After trying my first sampling from 52teas today (their wonderful Neapolitan Honeybush blend, which I love dearly already!) I just couldn’t wait to try another. The Cucumber Kiwi Honeybush was the very first thing that caught my eye when I was deciding what to purchase in my first order from them, so I’m really excited to give it a try. :D
Much like with the Neapolitan blend, I could see the bits of dried kiwi among all the honeybush before I even opened the bag. I love that their teas are appealing to the senses before they’re even opened. I couldn’t smell a whole lot before I opened the bag, but wow, as soon as the seal was broken the scent of kiwi was like a smack upside the head to my senses. It’s not just kiwi either; it’s like kiwi distilled and boiled down and then maybe left in the sun for a while. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it smells really strong! My mom even remarked that she could smell it from across the room. There’s also a bit of an overpowering, nearly cloying sweetness to the scent that I wouldn’t usually associate with kiwi. I don’t want to call it artificial, but it’s not exactly a fresh, fruity sweetness either. Maybe it’s just something that goes along with super-strong-kiwi scent though, which is a scent I’m hardly accustomed to, after all. I should also mention that while the kiwi component was most definitely there, I didn’t get a whole lot of cucumber, but we’ll see what happens after it’s steeped.
The color of the liquid after steeping is a bit surprising to me. It’s pretty dark for a honeybush blend; more like what you’d expect from a black tea, I think. The scent has mellowed quite a bit though, and cucumber is certainly coming through nicely now. I want to say I’m enjoying it more, but it’s actually coming across with a bit of a medicinal undertone, which is slightly dampening my initial enthusiasm about this tea.
…And now that I’ve tasted it, I think I’m officially disappointed. My first sip started off nicely, with a refreshing blast of cucumber, but it was downhill from there. That medicinal undertone has turned into a medicinal aftertaste that is decidedly unpleasant. All of my subsequent tastes are a blend of that cloying “is this kiwi or not?” sweetness, the medicinal taste, and… cucumber, though the more I drink, the less fresh and natural it seems. I’m kind of starting to wonder if this is what that overpowering cucumber-scented body splash that was so popular when I was in high school must taste like. (Just in case you were wondering, that’s not a good thing.)
While I’m definitely not going to give up on 52teas after this – they have so many whimsical, fun blends that I’m still dying to try, and the Neapolitan Honeybush alone would make me buy from them again – saying that their Cucumber Kiwi Honeybush will not be a keeper for me is a bit of an understatement. I’m not even sure if I want to finish this cup, honestly. :-( I will give it another try, maybe with sugar and a shorting steeping time, or perhaps iced, but as of right now I’m not holding my breath.