Ok, caveat guys: I am not, in fact, sure that this is River Shannon. It is in an Adagio Masala Chai sample tin, but it is definitely not chai. Because I am a giant nubcake, however, I failed to make a note of what it IS. HOWEVER, it is the only one of my Upton Samples that is unaccounted for, so…odds are pretty high!
It’s very weird, because the tea smells totally oversteeped, but I was having one of my “forget to make tea until last minute” mornings instead of my “forgot I made tea and let it steep for like 20 minutes” mornings. (Those are basically the only two kinds of mornings I have. I don’t like mornings) That means that I, in fact, steeped it for about 30 seconds. But it still has a kind of weird burnt, overdone smell to it. Very strange. And not particularly appetizing given that I have a presentation today and my belly is in knots about that already.
The taste is much nicer, though. A nice assertive black tea taste with only a hint of astringency, just to let you know it’s there. No hint of oversteepedness at all. The fact that it was able to have this much personality with even a short steeping time is heartening, but that combined with the smell make me think that this would not be suitable for my other kind of morning. Sadly, I have no way of knowing what kind of morning it is going to be until it is already happening, so no way to plan ahead for that!
There is also a weird underlying piquant note in the aftertaste that makes me think of cola for some reason. I am going to go ahead and attribute that residual chai taste due to being too lazy to clean the sample tin out properly.
Well, back to mornings as usual at Chez Ewa. Let this steep for maybe a minute before running out the door. Ah mornings. You suck.
So, I’ve been letting this stuff air out in a shallow container in hopes of getting rid of the chai contamination, and I decided it was time to risk it again. The root beer taste IS gone, thank goodness. But there’s nothing to replace it. It just tastes kind of generic and slightly astringent. Maybe I should just give up on this stuff?
Ok, I actually grabbed the right tin today for trying this out and comparing it to the Irish and Scottish breakfast blends. I kind of wish I hadn’t though because I am totally getting root beer from this. ROOT BEER! Now this is bad for two reasons, 1. it makes no sense, and 2. I don’t like root beer.
The root beerness faded into a general sweet note as I got further into the cup, but I have to say I am still dissatisfied with it. It’s just not smack me in the face enough for my mornings. I think I’ll have to stick to the plebian quick brew blends. Looks like it’s back to the Scottish blend for me!
So I was going to offer the rest of my sample to Morgana since she mentioned she’d like to try it the last time I posted on this, but I have a suspicion that the whole root beer taste might be coming from contamination with what was previously in this tin, so I wonder if this wouldn’t be doing both her and the tea a disservice. Still, if you want to risk it…