When my friend and I went to Venice for the final, flickering moments of the Biennale, I picked up some sample tea bags from Tea Forte that were on sale while she was shopping for gifts. That’s how it always goes – I accompany someone as they shop. They buy gifts for others. I buy gifts for ME.
Anyway, I’d been curious to try out TF, and I’d only seen them in hideously overprized huge tins before, so I snagged what looked interesting. One of the bags was this one. I’ve been a little too excited to catch up with my untried teas lately, and the amounts of black tea I’ve had late at night has resulted in the following type of sleeping pattern:
So I figured white was the way to go today. This bag, helpfully, even has ‘Very little caffeine!’ printed on it. As for the tea itself, well.
Sniffing the bag didn’t get my hopes up – it smelled very strongly of artificial ginger. The description clearly says PEAR, with a note of ginger – ginger as the dominant feature in a tea isn’t really for me, unless it’s very well-balanced, like Kusmi’s lemon/ginger which I quite enjoy.
In the cup, the ginger definitely mellows, and the flavour is predominantly pear. However, it’s a really artificial pear experience, much reminiscent of my fave Swedish ice pop, Piggelin.
Just… warm. And with ginger. Urrrhh.
Then there’s this other note, both in the scent and taste of the steeped tea, that I absolutely cannot place. It’s just weird, like drinking something that came out of a 3D printer. It’s so very clearly the scent/taste of an object not made for drinking and it’s really confusing.
I will finish the cup, but I never need to drink this again.
(ETA: I’m liking this a little better as it cools, so I’ll kick the rating up a little, but just a very little.)
[Sample bag picked up in Venice, winter 2013.]