This is one of the teas that I’ve added in as my “local” tea to the GCTTB. It’s one of their most popular blends and one that I find has a very interesting (and unique in my experiences so far) spice combination.
Dry the tea is quite visually compelling, you can definitely see all the spices mixed into it; my one “complaint” though is that the green tea portion is made up of smaller broken pieces of leaf, it’s not necessarily a bad thing but it made me wonder exactly how much of the green tea I’d be able to taste once it had been steeped. The aroma though… oh ya I liked it from the first time I smelled it. The mix of spices was warm and refreshing, and there wasn’t anyone spice that was predominant over another. At the same time they weren’t all muddled together, I could distinctly smell each spice (except for maybe the clove) layered and interweaving with each other to form a complex but wonderfully full scent profile. I don’t however get much from the green tea, a few grassy undertones but that’s mostly hidden by all the spice.
The steeped liquor is a deep, clear gold (almost orange-gold) and smells of spice over top of a deep almost dried hay scent from the green tea. The peppermint is the highlight of the scent profile at this time, while the fennel, cardamom and ginger bring a bit of warm sweet heat to the mix. I found it to be a very compelling scent, though much darker than the dry profile.
Now, bear in mind that I over steeped this one a touch (the wonders of phone calls where someone says to you “it’s not working, fix it for me!” ah well :)), but even at that I didn’t find it bitter at all which surprised me. The green tea (yes I can taste them!) base delivered some warm dried grass/hay notes, forming a wonderful foundation to lift the spice medley up to new heights and giving it a remarkable, well rounded flavor profile. The spice mix isn’t too heavy either, my mouth has a pleasant tingle at the end of every sip and I’ve got a lingering aftertaste of peppermint which is very refreshing. I also found that the spices distinct flavors have soften at this point, but that’s a good thing in my mind as otherwise the tea could taste very “disjointed”.
You just can’t beat teas that just hit all the right notes: fresh, warm, spicy, just sweet enough… Yum. It’s overall a lovely tea, one that I’ll be keeping in stock for some time to come.