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Tea of the Week for August 7, 2017: Black(berry) Rose (Black Tea)!

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 Black(berry) Rose!

Tea Description: This tea may or may not be inspired by one of Axl Rose's tattoos. I'm not telling, but what I will say is - for those of you who aren't already aware of it - I am a fan of Axl (and that would be putting it mildly). It could also be inspired by one of Thin Lizzy's album covers, which is the inspiration behind Mr. Rose's tat. But anyway . . . 

I started with a blend of black teas from China including a delightful Rose Congou and added lots and lots of blackberries. The flavor is sweet, fruity and somewhat floral (the rose notes are soft and sweetly floral - I think that even those who are often opposed to rose teas might find this tea enjoyable - especially if you're fond of blackberries!) with a pleasantly robust black tea base. 

I prefer this tea hot - but it also makes a surprisingly tasty iced tea too!

ingredients: black teas

organic ingredients: black teas, blackberries, rose buds & petals and all natural flavors

Wow! I have to admit that when I first blended this, I wasn't sure if it would work out or not but I really wanted to try it - so I decided to give it a shot. I'm really glad I did because - 

I'm loving this tea!

(Confidentially, I was actually planning on blending this tea earlier this year (springtime) but I kind of chickened out - but I finally found the courage to go for it.)

I only mention this because it is a tea that I prefer hot and I generally like to have teas that are very iced tea friendly for summertime. Not that this tea isn't iced tea friendly - I brewed some for iced tea and I quite enjoyed that - but if I'm being honest, I prefer the Blackberry Zomba for iced tea and if I'm wanting a hot cuppa, I'd prefer this. There is just something about rose tea that makes me think 'hot' tea rather than iced, although I've known several people who prefer their rose teas iced - so to each their own, I suppose!

Anyway - this is really nice. My first couple of sips, I didn't pick up on a lot of rose - just a hint. Now that I'm about halfway through the cup, I pick up on a little more of the sweet floral notes from the rose. The blackberry is strong and it's right up front - with the rose lingering beneath the fruit notes. The black tea has a nice, earthy quality to it - rich and flavorful - with a nice roundness. 

to brew: give the pouch a gentle shake before you open it to make sure that the fruit and flower are both well-incorporated among the black tea leaves. Use a rounded scoop (heaping teaspoon) to 12 ounces of hot water - I didn't go with a full boil for this tea. I found that 205°F works best with the roses. If you like your tea a little stronger, add just a little more leaf but don't overdo it, I find that this tea tastes better when slightly underleafed versus overleafed. Overleafed can be a bit sharp and astringent and that ruins some of the delicate rose notes.

steep for 2 1/2 minutes, strain and enjoy. I recommend just a little bit of sugar with this one - but then, I generally prefer my rose tea with just a teensy bit of sugar. 

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