This is bergamot, red fruit and caramel. As a rule, I’m a fan of red fruit, so I’m feeling positive about this one. I’ve tried this once before where it didn’t go so well so I didn’t rate it then. I’ve been more careful this time. Considering that my Irish Breakfast session was a bit of tea-fail involving a forgotten pot, a cup gone cold and a severe oversteep, so I only really got the half pot it took me to write the post, I’m not sure what I was thinking here. You’d think on days like these I’d be going for something more well-known and less annoying if it goes wrong.
It smells very very nice. Red fruit-y, yes indeed. Cherries or strawberries, I think. Possibly both. There is also a very sweet caramel-y aroma on top of it all, and you sort of have to smell your way through that to get to the fruit notes. It doesn’t smell at all citrus-y this time so it would seem that this takes longer to come out in the aroma. I definitely caught citrus the first time a week ago when I oversteeped it. No red fruits then, though.
Odd flavour. I can pick up all four major notes that are supposed to be there. The red fruit, the bergamot, the caramel and the vanilla. It’s just that I’m not really sure how well I think these things suit each other. Take the red fruit, for example. Red fruit and citrus is good. Red fruit and caramel, I can do that too. Red fruit and vanilla is also nice. Red fruit and citrus and caramel and vanilla is just… odd. A little crowded maybe. That said, I’m not sure you could leave any of them out either. Which would you take out? Wouldn’t the result just be kind of really weakling-y boring? I think it would.
This is a really strange situation of a blend that doesn’t entirely work, but I like that it doesn’t work. And if I like it, then that must mean it works, because something that doesn’t work shouldn’t be very nice or at the most mediocre. But this is definitely better than just mediocre. So it both works and it doesn’t work at all, all at the same time and for the same reasons. It’s paradox tea. It’s probably best to try not to think too much about it.
So what’s the absolute primary note here? The fruit, definitely, with a bit of vanilla to not make it too tart. And just after that there is the caramel. I also have Kusmi’s caramel black, and I think being familiar with that one is an advantage when drinking this. Underneath all that is the bergamot with a slightly dusty bottom mostly on the swallow.
I think I’m liking this, but I haven’t decided yet if I want to buy more of it. It’s not impossible, so I’m putting it on the shopping list. I can always take it off later if I change my mind.