Autumn Harvest! This is a black tea I picked up from Snake River Tea in Boise, Idaho, on one of my yearly Anime Oasis trips. After a search for the ingredients I found it was sourced from major blend wholesaler Dethlefsen & Balk. Last year I wanted to stock up more of it because I really liked it, so I ordered more of their “Pomegranate Black”, but when I got home, I noticed the leaf looked different. Sure enough, I looked up the ingredients online, and realized that it was not the “Pomegranate Cranberry” that they had before and the ingredients were indeed different. Snake River Tea had replaced the Pomegranate Cranberry they were sourcing from Dethlefsen & Balk with TeaSource’s Pomegranate Black (this made me even more disappointed because my local coffee shop that actually carries tea here in town carries a small selection they source from TeaSource, Pomegranate Black being one of them, so I can easily get some of that tea whenever I want. I really wish I had realized the Boise store had replaced that blend! Bah!) So, this is a sad sipdown of this one. I’m on a strict tea-ordering hiatus for a while, but one day I will have to find another source online that is specifically wholesaling this particular blend so I can restock it.
The leaf is lovely with this tart fruitiness from the cranberry and pomegranate, but also has this light floral undertone. The steeped cup is a nice, rounded dark brown cuppa of black tea with some lovely cherry tones, and it brews fairly dark and leaves some lingering astringency, but the cup is mellowed a lot by the natural sweetness of the fruity and floral flavor notes of the tea.
Neither the pomegranate or cranberry flavors are particularly dominant in the blend, but they do mix together to create a very unique and pleasant fruity flavor; it’s deep, just a bit sweet, and has a tart edge that compliments the black tea well. I think what I like best is that the fruit flavor adds a light dimension and doesn’t taste heavy, overpowering, syrupy or incredibly artificial like many fruit flavored blacks can tend to do. And I love how that tart fruity note is complimented by the sweet peony petals in the blend! They leave a pleasant fragrance lingering on the cup, and give the back of the tongue this mellow sweet floral finish that keeps the fruitiness from becoming too tart and the tea requiring some sugar or honey to balance it out. At the same time, the floral notes are just subtle enough beneath the fruit flavor and the rich black tea that if you normally don’t like floral teas, I don’t think you’d find it off-putting.
Such a nice blend, I’ll miss this one!
Flavors: Astringent, Berries, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tart