This is a very popular tea from Davids that I have sampled in store but never purchased. My youngest brother recently got me some on a trip to Toronto with his mother and our brother though, so here I sit with a beautiful gift of tea. The clove smell is strong initially, and (for me) a bit off-putting but I have decided to think of it like a chai, which then makes it smell pretty good. I am interested by the idea of an (unnamed) Chinese black base as Chinese blacks are my favourite, and tend to be less bitter so this could be a nice spicy black for me. I used to love chai teas, but they tend to have strong bitter bases that I don’t enjoy, so this is something different.
As many others have noted, there are little candy balls in the tea which impart some sweetness and also an interesting look. It feels like a party! I steeped it for three minutes in 96 degree water (exactly!) in my perfect tea mug. The result is a rich amber cup of tea, that reminds me strongly of chai. The clove smell seems cinnamon-y to my nose, and the sweetness from the sugar crystals and the little balls contributes to the chai trick. I also get a smell like chocolate, maybe baking chocolate in something with a spicy kick. I don’t often encounter cinnamon and chocolate together, but this is what my brain believes.
First sips are pleasant. Still getting chocolate (what’s up with that?) and also some distinct sweetness and a cinnamon sort of taste at the end of the sip which must be cloves. The aftertaste is sweet and spicy. Where is the chocolate coming from!? I don’t get any bitterness (big thumbs up!) and the spice builds with each sip. After a few, I have a slight tingle at the back of the throat that I presume will remain throughout the cup. I gotta say, I like it. Hot, at least. We’ll see if it is as appealing at cooler temps.
The sugar in it doesn’t seem to have released too much sweet. I haven’t dug through the used leaves to see if the little balls stayed intact but I assume they didn’t dissolve completely. Maybe they would with agitation but I don’t tend to like my tea sweetened and wouldn’t want any more than this. I remember that there is some citrus peel in here, but I don’t notice it. i am sure it is doing something, it’s just doing it quietly. Fine by me!
EDIT: Man, did I misunderstand this tea! I have been drinking this slowly and the remains are room temperature (and surprisingly good!) BUT, I gave it a little shake AND THE TEA IS GLITTERY. That is what they mean. The little balls give off their tantalizing glitter INTO THE TEA. I feel like it A-Can’t be healthy and B-Is AWESOME. I am so happy about this. What a lovely surprise for a cynical (mostly) unflavoured tea drinker
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Sugar, Sweet