This is one of the samples Shelley_Lorraine included in a recent swap. I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while, so here goes!
The dry leaf smells very, very sweet. Also fruity, in an over-the-top candy-ish way. Brewed, the taste is still rather sweet. However, it’s not as extreme as I’d feared it might be – I’m generally not a fan of sweet teas, and I never add sweetener. I’m not really getting anything that makes me think of strawberry pie – there is a certain fruitiness to the tea, but it’s vague and muted. After spending a bit longer with the tea, though, I’m recognizing this as the flavor not of baked strawberries but of dried (and also, I presume, of freeze-dried) ones.
There’s a pronounced – though not overwhelming, fortunately (and unusually!) – hibiscus note. This goes some way toward counterbalancing the sweetness, and it does suggest the tartness of rhubarb. However, this is as close as the tea gets to true rhubarb flavor.
I’m not getting any pastry notes or, surprisingly, much in the way of cinnamon. I’m also struggling to taste the tea base through the layers of fruit and hibiscus, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, I can tell that it exists and that it is black, but I don’t think I would’ve been able to identify it as an Assam without looking at the ingredients list.
This isn’t a tea I’ll go out of my way to have around, but I’d be very happy to drink it again should the opportunity arise. My mom enjoyed it too. Thanks again for letting me sample this one, Shelley_Lorraine!