This is a sad brew, as I drink it in tribute to the amazing, perennially fabulous Kate O’Mara, who passed away a few days ago. Just a few months ago she had said in an interview that she’d happily reprise her role as the Rani on Doctor Who, and I’d have loved to see that. She was a truly fabulous, glamourous, and warm lady.
It really does smell like BOOM! cherries, sweet-tart and candylike, a little undercurrent of vanilla drifting in and out occasionally. But don’t let that frighten you – remember, the Rani’s not evil, just amoral. Like the Rani, this tea is a master of disguise: beneath the leaves’ potent fragrance lies a more nuanced, interesting brew. Cherry remains the predominant flavour, while the vanilla adds depth, and the hibiscus lends a tart edge. It becomes deep and sweet and tart, mostly cherry, but with something else lurking in the background. A friend of mine made a cup of this when she heard the news, and described it as having an almost spicy mouthfeel, and I get a bit of that. It’s subtle but dark, and powerful, but it keeps you guessing. Definitely a science experiment gone right.