Ok, caveat guys: I am not, in fact, sure that this is River Shannon. It is in an Adagio Masala Chai sample tin, but it is definitely not chai. Because I am a giant nubcake, however, I failed to make a note of what it IS. HOWEVER, it is the only one of my Upton Samples that is unaccounted for, so…odds are pretty high!
It’s very weird, because the tea smells totally oversteeped, but I was having one of my “forget to make tea until last minute” mornings instead of my “forgot I made tea and let it steep for like 20 minutes” mornings. (Those are basically the only two kinds of mornings I have. I don’t like mornings) That means that I, in fact, steeped it for about 30 seconds. But it still has a kind of weird burnt, overdone smell to it. Very strange. And not particularly appetizing given that I have a presentation today and my belly is in knots about that already.
The taste is much nicer, though. A nice assertive black tea taste with only a hint of astringency, just to let you know it’s there. No hint of oversteepedness at all. The fact that it was able to have this much personality with even a short steeping time is heartening, but that combined with the smell make me think that this would not be suitable for my other kind of morning. Sadly, I have no way of knowing what kind of morning it is going to be until it is already happening, so no way to plan ahead for that!
There is also a weird underlying piquant note in the aftertaste that makes me think of cola for some reason. I am going to go ahead and attribute that residual chai taste due to being too lazy to clean the sample tin out properly.