I picked up 50 grams of Black Currant tea from TotaliTea in early December, based largely on the amazing scent. That being said, I didn’t want to get too much tea from a new place, because not all tea is created equal!
Dry, this tea smells juicy and sweet – absolutely wonderful! It starts with a black tea base and then black currants and black currant leaves are added for flavour.
When steeped, the scent remains, though it starts smelling a little less juicy, and a little more ‘candy’.
The taste, is disappointing. There isn’t much of the fruity flavour, and even with a little bit of sweetener, there’s a ‘bitter’ taste to the tea that I don’t care for. I only steeped it for 3 minutes, so I am sure that I didn’t over-steep it… but for next time I’ll have to try steeping it for a lot less time or adding more sweetener. The package says that it is really good iced, so I might have to test that out too.
There are a few quick comments about this tea (or at least, a black currant black tea) on the Culinary Teas website. The Little Yellow Teapot reviewed a black currant tea from The English Tea Store and quite liked it with milk and sweetener – which makes met think that giving it another try might be a good idea. They also did a review of the tea chilled, which definitely does sound worth another try…
I brewed up cups 3 and 4 (and then 5 as well) with the same leaves, but this time added more sweetener and milk – and this made a huge difference to the taste of the tea. The juiciness returned, and the bitterness was gone. I only steeped it this time for about 2 minutes which might have made a difference. On the 5th infusion the taste was starting to go, so I popped the 6th in the fridge to try it iced before it was exhausted.
The fifth infusion was ok chilled, but definitly lacking flavour.
All that remains
One of my disappointments, was that TotaliTea had pre-packaged the tea. I have this inner monologue that somehow doesn’t think it will be as good as when they scoop it out of the larger tin upon request – though considering that it’s not ground coffee or something, I wasn’t sure WHY this didn’t sit right with me.
When I got home and tried it, I figured it out – when it’s loose leaf, they scoop the leaves (etc) out of the bin from the top – all of those small particles (broken/crushed leaves, etc) shift to the bottom of the bin. That means that you’re generally getting the larger leaves and things – but when it’s been in these packages, it’s easy for the whole thing to get crushed/etc again. I ended up with a LOT of sediment for a loose-leaf tea at the bottom of my cup with this one.
So, have you tried the black currant tea? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!