Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The East Indies Tea Company
Fig taste with dried figs and pink pig sprinkles.
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Despite being pretty much over my ‘sprinkles in tea’ phase, this tea drew me in with the combination of pig sprinkles in the blend and the fun, whimsical name and the promise of fig flavour. In my humble opinion, there aren’t nearly enough fig blends and any chance I have to try a new one is one I’m going to take!
However, when I cracked open my sealed 2 oz. package of this blend I was hit with something I hadn’t been prepared for; the strong, piercing aroma of lavender! The lack of comprehensive ingredients lists on East Indie’s website it definitely a valid criticism; while a super generic blurb has worked out in my favor in the past in this case I feel like I was failed – I cannot stand lavender, and had I known this blend had so much of it I’m sure I would’ve been persuaded against this tea despite wanting to try ‘all the fig’.
Regardless, I cold brewed myself up a mason jar worth of tea because you never really know how a tea is going to taste for sure until you try it, so despite major reservations there was still a chance this could be alright. Sadly, I just couldn’t get over that concentrated lavender flavour. It was floral in a soapy, artificial way that made me feel like I’d licked all of the counters and shelves in a Bath & Body Works store. Any fig that was in this blend, and I know there was because I could see the dried out pieces in the leaf along with the adorable pig sprinkles, was completely masked. I was not impressed.
My overall opinion is that personally I found this blend as irksome as the puppet it’s playfully named for – and if you’re looking for fig look elsewhere. However, if you’re a fan of lavender and want to try a strong lavender blend over a black base you’re in luck.
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: The East Indies Tea Company
There is nothing better than sitting on the porch on a warm Spring day with a cup of creamy gelato. Imagine the taste of fresh, ripe persimmons in the gelato, just dancing around your taste buds!
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That’s such a unique and fascinating flavour idea, and the minute I saw it on East Indie’s website I knew that I had to try it. For anyone who isn’t aware of East Indies Tea Company, they’ve got some really interesting and well executed flavoured blends. Their ‘specialty’ is probably dessert blends. Also, for people not aware they seem to be the supplier for most of, if not all of, Della Terra Tea’s blends – a company pretty well known for having wonderful flavoured dessert blends.
When I cracked open my sealed up package of this the smell was really overwhelming; I honestly have only had persimmons once or twice and I found that they tasted like a very sweet tomato, almost with an orange-y flavour. The aroma of the dry leaf certainly causes me to relive that experience; it’s intensely sweet and fruity with a strong citrusy scent that makes me think of really ripe mandarin oranges or perhaps very ripe mangoes. Visually, there’s lots of dried fruit (Persimmon? I wish there was an ingredients list for this blend) in the leaf as well as a multitude of little yogurt drop type things. All of this in conjunction had me very, very pumped to get this tea steeped up!
I gave this a nice, long steep to make sure I drew out as much flavor as I could and to also give the many yogurt drops time to fully melt. I was somewhat worried that when they did melt the liquor would either get a little oily or I’d get “yogurt scum” similar to what happens with melted chocolate chips but neither really happened and the liquor was very smooth and thick. The flavour was quite wonderful too; while I ultimately think the gelato aspect of the blend could have come across better, as it was basically just added creaminess from the yogurt drops, the persimmon was very well executed! Persimmons, simplified, are basically just very sweet tomatoes and that came through. I got that wonderful umami flavor that a tomato has that manages to linger all over your mouth, but also fruity notes that made me think of very, very ripe mango or either naval oranges or really ripe, in season mandarin oranges.
Anti-rooibos tea drinkers be warned though, while the flavor is strong and lively it doesn’t completely mask that rooibos base so expect to taste it alongside the lovely persimmon/citrus notes. But overall this is just a really wonderful, unique flavored rooibos and I’m extremely happy with it and definitely recommend trying it if you find yourself with the chance to.