The third tea I picked up from David’s Tea’s fall collection is Southern Belle. It was the flavour they were sampling in-store when we visited the Southcentre location earlier this month, though that wasn’t the only reason I picked this up.
Before I get into the review… I recommend either hopping on the bus, opening another browser window, or starting up your car now to get some of this amazing tea… it is absolutely fantastic. So much so, that if it weren`t for the BAGS of tea I have in the kitchen right now, I`d be heading out myself to meet you there and snag some more of my own.
Ok… so enough of that, onto the review.
Southern Belle contains Chinese black tea, peach pieces, stevia leaf (a natural sweetener), yoghurt drops and other ingredients. The label suggests that it is fantastic served cold and sweet, and since I`ve been loving iced teas lately I thought this would be a great one to make up for iced tea. I hot-steep my teas for iced tea, and then put them in the fridge (rather than sun-steeping or cold-steeping), which meant I still had hot tea to sample before I let the tea cool off and pop it in the fridge.
First up, dry the scent of the tea is fantastic – it smells a little bit like a green tea (although it isn`t) and very peachy – like peaches and cream. Made up, the fruity, peachy scent continues, and the colour of the tea really reminds me of a green or oolong tea still – it`s still really green. There is also a slight cloudiness to the tea – very likely due to the yoghurt drops. I first tried the tea hot and black, and honestly I wasn`t especially impressed. There is definitly a peach flavor, a smoky tea flavor, but it`s a bit lackluster. However, then i added a little bit of sweetener, and the whole thing totally came alive! The peach flavour became a juicy, fresh peach – the kind where when you bite into it the juices run down your chin and your mouth explodes with peachy, fruity goodness. With sweetener the tea develops a rich, robust complexity – the smoky tea mixed with the peaches-and-cream flavor is fantastic. With a bit of sweetener it`s sweet but not overly sweet. I could see this being a fantastic warm-weather tea (for summer evenings) or a great tea during cold weather too. It`s flavorful but also relaxing.
I saved up the second, and third infusions for the iced tea, and added sweetener instead of sugar. The iced tea was gorgeous – cold, crisp, juicy, and wonderful! I ended up drinking it so quickly that I didn’t even get a chance to remember to photograph it. It’s really delightful! If I had to pick two words to describe it; juicy & robust.
After reserving some of the tea for iced tea, I made up a fourth infusion for hot tea again, and would say that taking the tea to a fourth infusion is stretching it a bit thin. The flavor is still very nice – it reminds me of a simple English Breakfast tea – something that isn`t especially special in any way, but is still really pleasant. There is a lot more clarity in the tea itself in the fourth infusion – likely because all of the yoghurt drops have melted off. The tea is still fruity, but not in that juicy peach kind of way, and it lacks that robust complexity. I tried adding a bit of milk to the tea to see if that would bring back some of the flavor, but no luck on that one. I guess that means I`ll just need to make another pot of tea!