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Day 3 of my Etsy Tea Advent calendar. This is one from Ahmad Tea. I have had a few things from them I’ve enjoyed. It looks like this advent calendar will feature various bagged teas from a number of different tea companies whose products may be easy to find in the grocery store. In a way that is nice. In past years I’ve done advent calendars from David’s, Damann Freres, Bird & Blend, The English Tea Shoppe and Tea Forte. They all had hits and misses, and was a great way for me to decide which teas to re-order from that company. This one, being (apparently) made up from fairly easily obtainable bagged teas, is a little different. I think I like it, although I haven’t LOVED any of the teas yet.

I am not a fan of hibiscus, so I kinda thought about not brewing this one. But I gotta try it, right? It brews up a gorgeous shade of dark pink, like hibby does. It looks so pretty in my white bone china cup. The flavor is hibiscus heavy, but not unbearably so. All I am able to taste is four things: sweet, sour, bitter and salty. This is a bit (quite a bit, to me) sour. Some people love sour things. Jolly Ranchers, anyone? But I have never liked sour, even before I lost my sense of smell. I added a small dollop of honey and that helpd. I was able to drink the cup.

It’s really not fair of me to rate tea since I completely miss most of the complexities that make tea such a great beverage. I guess I’m like an armchair art critique. I know what I like. I would like to have my sense of smell back, but it will be at least a year before I can have that steroid that restores my smell for a few weeks. Chemo completely destroyed my immune system and with the Covid pandemic my doctor refused to give the steroid to me when i saw her in October. But maybe next October? And hey, I beat stage 3c colorectal cancer. It would be a shame to die of Covid just because i wanted to be able to smell for two weeks.

So I am giving this tea a cautious recommendation. I think if you like hibiscus you will like this one.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Michelle

Congrats on beating cancer! I had never thought about trying to taste tea without a sense of smell before, it sure seems a strange thing to me and I thank your for describing it. Sometimes its the little things, like being reminded to be thankful for tasting tea.

Maddy Barone

Thanks, Michelle!

tea-sipper

Yes, congratulations on beating cancer! You are tough!

Maddy Barone

Thanks, @*tea-sipper*

CrowKettle

Congratulations :) Stay safe!

Rating a tea on taste sounds fair to me… On the flipside, I know I “forgive” teas some questionable tastes (sour, bitter) because the smell smooths it over for me, but should I?

Maddy Barone

Thank you, CrowKettle! I think everyone has different standards for rating teas and no one is wrong. I miss my sense of smell so much. But if I like a tea well enough to want a second cup then it is a good tea, right? Or if it is too sour or too bitter for me, then I do not want a second cup. So that is a pass for me. It might be that someone else adores that tea. Neither of us is wrong. Just different tastes.

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Michelle

Congrats on beating cancer! I had never thought about trying to taste tea without a sense of smell before, it sure seems a strange thing to me and I thank your for describing it. Sometimes its the little things, like being reminded to be thankful for tasting tea.

Maddy Barone

Thanks, Michelle!

tea-sipper

Yes, congratulations on beating cancer! You are tough!

Maddy Barone

Thanks, @*tea-sipper*

CrowKettle

Congratulations :) Stay safe!

Rating a tea on taste sounds fair to me… On the flipside, I know I “forgive” teas some questionable tastes (sour, bitter) because the smell smooths it over for me, but should I?

Maddy Barone

Thank you, CrowKettle! I think everyone has different standards for rating teas and no one is wrong. I miss my sense of smell so much. But if I like a tea well enough to want a second cup then it is a good tea, right? Or if it is too sour or too bitter for me, then I do not want a second cup. So that is a pass for me. It might be that someone else adores that tea. Neither of us is wrong. Just different tastes.

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Bio

I love cats. I love alone time. I love sitting indoors on a cold winter night with a book or my knitting while drinking tea. I don’t have a sense of smell, so many of the more subtle flavors of tea escape me. Two of the things I CAN taste are bitter and sour, so any tea that has even a slightly bitter taste is nasty for me. And what others might perceive as pleasant tartness may be horribly sour for me.

I’m also a writer. I love writing, and a mug of hot tea helps me get through the hours sitting in front of the computer. Although I’m a comparatively new tea drinker, I’m jumping in feet first. Feel free to recommend any teas you think I might enjoy.

100-91 – Wowza! I want to keep this tea in the cupboard all the time.
75-90 – Very nice. It would be good to have this tea on hand from time to time.
60-74 – OK. Wouldn’t keep it in the cupboard, but I would drink it again.
45-59 – If a friend served this I would drink it to be polite, but it’s not really my cuppa.
Lower than 45 – Blech. It was too sour or bitter for my taste. Would not drink it again.

Location

Fargo, ND

Website

www.MaddyBarone.com

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