I am one lucky Steepsterite!
Yesterday I got the cutest ever card from Auggy with a kitty in a christmas tree (she knows me so well!) and today I got another car from Jillian with a gift of tea and sweets! Thank you both, you are teh awesome. ♥
I’m starting with this one that Jillian sent me. She has managed to make a collection here of four things, none of which I have ever in my life tried before. There’s a strawberry green among them and while I’ve had both strawberries and greens before, obviously, I’ve never had them in combination.
But that one’s for later. So yeah, starting with this one. Mangosteen. What the heck is that? I had to look it up and as I suspected might be the case, it doesn’t actually have anything at all to do with mangos. I’m feeling a little ambivalent about that, actually, because I’d love to see a mango flavoured white that works some time.
Anyway, mangosteen appears to be something entirely different. I’ve spent some time now studying the photographs of it on wikipedia with some fascination. To me it looks sort of like alien fruit. I can’t tell from the pictures how big the fruit is, but it looks sort of like a cross between an enormous plum and an itty-bitty round aubergine and the actual white fruit inside it looks like a garlic. I’ve never even heard of it before.
The bag has a funny tropical smell. It’s very very aromatic. I’ve taken it out of the wrapping and put it in the cup while I’m waiting for the water to boil and even when I’m not actually smelling the bag I can still easily detect the aroma of it. It’s like a mix of juicy oranges, a little bit of pineapple and some passion fruit. Maybe some lemon or possibly lime also. I’m developing some pretty high expectations of this.
For obvious reasons I can’t evaluate this one on how well it’s been flavoured, whether or not it tastes synthetic or genuine or how it balances with the tea, because I haven’t the foggiest notion of what the fruit is actually supposed to taste like. I can only base my post here on whether or not the tea currently in my cup makes a pleasant initial impression.
After steeping the aroma is totally different. It’s got a funny spicy sort of aroma now with a tiny little sharp note to it that rather mysteriously reminds me of fennel. Fennel and indian food. It’s still quite fruity underneath that, but a more general tropical sort of aroma rather than the collection of different fruits from before.
Onwards to the flavour. Minus points for having hibiscus in it. It’s very very little compared to other places I’ve been hibiscus-ambushed in the past and on close inspection of the colour it doesn’t even have that tell-tale bright red colour that usually turn on the warning bells for me. It is, however, unmistakably hibiscus. At the very bottom of the flavour and the aftertaste especially a faint flavour of something red and metallic.
Most of the flavour is just fruity though. I’m not really picking up any particular white tea notes here, but I’m getting a large mouthful of mango. I thought we’d just established that mangosteen =/= mango? I haven’t actually checked the contents of this stuff yet, I’ll do that afterwards, but it’s definitely mango.
In between the mango flavour and the hibleurghscus there’s something else fruity. It’s kind of sweet and reminds me a little of persimmons. A bit on the ripe side persimmons, maybe. I like persimmons too.
I don’t actually feel like I’m any wiser on the subject of how mangosteens taste, but I do quite like this bag. It’s not something that I would find myself addicted to, but it’s quite pleasant. If offered it as a choice among other options somewhere I might indeed pick it. If only there hadn’t been that hibiscus aspect. Had it been hibiscus-free, I would have added some 5-10 points more. As it is, I can’t go any higher than this, and considering the fact that it contains an ingredient that my tastebuds identify primarily as blood-like it’s kind of amazing that I feel I can give it even this many points.
Finally, checking the ingredients, my findings are confirmed. Hibiscus and mango. Check. (Also other things that I couldn’t identify.)