Now that I have lowered my expectations, and thanks to the tips that some of you have shared re: steep times and water temperature, I’m finding that 52teas blends and I are getting along much better, so thank you for that.
This is one of the most accurate 52teas blends I’ve tasted to date. The dry leaf’s fragrance is that of chocolate-covered cherries and black tea. I’m very sensitive to medicinal/chemical tones in cherry flavours/fragrances and am happy to report that no such tone is to be found here. It really smells spot-on and delicious.
I’ve been wanting to try this one for days, but it never seemed like the right time (I’m hyper-sensitive to caffeine, so I have to time my black tea intake carefully). As I’ve got to drive up to New York in a little bit on about two hours of sleep and will be out ‘n’ about most of the day, I thought now would be a good time for this, and it’s hitting the spot.
The fragrance doesn’t lie. The flavour, too, seems quite accurate. The cherry, chocolate, and black tea are coming through very clearly. I would prefer more cherry and chocolate and less of the black tea, not because I don’t like black tea, but because I don’t like this base. I’m not a black tea connoisseur, but I’ve read tasting notes on Steepster written by folks who are, and they all talk about strong malty and cocoa notes in the good black teas. I think a good black tea would really complement the cherry and chocolate here, but this isn’t it. I’m not sure what exactly is off-putting about it. It tastes like it would be quite bitter on its own and it also somehow reminds me of…twigs. I’ve never sat and chowed down on twigs, mind you, but that’s what comes to mind.
As it cools (as LiberTEAS mentioned1, not cool or even warm, still hot, just not piping hot), I’m also getting a bit of that creamy mouthfeel of ice cream. But again there is that threat of bitterness from the base black tea that motivates me to finish my cup quickly. For what it is, this blend is very good, but it’s really held back by the black tea. With better black tea—one that people describe as smooth from sip to swallow—it could be amazing.
Tea amount: 1 tsp/~4.75g
Water amount: 6oz/~175mL
Additives: 1 tsp/~4.75g Demerara sugar