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So the last time that I wrote about this box, I shared with you a little bit about the experience of receiving this really awesome box but I didn’t actually review any of the products inside. Now, with this part 2 of the Product Review, I am going to do exactly that. I’m going to offer up my thoughts on the tea, the honey and the cookie, as well as the accessories!
So, let’s start with the tea. The tea in Tea Box Express’s flagship box – October’s Bee Happy box – is the signature black tea from Teatulia. I have previously reviewed this tea, but I’ve revisited teas in the past and I don’t have a problem revisiting this tea as it is one that I enjoyed before and I know I’ll enjoy it now.
It’s a pleasant, full-bodied black tea. It’s rich with malty notes and a pleasant sweetness. I find that this sweetness is more pronounced with the second steeping, so even if you’re one who doesn’t typically resteep black teas, this is one that is definitely worth your while to infuse again!
Which leads me to talk about one of the gadgets that was in this box: the teabag caddy. It’s shaped like a little teapot and it’s bright yellow. I like the cheerful color and it fits the Bee Happy theme appropriately. I have used teabag caddies like this one in the past but the ones that I’ve used have been metal and after a while, well, I live in the Pacific Northwest and if something is metal here, eventually it becomes rust. And that’s what happened to the other teabag caddies that I’ve used. I like that this is ceramic. It holds the teabag in between infusions. Yeah, it’s a simple job, but something has to do it, and this is cute and it’s bright, cheery yellow. So why not this?
To steep: I steeped one sachet in eight ounces of boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes. For the second infusion, I used another eight ounces of boiling water, but this time, I steeped the sachet for 3 minutes.
It’s a robust black tea that would serve you well as a breakfast tea, as it takes the additions of honey and milk nicely. And that’s just what I’m about to talk about now! Honey!
Bee-cause in this month’s Tea Box Express, I also received a 3 ounce jar of Tea Honey from Savannah Bee Co. Before drizzling the honey in my tea, I took a sip of the tea to see how it tastes, and it tastes quite fine without the addition, but I find that the honey does soften the astringency of the tea a little bit.
Having never used one of these fancy honey dipper/drizzler/server thingamajigs, I wasn’t quite sure how to use it so I just … rolled with my inexperience and used it the way I thought it should be used. I dipped the swirly end of the dipper into the jar of honey and let some of the honey drip off of the dipper back into the jar, and then I was satisfied with the amount of honey that was on the dipper, I put it right into my teacup and used it to stir the honey into the tea. Since I was the only person using the honey dipper, I felt like this was a perfectly acceptable way to use the tool.
And it is handy. The wire spiral holds the honey and it’s not as messy a task to take honey from jar and add it to teacup using this device. It’s not a necessary tool when it comes to tea time (especially since I rarely use honey in my tea), but it is kind of cool, even though I’m not a big tea tool kind of girl. I am all about less is more when it comes to gadgets and tools. Tea should be simple. But, I have to admit that this fancy thingamajig is nifty.
I tasted a little drop of the honey before I added it to the cup, and it’s a delicate tasting honey. It tastes sweet but it doesn’t have a strong honey-esque flavor to it. That is to say that I’m finding that it’s adding a light sweetness to my cup of tea without it tasting overly honeyed. And as I said before, it did help to curb the astringent bite to this tea just a little. It’s not an overly astringent tea, but what little I detected with my pre-honey sip was diminished significantly after the honey was added. I like that my cup is now not only less astringent and lightly sweet, but even better is that it’s not overly sweet nor does it taste too much like honey.
The cookie! The cookie! OK, first of all, it’s adorable. It’s a large cookie (I’d estimate it to be something between 3 and 4 inches, which is large for a cookie). The cookie is a blonde colored shortbread cookie. I had mentioned earlier that it’s a sugar cookie, but the cookie part is not quite as sweet as a sugar cookie, it’s got more of a shortbread taste and texture. And the cookie is decorated with a bright yellow icing that has been “drawn” with a bee design in black icing and white wings. The bee has a happy face. Bee Happy.
I like that this is more like a shortbread cookie than a sweet sugar cookie because the icing is quite sweet and if the cookie part were sweeter, this would become very cloying very fast. They are still quite sweet.
The cookie part has a nice shortbread type texture: it’s got that delicious buttery texture that melts in your mouth. It’s not a crunchy cookie. It’s dense like shortbread. One cookie makes for a very nice tea time treat.
I’m sure I probably said this in part 1 of this review, but this box is really awesome. It would make a great gift for the tea lover on your gift giving list. (Oh, please put me on your gift giving list!) I enjoyed everything in this box from the tea to the honey to the cookie … and even the neat little tools.
This is fun mail: it’s a tea party in a box!