|"With a lovely lick of fresh butter amidst the fruity and toasty notes, the scent is just like plum jam on toast and just so darn good."|
Although I doubt this is what inspired The Persimmon Tree Tea Company to combine lychee and peach, they do mix them up on the dark side, in a spooky, organic black tea, so perhaps there was a ghostly divination. Along with the black tea, the blend boos out the spirit of Lychee and Peach with safflowers, lychee essence and natural flavours.
Fortunately one doesn’t have to climb a Persimmon Tree to get the tea. But once in hand, you could likely spot it. A sprinkle of fiery safflower petals brilliantly electrify the brownish black pieces and stems of the black tea. Sir Lucifer himself could have stirred it up. The black tea pieces are about one eighth of an inch and cauldron black with a matte finish as they squiggle to and fro with the clusters and single petals of the safflower like wee flames for a nice bit of interest. Yet, the leaves get all the better out of their package, livened by their medium bouquet. Sweet, a bit floral and possessed with a natural fruitiness, it's just lovely. The trick of the scent’s fruity treat is a warm, syrupy ease to the sweetness with a true fruit feel. There’s some dried peachiness to the medium aroma from a marigold petal-like floral, but it does seem like a medley rather than a one fruit show. It reminds me most of peach and plum jam in a rather uncanny way. Although the black tea isn’t so obvious, it adds a subtle mineral toastiness for the aroma yet the fruitiness is certainly center stage.
Spellbound by the tea’s scent, it’s enough to cast the kettle into a spell for a brew. Happily, the Persimmon Tree offers brewing suggestions for burying one to two teaspoons of tea for 2-3 minutes with 200°F water and I let the haunting go for three. There’s nothing grim about the brew though, as it glows a medium mahogany brown.
Brewing seems to invoke its magic, as the tea’s bouquet becomes even better. The sweet fruitiness becomes even more jam like as the nectar-like syrupy notes get warmer and juicier. Better still, notes of fresh melted butter ooze through the fruitiness that along with the rise of mineral flintiness of the black tea, the aroma is a spitting image of jam on toast, enough to make one’s mouth water. The bouquet is fruity and has a chimera kind of fruitiness leaning between red plums, peach, lychee and pear. Think enough about one and it seems to be there, it’s a bit eerie. It is a stewed or preserved stone fruit and nectary good, with more of a real cooked fruit than canned. The flavour isn’t quite as divining but it still conjures a sweet fruitiness creeping behind the black tea while the aroma also shadows each sip, adding to the amusement. The fruity flavour is quite lychee that I liken as some similar to stewed Bartlett pears, white grapes and a touch of rose, but it is subtler. The black tea flavour is mellow, not faint but not bold either, and it scares up more mineral flavours, like flint and chewing tobacco than warmer, honey, leafy flavours. As such, it proves to be more of a foil to the fruitiness than enhancing the same nuances. It works well though. Plus, each sip ends roundly, with a nice flow and not a bit of bitter, nor is there much aftertaste.
Frightening up a second infusion, the brew is almost as dark and bright. The light to medium bouquet is just as preserve-like and almost a touch rosy, slanting more to lychee than peach but still dripping with sweetness. Edges of the black tea flint the bouquet with a subtle toastiness with a dark tobacco cast to masquerade a bit like pumpernickel toast. The flavour isn’t quite as sweet or fruity although it retains a nectary character as if dashed with peach and lychee juice. As the black tea get a touch starchy, the light to medium body seems more sating with a light tar tinged tobacco to the swift flow. Whether to resurrect the leaves for a third steep depends on one’s tastes. By scent alone, the tea still has an enchanting allure with a sweet jam fruitiness. Yet the flavour lapses, becoming earthier with starchy flavours, like nubock or suede, and just a whisper of peach sinking in from the scent. The added dryness does help get a cup though.
Scaring up The Persimmon Tree Tea Company’s Lychee Peach, my wicked view of the gruesome twosome has seen the light. Nailing the coffin on their delectable fruitiness with a sweet authenticity in the tea’s bouquet, is a beautiful start. Although the tea’s flavour isn’t quite as forceful, the tea also does splendidly iced, as the scent’s aromatics simmer through the brew. Day or night, dark or bright, the lychee peach charm a fruity cup bound to have one gobble’n it up.
— To purchase The Persimmon Tree Tea Co. Lychee Peach Black Tea, 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.
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