Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: 52Teas
I assure you, I am not dead.
I’ve been down with the flu early this week and then I got so busy with our Kickstarter rewards that I nearly forgot to post the tea of the week! Shame on me. And it’s a yummy one too. Soft, sweet shou mei blended with cranberries and grapes. Yummmmm.
Learn more about this blend here.
As soon as I opened the pouch of this Cran-Grape Shou Mei from 52Teas, I could smell the grape. Or perhaps, I should say, I could smell grape candy, because that’s what it smells like. It smells like the grape <insert favorite grape flavored candy here>. Yeah, that’s what this smells like. The grape scent was so strong that I couldn’t really detect any cranberry notes, or any white tea notes for that matter.
Once brewed, the fragrance mellows out a little bit. Now, I still smell grape, but it actually smells like grape … and not so much like grape candy. There are still hints of candy-like sweetness, but, the aroma becomes a little more complex after the tea is brewed. I even smell a wine-like note in there. And I can smell hints of white tea too. Much more promising than the dry leaf scent.
The grape flavor is the strongest note that I taste, and the sweetness of the candy-like grape taste is curbed with the tartness of the cranberry. This combination keeps the grape from tasting too cloying. But, I have to say that this isn’t my favorite fruit combination. I’ve never made any big secret of my dislike for grape flavored things. But the cranberry does improve the flavor considerably.
The white tea is a little obscured by the strength of the fruit flavors. I notice the white tea notes a little more when I slurp the sip, and then I taste the earthy qualities of the Shou Mei, and a slight “hay-ish” taste that offers a palate-pleasing contrast to the fruit notes.
This tastes alright. It’s not my favorite 52Teas blend. (I have much higher hopes for the next blend that I’ll be tasting: Rum Raisin! YUM!) I like this much better as an iced tea than when it’s served hot.
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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