Last night was surprisingly cold for Quito, Ecuador. It rained all afternoon and it got so cold at night that I actually put on a jacket inside the house! (We have no need for air-conditioning or heating because it never actually gets THAT hot or cold. In a way, that really convenient, but also I really miss the cold and snow…) I was really happy for the cold because it meant I had a great excuse to curl up in a blanket and sip a hot cup of tea!
I decided to go for this tea. I had tried the version with no berries in it a few years ago (and I am happy to see that the berries have been once again taken out of the blend!), but ordered it last time I got tea from Teavana and I was super sad to see that it was full of berries. Almost as many berries as tea leaves… My first reaction was shock. I couldn’t believe that I had payed that much money for 50% oolong and 50% raspberries… I wanted tea, not fruit… Oh well… After getting over my disappointment I tried to figure out how much dry tea I should use for my usual 16oz of hot water. It was hard for me to figure out because the amount of berries in each spoonful looked so much more plentiful than the tea. I decided to go for 3 teaspoons to make sure enough oolong made it in to my cup.
I steeped the first brew for 2 minutes in boiling water. I haven’t mentioned before that since Quito is at such a high altitude (3000 meters above sea level) water boils at 194F. Which means that all my temps are off by a bit when I talk about boiling water.
The brewed tea was a nice pinkish color, probably all due to the ridiculous amount of raspberries in the leaves. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually did smell oolong and raspberries in my cup!
The taste was better that I thought it would be. My complaint would be the added sour sensation that came with the fruit. After I got over that, there was a delicate raspberry flavor followed by a tiny bit of woody ending a sweet oolong afertaste. I love that I still had the oolong experience in my cup! It could have been much better if the tart, sour pieces of berry weren’t there to interfere.
The second brew (3 minutes) was more oolong and less berry, which I approved of. There still was a bit of tartness that felt out of place, but the oolong was tasty enough to keep me from focusing on it. Thankfully. The first flavor I got was tiny bit grassy, which I wasn’t expecting, but enjoyed. The sweet aftertaste to this oolong was stronger in the second brew.
I had a third brew of it this morning (forgot it brewing so I have no idea how long it brewed… ooops…). Even though the leaves steeped for a while, I didn’t get any bitter. I enjoyed it just as much as my second cup.
So, to sum it all up, it was good, but could be better. It is a decent oolong and as far as flavored oolongs go. I don’t think I will be paying for it again, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. : ) Maybe one day I will decide to try the non-raspberry pieces added version again… Maybe.