This is my first time ever drinking something from 52teas. I’m halfway through my first cup of Neapolitan Honeybush and I can hardly imagine a better welcome to their teas than this.
Even before I opened the bag, I was grinning like an idiot at all the cacao nibs and huge strawberry chunks I could spot among the sea of tiny honeybush particles. The aroma after I tore it open was far more rich and heady than I was expecting; almost like the top notes of a decadent perfume rather than a favorite dessert (albeit not in an unpleasant way at all – as a fan of vanilla notes in my perfume, I rather wish I could bottle the scent :-P).
Once I started steeping, the richness of the scent began to mellow somewhat, but even as I drink it now it’s still there; a deep, potent vanilla tempered with a sweet and fruity finish. After a six-minute infusion, I tried a bit before deciding whether or not to add anything. I was already very impressed with the flavor, but knowing my own tastebuds, I immediately knew I would like it even more with a touch of sugar. And oh my, did I ever like it better. While I often drink my teas plain, I think the sweetener in this case really elevates the flavors to another level entirely. For me, this tea starts off with a beautiful synthesis of all three featured flavors, before shifting to a brief but robust influx of fresh strawberries, and finally finishing with that same luscious vanilla I so loved upon first catching a whiff of this lovely blend. I think the last part is my favorite part of this tea. The vanilla is so delicious and almost candylike, really; reminiscent of toffee, caramel or brittle.
If I had to criticize anything, I suppose it would be that the chocolate notes are not as noticeable to me as the strawberry or vanilla. But this tea is so delicious that I don’t find myself missing it all of that much anyway.
Bottom line: I’m tempted to go and prepare myself another cup, and as I’m typing this, I’ve only just finished the first one! It’s been quite a long time since a flavored blend has impressed me quite like this. :-)