Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Vanilla, chestnut
Aroma, dry: Vanilla, chestnut, black tea
Aroma in the cup, plain: Vanilla, chestnut, black tea
Taste, plain: Vanilla, chestnut, black tea
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Mainly vanilla and chestnut, faint black tea
Taste, enhanced: Mainly vanilla and chestnut, faint black tea
2nd Infusion: Strong as first
Chilled: Not recommended
Since this is a black tea, we assumed that enhancing it with milk and sweetener would be the way to go. However, we always like to try the tea plain (and the Little Yellow Teapot insists on this being part of the tasting procedure — he has his standards!). The flavor of the tea straight with no enhancements was a bit surprising, milder than expected and with just a hint of bitter edge. If you prefer to drink your tea without enhancement, this tea would be a good choice. Just steep it a little less than 5 minutes and remove the tea leaves right away.
Enhanced with milk and sweetener, the tea takes on another dimension. The vanilla and roasted chestnut flavors strengthen, giving the tea a smooth and rich flavor. That tends to also be its drawback, since these flavors allow only a hint of black tea-ness to come through.
One the plus side, if you left some of this tea out for Santa, along with a couple of raspberry scones and lemon curd, he may never go back to drinking hot cocoa — and you may find a lot of extra presents under your tree on Christmas morning! We can’t guarantee this, but…
We deducted a half teapot for the way the added flavors and aromas overwhelm the tea. As enticing as those flavors and aromas are, this is still, after all, tea and should smell and taste at least a little like tea. We took off another half teapot since this is a seasonal tea, more occasional than year-round. It is otherwise quite excellent.
Disclaimer: The teas reviewed here were provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.