Monday, December 9, 2013

Nutcracker Tea by Simpson & Vail

Outside the snow and ice have taken over North Texas, so I wanted something both brisk enough to help me wake up and spicy enough to give me an extra little kick of warmth.

Seller Description"A delectable tea blend for you and all your guests this holiday season. We've combined Autumn flavors with decadent chocolate and mint and added a touch of warming cinnamon. Nutcracker brews to a deep amber color with a creamy, refreshing taste and a heavenly aroma. The flavors in this blend are not competitive, they perfectly complement one another … kind of the way it should be during the holiday season!"
Ingredients: Black tea, almond pieces, orange peel, cranberries, cinnamon & chocolate mint flavors.
Website: Nutcracker Tea by Simpson & Vail
Sample source: Provided

Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug
Measured dry: 3 teaspoons
Water Temperature: 212º F
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 4 teaspoons of raw sugar

This one was a little difficult to pigeonhole, because unlike so many other holiday teas, it doesn't attempt to replicate the flavor of a specific holiday treat.

After opening the sample, I had to take a moment to consider the blend. Initially, it smells like a complexly spiced dark chocolate... the kind of thing you'd pick up in a specialty chocolate store. 

When steeped, the chocolate steps back a little, and the black tea begins to assert itself. It still tastes chocolately, but the flavor is definitely sharing the stage, and the more minor notes begin to peek out of their initial hiding places.

Most prominent of those is the cinnamon, which is wonderfully true to form, and doesn't fall into the same cinnamon-candy pitfall that so many other teas do. After that, there are very, very slight hints of the orange and cranberry, but they're pretty difficult to pick out.

If anything, this reminds me - just a little - of Mexican hot chocolate, but keyed down to a level of spiciness that my tongue can handle.

Prominent Notes: Black tea, dark chocolate, and cinnamon.
Aftertaste: Cinnamon and slight hints of almond.
Overall: A great choice for this morning!

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