1858 Tasting Notes
I’ve passed this tea in the International Foods section of the grocery store for a long time, but I didn’t really take note until I saw it mentioned favorably here on Steepster. So the last time the boyfriend-creature and I were shopping I tossed this into the cart (accompanied by much eye-rolling on my boyfriend’s part) figuring that since it was only four bucks for a decent-sized tin, why not?
The dry leaves were quite fragrant and I was worried at first that it would be a jasmine-overdose. I fecked up the first cup unfortunately, since the water wasn’t hot enough (I was guess-timating with my kettle) and I ended up steeping longer than I should’ve to make up for it. So the first cup was rather harsh-tasting, although I was relieved to note that the jasmine wasn’t too powerful.
I resteeped the leaves to much better results which I’m drinking as I type this. It’s not a bold-tasting tea, although it IS slightly astringent, though not in an unpleasent way (if you steep it right, that is). I’ve also noticed that it has a sweetness to it that becomes more pronounced as the tea cools.
After some careful sniffing I think I might be smelling mango while the tea is steeping unfortunately that’s about the only time I can detect it. I reduced the steeping time by a minute from last time, but unfortunately the tartness of the hibiscus didn’t decrease proportionally. I finally resorted to adding a teaspoon or so of honey which toned things down somewhat. When it’s sweetend like this the acai flavouring is actually quite distinct.
So out of all of CS’s Zinger teas that I’ve tried this one is probably my favorite, although, given my loathing for hibiscus, it might be more accurate to say that it’s the one I hate the least. ;)
I picked this up at the Ten Tousand Villages craft fair last weekend. It’s a non profit organization that sells fair-trade products from all over the world. The things they sell are all handcrafted and there some absolutely gorgeous and unique things for sale – plus it all goes to a good cause, the money going directly to the artisans and helping to improve their lives. Here’s a link to their website (I hope this doesn’t count as spam):
Anyway, so I was attracted mainly by the fact that this tea is fairly-traded and organic (which is always a good thing as well) and not hideously expensive. It’s not a bad tea by any stretch of the imagination, but the spices are rather weak, almost an afterthought to the tea instead of the main event.
The black tea base itself is pleasently smooth and flavourful though, which is a nice change as I’m used to crap teas being used for chais.