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Got this as a free sample for my Della Terra order.

I was pretty worried about hibiscus being in this. It’s such a tart, overpowering flavor. The scent of the tea itself seemed off to me, too. It was trying to be a chai, but also seemed to be trying to be fruity, too. Fruity and chai just aren’t flavors I’d put together, you know?

So anyway, I steeped this for right at three minutes, because hibiscus can be bad news if you let it go too long. Fruity flavors and milk don’t go together, so I just kept it plain.

Surprisingly, this blend worked! The deep red color of the liquor was gorgeous – my favorite part of hibiscus is the color it adds to the resulting steeped tea. The spiciness of the cinnamon/ginger/cloves did a good job of balancing the hibiscus, too – in fact, the spices and orange peel really could fool you into thinking the hibiscus was more cranberry like, since both are so tart and astringent anyway. Or – maybe the actual cranberry in the blend helped give it a cranberry like taste. Wow. My brain really isn’t operating at 100% today.

Anyway, in a nutshell- this was good. Tart, spicy, good with or without additives. My mom and I drank it last night on a dark porch under the glow of christmas lights, and this really added to the holiday feel. I’m super glad I got to try it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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