Summer Vacation! The iced tea in my big water bottle today happened to be a blend of three different Chinese teas — a heicha, a jasmine green tea, and a white tea. When I opened the package, it smelled strongly of melon; not that strong, artificial watermelon flavor used here in the states, but the Asian “melon” flavoring that is similar to cantalope and honeydew that is commonly found in Japanese candies, sodas, and shaved ice. And I was really surprised by that, because nothing in the tea description mentioned it being melon-flavored. It just said it had “fruity and floral notes.” I didn’t even smell anything floral… just really, really strong melon.
So I didn’t even bother trying this tea warm, I just cold brewed it, strained it, and stuck it in my water bottle. And… it was about as strongly melon-flavored as it smelled. I wouldn’t say it was unpleasant, though, because it actually somehow came off really juicy on the tongue, as if I’d actually just eaten a slice of cantalope. The flavor, of course, wasn’t quite the same, because it tastes more like that honeydew/cantalope melon-hybrid flavor, but the mouthfeel just somehow came off strikingly similar to that juicy sensation of having just chewed up a slice of cantalope. And though I couldn’t smell any floral notes, I could actually taste a slight floral sweetness to the tea, though it was subtle, and seemed to somehow bring out the honeydew flavors a bit. There was also a very subtle citrus note right at the end of the sip. The tea is very naturally sweet, and almost feels like a melon soda, just lacking the carbonation and having an overall more refreshing feel. Or maybe I’m reminded of soda because though it’s sweet, it actually has a slight tanginess to the aftertaste, which I find quite pleasant.
I don’t know if it’s because I cold steeped this, but I would never think there was heicha in this… the base felt very much like a green/white base to me. It even steeped up a yellow color. I have no idea if it was because of the way the tea was prepared, or just a matter of leaf ratios… guess I’ll have to play with it more.
So… from the name and description, I would never expect this to be a very melon-flavored tea. If that is what you are looking for, this is the tea for you! It took me by complete surprise, but I’m not disappointed by it. I drink a lot of iced tea, and I’ll be using this one up exclusively that way.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Citrus, Floral, Honeydew, Melon, Sweet, Tangy