The picture doesn’t lie; this tea looks like a Crayola box. There’s certainly a lot for the eyes to feast upon. And it brews into…well, they call it ruby. I don’t think it’s quite that rich in hue, I’d call it more of a dusty rose. But I’m probably splitting hairs at this point.
The smell is just about as loud as the color. It reminds me of Blow Pops. Or bubblegum. Specifically one of those old school brands like Bubble Yum or Fruit Stripe Gum [who remembers that?]. The kind of gum that loses its flavor 5 minutes later. It is fruity. I mean, it is FROO-TEA. This tea is SO fruity… [HOW FRUITY IS IT?] This tea is SO fruity that it belongs at a male burlesque show. In fact, if teas were people I think that Plum Berry would be a drag queen.
And a rather fabulous one at that.
The smell is somewhat dampened [no pun intended] when the tea is wet. The actual liquid smells like something very specific that I can’t put my finger on, but it isn’t fruit. I’ll think of it in a week.
The tartness of the hibiscus is quite obvious, but I don’t mind that flavor, so I’m enjoying it so far. However, they list an entire encyclopedia of ingredients on the bag and . [I mean, schizandra berries? Are those for real? They sound like something Neil Gaiman would make up. Do unicorns eat them?] I’m somewhat disappointed that I can’t pick them out, but the aftertaste is rather hectic – there’s a lot going on. Once the novelty of this wears off, perhaps I’ll be able to separate the flavors more easily. Or perhaps once it cools.
It’s surprising to me, well, one that this gets steeped for this long. The only thing I steep for 6 minutes are pu-erhs, maybe the occasional herbal. But two, I’ve never had a white tea be this strong. I prefer my white teas to be more delicate – more of a pinky-up affair. I’d really call this an herbal more than anything else, but they say there are white tealeaves in it. Not sure what the point of it is, because anything from those leaves is surely put into a choke-hold by what I am coming to affectionately think of as the crunchberries.
One last thing that I’m really noticing about this tea is that it’s leaving me with a bit of a dry mouth. Is it tannins that do that? I’m not sure. Anyhow, it’s not unlike that sensation you get after drinking lemonade. I’m having to chase it with water, which I’m sure my bladder will be protesting later.
So, Plum Berry is sassy, a little sweet, and maybe just a touch overwhelming. Like a game of drag queen bingo, this isn’t something I want to visit every night, but it’s going to be fun every now and again.