73 Tasting Notes
This smells like Atomic Fireballs. Or Red Hots. Or Hot Tamales. Pick your cinnamon candy of choice. It tastes like cinnamon candies too, just without the “bite” they have. Since I love spicy things I miss that part of it, but what can you do? To be fair, since I do like spicy stuff so much, your “not spicy” and my “not spicy” may be very different.
Go easy on the sweetener if you add any. This tea is very sweet, and even a spoonful of sugar can make it cloying.
You may want to leaf generously, since this tea is VERY delicate. The dry leaf and the brewed tea have a strong figgy scent, but the brewed tea is much more subtle. One teaspoon yielded a brew that was a little too light for me, 1 and 1/2 was still delicate, but tasty. The fig flavor gets more noticeable as it cools, even if it also becomes a little bit astringent. I’ll probably restock in the future, since I like fig-flavored teas more than I thought I would.
…and the piggy sprinkles are cute, even if they stuck, half-melted, all over my tea ball. Easy enough to clean though, so no big deal.
Less leaf and a shorter steep time does bring out more of the lavender. The first time I used around 1 1/2 teaspoons and steeped it for five minutes, this time I used just 1 teaspoon and steeped for three. This way there’s a definite lavender note and the fig flavor’s somewhat more muted.
I actually like it better the first way, with more fig and less lavender.
I decided to try something different, and just went “Let’s look for a fig tea!”, because why not. This was the first one I came across, so fig and lavender it was. Both the dry mix and brewed tea smell like Fig Newtons. I didn’t think the scent was that strong at first (some teas I have on hand have a far stronger scent; for example any S&V teas I have), but after leaving the tea to steep and coming back a few minutes later, my entire kitchen smelled of it. Not like that’s a bad thing.
At five minutes it not only smelled but tasted like a Fig Newton, the lavender having been all but overpowered. I got a slight hint of lavender at the end of the sip, but that was all. I’ll have to see if it’s any more present with a three-minute steep, since the packaging says it can steep anywhere from 3-6 minutes. The black base is very forgiving; no astringency at all that I could taste.
It might be a little light on the lavender, but if you’re in the market for a fig-flavored black tea this seems like a decent bet.
I decided to give this another shot again after a few years, and had it included as a free sample with my most recent order. That way I figured I could toss it if it was still as horrific as I remember with no real loss.
I made sure to steep it for three minutes rather than my usual five, since Adagio’s black base gets ridiculously bitter if you steep it for a hair longer than three minutes and added sugar. It doesn’t taste like concentrated evil this time, and I can tell it’s supposed to have some sort of creamy, vanilla-y taste. It’s just…well, still nothing special on its own.
It’s best kept in blends and not taken straight, much like their vanilla tea. In blends, it really helps to tie things together. On it’s own it’s just not worth it.
Mom likes to randomly buy me teas when she’s out shopping. This time she went to Target and brought me back two tins of Harney’s coconut green, a box of Numi’s chocolate pu-erh, and this. I know the first two are good, but the last was something I was apprehensive about. I’m not really a big fan of Celestial Seasonings or herbal teas, but hey, there’s no hibiscus in it. I figured it couldn’t be all bad then.
For the most part it smells better than it tastes. The dry mix has a nice toasty, orangey smell. Too bad at a five-minute steep it’s weak and watery, in no way living up to its scent. However, if you steep this for ten minutes and add a spoonful of sugar, you’ll have a pretty tasty tea. It’ll actually bear a resemblance to sugar cookies. Even unsweetened it isn’t bad. Just make sure you steep it for ten minutes or double up on the bags if you don’t want to wait that long.
I decided to give this tea another shot. I made a pitcher of iced tea with it, and honestly, that’s where it really shines. It is far, far better cold than hot. Iced with a little sugar, the chocolate and mint flavors both come out a bit more. Not quite “Thin Mint”, but close enough.
Bumping up the rating a little.
Well, this is okay. Not bad, but not great either. Just…okay. A lot of S&V’s flavored teas are really nice, but this is one that falls short of the mark.
I think I prefer peppermint’s bite more when it comes to chocolate mint, since that usually comes out tasting like a thin mint or a peppermint patty. Spearmint’s a little too tame. Given the choice I’ll take H&S’s chocolate mint over this, or even Greenfield’s.