During one of the many wasteful hours spent browsing tea-related website on the internet, my interest was piqued by the idea of mango-flavoured tea. This is rather surprising as I never cared for mangoes – too sickly sweet for my liking, prefering, as in life, the bitter-sweet or the sweet-and-sour – which made me something of an oddity in Australia. It was seeing the rather cute little wooden tea-chests that Mlesna/Metropolitan Tea Company package their teas in that I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, all of the Mlesna teas I have tried are rather disappointing with the possible exception of their Russian Caravan, so the mango tea remained untouched in the back cupboard under a mountain of tea that I have hoarded these last few months.
At the Adore Tea stall in Chatswood, Sydney I was tempted to give the mango tea another try as I was not wanting to waste the nice little Mlesna box. Their mango tea was one of about twenty two-cup samplers I have picked up over the last couple of weeks but haven’t got round to trying as yet.
The fragrance of the tea prior to infusing is that unmistakable, if somewhat overbearing, tropical smell of mango. The leaves seem to be standard broken orange pekoe, and flecked with shards of orange and yellow in various shades. After infusing in the standard manner – water just off the boil and left to stand for four minutes – the liquor is a deep, dark bronze and the aroma of the mango is muted.
Served black, this is a smooth, slightly sweet tea with no bitterness and slightly tingling sensation in the middle of the tongue. I can’t really place the origin of the tea base – at a guess, I would say a mix of Chinese black teas. Realistically, no one drinks flavoured teas for the actual tea so I wouldn’t say the lack of a definite identity or terroir is a negative unless it was ‘bad’ tea or I wasn’t actually able to taste the tea-flavour. In this case, the tea base is very mild and unremarkable but pleasant enough, and there is no bitterness or astringency.
Although I don’t think I will be drinking this every day, or even every week, this is definitely worth having again.