91

I think of all the Secret Garden teas, I was most pumped to try this one. I’ve been craving pear flavoured things lately (possibly because I had a really amazing stewed pear tart with a fancy dinner the other day), and it seems like pear is just not a very common flavour to find in stuff. I’m also just sad about the end of summer and with it, the end of fresh, summer fruit.

I used 1tsp in 8oz of water, at 96C for 3 minutes. I figured I’d go for a shorter steep than my usual four minutes for blacks, and I’m really glad I did, because I think even at 3 minutes, this got a bit over steeped.

The dry leaf has an intense, almost sharp smell of plums and pears, with tart fruit skin notes. I catch a hint of the black tea base, but the fruit fragrances are really strong.

Steeped, the liquor is a deep reddish brown, and has the same tart, plum, pear notes as the dry leaf, but mellower.

The body is quite heavy, and this cup started to develop a bit of astringency that I wish wasn’t there, but otherwise, I’m super impressed. The black tea base is a bit generic but supports the strong pear and plum flavours very well. There’s some tartness at the beginning of the sip, which fades out to sweet, juicy pear on the finish. This is very evocative of a real, fresh pear, with the complexity of both the skin and flesh flavours. I’m even reminded of that soft and slightly gritty texture that pears have.

I love this, even oversteeped. It’s unique in my cupboard and exactly the flavours I was craving and promised by the name. Next time I’ll try for a 2 minute steep.

Thanks to Tiffany from Secret Garden for this sample.

Edit: I tried resteeping these leaves, and the results were okay but not great. 5 minutes yielded a cup that was drinkable, but the complexity and intensity of the fruit just didn’t survive.

Flavors: Astringent, Pear, Plums, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.

Location

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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