My Bluebird order just arrived, and as part of it I picked up samples of this year’s Christmas collection (except Christmas Cake, which has been around for several years now). I decided to break with tradition, and make a start on trying them straight away. That way, if there’s one I really fall in love with, I’ll have time to get some more. Jack Frost was the one that jumped out at me this evening – it’s a herbal, so great as a pre-bedtime treat, and probably the most unusual of the four.
The ingredients are spearmint, eucalyptus, coconut, ainseed, and pine needles. The scent, dry, is predominantly eucalyptus. Usually I’d try a new blend straight first, but I’d seen Bluebird’s recipe for a Jack Frost Latte and was feeling that, so I went with it. Basically, it’s 300ml hot water and 2 tsp tea, 100ml milk, 1tsp honey, and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence. I brewed the tea for 5 minutes, heated up the milk and added that, and then stirred through the honey and vanilla. At this point, I wasn’t entirely convinced.
I was wrong, though. It is sweet and creamy, from the milk/honey/vanilla, and that is a big part of the flavour (as you might expect). It is possible to taste the tea, though – the coolness of the eucalyptus really cuts through, and the spearmint is easily discernable. There’s a hint of aniseed in the aftertaste. If I were going to be poetic about it, I’d say it’s like taking a sip of frosty morning. I like how it contrasts warm and cold, sweet and clean. It’s both comforting and refreshing.
There are a couple of downsides – the coconut is lost completely, similarly the pine needles. Both of those are disappointing losses, because they’re the things that really make this blend unique. I will try it straight over the coming weeks, though, and hopefully they’ll make more of an impact then.
On the whole, I’m pleased with this one. It’s a great winter blend, without being overly christmassy, and a pretty unique combination of ingredients. I’m looking forward to experimenting a little more with the rest of my sample.