I’ve come over all meh and tired and stuff. Started quite suddenly last night with low-level headache, chills and sleepyness. I wonder if I’m nipping something in the bud. Clearly the best course of action under these circumstances is to have another cup of tea (and attempt to NOT play Bejeweled for six hours straight), and since I paid ransom to Tax and Customs on my 52teas order yesterday, it seemed a good place to start.
We’ve bought the cranberry black from AC Perch’s recently and I’m really pleased with that one, so making a comparison with this one seems impossible to avoid. I was sniffing the dry leaves of each side by side and the 52teas one definitely smells like it’s much more strongly flavoured. I thought the ACP had a pretty pleasant level of flavouring so on the dry aroma alone, I prefer that one, I think. This one is a bit too forceful and there’s a funny screaming pink and dusty teal side note that reminds me of bubblegum.
After steeping it still smells pretty strongly flavoured and bubblegum-ish. I could probably identify it as cranberry in a blind test, but it smells like there’s more to it than that. It’s that dusty teal note again. I’m not sure what it is, but it reminds me weirdly of Earl Grey (that can’t be right!) or some such. I’m pretty certain these leaves have never even seen bergamot, though… At this point I can no longer compare it with ACP other than from memory, but I can’t recall if this funny note also showed up in that one. If it did, then it must be some sort of quality of the cranberry itself, but mostly I’m inclined to believe that it has to do with the differences in the strength of flavouring and the differences in the base. I can’t remember what the base is on either one, but I seem to recall Frank having mentioned once that his black base is often Nilgiri (although I can’t remember where I saw that and may in fact have made it up) and I’m pretty certain that ACP is either something Chinese or Ceylon or a blend of both.
As mentioned, I thought ACP had a level of flavouring that was just right for me. Not too little and not too much. Clearly fruity but also with a detectable tea flavour underneath it. This one is definitely far more fruity, and there it is again, that teal note! Where is that coming from??? Anyway, strongly fruit flavoured and yes, definitely cranberry-ish with a sort of tangy sweetness. I still think there’s something citrus-y going on here as well, and I’m having a sudden overwhelming urge to try and do up some sort of orange and cranberry combination, now that’s I’ve got an abundance of both available to me.
This is definitely a pleasant tea and as usual I once again find myself preferring the fruity blends over the more outlandish ones that 52teas sell, but all in all, I do prefer the fruity blends to be either green or white, I think. Those really seem to be my favourites of all. For a cranberry flavoured black in particular, I think I prefer ACP over this one, although this is definitely also a good one.