This is my first 52Teas blend! Thumper taught me not to say anything if I can’t say anything nice, so I’m having a bit of a tough time getting the words to flow, here. It’s especially tough given how beloved 52T are to the Steepster family. I’m going to go ahead and leave off the rating, for now, and take the blame for this poor first impression.
My little sample bag says to steep in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. 3-5 or 2-5, I forget which. But I always pick the longest steep time, because I always want the strongest, most robust flavour possible. This time, doing so resulted in an undrinkable brew.
The dry leaf’s fragrance is sweet in kind of a generic way. If you’d blindfolded me and waved the bag under my nose, I would’ve said “sweet,” and I probably would’ve said “black tea.” I wouldn’t have said “gingerbread” or “chai.” The brew smelled more like I expected: now I could definitely smell chai, and as the tea cooled I could smell gingerbread more and more.
My first sip of unsweetened tea caught me a little off-guard. It tasted like black tea with cardamom. Not chai, and not gingerbread. It was a little bitter, too. So I added honey, and that made it palatable, but it still tasted like black tea with cardamom. I’m sad to say that now that the tea’s cooled a bit, it’s become unbearably bitter, and I’m going to have to pour it down the drain. Really sad. (On the other hand, the Universe is probably doing me a favour: I’ve already drunk some black tea today and shouldn’t be having any more.)
I shan’t rate this until I’ve tried the stovetop method. Crossing my fingers that I can get the same great taste out of this as most of the others who’ve reviewed it!