|"The dry leaves smell like children's fruit flavored vitamins and unfortunately the tea's taste is the same. The tea becomes smoother as it cools, but I can't get past the sugary vitamin flavor and artificial mango aftertaste."|
Fruit flavored teas are among my most favored blends, and mango is an essence that I am particularly fond of. I’ve experienced quite a few delicious mango black teas, so I was very eager to try this decaffeinated version from Tea District. Tea District has an excellent website that lists detailed information about each tea, including origin/estate, caffeine amount, taste, ingredients and brewing instructions. Their blends (especially the decaf versions) seem to be a little on the pricy side; the Decaf Mango Black Tea is $10 for just 2 ounces. Knowing this before I prepared the initial cup, I assumed that the flavor profile of the tea and the fact that it could be enjoyed as an evening tea before bed would rationalize the price. Unfortunately after trying this tea I can’t say that I would be willing to pay this price to have another cup.
This mango blend is very simple in it’s ingredients, as most mango teas are, with black tea, calendula and natural flavor. Calendula is marigold petals and they give the dry blend beautiful pops of color among the large twisted tea leaves. Tea District’s website does mention that this tea is full leaf, and the dry leaves are a nice size. The smell of the dry blend was my first hint that perhaps this tea would not be to my liking, as the aroma was so overwhelmingly fruity. The scent took me instantly back to my childhood, and those cute little Flintstones vitamins that were so strongly fruit flavored. At this point I held out hope that the taste would be exceedingly diverse of this particular smell and continued on with the preparations. The tea itself had a pleasantly tangy and fruity-sweet aroma. The tea liquor was a lovely light brown color and I began to believe that my initial impression was perhaps imprudent.
I prepared this tea with one teaspoon of leaves and chose a median steeping time of 3.5 minutes, from the 3 to 4 minute recommendation. I was certainly disenchanted when the first sip of Decaf Mango Black Tea yielded a sugary vitamin flavor. The lingering artificial mango finish wasn’t particularly welcome either. There was a slightly numbing essence on the tongue that I also found odd. I discovered that a smidgen of milk and sweetener lessens the vitaminy flavor, but does little for the actual mango flavor. I truly tried to enjoy this tea, especially given the popularity of other blends from Tea District. I was so shocked by the end result that I prepared a cup for my boyfriend, who also noted the peculiarity of the flavor. To its credit, this tea did become smoother as it cooled, but I still was unable to move beyond the strong vitamin trace in this tea. Perhaps I’ve just been scarred by years of those Flintstones vitamins, although I relished them as a child. I am hopeful that this is just an instance of a tea’s first impression taking on a memory of a particular food item that isn’t really agreeable when added to tea. Perhaps you missed out on the fruity vitamins as a child will find this unique little tea much more to your liking!
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