It would have been fun to do this War of the Roses style, and pit this against GM’s Rose Tea for fun like Auggy did!
Jon’s randomizer picked this out for me! Yay! Just thought I’d mention that. I was in the mood for a black that I hadn’t tried yet, and this was the first one that popped up.
Anyway, Auggy sent me this and I have to say, it smells pretty good. Softly rose-like, with the black tea coming across pretty mildly. The leaves are typical black-leaf length, and peppered with pretty flashes of pink rose petals. Very, very pretty to look at. Like rose tea should!
1 level teaspoon in 6 oz. of water later, and the leaves opened up a lot and ate a lot of the water. Which makes me sad, because my mug is only half full this morning. I’m definitely going to need to drink MORE TEA later. Yay! Anyway, the wet leaves smell like a musky black tea with rose mixed in. And the infusion itself? I’m actually not getting any rose on the nose (harrharr I made a funny). Instead, I’m smelling some nice cocoa and warmth from the black base.
My first sip of this was a bit confusing. The rose here definitely isn’t assertive enough. Instead, it comes off as a general floral sweetness than specifically rose. Even that floral note isn’t that strong. The tea itself is fairly light, with a slight bitter component and some astringency. The black base is pretty forgettable overall, and since the flavoring isn’t the greatest and most special, the tea seems to stall.
SpecialTeas recommends you try this with sugar, which I did not, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Because as the cup cooler, the sweetness definitely got stronger. If I would have added sugar, I fear it would have been a bumrush of sweet and barely any tea flavor. The sweet here is a bit cloying. It sort of sticks to your tongue and refuses to die. But it’s a sweetness that surprisingly enough, isn’t paired with a strong floral or rose note.
This tea is remarkably inoffensive. But that’s pretty much my problem with it. It doesn’t have much of a wow factor. The black is too light to make a mark, the rose is too shy to fully come through with a rose-like flavor. So all we’re getting here is a mild black with a mild floral note. On occasion I will pick up some toasty cocoa notes from the black, but other than that, it’s not full enough. And the sad thing is, if it was fuller, it’d drown out the shreds of rose that you can taste. So I guess it’s balanced in that way.
It’s not the best tea in the world, but it’s certainly not the worst, and I wouldn’t reject a cup of it. It just isn’t exciting enough to sustain itself over many, many tea days and nights.