I can’t believe I’m drinking a black tea unsweetened. I’m not happy about it, but I’m trying really hard to (a) wean myself off sugar—not completely, but at least off the need to immediately add it to every brew; and (b) educate my palate, something that I don’t think I can do if I’m so heavily dependent on some sort of sweetener to enjoy everything. Usually I just take a couple of unsweetened sips before adding fun things (milk, sugar, honey, condensed milk, whatever). What I’m trying to do now is have one full, unadulterated cup if I have more than a sample of the tea, and only then do I get to play around with future infusions. Unfortunately that means that this experience is tinged with just the slightest hint of resentment. =)
The dry tea smells just peachy. I can’t decide whether it’s the fruit, a candy, or perfume-y/artificial. Initially it was pretty overwhelming, but as I got accustomed to it, it began to smell much, much more natural. So in the end that part of it worked out pretty well. I couldn’t detect any ginger in the dry leaf’s fragrance.
Brewed, the peach fragrance is only very slightly muted, and the ginger fragrance sort of pops its head out and waves hullo before disappearing again. I can’t really smell the tea itself, either; it seems to really just be all about the peach.
The tea tastes peachy. While each sip has that pleasant burn/bite of ginger, the flavour itself isn’t really present. I think this is unfortunate, because a better balance would really make this tea shine. I’d also like to taste the base tea, but everything is overshadowed by the peach.
Surprisingly, I had no trouble at all with astringency, unusual in my experience with black teas (and I’m really sensitive to it). I did have a problem with bitterness, but that was entirely my fault: I got lazy and left the bag in the cup, choosing to chug the tea instead of getting up and disposing of the bag.
As grumbly as I am about it, not indulging my sweet tooth did, I think, improve my experience and evaluation of the tea. That said, I’m really looking forward to my next cup, because I just know that I’m going to love this sweetened. =) I also can’t wait to try it iced. (Because peach!)
Tea amount: 1 bag
Water amount: 6oz/~175mL
Dry mouth factor: 2/10