Uhm so, something very odd just happened. I had picked up a package of Queen Mary tea from The Secret Tea Room a while ago and decided to have a cup today. After reading the description of this particular tea, and the descriptions of several other Queen Mary teas, I was expecting a nice, malty tea with some floral notes. Ohhh, this tea was so not that. It had those little tiny granules of tea leaves with a whole bunch of large pieces of dried spices (cinnamon bark, maybe, and some other thing that I’ve seen before but can’t remember what it is, it looks like marshmallow root maybe?) I thought, well maybe this is just their adapted version of a Queen Mary blend. So I steeped it, and it was terrible. Alright, maybe not terrible, but just so not what I was expecting. I had anticipated sweet, warming maltiness and instead had some borderline bitter tea with a strange, icky spiciness to it. I am sad because, 1. I couldn’t even finish the tea; and 2. I feel like I can’t even really rate it because I don’t even know what tea it was. I think TSTR obviously mislabeled this one, and I will ask them the next time that I go in. It will drive me crazy until then, though! Has this ever happened to anyone else???
So, after that mess, I am really in need of a tea that is exactly what it says it is. I’m trying this Prince of Wales blend that TeaRunner sent out for our “The American Heiress” book club. She even sent along a little printout about the tea from the Culinary Tea’s website, which is so helpful! This tea is a pretty blend of medium black tea leaves and those cute little rolled gunpowder balls. There’s also some little blue and orange flower petals. The dry leaves smell like fruity black currant, while there is a lovely black tea and sweet fruit aroma from the tea itself. This is a really nice tea with a thick, malty flavor. The finish is very robust, and almost bitter, but good. The black currant comes out very lightly in the aftertaste, but it’s there. This one sort of reminds me of Harney and Son’s Black Currant, but I think theirs is just a little more smooth and rounded. I do appreciate that this one is so flavorful, though. It would be a great tea to get you going in the morning! Thank you TeaRunner for this one!
-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs and dark green rolled gunpowder tea with small blue and orange petals.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of fruity black currant. Tea liquor aroma is of black tea and sweet fruit.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark orange brown color.
-Thick malty flavor with a very robust and almost bitter finish. Light currant aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Really flavorful with a light black currant note.