Review: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Pomberry

Cranberry Tea, Fair Trade Tea, Green Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Organic Tea, Pomegranate Tea, Rose Hip Tea, Zhenas Gypsy Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"With forward hibiscus and rosehip flavours, they seemed to crowd the field with very little berry or other flavours showing up for the game. Searching the bleachers through mumbles of cinnamon and mint, I was ready to grab some of my own pom-poms for a ‘Give me a P-O-M-A-G-R-A-N-I-T-E’. "
Raven’s Teaview: 4.2/10
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zhenagypsypomberryFull of sparkling jewels and spirited tang, I’ve always thought the pomegranate was kind of precious. Yet, despite the seeming elegance of the pomegranate, I can’t help but be invaded with visions of cheerleaders by all of its truncated products. With all of the Pom-Pom's, I am always a bit leery of them in spite of my adoration of the fruit since I’ve never really been a sis boom bah kind of girl. As the antioxidant health band wagon rolled in, the pomegranate gained status as a powerhouse of health adding extra savvy to the already sophisticated fruit. But despite the greater interest of pomegranate blends and products on the market, they aren’t often done well as few seem to celebrate the true beauty of the pomegranate or frankly, its taste. Even so I am easily drawn in to try most offerings that I encounter. Seeing Ghypsy tea’s Pomberry piqued my interest with a raah, raah, raah as I quelled the imagery conjured by the cute name.
Amusingly enough, Pomberry is offered in tea sachets making them fantastically portable for life on the go whether it be between cheering or not. Better still the sachet material is biodegradable and the tea is a product of organic farming and fair trade production. Although the sachets are readily transported, they don’t have a draw string, thus one still needs some kind of utensil to fish out the bag after steeping or prepare one’s fingers for a scalding dip.
Upon seeing the tea, I was ready to hooray at the motley of colours and textures encapsulated within each sachet that seemed brimming with team spirit. With burgundies, golds, light greens and reds amidst the leaves, chunks and petals, most of the ingredients are easily identified which include rosehips, hibiscus, orange rind, peppermint, lemongrass, cranberries and pomegranate with natural flavours. The cranberries appear as deep burgundy berry halves while small red pieces resemble bits of pomegranate rind. The squad is assembled in a green tea base, described as ‘Top Tier sencha’ on the Zhena's Gypsy Tea website (http://www.gypsytea.com/Pomberry-Green-Tea-P175C100.aspx), however, few large greenish yellow sencha leaves are evident within each sachet.
What isn’t immediately apparent among the ingredients surfaces in the mildly fragrant sachets although the rosehips and hibiscus are the most prominent and the first recognized scents. Yet flickers of hay and potpourri hum from behind the warm red slightly sour fragrance.
Comparing the sachets reveals a rather obvious uneven distribution between the individual bags that suggests each sachet will brew up slightly differently. But there is a sense of adventure to it so with hope that I picked a choice sachet, it was game on with a ‘Go Pomberry’. Since Zhena's Gypsy Tea doesn’t offer any brewing instructions, which I always find helpful for optimal presentation of the tea, I looked for the bounce in this blend for 3 minutes using 170°F water. The resulting vibrancy of the lightly hazy, ruby red brew was as opulent as the cranberry itself and marvelously engaging. Rosehips also rang up in the buoyant scent, mingling with hibiscus tang and a pep of peppermint with a soothing chant of cinnamon. There may be some cooked cranberry notes amongst the bold fragrance of the rosehips, although, it wasn’t quite the berriness I was expecting. The aroma lacked a berry brightness making the tea smell sour rather than having a fresh, tart scent of berries.
And woo-hoo. With the first sip, one is definitely revved up by the rush of sourness. With forward hibiscus and rosehip flavours, they seemed to crowd the field with very little berry or other flavours showing up for the game. Searching the bleachers of the light to medium bodied brew through mumbles of cinnamon and mint, I was ready to grab some of my own pom-poms for a ‘Give me a P-O-M-A-G-R-A-N-I-T-E’. Due to the sharp sourness from the hibiscus and rosehips, it is hard to discern much cranberry flavour or any pomegranate lurking amidst the more vocal red notes. But in case it was there and I was missing it, I tried comparing the brew to a simple rosehip and hibiscus tea I had on hand and found very little difference in the fruitiness. The main distinction between the two was the play of peppermint, cinnamon and a touch of orange rind flavours in Pomberry.
Yet, the peppermint isn’t quite lively enough or the cinnamon suave to meld nicely with the rosehip flavour to start one cheering despite the quiet cranberry and pomegranate. Plus, I found the amount of cinnamon or mint flavours present in each cup did vary between sachets in terms of how much if any was perceptible in the first brew. As top tier as the sencha may be, it also seemingly quiet which is disappointing as some vegetal or grassy notes from the sencha may have been able to ground and round out the robust rosehip flavour. However, that also means there is no bitterness or astringency from the green tea while the tea seems to slip off the tongue with a slight rosehip and orange rind aftertaste.
That proves the end to the colourful portion of the game, at least from an aesthetic perspective. A second steeping of the sachet produces a barely coloured pale pink cup in a surprising contrast to the first brew. While the sourness softens some, more of the peppermint and cinnamon join the rally in a background of hay and reedy flavours to help improve the balance.
Although this blend certainly offers pep and a radiant first brew, the spirited sourness may make a better mixer or cheer follower than a cheer leader.

— To purchase Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Pomberry, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Raven Raven
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