This is the last tea I’ve yet to try from my Adagio Holiday Cheer sampler. In theory, I love the idea of this tea. It’s so simple, and yet so brilliant. A classic idea for a christmas tea sampler. In practice, I already suspect it’s going to be a let down. I can’t really smell cranberry — only the faintest whiff — but I can smell that dark bitterness I detected when trying Pumpkin Spice the other day. Already, I’m thinking this isn’t going to end well. Still, onwards. Into the water it goes, with the hope that I might be wrong.
4 minutes and a splash of milk later, I’m not wrong. I can still only smell the very faintest hint of cranberry. I can also smell something very bitter lurking fairly near the surface, and even to smell I don’t like it. I’ve heard it said, but I can’t believe that the base tea is Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata. I like Ceylon Sonata. I even have a big bag of it sitting in my stash, and it doesn’t taste or smell anything like this creature. I’m not saying it’s not in there, but if it is it must be cut with something else. This THING, whatever it is, is probably what I don’t like. I imagine it makes it cheaper to blend, but it also ruins what could be a perfectly good tea. There needs to be more flavouring, though. There’s just nowhere near enough cranberry in this for it to really deserve the name. If only all of these teas could be like Chestnut — the shining star of this sampler — I’d be a very, very happy woman. Alas, it’s apparently not to be.
So, finally, after all my ramblings, it’s just cool enough to taste. It’s tolerable enough, but it’s really no more than an everyday blended black, and not a fabulous one at that. There’s a tantalizing hint of flavour, but it only serves to signal what was not to be. Still, never mind. I can always dream of chestnuts.