I received this sample from cteresa and the following was written before I looked it up on Steepster.
I smell… coconut, vanilla and some sort of fruit.
The flavour is a bit rough, which I attribute partly to the base and partly to the heavy coconut note. There really is a little too much coconut in here for me. I get vanilla in the aftertaste and around the edges, but that fruit is eluding me. I can tell it’s there, because there is a depth to the coconut and vanilla which I get the impression wouldn’t otherwise have been there, but I’ll be darned if I can find that note on it’s own in any way at all, much less find out what I think it is. My bet is on something tropical because pineapple strikes me as something that would fit in here.
And then I looked it up to see that it’s a blend of Assam, chocolate and caramel.
Okay, caramel and vanilla can be confused so what I perceived as vanilla is probably the caramel. Chocolate? Hmmm, perhaps that has something to do with the coconut-y note, although I do still think it’s more coconut-y than anything else. I’m not really sure I’ve ever met a chocolate flavoured tea that I though was truly chocolate-y, which is kind of funny considering how often that note shows up naturally. No fruit, but an Assam base. I can’t find any Assam characteristics underneath the flavouring, but I think that accounts for the sort of rough, slightly astringent feeling of it. Perhaps it’s the maltyness that cheated me into thinking there was fruit involved?
Perhaps it’s because I subconsciously expected this one to be similar to the wedding blend from Harney&Sons?
Perhaps it’s because I’ve got so used to my flavoured black teas being on a Chinese base that it never occurred to me that it might be something else entirely?
Perhaps my tongue just needs to be calibrated?
It’s a pleasant tea, though. Even if it has caused rather a lot of confusion this morning.