Aw man, this tea psyched me out—it smelled (and looked!) so good dry and brewing I had to will myself not to eat it, super toasty almonds and cinnamon, drool. Then I took the infuser out after the (quite unorthodox I must say!) 10 minute steep time and was surprised to see a very bright, almost pink red cup of tea. And it tastes fruity-astringent, very apple-y, in a way that reminds me of oversteeped Celestial Seasonings teabags from my youth—exactly the sort of thing I wish to avoid now. Alas. That said, it is still OK tasting—there’s still wafts of that toasted nutty deliciousness, and it smooths out that apple-tartness some both in flavor and mouthfeel…even the apple astringency is of a more authentic, crisp-real-juice sort, reminding me in an excellent way of coming home from middle school in the fall in upstate New York and eating warm empire apple crisp before doing homework or raking leaves for my father—but next time I’m going to see about steeping for much less time and see if I love it more. And here I was, all excited at the notion I’d found my no-caf answer to, say, Della Terra’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. But this smells like its namesake to the max, and then tastes more like something called, say, Cinnamon Apple Nut Crunch.
Still, the longer it lingers on my palate the more I recognize it’s pretty much a quintessential fall tea, evoking memories up the wazoo for this upstate gal like a madeleine might for a Frenchman. ;)
This also tastes a little like some baked good I must’ve eaten or maybe even made once, a soft fat cookie thing where the center had some sticky spiced applesauce-y filling, and the rest of the cookie or cake was pillowy, slightly chewy spiced dough studded with nuts or oats or something. Maybe an Archway thing? Hm.
For something that seemed so initially disappointing out of shock this sure is sticking with me.