First Frost

Picture of First Frost
Brand:Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd
Style:Flavored Black Tea
Product page:First Frost

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Reviewer pic92 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(379 reviews) on

I'm a sucker for rich, strong, flavored black teas, and two of my very favorite flavors are peppermint and vanilla. This seasonal tea combines all three, into one of the best flavored loose-leaf blends I've ever had. The product releases a very creamy, minty aroma on opening the dry sack, which I could stand there and sniff for days, if not for other needful aspects of life. If you're a fan of quality mint and vanilla together, it's heavenly. At some point, however, one has to stop sniffing the tea, and start brewing and drinking.

Unfortunately, neither Murchie's website nor packaging reveal the black tea's origin(s). Still, it is a strong, noticeably bitter and astringent blend of some sort that would be pretty sharp-edged on its own, if not for the vanilla's creamy element filing that edge down some. But it does, and maybe such a base tea is best-suited for flavoring with vanilla and peppermint, given these delicious results. Overall, it's supremely well-balanced, with all flavors readily apparent. The tea flavor shows in the mouth, but actually comes across more in the immediate aftertaste, as the mint and vanilla fade out. The vanilla also takes the edge off what's obviously good-quality, reasonably pungent and snappy peppermint leaves, and imparts a very creamy texture and body to each sip. This tea is a solid winner, flavor- and aroma-wise.

The one oddity here is the 2–3-mm-diameter sugar pearls. A couple of them fall into each tea dose, on average. I suppose they're meant to impart a hint of sweetness for those who don't sweeten their tea anyway. I sweeten all my teas, routinely and fairly strongly, so it doesn't matter much either way in this case, taste-wise. The dissolving sugar pearls release tiny particles of a reflective substance that swirls throughout the blend (per extra photo I uploaded), sparkling with many colors in bright light such as sunshine. First Frost could do without these, but I love this tea so much I'll rate it in my top 10 so far, regardless.

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