|"Blood orange and cranberry are both tart cutting flavors. I almost hate to say this, but this one needs some cranberry or hibiscus in it to play up the flavors used here"|
There was a point in time when I would have told you that I didn't like anything blood orange. However, then I starting experimenting with some blood orange tea blends and found that the statement isn't accurate when it comes to tea. I seem to like blood orange tea blends. Therefore, despite some misgivings about bagged tea blends, I decided to request a sample of this offering from Bentley's that is sold by the Boston Tea Co. I am a bit of tea snob and keep pretty much no bagged tea in my house, but drink it fairly regularly in my office. As mentioned previously, this blend comes to me in bagged form and I do not see that it even offered in loose form on the Boston Tea Co. website. As is my regular protocol when it comes to tea bags, I decided to cut one open. Since this is cranberry blood orange rooibos blend, I was hoping to find maybe some small cranberry or orange peel pieces. All I really found was some very small rooibos pieces that seem rather broken when compared to the size of rooibos pieces that I am used to seeing in my loose tea blends. That is fairly par for the course when it comes to bagged tea, but I still can't help but feeling mildly disappointed. Hey, this girl wants to have her cake and eat it too----even when it comes to bagged tea. I am sure that it is flavored with natural flavors and it is, at least, fair trade.
I prepared this using water brought to a full boil and infused the blend for about 5 min. Blood orange is usually a pretty strong flavor profile that has a tendency to get in your face a bit. However, I actually found that the flavor profile is dominated by cranberry. When the cup was at hotter temps, all I could taste was the cranberry and rooibos. There was also a bit of a medicinal taste to the cup that I didn't particularly care for. It tasted like maybe someone had a stirred in a teaspoon of Cherry NyQuil. However, the cup redeemed itself a little bit as it cooled and blood orange flavor began to emerge a bit mostly in the finish and aftertaste. Unfortunately, the blood orange nor the cranberry flavors were as blatant or deliberate as I wanted them to be. Further, that medicinal note in the cup never completely disappeared as the cup cooled and the blood orange appeared. I tried this both with and without cream and sugar and found the cup most enjoyable with some sweetener but sans any milk.
While I always have to resist the temptation to say that there are pretty much no bagged tea blends that I would buy, I do have restock my desk drawer occasionally. However, I really feel that this blend fell flat in terms of the flavor profile. Blood orange and cranberry are both tart cutting flavors. I almost hate to say this, but this one needs some cranberry or hibiscus in it to play up the flavors used here. I also didn't care for that medicinal taste that stuck with me throughout the cup. Personally, I can't recommend this one. However, if you are looking for something additional fill out up your shopping cart, I did enjoy their Vanilla Almond Oolong and found the Bentley's Apple Cinnamon Tea to be tastier options.
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