Royal Vinter

Picture of Royal Vinter
Style:Flavored Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon

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Reviewer pic65 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
(386 reviews) on

Given the ingredients, I expected this expressly stated (on the box) seasonal offering to be a nice hybrid of a mild chai and a traditional "Christmas tea". Instead it had a nice but understated taste all its own.

The dry bag didn't have much aroma, but what I could detect involved modest allspice and cloves, layered atop a medium-strength base Ceylon tea that is both slightly bitter and somewhat astringent. Cardamom also is an ingredient, but that didn't come out until the flavor, which again wasn't as strong as it could be for the bag size and stated ingredients. Still, it was a pleasant, smooth more than sharp blend, with second-order vanilla and floral elements present (even though those aren't listed ingredients). The cardamom stands out well, which I like, but rather by default, since the other flavors seem to recede more than they should.

I was surprised, actually, how muted the flavor is, considering the ingredients, size of the pillow-shaped bag, and amount of product within, very closely matching a Celestial Seasonings teabag, or some Trader Joes teas in similar packaging. This was a 30-bag box, instead of 20, which is unusual. Since the wet bag didn't swell up very much, Gevalia could squeeze 1/3 more of the same material in each bag, pack the market-standard 20, and make the flavor more robust per cup. The wet bag had one of the most interesting and unusual scents I've detected: a slightly fruity floral, similar to fragrant blue-purple irises in the garden. It was enjoyable to breathe through, but not too reminiscent of anything containing black tea. After this experience, I picked up the iris-like aroma in-cup too. Gevalia produces a coffee with the same name (yes, Vinter with a V, not "Winter"), so if you find what you think is the tea online, be sure it's the tea!
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