I decided to try this two ways before rating it. Mostly because when I made it hot last night, it wasn’t exactly a winner. It was okay, but far more fruity than cheesecake-y. In fact, it didn’t really have much in the way of creaminess even since the apricot totally overwhelmed everything (including the shou mei). I was a bit disappointed, but decided to cold-brew the leaves I’d just steeped.
Cold, it’s a totally different animal! It’s crisp and refreshing, and the apricot is more subdued. It’s still quite fruity (perhaps more than I was expecting), but it’s more harmonious cold. The shou mei is bright, and adds another layer of fruitness and sweetness. The cheesecake is interesting here: unlike some people, I’ve found it quite prominent in their black/green teas. Here it’s… well, not nearly as cheesecake-y as I expected it to be. There’s a definite creaminess, along with a soft tanginess that really plays well with the apricot. It doesn’t really scream “cheesecake” though, while I found the flavor easily identifiable in their EG Cheesecake and the Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha. It does come up more as the cup “warms” to room temperature—this is one that definitely doesn’t benefit from being ice-cold (unlike, say Cotton Candy).
I think this came off a bit more negative than intended. It’s a very nice tea, and I love the play of crisp white, sweet apricot and tangy cheesecake. I think the flavors were a bit different than I expected is all, stronger on the apricot and weaker on the cheesecake. However, the spoonful I used had a LOT of apricot bits, so next time I’ll try to weed some of ’em out and see if the cheesecake is a bit stronger.