I didn’t have much information on this tea going into my first cup, so I was surprised to see these black tea leaves unfurl into a deep, dark, red brew. This tea almost seems like a pu erh rather than an astringent black tea. The base is earthy, almost smoky, and much richer and more savory that I expected.
Aftelier Perfumes describes the tea as “red tea rolled into pearls and roasted,” which makes sense with the musky, toasted notes I tasted.
The orange and cardamom are minimal, the most noticeable on the back of each sip. There’s something sweet and herbaceous in this blend, it’s not a full-on smoky black tea, but the brightness is slightly subdued and more noticeable in the mouthfeel than the flavoring.
This tea was unexpected, but very enjoyable. I was waiting for the astringent bite of orange, or the baked-good sweetness of cardamom, and instead tasted a complex, smooth, and earthy tea. This makes me curious to check out other flavors Aftelier Perfumes has to offer!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Aftelier Perfumes
This delicious full-bodied tea is flavored with Aftelier Chef’s Essences: the perfect marriage of mouth-watering blood orange and the spicy warmth of cardamom. Organic Red Pearls Black Tea, a rare tea from Fujian, is fully-oxidized Mao Feng tea leaves that have been rolled into small black pearls. They are then pan-fired where they develop a burnished sheen, toasty caramel-like aroma, and spicy, assertive — yet wonderfully sweet — flavor.