Good morning Steepsterites.
I’ve been looking through the Bits and Bops Basket and found a few things that it’s unlikely I’ll ever drink, so I’m making a tough decision to just throw them out instead of having them lying around for years and years and years. I have a box full of ancient cheap tea bags which will probably eventually suffer the same fate, but I’ll get to those later. I only did the Basket now because I was searching for inspiration for the first pot of the day.
I eventually decided on this one, which I think came from Wombatgirl. I opened it up and sniffed the leaves, and decided that this was actually a very weather appropriate choice. Possibly would have been more so yesterday, but it’s close enough for jazz.
It smells sweetly floral and fruity. It could easily have been a soap-y smell, but it’s not that floral. Something pointing in that direction though. More importantly, it smells girly and extremely summerly. Extremely so. And this is where we get back to the weather, because yesterday was so far the warmest day of the year where I live, with upwards of 20°C outside. (I got my windows washed, yay, with minimal stripage, yay!) I can pick out the fruit and I can recognise it as mango, although it does get a little camuflaged by the floral aspects. If I hadn’t known it was mango, I’m not sure I would have been able to guess much more than ‘something tropical and fruity’.
After steeping the aroma has completely changed character. We now have something sugary sweet which can best be described as a bubblegum flavour. There are no specific floral notes in the aroma to speak of, and the mango notes have been warped somewhat. Again, however, knowing that they’re there helps being able to identify them underneath the funny bubblegum smell. Turning it into a smell of pure mango can be done, but it requires the cup to stand around and develop for a bit and then deep concentration. It turns more mango-y after having rested for a moment and less bubblegum-y.
The flavour is surprisingly floral, considering the fact that it’s almost not there at all in the steeped aroma. Again, we haven’t quite moved into soap territory, but there is certainly a heavily perfumed aspect to it and it leaves a funny, slightly bitter aftertaste. Like if accidentally got just a tiny amount of shampoo in your mouth while washing your hair, and then you can taste that still for a long time. It’s not quite that unpleasant, but it’s what it reminds me off.
The fruit that is so heavily present in the aroma is a different matter. It seems to have had business elsewhere because it’s not really here right now. There are the shadows of it flitting about in the mouth at first, but the more I sip it, the more it seems to come out. And the more it comes out, the more it reins in the roses. I’ve only had a few sips at this moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the mango would become a good deal stronger as the cup develops.
But then again, I do tend to like those subtly flavoured ones. Except I can’t really bring myself to call all these roses ‘subtle.’ They’re anything but. I should have liked to have been able to identify the actual tea underneath the flavouring but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. (Oh hello! Big pigeon sitting close to my window!)
I’m feeling a little ambivalent about this one. I like the fruit aspects, especially if it develops a little more than it is right now, but it really is very floral. I would have liked it better if it had just been green tea with mango, I think. To me the rose addition seems a bit overkill.