Haha, wouldn’t think I’d find this tea here considering I got it from a local little tearoom in Canterbury! Actually discovered this during our Tea Society’s Christmas social where we had a “mystery tea tasting” competition: usually we are all served a little of a tea without knowing what kind it is or what’s in it and have to guess, but this time round, we were given a scorecard… And my team won ;) all because I guessed “peony” for this one, prominent as it is in Coquelicot Gourmand, I’ve come to recognise it in other places too.
And wow, did the flavours surprise me at first! Plenty of people said the aroma was like cherries, maybe cherry bakewell tart (with wild cherries it almost smells like… cough syrup? still delicious!); I found it tasted very much like frangipane, or almonds, or maybe amaretto, as well as rose and peony, but I couldn’t guess chilli at all.
This time round, brewing it at home, I was so fascinated by the miniscule chillies and rosebuds in the loose-leaf tea that I decided to use one of the tiny chillies in my brew. Big mistake. I’m terrible with spiciness. This absolutely burns on the way down, but only while I’m actually drinking it. All the other beautiful flavours are still there though! Cherry, still some marzipan there, peony, with a very smooth, fruity sip as though the chilli had never been there in the first place.
I definitely, definitely recommend giving this try if you can, it’s a really unique experience. I might just toss out all the chillies in my bag of this so I don’t burn my mouth off though!