Morning cuppa at work today.
I still don’t love this one, but there are some really nice aspects to it – the creamyness of the while chocolate is a nice, softer undertone that adds a lot of body and richness to the profile of the cup as a whole. And, the sort of ‘brandied’/boozy fruit aspect is growing on me. Anyone who’s ever had an AU blend with plum will really pick out that flavour – it’s super consistent in all of their blends and this is not an exception. Aftertaste lingers, and while it starts off pleasant enough it does finish in a rather artificial way and for me that’s definitely the biggest drawback to the overall cup.
I wasn’t as wowed overall with this collection (Breathless, In The Mood For Love, The Black Lodge, Psychocandy, and Arabasque) as I’ve been with others – in fact the only tea I think I’d actually want to repurchase is the Psychocandy blend. However, this is probably my second favourite overall. If I could give any feedback to AU overall it would be that I’m at a point now where I’ve tried a lot of their blends and I’ve started to pick up on flavour notes that are present in a lot of them. They very much have certain flavours they seem to really enjoy including (smokey blacks, stonefruit, turkish apple, vanilla, etc.) and it’s not that they’re bad notes to hit on but they do at a certain point feel repetitive.
Since this is a company that really prides themselves on cutting edge, unique, and inspired flavours/ideas I’d really like to seem them diversify their flavours a little more. Especially when it comes to their blacks; I feel like often they rely strongly on the idea of smoked black tea or apple-y fruit flavours. I’d very much to see a bright, vibrant fruity black tea that doesn’t use stonefruit, apple, or smoked tea. Like, what about a blueberry? Or an exotic fruit – like starfruit or lychee? I think the AU take on lychee black tea could be pretty cool. Also, just throwing it out there, but what about more unique flavoured white options? That could be fun to experiment with.
But anyway, it was actually an awesome day! The last week has very much been dragging for me and it definitely didn’t start off super positively. A few weeks ago I was training our new manager on the core roles/duties of being a ‘tea guide’ (basically all the entry level stuff), after which the company sent him off to another store to do his management training. He got back at the start of the week, and it definitely wasn’t the most seamless transition. There were a lot of initial issues, and personality wise he didn’t seem to be meshing overly well with the team as a whole.
I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s very rare for management changes in general to go smoothly – and not only were we getting a new store manager but we were also losing our assistant store manager. I’m thrilled to say everything has only gotten better over the course of the week; personality wise everything seems to be clicking into place and he’s getting along great with the team – but not too much. Our previous manager got along FABULOUSLY with everyone but almost to a point where she approached things as more of a ‘friend’ than a superior. I don’t think that’s gonna be the case here. Plus, for the first time in a while I feel really supported in my role as a keyholder and I feel like I have a boss who not only deeply appreciates my ‘background’ with tea, but who deeply wants to help me to continue to grow with the company. There are still gonna be bumps along the way, but a lot less than I had originally assessed.