Finally! My inaugural tea of the Doulton-engineered French buying extravaganza!
And that’s just the smell of the dry leaves. Amazing raspberry. Reminds me of the filling in linzer tarts, which I used to get from a little pastry shop in Cambridge, MA. I can smell it from several feet away; if I stick my nose into the bag (that has an adorable little giraffe sticker on it :-)) it becomes extremely concentrated. Dark chocolate color leaves with flecks of lighter brown.
The variety and complexity in the aroma becomes more apparent after steeping. I can smell some vanilla, and berry, but I’m also getting a note that seems lemon or orange. Some citrus in any case.
The taste has wonderful berry things going on. It’s not the Kool Aid of some berry teas I have tried, it’s more of the kind of berry note you’d find in a nice wine. It adds a tiny bit of tartness to the tail of the sip. Vanilla is there, but not a strong presence. I’m trying to figure out what berry I’m tasting and I think it’s mostly raspberry and strawberry, but what a contrast to the strawberry of other flavored teas. It’s subtle, but deep and smooth. Apart from the tart berry-tail, the tea is medium-sweet. Not sugary like some blacks. I can see what they mean when they say caramel, though it isn’t the sweet caramel of the Sugar Caramel Oolong. It isn’t bitter either, it’s just a number of notches down from carmelized-sugar sweet. There’s a fresh note to the finish which strikes me as floral.
Note to self: try more leaf next time. I used about 1.5 tsp in about 8 oz water. I think it could go stronger and perhaps unfold even more.