I might have to spend a little bit more time with this tea to properly peg it. The dry not-leaves and even the brewed tea smell like these (really tasty) fruit gummies I get at Costco. Oh, sure, they are called ‘fruit mini-bites’ but they are gummies. http://www.sunrypeusa.com/viewproduct_us.php?line=9&group=1 And that’s what this tea smells like. Which is pretty awesome.
The taste was much more… exotic, however. Not as sweet and with a woody follow up (hello rooibos!). The rooibos in this isn’t bad though – it’s not sickeningly sweet like so many rooibos. This one just tastes of dry, clean, nicely sanded wood planks. Covered in berry preserves. There’s a tang that isn’t quite tartness but it really brings to mind the taste of dark berries. Boysenberries, blueberries, grapes, blackcurrants…
I was missing the sweetness from the smell though so I tried it with a little sugar. The woody rooibos pretty much disappeared but the berry flavor was much more… normal. Kind of dull, like any old herbal tea and I think the sugar accentuated the tartness a little. So I tried at second steep (7 minutes) with no sugar.
I think the second steep was my favorite. Still berry-y and a tiny, minuscule hint of wood, but it wasn’t as overpoweringly flavored as the first cup, which was so strong it made me thirsty for some good ole water. I’m going to have to revisit this tea before I can fully judge it, perhaps with a slightly shorter steep time on the first steep. Right now, though, I could see potentially picking some up to expand my painfully thin decaf tea selection.