Anybody to read my tasting notes knows that flavored teas are a pretty touch-and-go thing for me. I’m very picky about the authenticity and strength of things; it doesn’t take much to turn me off of them. 52teas.com scared the bejeebers out of me when I first saw it, but I had pretty resounding success with quite a few blends from that site, and I suppose I’m getting more adventurous, because the recent Select deal saw me taking the opportunity to order EIGHT bags from Frank on the cheap — stuff I thought I might not otherwise get, just to try it. Plus, it’s always nice to support a small business owner!
I didn’t realize zoomdweebies was such a huge site, either, until I went poking around. Gonna have to explore that more later for sure!
Reading tasting notes about Frank’s tea always makes me curious about shelf dates. Hey Frank! If you’re ever in the mood (for whatever crazy reason) to give yourself even more work, some blended-on dates might be handy.
The reason I mention this is because I think the flavor profile of these flavored, blended teas probably shifts across a spectrum the longer they sit on the shelf. Some of the tasting notes for this, people mentioned smelling butter when they opened it, or cinnamon. I got neither — the dry leaf smelled pretty much exclusively like raisins, and raisin seems pretty likely to increase its presence over time. I worried it would be like the raisin oolong (which I have, and which is actually a decent tea — it sets out to accomplish ‘raisin tea’ and achieves it with flying colors, it’s just a flavor that I, personally, tend to want only intermittently).
The cup as it’s steeping smells more like what I was hoping for — still mostly raisin, but there’s a nice shot of some spicy cinnamon in there to flesh things out now, too. Mmm, yes. The longer it sits the more I like the way it smells!
I’ve noticed that Frank’s black teas have a mild astringency that I might not care for in a plain leaf tea, but which really works to the benefit of the flavored teas I’ve tried. It seems to tighten up the flavors a little bit, at least for me — make them seem a bit more crisp.
Now that things have cooled off, I can state with authority that you ought to let the cup cool a bit. The flavors have come into line, everything seems to have smoothed out and gotten more balanced. Really a big fan of the smell coming out of my cup.
So glad I ordered this one. :) It’ll probably disappear fast!
On to the next one!