drank Sencha Claus by TeaGschwendner
187 tasting notes

What a cute name.

Anyway, this was the only holiday tea that I ordered from TG, and when I opened the package, I immediately fell in love with the smell. Mmmm. It smells like almond pastries, specifically anything made with marzipan. It’s delicious. Like pignoli cookies. It’s really strong and assertive, with a hint of cinnamon and maybe something citrus in the end note.

So I steeped this at 194 degrees (yeah, it’s that specific), and the infusion was a lime green-ish color. The cup smelled absolutely mouth-watering. Seriously almond pastry. Not almond cookie, like SpecialTeas’ tea, but a more robust marizpan-ish smell. The wet leaves have a similar flavor.

There’s a lot going on in the taste! The tea is there as sort of a grassy note, but it’s not really assertive. In fact, it’s a little bland. That’s probably my main complaint about this. But the other flavoring in here… mmmmm. We’ve got some citrus that comes up. It’s sort of similar to the flavoring in a sfogliatelle, an Italian pastry made with phyllo with an orange-flavored ricotta-style filling. It’s that sort of orange flavor. Not the tart quality of the citrus, but the orange-ness. This probably comes from the orange blossom.

The other flavor that’s the most dominant in the aftertaste is that almond pastry taste. Pure pignoli cookies (which are made predominantly with almond paste). There’s a teeny creamy component, but it’s barely noticeable. It’s almost an almond extract flavor, or a scented flavor. It’s very subtle, and doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavors. If you concentrate, you might get a bit of cinnamon. I only got it on a few sips.

The tea base of this definitely isn’t the greatest. If it was better, this rating would probably be higher. It doesn’t taste fresh and doesn’t play well into the balance of the other ingredients. But the flavoring is definitely spot-on. The flavors aren’t as strong as the smell (thank god, or else I’d be pretty unhappy). Very nice for a holiday blend, though!

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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28-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy wife of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php


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