Before my package from JacquelineM, this was the only rose black tea I had. Since I haven’t had a cup in quite a while, another was in order so that I could compare it to the other rose blacks I’ve had recently. Previously I steeped this for 4 minutes, but I dropped it to 3 minutes this time to match up with the others.
This one definitely has the sweet-rose aroma, but it seems tempered by the black tea. A taste confirms that it seems to fall between Harney’s Rose Scented and Upton’s Rose Congou in that the rose flavor is sweet and floral like the Rose Scented (not herby rose like Rose Congou), but it features equally with the black tea base like Rose Congou (not overwhelming it like Rose Scented). This black tea base is malty, and almost bready, which plays well with the warmth of the rose florals. I think a four minute steep is probably better for this one since it seems a touch weak, but it’s still tasty.
All in all, this tea holds up well to both Harney’s and Upton’s, actually, and it seems like it might be what Harney’s would be like if the rose wasn’t so all-consuming. ’
Side note: I really wish all tea companies would list the origin of their black tea bases. All black teas are not created equally! I always assumed this black tea base was Chinese given the name, but it’s possible it’s only referring to the Chinese process of scenting the tea, not the origin of the tea itself, and honestly it tastes more like a Ceylon than the various Chinese teas I’ve had. Not that I can be totally sure because most of the time I’m not sure exactly what kind of black tea I’m drinking! I guess I really am going to have to break down and go through samples of varieties of plain black teas so that I can start identifying them better myself.