This is one of the new teas for work that I picked up from the post office today. Stupid as I am, I didn’t consider that it might be smart to have the parcel shipped directly to the work address. I’ll do that the next time. Anyway, I wasn’t sure what the boss wanted when I ordered and I couldn’t find her, so I just added a few things to the basket that I was interested in because I figured I could just keep them for myself if she wasn’t interested. Turns out she was, and when I told her about a black chinese with cranberry and vanilla… You should have seen her face. :D We’ve both been looking forward to this one since placing the order.
An advantage of having it sent to me at home was that I could take out small samples of each to try at home in a calm environment and post about them. I can’t do that at work, really. That’s not what I’m there for and I rarely have time to pay that much attention to it, much less post about it. And if anybody thinks that’s unfair when the boss is paying for half of it, remember that she works five days a week to my four. She has plenty of time to get ahead. :)
As mentioned, this is a Chinese black (Chinese! Check!) flavoured with cranberries (Berries! Check!) and vanilla (Vanilla! Check!). In no possible way can I imagine this being less than at least very good. (Can you see why I chose the rhubarb creamy green the other day when I really wished I could have tried this one out?)
The dry leaves don’t really have much in the way of aroma. It has both vanilla and cranberries easy enough to find, but the base isn’t really coming out an enormous lot and on the whole it’s not a very strong aroma.
After steeping it’s another matter. The berries are really coming out here and the vanilla adds a creamy custardy dessertlike quality to it. More importantly the base tea is shining through. That sweet grainy note that I like is right there on the edge of all the flavouring.
Wow. I knew this would be a good choice! Awesome, I am it!
You know, I may have to get a supply of this for myself as well. It reminds me of the strawberry zabaglione black that 52teas made, only this isn’t strawberry. Strawberries seem to be difficult to get right in tea. Often it’s more just something vaguely strawberry-ish rather than something that actually tastes like a real strawberry. This doesn’t really seem to be the case with the cranberries. They’re just there without turning into something vaguely synthetic.
I think it’s the combination of these two things that makes me think of the strawberry zabaglione. The vanilla in combination with a fruit results in something incredibly dessert-like and softly sweet. I think I like this one better than the strawberry zabaglione, though. (Sorry, Frank)
It doesn’t say which particular chinese black this is based on, but what I can pick up of it through the flavouring strikes me as familiar and I’m having suspicions that my absolute favourite region might be involved here. (I’ll bet you lot can’t guess where that is!) I can’t taste it cleanly enough to be certain though, but I’m curious enough that I might actually write them an email and ask.
This is really very nice, and I suspect the boss will agree. If I’m the one to make the tea tomorrow, I think I’ll start our new supply with this one.