Trust Auggy to send me a conundrum in a tin. [Hahaha, just kidding. Love you, Augs.] But seriously y’all, this tea belongs in a carnival somewhere between the bearded lady and the contortionist. It is bizarre.
The leaves will punch you in the sarcophagus if you aren’t ready for the stench when you open up the tin. And yes, I am going to call it a stench, because I don’t think it’s an extremely appealing smell. It smells like brine, with maybe a hint of cucumber [but just a hint]. There’s a spicy nudge that almost smells like cinnamon, but it has that sweet edge Auggy was talking about so it really reminds me a lot of Red Hots, which I was never a fan of. Sometimes it has this sharpness to it that reminds me of when I got pine sap on my hand one time and it was really hard to get off and smelled kind of nasty. It’s one of those smells that is impossible to ignore and makes your nostrils feel not unlike they’re being poked with a skewer.
With a smell this pungent, you’d think the tea would be inarguably disgusting, but surprisingly, or not surprisingly as I am discovering with Adagio’s smell to taste ratio, I didn’t find this to be true. This was one of the rare cases where I was so glad the taste did not live up to the smell that I let out a huge sigh of relief after the first sip.
It kind of tasted like cucumber, but even more of that cinnamon/Red Hots note came out in the taste. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t hate it. The scent of the liquid is still a liiiittle bit overwhelming, but the taste was surprisingly mellow. Cucumbers, a cross between dill and sweet pickles, and Red Hots. There is nothing in my head that say those flavors should meld together, but for whatever reason worked okay.
As it moved to luke warm, it began to get a little bit sweeter, which I liked. But when it cooled, the any taste I could pick out was pretty much gone. It sort of tasted like cucumber water, which I can make a little more easily by just sticking cucumbers in water. EDIT TO ADD: Somewhere around here, in the lukewarm range, I also was getting the flavor of plain, unbuttered popcorn. That kind of weirded me out. Not sure where it was coming from, but it wasn’t completely unwelcome.
So, for the novelty, I’ll probably finish off this sample tin. I’ll just have to hold my nose a bit because the stink of the leaves is strong enough to actually make my eyes water. [I wish I were kidding.] But this definitely isn’t something I’m going to buy.