I’d say “I’m back!” but really I’ve been here all this time, and forcing myself not to buy extra teas while I use up what’s already in my cupboard… Alas! I went to Aachen for a day and immediately found its tea shops, where I bought some cute-sounding fruit and rooibos teas, then some friends moved away and left me their Dutch-branded flavoured teas, and then I brought some more from home when moving back to this flat… Safe to say, the collection is growing, but I’m in denial about how quickly I can use it all up!
This tea really grabbed my attention when I bought it in the summer because of the ingredients list. Tea from Vietnam? I’d never tried that, and the ingredients are things I’d never seen added in a tea (other than the lychee). This is the second brew I’m having, because the first time I misjudged amount (due to the large, twisted leaves), water temperature (because they’re quite dark in colour, almost blacker than your regular green tea if you’re not looking closely enough – mea culpa. . .), and time to brew (I was doing something else). All the steps you need to ruin a perfectly good first cup.
First thing I notice after its deep marigold-orange colour is its incredibly mellow scent, which the flavour follows through on. So many lychee-scented teas are intensely flavoured to the point of being over-floral where the tea base becomes an annoyance… or perhaps I’ve had so many lychee-and-rose cocktails that I’ve forgotten what the original flavour is like! Nonetheless the lychee in this tea is the least aggressive lychee flavour I’ve ever come across.
However there’s another floral element here, light and more of a bouquet than a syrupy-sweet flavour… I think this must be the banana blossoms and bamboo flowers. None of these hang pungently in the mouth, either; more of a brief, delicate taste that washes away quite quickly with the follow-through of the tea base which I have to say is really pleasant! Slightly roasted like sencha without the boldness, but a nice savoury aftertaste to follow the gentle hit of astringency at the end of a sip.
Since the website says it has a taste of “nature after the rain”… Well, I’d give it that it has barely any dryness at all. Overall I’m really enjoying it; such a lightly-flavoured tea is new to me!