Bear with me as I don’t think I’ve ever had a “proper” apple strudel! (Surely one can’t count Tim Horton’s apple strudel as “proper”… I’m pretty sure it has more in common with a danish, at best!)

This tea was such a surprise to me. There was an interesting “dryness” to the mouthfeel it gave that put me in mind of a powdered (apple) jelly doughnut, and the flavour of an apple fritter. I’ve become so accustomed to teas with both apple and cinnamon to have this mysteriously sharp sweetness to them that this one, lacking that, was a breath of fresh air! I think what I’m finding with the Bird and Blend teas so far is that they don’t seem to lean so heavily on sweet flavourings as other teas I’ve become accustomed to, that sometimes the flavours are allowed to shine without such added sweetness. Instead I’ve been reminded of the sweetness by association of the rest – the flavours, the textures.

I paired this with a dash of milk, and found it lovely. I always feel like I’m searching for something slightly more full bodied, but with this it was hard to complain when I felt like the entire tea was such a treat just the way it was. Would I have loved for it to have been more full bodied? Absolutely. But it was sufficient to fill every other desire I might’ve had.

I will say that (quite sadly) I let some of it get cold – not enough, I told myself, to bother warming it up. Only a couple sips at the very end. And, cold, it did nothing for me. It felt like a huge waste on my part to have drunk it without joy like that, even such a small bit (as the B&B Advent Calendar really doesn’t give you enough for anything more than a small cup. I feel I’ve been pushing it with 16 oz cups – 10 oz would probably be better, but I can’t bring myself to have such a small cup juuust in case it turns out it would have stretched to 16 oz just fine!)

As an aside, so far I’ve been really loving this calendar, and it feels like I’ve been judging them with unfairly high scores. There is no bias – I’m just enjoying this journey thoroughly. I had no expectations of the calendar (which was a gift), and have had Davids Tea’s advent calendars in past years. I think the thing that has stood out so far with B&B’s advent calendar is that every tea so far has evoked feelings and flavours I associate with the holidays, whereas DT’s calendar tends to touch on the holidays here and there, but is primarily more like a 15 day “DT Sample Pack” with 9 days of festive cheer. (Why they don’t include more of the holiday blends they’ll release each year is a mystery I’ll never understand.) I often find myself skipping days with DT’s advent to reach for something more festive. This has not been the case at all (as of Day 5) with the B&B advent calendar, and I would absolutely recommend it to someone who really wants to indulge in wintery holiday cheer via tea, where every day truly does feel like consideration has been given to the lead-up of Advent.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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