Hello fellow tea enthusiasts! :D I first reviewed this Cranberry Tea 5 years 2 months ago for Thanksgiving. Here is the original review if you care to read it. :D
Ingredients: Black tea, cranberry pieces, artificial flavor.
About 2-3 years ago Upton Tea began a more detailed description of ingredient labeling required by the FDA. In their Upton Tea Quarterly, they stated a new FDA requirement for labeling all teas containing artificial flavoring, as well as other ingredients previously not required to be listed.
Fast forward five years. The dry tea leaf aroma is very fruity sweet, much sweeter than I remember it, and I did not smell much Cranberry aroma. There are less Cranberries of a smaller stature than I recall. This is disappointing, which I can possibly attribute to a bag near the end of the lot. Wet leaf aroma is fruity & sweet as well. Cup color is a reddish brown hue with a definite—you guessed it—fruity sweetness, with little cranberry aroma detected. As of January 19th, the tea is discounted nearly $3 from Upton’s retail price.
Taste per brewing below, is sweet for sure, some of which I attribute to the artificial flavoring. Light cranberry flavor (lighter than I remember), with not much noticeable tea flavor. To coax more out of the tea, I added one level tsp additional tea to leaves at 205 degrees for another 3.5 minutes. The tea base balanced better with the flavoring in the second cup, and cranberry tartness was more noticeable, with less sweetness. Honestly, I think one cup with 1.5-2 tsp of tea at a full boil for 4 minutes would yield a more balanced, tart tea.
I know this Cranberry Tea is still sourced from the same supplier in Germany (with artificial flavoring now listed), as in my review 5 years ago. Despite being naturally & artificially flavored, this tea does not taste medicinal, and the taste is not too artificial in nature. I am slightly lowering my score from 88 to 84, based on smaller (and less) cranberries, & a less tart flavor which I attribute to what is now an end lot, sale offering. This is still a good and flavorful tea, and the best Cranberry Tea I have tasted!
NOTE: Apparently Steepster overrides your tea rating if you re-review the same tea. So I will list as follows, and my rating will be averaged.
First Review in November 2011 (linked): 88.
Current Review: 84.
Cupped: Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Reviewed: Friday, January 20, 2017.