It’s that time of year…got excited when I saw the holiday CS display at the co-op and picked some of this up to try. Opened up the box—got a heady whiff of gingery spices, something that smelled, somehow, like Asian food (maybe it’s the mix of the ginger and the barley?), and cookies. I was intrigued. I’ve had good spiced teas from Celestial Seasonings that smelled a little odd dry, so I continued on. While the tea was steeping, I scanned the comments on Steepster, and after doing so I was kind of prepared to not like this for all of the reasons people posted—weird barley taste, watery tasting, etc. Also, I tried an herbal this summer that was just plain roasted barley and was disgusted. (I may have to give it another try. That, or cook the barley.) I started to sip and was very very pleasantly surprised! This is a nice blend of spices, not overpowered by the taste of cinnamon red hots like some other spiced teas, has a very true gingerbread cookie aroma (just sniffed the empty mug…mmmm), and has a lingering sweetness that remains between sips. I can still taste it…and that quality is one of the most important to me in a tea—that I can taste it even when I’m not drinking it. This is a nice, light, sweetly spicy blend…a lovely holiday excursion in a cup.