I have had to make a tough decision, the eternal question 'do I use my monthly budget to buy tea or spend it on something else' was asked and as sad as it makes me, I had to realized I currently have more than enough tea. I decided, I really want to paint and it could be at least a month before the Reaper Kickstarter awards arrive, so I am going to get myself some miniatures. Specifically some undead (obviously) some Egyptian things (in honor of Amonkhet) and more importantly, a miniature I am going to try (with great difficulty, since this is going to take some serious modifying) to turn into Jace Beleren to sit next to my Liliana Vess mini on the tea desk. If I can get my plans for the Jace mini to work, it will be the most ambitious modification I have undertaken, involving floating spell effects and a LOT of OSL.
Since tomorrow is Ben's birthday, I am not sure I will have time to write, so I am writing today, specifically about Tea In The City's Cranberry Leaf, another immensely herbal tea from this UK store. Hailing from the country of Georgia, this herbal tea uses the top leaves and buds of the cranberry plant and then processes them like a black tea, which is truly fascinating. Another thing that makes this tea really fascinating is the farmer not only hand-picks everything, he uses wooden tools and machines, the tea never touches metal! The appearance of the tea looks very similar to the curly leaves of Laoshan Black, but that is where the similarities end, the aroma is something completely different. Notes of sweet and sour blend together, citrus and cranberries blend with wildflower honey, a touch of green vegetation (a bit like lettuce) and a finish of starch. The aroma reminds me a bit of one of my favorite treats: cranberry orange scones!
I decided to gongfu the leaves, because why not? The aroma of the leaves is lemony and cranberry, with a red wine and stewed fruit undertone. It has a touch of cooked cabbage and a bit of malt, it reminds me of a decadent romance between a purple dianhong and a Taiwanese Assam, it smells really tasty. The liquid is sour and sweet, like a cranberry candy with a side of malt and freshly baked fruity bread.
This truly is one of the most interesting things I have put in my mouth in a while. Like cranberry sauce, it is both sour and sweet, you can definitely taste the cranberries along with a strong citrus note that wavers between lemons and oranges. The finish has a slightly leafy and herbaceous note that is like cooked fresh thyme. Since it is on the sour side, it makes my salivary glands very happy, I adore sour things...in fact I have been considered a bit odd for my overwhelming love of eating lemons.
It goes the distance, I got a surprising (for an herbal) eight steeps from the leaves before they called it quits. There was not a ton of variation between steeps, the main difference being level of sweet to sour ratio, with the middle steeps being like dried cranberries and the finishing steeps being like light sweet cranberries. I really enjoyed it, it is truly unlike any herbal tea I have had, I really like that it tastes so much like cranberries and reminds me how I used to eat dried cranberries constantly and need to go back to doing that.
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.