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Aaaand evening tea time commences! A whole load of new teas tonight, because I got a bit carried away!

Starting off with some of my brand new Verdant Tea! (Yes, I realize I have yet to try some of the ones I previously received, haha, just too excited about the new ones!)

I was admittedly rather skeptical about this one. It has multiple ingredients I typically dislike… in fact, I think it contains all three of my least favourite tea ingredients! Mint, chamomile, and fennel/anise/licorice. But my curiousity (haha) got the better of me, and the reviews intrigued me.

The smell of the dry tea has me a bit worried. It smells minty. And I can smell fennel, I think. Crap. I was really hoping they wouldn’t be predominant in the blend. Oh well.

And then…. it gets wet. WTF?! Cinnamon sugar toast? That is ALL I am smelling! It smells marvelous! This is entirely NOT what I was expecting! I noted down that it smelled extra bready as well, although that has disappeared a tad as it has cooled, and I feel like I can pick out the barest hint of mint.

Wow. This is so complex. I can taste the mint, but it’s tempered enough that I can handle it, the fennel/anise/whatever is present but only just barely, which is quite acceptable, it seems. And the finish is a lingering, lovely chocolatey flavour. Of course, I’m failing to appropriately identify the flavours in amongst those. There’s sweetness, yeasty bready flavours… so many. This was definitely worth the try! There’s a bit more peppermint than I would like, but everything else is delicious. I’m really loving the lingering aftertaste.

I have to admit that I’ve tried neither the Laoshan Black nor Wuyi Big Red Robe (although I have both), so I should probably do that before trying this again; perhaps it will help me elucidate some more flavours.

Overall, very satisfied with this blend! I might try it stronger next time; I brewed it cautiously tonight, with maaaaybe 1.5tsp of leaf, which was pretty “fluffy”.

ETA: Second infusion (boiling, 3 or 4 mins, I can’t recall), day after. The steeped tea still smells strongly of cinnamon sugar toast. Today, I feel like I’m tasting some cinnamon, and some sweetness. The peppermint is tamed more today (yes!), and other than being a bit weaker than I would like, this is really tasty :D

ETA: The second day after. I probably shouldn’t be re-steeping at this point. Ehhhhh… The aroma is still cinnamon-toasty. Before it cooled, I was getting some stronger peppermint aromas, which turned my stomach a tad. Today, it tastes… oh man, choked on my tea for the second time tonight… sweet and cinnamon toasty, with an undertone of peppermint. It’s rather mild, even though I steeped for four minutes. This is probably as far as I’d bother taking this one in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Rebecca Lynn

This sounds really exciting!

Kittenna

It is so neat!

Bonnie

I’m going to have to try this one!

Kittenna

I recommend it! Particularly if you aren’t averse to peppermint in tea. The dichotomy between the cinnamon sugar toast smell of the steeped brew and the complete lack of cinnamon in the taste is really interesting!

Yogini Undefined

This sounds delightful! Looking forward to getting my hands on some :)

Kittenna

Haha, I nearly posted an identical response to the one I already did above :P Can’t wait to try this one again!

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Comments

Rebecca Lynn

This sounds really exciting!

Kittenna

It is so neat!

Bonnie

I’m going to have to try this one!

Kittenna

I recommend it! Particularly if you aren’t averse to peppermint in tea. The dichotomy between the cinnamon sugar toast smell of the steeped brew and the complete lack of cinnamon in the taste is really interesting!

Yogini Undefined

This sounds delightful! Looking forward to getting my hands on some :)

Kittenna

Haha, I nearly posted an identical response to the one I already did above :P Can’t wait to try this one again!

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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