This tea is an interesting one, because I swear to you, it is best served in a clear vessel. It will do fine in plain mugs as well taste-wise, don’t get me wrong, but it has a visual element to it. This is a tea that I will never ever ever drink out of an opaque travel mug, because I would miss the visual element, which is part of the enjoyment and wonder of the tea itself.
As it is, I would brew it in a clear teapot, like on should use for flowering teas, if I had one. As it is, I don’t, so I try to make the most of it in-cup as I can.
What makes this tea so special you ask? Well, the short version is that it sparkles. Tiny specks of glitter appear to be floating in the tea, making for a beautiful sight, especially when looked at directly under a source of light. Yes, this tea is absolutely perfect for those who like a little bling, those who enjoy a bit of magic and whimsy in their food and drink, and Twilight fans alike (but only perhaps if you’re Team Edward).
Myself? I fall closest to the whimsical side of things if had to choose. In any case, having the beautiful visual element makes my day.
That being said, on with the review.
Steeped: 1 tbsp in my 2-cup pot with freshly boiled water
First Cup: Brewed 5 minutes
This tea is very mild, with a vanilla aftertaste. The spices come through as well, for sure, but the overall flavour is very mild and light. I wonder if it might do well with a longer steep time. That being said, the visual experience is AMAZING!!! I love watching all the suspended sparkles in the tea.
Second cup: Brewed about 40 minutes. Milk added.
I tried a little bit clear before I poured the cup proper with milk… no real change in flavour strength.
Usually, when I make it with milk, the top still sparkles beautifully, but I can’t seem to make it do so this time. That being said, the milk goes quite well with the vanilla. The spices still seem underdeveloped, but I’m enjoying the sweetness of the tea as a whole.
Third cup: Resteep. Brewed for around 30 minutes.
There is a mild substance to the flavour… a sweet, vanilla, spiced somethingness. It’s still very weak, and I wish it was stronger, but it’s still good. Also, the tea is just as visually interesting as it was on the first cup. Seriously, I love these sparkles.
Fourth cup: Same resteep. Brewed for around an hour. Added milk.
The sweetness and slight spiced-ness are still coming through as I sip. I wish I’d left the milk out though I prefered it without milk, I think. Plus, it’s still not as sparkly with the milk as usually is still. Perhaps I put in less gold sugar balls somehow or something? That being said, I let the last half the cup cool while I ate lunch… the sweetness and slight mulled/spiced-ness was nice after my meal.
Overall impression: A little lighter in flavour than I like, but still quite nice. For those of you who have tried Bigalow’s Constant Comment before, it’s like that tea with vanilla and sparkles added to it. Seriously, though, I might have to pick up a large amount of this tea just to watch it glitter. I love it!
My rating: 83. A-. I may have rated it lower for taste alone, but the visual element is A+++++ so I have to balance them out a bit.