I received a sample of this tea with my order from Teavivre. I was curious to see how pine needles relate to black tea.
When I opened the silver sample package, there were long brown leaves inside. No aroma immediately presented itself so I sent my nose on a seek and find mission deep inside the package. Ultimately my sniffing sensors were able to pull a very slight grassy smell from the leaves.
I pretty closely followed the recommended brewing instructions and steeped the leaves at 195 degrees for five minutes. (NOTE: My Breville Automatic Tea Maker does not have a setting for the recommended temperature of 194 degrees.)
The finished product had a bright amber color. The aroma was a bit like southern sweet tea but very faint.
My first two sips produced a dim and distant flavor that was somewhat malty with an extra twinge that was kinda sorta like pine. I am not sure that I would have arrived at the pine flavor conclusion if I hadn’t been expecting it.
As I continued with two cups worth of sips, the flavor did build up on my palate sufficiently to make it seem stronger than it was initially. There was no astringency to speak of. I attributed the twinge to the pine-like attribute. The aftertaste also contained no bitterness.
As I am seasonally sinus-challenged, I prefer strong and robust flavors in my teas. The flavors in this selection are a bit anemic and indistinct for my taste. However, the flavors are not unpleasant, include Teavivre’s trademark smoothness, and may be strong enough for other tea drinkers.
Flavors: Malt, Pine