South Indian Fine Orange Pekoe, Malva Flowers, N/A Passion Fruit Flavours
Inside the package this tea is all sweet smells and memories of bubblegum. It's a pretty tea, with yellow flowers and uniform dark black leaves. According to the website, the tea base is from the Nilgiri region of India.
I have never eaten passion fruit, so I didn't really have an idea what it would taste like, but the first sip explodes on the tongue like juice! This is a mild, broad flavoured black tea without a whole lot of depth, but a well balanced fruity flavour. In general, teas with fruity notes do well as iced teas, although I do appreciate this one hot.
Smells darker than it is, and tastes rather earthy, with a slight hint of tannin bite. In fact, the whisper of tannins reminds me of raspberries, and adds to the authenticity of the fruit flavour. Nilgiri tea is often described as "brisk" and the description fits, making it a good choice for your morning wake up call.
The taste is somewhat explained by the appearance of the wet leaves. They have a light red tint, and open beautifully into large pieces about 1 cm square. Not a whole leaf tea, but certainly a large leafed tea, and the medium amount of cutting or breakage is what controls the amount of tannin taste.
Like many indian teas, this could probably stand rather heavy sugar, although I don't imagine it with milk. Good for a late riser with a sweet tooth!
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The first time I tried chai was in the kitchen of my parent’s house, and served by my younger sister. “You have to taste this—” she insisted, pushing a mug across the countertop to me. She refused to elaborate on its contents. The flavors, she said, would speak for themselves.
The quality of water affects the taste of your tea; this is beyond dispute. The relative quantities of mineral salts, oxygen and trace elements determine the relative "liveliness" or "flatness" of a particular cup. To that simple substance we add the basic flavor of the leaf itself or an herbal substitute.