The third in a trifecta of Christmas teas I’ve ordered from Stash Tea over the past several years (along with White Christmas & Holiday Chai). First cup steeped as stated below. At different points I sniffed the wet tea bag, and thought I smelled each tea. On the teabag wrapper the teas listed are Assam, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Keemun, Sumatra, & Jasmine. So it is possible the teabag blend is different.

The cup was rather dark and immediately I smelled the Jasmine. I also smelled Darjeeling & Ceylon notes, and possibly the Assam. It’s hard to detect everything—sometimes I feel like my nose is playing tricks on me. :// I did notice quite a bit of sweetness in the nose and thought it was the Keemun, but according to the description, “the Jasmine imparts a lingering, sweet fragrance”.

The Ceylon adds a smoothness to the flavor profile. The other noticeable flavors are Darjeeling (not too astringent), Jasmine & Assam. The Jasmine & Darjeeling especially linger on my tongue. A very smooth, and enjoyable cup, that exhibited no bitterness.

My second cup was steeped as below, but at 5:30. The cup was darker, and the aromas were still there, but to a lesser extent. I feel that some of the flavor nuances were lost with the longer steep, while it was still an enjoyable cup that showed no bitterness.

Teabags are sometimes more convenient for me during the Holidays, although the great majority of my tea drinking is enjoyed loose leaf style. I really look forward to this blend during the Holidays, and it is very well balanced and delicious! :))

Cupped: Sunday/Monday, December 11/12, 2011.

Reviewed: Monday, December 12, 2011.

ADDITIONAL NOTE*** 12/13/2011: I thought I’d add a little milk (very little), and I let the tea steep for 7 minutes. Honestly, the subtleties were lost. I could taste the tea with the milk, but it tasted only slightly better than regular tea. Sometimes I think I do things like this to my tea just to remind myself not to do it again! At some point in the future, I’m sure I’ll gently remind myself…again. :))

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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