So, you’ve probably heard of the Champagne of Tea, but have you ever heard of an ice wine tea? Certainly not I, and certainly not before two days ago.

It was a happy surprise to find out that a long time specialty shop in Terrace actually sells loose leaf tea. What was quite amazing was the variety of teas they offer, and how relatively obscure the fact of them carrying loose leaf tea was.

In any case, the ice wine tea intrigued me. I haven’t really heard much about quality or experiences, but the fact that there was an ice wine tea was enough for me to purchase.

Upon opening the bag, you’re met with an overwhelmingly sweet and fresh pear and grape scent, not so much fruit but simply refreshing. It is actually very interesting, as the grape and pear make up most, if not all of the leaves’ aroma, as you cannot find one bit of tea scent. The leaves are a typical long and rolled black tea, with very dark tones.

I have taken heed to previous tasting notes and decided to steep a minute less my typical 3 minute black tea time. During the steeping, the black tea is brought right out with a very strong aroma. I have also taken heed to the bag’s recommendation of adding sugar, only adding half a teaspoon of rock sugar. Deeper inquiry to others’ past experiences make me think I should have added more sugar.

The brew appears very dark and very wine-ish. The color is deep and clear, the aroma strong yet fresh and subtly fruity. It’s a really soothing aroma, one I would imagine from an actual ice wine.

I also regret not having a wine glass handy at work for this tea.

My first initial sips allow me to understand the strong warnings of how strong the black tea can get, as I instantly taste the strong tea pushing through the other flavors. I am thankful for keeping my steeping at 2 minutes, as I could see this brew turning bitter.

The fruity notes are harmonized with the black tea, giving a wine characteristic of sorts. The grape is quite obvious, but there is also a hint of green apple, as I would imagine as there is also some sweet pear. There is a slight astringency, but due to the shortened steep, it is almost undetectable.

Overall, this is a refreshing and lovely blend. For these wet winter months, this is quite appropriate tea to enjoy casually. I wouldn’t mind sharing it iced with close friends… while watching Girls on HBO.

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