So…I am really very much at odds with this tea. Not knowing a ton about darjeelings, I’m not sure how this measures up in terms of what you typically get from them, but I think that I could really like it. Here’s what’s got me scratching my head.
Steep one was VERY bitter. I followed what they said on their website, which said five minutes in boiling water, so maybe toning one of those aspects down could get rid of it, but at the same time, the bitterness…I don’t know. It kind of began to remind me of wine at one point, and that was likely because I could really taste the grape.
It took me a while to get used to what “grape” can mean when I got older. As a younger me, I used to devour white and red grapes brought home from the grocery store. We used to freeze them during the summer and suck on them. I sometimes ate grape-flavored candy, or have a grape-flavored soda, or, though this was far from appealing – grape-flavored medicine.
Now, grape means much more to me than that one-dimensional [well, two-dimensional if you count red vs. white] grape taste I knew then. I’ve had dolma, though that technically involves leaves, and I’ve grown to love wine, so this tea fits in with my newly acquired idea of what grapes can taste like. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the flavor profile that dolma can take on.
What this REALLY makes me think of is this spray that I got from Caudalie. It reminds me of it a LOT. It’s in the taste, it’s in the smell. And I don’t mind it, but it could be a turn-off point for some people.
http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml;jsessionid=VBQGKJ50ET4RICV0KQNQIGQ?id=P6025&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=4171 – the spray is awesome, just as an aside. Super refreshing. Makes me face all tingly.
The thing that I found very intriguing about this is that it sweetens a lot in the aftertaste. You drink it, and I discovered that letting it sit for a little bit allowed it to settle so the aftertaste would be stronger, and it’s kind of intense but afterwards? Complex, and dare I say delicious? I was really digging it. It reminded me a lot of wine at that point.
In the second steep, the bitterness was almost gone. I stopped there because I got distracted or…maybe it was time for dinner or something. I’m not sure. But I ended it with cup two. I’m definitely going to make some time for this over the weekend so I can play around with it any more.
I’m glad that I soldiered through the bitterness to discover how enjoyable it ended up being because otherwise I would have surely sent Auggy a ‘BLECH BLECH BLECH BLECH BLEEEEEEEEEECH’ email for sending it to me. It makes me think of warheads – you sit there and suffer through the bitter sour taste, but that makes the sweetness at the end just that much better.
Changing some things around could completely get rid of it, but…I don’t know. The more that I think about it the more I kinda like it.