Seriously, this is kind of weird.
One of my coworkers and I tried this (hot and unsweetened first, and then with some sugar) in the store the other night (this was the same night we tried the Watermelon Mint Chiller) and thought it was vile. We discussed whether or not it might luckily be discontinued at the end of the year, and who might get a Christmas present of a pink slip for coming up with this one.
I’m trying it again at home (sweetened), and it’s not quite as bad as I remember it being. I wouldn’t buy it, but I can drink it. I need to think back to a time that I tossed together a tasty salad with juicy chunks of strawberries and bits of fresh basil…and then I go, “Oh yeeeah, okay, it tastes a bit like that, that was the flavour they were going for.”
It’s really a bit of an odd flavour for a tea though; at least, in my opinion. But some flavours that I think are really wrong for tea are flavours that others go for (maple, for example, which has a tendency to literally make me queasy when I taste it in tea), so perhaps other people will like this. It’s nowhere near the top of my list of personal recommendations, though.
I will chill the rest of this cup and update.
Chilled Update: Okay, I thought icing this tea would improve it, but I think I was wrong about that. You know how I said that the mint is more noticeable in the Watermelon Mint Chiller when it’s iced? Well, the same thing seems to happen to the basil here, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Ever had a fruit-and-basil salad that was too heavy on the basil? Yeaaaah.
There’s something else that comes out towards the back of the sip, but I’m not sure what it is. Lemon, maybe? Okay, actually lemon and basil aren’t that bad a combination, but having them follow the berries too strongly is having that making-me-queasy effect. Nope, nope, nope.