In spite of the “limited edition” claim on the tin, I was surprised when I couldn’t find this on the TCB&TL web site. I guess it really is gone. Hunh, go figure.
Upon opening the tin for the first time, I was naturally knocked out by the powerful cherry fragrance. It smelled natural, for the most part, like smelling a bottle of cherry extract/concentrate/whatever, but there was still a very slight medicinal tinge to it. I’m learning, with experience, that I shouldn’t judge fragrance and flavour immediately, especially fragrance. It’s concentrated and not true to reality. So I gave it a minute, and slowly the strong cherry started to subside and the black tea fragrance began to come through, until the two struck a decent balance. I didn’t smell any mango or lily blossom, but I did discern a vaguely floral aspect to the black tea part of the fragrance, which I don’t usually associate with black tea (and which actually reminded me a bit of green tea).
I haven’t drunk tea in a while, and it’s because my new tea tasting adventures have been more unsuccessful than not. I was thinking about it, and I was thinking that possibly, irrationally, my disappointment with specific teas turned me off to tea in general. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this disappointment: you look forward to holding that warm cup or mug in your hands, inhaling the fragrance, sipping the yumminess, immersing yourself in the ritual and experience, only to be betrayed by a tea that’s not really up your alley. I’ve had too many of those, lately. One of the things that I’ve begun doing is drinking 8oz at a time instead of my usual 16oz, so that if I’m sipping a tea I don’t love, at least it’s not 16oz of it. Another thing I realise I need to do start doing is having a cup of one of my favourite teas after every few new tastings so that when I think of drinking tea, I think of my favourites and not the disappointments.
This tea isn’t wonderful, but it’s not terrible. To its credit, the tin does not say “naturally and artificially flavored,” just “naturally.” To its credit, the tea does not taste like cough syrup or maraschino cherries, but more like cherry Jolly Rancher and black tea. Given this, in theory I should love this tea. But I dunno, there’s something about it that—sweetened or unsweetened—misses the spot.
For now, this is the type of tea that I’d stick in the back of the cupboard, the type I’d pretend didn’t win the “eenie meenie minie moe” lottery. But like many of the fruity blends I’ve tried in recent weeks, I’d really like to try this one iced, and possibly that will improve its rating. In the meantime, I need one of my security blanket teas to make me feel better.
Tea amount: 1 sachet
Water amount: 8oz/~237mL
Additives: 2 tsp Demerara sugar (note to future Nik: um…that was too much)
Dry mouth factor: 6/10