In my opinion this tea tastes much better than it smells. The smell of the leaves before they are steeped was so overpoweringly spicey that I was a bit hesitant at first, but it steeps much softer and sweeter. What’s most interesting about this tea is the strange sweet aftertaste that lingers in the back of your throat after you swallow. I just love it. The fennel and ginger really come through after the first few sips, once you’ve gotten used to the sweetness of the licorice. I find fennel to be very comforting. This is a lovely “snowed in” and “getting a cold” tea. Very relaxing and warming. A lovely and tasty alternative to the traditional gingery “sick tea”.