would like it if the cinnamon flavor was stronger, but I do think it helped contribute to the overall appeal and flavor, even if I couldn’t detect it specifically. My mouth did feel very warm after drinking it and I think that may have been from the cinnamon. Next time (tomorrow after work?) I will try brewing it longer and will see if the cinnamon comes out to play some more.

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76

Picked this one up at the store the other night, they had an entire display of Stash holiday teas. I adore peppermint anything and have been wanting to try ginger tea, so this one intrigued me. Like others have said, the ginger is extremely, extremely mild, to the point that I could not detect it at all. It just tasted like a very pleasant peppermint tea. I’m still learning what all the different teas taste like (green vs white, etc), but the white seems to work well here and I like this one better than my other primary peppermint tea, Twinings Peppermint. I steeped this for I think 4 minutes and will try longer next time because I’d really like to taste the ginger. As is, I liked this tea, but would have given it a higher score if it was just peppermint and white tea. If it’s going to be touted as having ginger, the ginger should be at least a little perceptible!

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92
drank Eggnogg'n Tea by Bigelow
18 tasting notes

I’ve been looking for Eggnogg’n for over a month, and found one lonely, crushed box on the shelf at the store last night! Into my cart it went. This morning I was very excited to try it, but had low expectations because I tend to find fancy holiday teas like this disappointing. I’ve tried Pumpkin Spice and Apple Cider from Bigelow in the past, hated Pumpkin Spice and wasn’t fond of Apple Cider. Haven’t especially cared for any of the holiday teas from Celestial Seasonings, either. My love of tea and of holidays has made me forge on, however, and the good reviews for this tea (plus the odd flavor description- eggnog tea?) interested me.

On to the tea itself. The first thing I did when I tore the top off the tea bag’s wrapper was take a deep whiff. Whoa! This stuff smells strong! And not really in a good way. This spooked me a bit. Luckily, after letting the tea steep for 4 minutes (per the recommendation on the box), the tea itself smelled good. REALLY good. I used to occasionally make spiced oat pancakes and top them with a thin maple-vanilla cream cheese icing. The tea smells like that! I took a tiny taste and it tasted good! Even better when I added a bit of sweetener, a spash of milk, and let it cool down a little. I’m not completely sure this tastes like eggnog, which is fine with me because eggnog skeeves me out after more than a sip or two. What I do taste is cinnamon, vanilla, maple, nutmeg, and a little bit of creamy tang (like cream cheese frosting). The flavors are all extremely well balanced. It’s a very flavorful tea, but nothing is overwhelming. I LOVE cinnamon in baking and cooking, but usually think cinnamon in tea tastes different and is too strong. Not in this tea! This one gets 2 thumbs up from me and I really look forward to drinking it throughout the rest of the winter. Hopefully I can find another box, because it will be needed.

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7
drank Pumpkin Spice by Bigelow
18 tasting notes

This tea was so shockingly unpleasant to my taste buds that I was tempted to wipe my tongue off with a paper towel afterwards, but settled for just rinsing my mouth with water. Both the tea bag and the steeped tea smell amazing, not like pumpkin pie (actually can’t taste pumpkin at all), instead just like oatmeal raisin cookies with lots of spices! YUM! Oh, I was so excited when I smelled it. But it does not taste like oatmeal raisin spice cookies to me. The spices are nice and none are overpowering, but there’s another flavor in it that tastes to me like rotten food. Like maybe if you filled the mixing bowl from the cookies with water, then let it sit for a few days and then heated it up and drank it. Oh gosh. Tried adding sugar and a little half and half, those slightly dulled the rotten flavor but the tea was still undrinkable for me. Disappointing because I was excited about this one and know lots of people like it a lot. Now I have 19 bags of it!

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78

This is one of my husband’s favorite teas but I hadn’t tried it until now. I like it! The tea bag smells very peachy and the tea smells peachy as well. It definitely tastes best to me when sweetened and with milk added. The sugar brings out the peach flavor more, I think maybe because peaches are naturally sweet so peach flavor without sweetness is kind of incongruous. The milk smooths the flavor and texture. Also, I’d like to note that although I love the fruit, artificial peach flavor is not something I enjoy, but I liked the peach in this tea. Maybe that means most of the flavor is real vs artificial?

All in all, I would drink this plain, but it’s definitely nicer with milk and a little sugar. This tea isn’t super remarkable or memorable to me, but pleasant for sure.

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75
drank French Vanilla by Bigelow
18 tasting notes

It’s really interesting to read people’s thoughts on this tea. Some say the vanilla flavor’s really strong, others say they can’t taste it. I kind of wonder if maybe the recipe for the blend has changed over time or if different batches have more vanilla than others?

In any case, I purchased this tea last night and have enjoyed two mugs of it so far. When I opened the pouch with the tea bag, the vanilla smell was very apparent and quite yummy smelling. Even more so when it went into the hot water! After steeping the tea, it smelled quite a bit like vanilla- yum! Unfortunately, the straight tea had little to no vanilla taste to me. I actually want to do a side by side taste test of it with a plain black tea and compare them.

However, I followed the suggestion on the package, which said that sugar and milk would bring out the vanilla flavor some more. Usually I drink my tea without anything added, but I did as I was told! The box wasn’t lying. The tea really does taste more like vanilla when it’s sweetened and has milk added. I have no idea why this would be and am almost wondering if it’s all in my head. The vanilla taste is not really strong, but I do think it’s there, and I’ve really enjoyed both mugs of tea. After this box runs out, I’d like to try another brand’s vanilla tea (ideally one with more natural ingredients), but would definitely purchase this one again because I really like it with milk and sugar. It’s a nice little treat.

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