Leaf Type: Black
Prickly Pear is a cactus fruit native to Mexico and the Southwest Desert of the United States. Its succulent flavor compliments our Indian black Nilgiri tea to create an astoundingly rich and delicious regional tea. This tea serves wonderfully hot and creates a beautiful iced tea to sip on those warm, Southwestern afternoons.
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I received this Prickly Pear Black Tea from Simple Loose Leaf some time ago but I put off reviewing it in favor of the teas in their subscription program. As I was going through my stash of teas, I found the unopened, still sealed package of tea so I decided that NOW was the time! I apologize to Simple Loose Leaf for the length of time it took me to get to reviewing this tea!
And now that I’m tasting this tea, I’m really sorry that I put off trying it until now – this is fabulous!
There’s a really pleasing balance between tart, savory and sweet. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a prickly pear tastes like, it has a sweet-tart taste that reminds me of a raspberry. More accurately, it tastes like a combination of raspberry and melon, so it’s a little sweeter than a typical raspberry and a little more tart than a typical melon. And this tea has captured the flavor of prickly pear quite well!
The sip starts out sweet and fruity. As the sip progresses to mid-sip, I pick up on some of the robust flavors of the Nilgiri black tea base. It’s a sweet, malty tasting tea. It’s smooth with very little astringency, and what astringency I do experience at the tail plays really well with the tartier notes of the prickly pear flavor. It’s not bitter. It has an invigorating quality to it but it’s not overly aggressive.
As the sip approaches the finish, I taste more of the sweetness of the cactus fruit. At the finish, I get some of the tart notes. The aftertaste is tart and tingly, sort of like what I’d experience if I ate a raspberry: that tingly sensation on the tongue.
As the above description suggests, this tea tastes great served hot or cold. I had a glass of it over ice with dinner and found it very refreshing and thirst quenching. For a mid-day cup of tea, I enjoyed this hot and found that the flavor was much more defined served hot. So for a more pronounced flavor, serve it hot – for a sweet, delightful glass of refreshment, serve it iced!
This is a tea that Simple Loose Leaf isn’t carrying at the moment, I do hope they’ll bring it back because I’d love for my readers to get an opportunity to try it! It’s really tasty!