After reading one of Roswell Strange’s notes mentioning orange blossom I was all set to try Metropolitan as my next August Uncommon Tea since it said something about neroli on the back of the package but after opening it and sniffing I wasn’t sure it was quite what I was in the mood for. I sniffed a couple more teas and settled on Arabesque instead.
It smells good. Very creamsicle-y. It’s not just vanilla, it’s that creamy vanilla ice cream type vanilla. I’m not sure the sample size is the best way to try this one. My sample pouch has several large pieces of orange slice that might’ve thrown off the ingredient balance and the tea leaves fall to the bottom and hide in the pouch’s crease so it’s hard to get an even mix of everything if you’re not making the entire pouch in one go. I steeped according to the package instructions (175°F water, 4-5min) to see how that turned out. The brewed tea still smells like creamsicles but maybe a little milder than the dry leaf. I’m not sure if it’s just been a while since I’ve had teas that are flavored with things other than flower petals or citrus peel but August teas seem quite strongly flavored/scented to me. This one isn’t as intense as Black Metallic but it’s definitely not weak flavor either. The flavor is creamsicle…but not. Maybe it’s the jatoba wood or something about the base tea but something there keeps it from being as creamsicle flavored as it smells. In a weird way it kind of reminds me of some non-dairy “healthy” creamsicles I tried that had coconut milk or something instead of ice cream. The orange is there, the vanilla is there, but there’s a little bit of an odd taste and there is absolutely no creamy mouthfeel. Not BAD but disappointing if you’re expecting it to be identical to the dairy version in flavor and texture. I think if you go into this tea expecting liquid creamsicle it could be disappointing. As it’s cooling I think the wood might be coming out more and the vanilla is becoming more of just a sweetness. It smells more like a sweet summery orangey sandalwood type thing than ice cream truck to me now. It tastes more like orange and wood too. I feel like those are two completely different descriptions but both describe the tea? I’m guessing how well mixed the ingredients are when you scoop them out will determine whether it leans more toward the creamsicle flavors or toward the wood type flavors. I think I like it. It seems like a lighter, gentler on my stomach, more relaxing tea than some of the others I picked from this company. I’d like to get a bigger bag at some point to hopefully have a more even mix of ingredients to see if that changes the flavor at all.