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80
drank Holiday Cheer by Della Terra Teas
2221 tasting notes

So guess who got their parcel from Della Terra on…. SUNDAY?! Since when does Canada Post deliver parcels on Sunday?! And not only that, but my two Try Me packs were put inside lovely little tins, and I swear that there was more than just 0.5 ounces of tea in some of the packs. Ah, so awesome!

So this tea was my free gift for placing an order on the day I did, and just as I was lamenting that I hadn’t brought any strongly-flavoured herbal teas along with me to drink (since I’m sick and Verdant’s Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell would be totally wasted on me right now), I remembered all these new teas I received, and found this one and another that may just have enough spicing to cut through my lack of smell-ability.

So clearly I have retained at least a bit of my ability to smell, because this tea smells just like Christmas! Like… clovey, cinnamony, orangey apple cider. Delicious. Sadly, this also brewed up a deep shade of hibiscus, and unfortunately, that is all I can taste :‘( I’ll try again later with a shorter infusion (3 instead of 4 minutes), but I’m so disappointed since this smelled like it had such potential, but appears to be another tea ruined by the dreaded hibby. Come, tears.

(I’m going to sweeten this and see if that improves it… even the aftertaste is delicious! So maybe sugar will help? Or maybe I just need to pick the hibiscus out next time before brewing???)

ETA: Success! Sweetened (yeah, maybe a bit oversweetened… I’m sick, ok!) it tastes much better. So that will be my fall-back plan if this one gets a bit too sour again. Yum, haha.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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