My first sniff of the dried leaves smelled just like canned pumpkin with a little additional spice. But sniffs after that were more… pumpkin cider. And then more of a sweet chai. I’m missing the sweet bit that I had on the first sniff. All brewed up, I get more pie spice still, but the pumpkin is back a little. I’m expecting this to be very chai-like.
The taste isn’t a strong as I expected actually and after I swallow, a few pauses later I get an expanding taste of the tea base. Also a little warm spiciness is left on my tongue. There is also a distinctly different spice taste at the front. So each sip goes sweet spice, warm spice, nothing, spicy spice, pause, pause, pause, tea. Honestly, it’s the nothing that’s throwing me off. I can’t seem to taste anything when I hold the tea in my mouth. Even swishing it around, all I taste is just a spice aftertaste. Once I swallow, I get more spice but when the tea is in my mouth, I just get the post-warmth aftertaste. It’s really really weird.
I’m wondering if the sweet taste I get at the beginning is pumpkin. Or maybe the nothing taste is really pumpkin. Either way though, it’s overpowered by the spice when I sip so I just can’t get my tastebuds to it. But it’s weird because none of the tastes seem to blend. They are all separate. Standing there independently, not glancing at or even acknowledging the other tastes there.
With half a cup left, I put a little sugar in to see if that helps any. I’ve probably put too much sugar (maybe a quarter teaspoon) so I imagine at the very least this will be sweet now… And sugar did it no favors. Sure, now there is an underlying sweetness that attempts to mush the uncooperative tastes together but having that added sweetness makes the spice and the tea flavor at the end show up as bitter. Yes, I added sugar and I taste bitterness now.
Okay, before sugar, this cup was weird. After sugar, this cup is unpleasant. But I’m going to rate this on the better of the two tastes and go with the unsweetened cup. Which means instead of being gross, this cup was just… confusing.