Finding a single steeps sampler package from Tea Forte was a nice surprise. Finding the sampler package was of their latest Noir line of pan-roasted black teas was even more surprising. The best surprise was finding a blood orange flavor hidden amongst the other mediocre flavored teas.
From what I can recall, the best blood orange tea I have so far had was from David’s Tea, which was a pu’erh blend. Reminiscing on that blend, I do remember liking it quite a lot, namely for its flavor.
Tea Forte’s blood orange does give quite a powerfully citrus scent, leaning more to pekoe for my liking but not so much to become offensive. The leaves are thankfully generic loose leaf in appearance and color, with the citrus peel and flowers giving a lighter and softer texture.
This is my second time steeping this tea, as my first had given a fairly weak flavor at three minutes, so increasing the steep time with new leaves could yield a better brew.
The brew is a lovely deep copper, with a subtle citrus aroma.
The flavor is a lighter pekoe, more bergamot than citrus. Despite, the citrus that is detected jumps out significantly. Steeping a minute longer does give a more interesting taste. There is a slight astringency, and the black tea does round out the flavor eventually.
It is not quite the best, in fact quite far from it. What it is, in the best circumstances, is a pleasing morning cup.