|"Just how ripe might be subjective and a sprinkle of perfume hit the berry patch but the tart, raspberry brightly sings in the aftertaste. "|
From the dark black leaf pieces of the tea, like little black wires, about a third of an inch, there is the occasional crimson bobbing through along with the odd short beige stem. The tea’s scent draws more attention, as much for its fragrant hello as its unexpected flare. The unexpected is that the aroma isn’t a raspberry I’ve encountered in other teas, or from the raspberry itself, although the scent does have a berry leaning. While it is sweet and perky with a sweet, tart fruitiness, it has an artificial and natural coup going on. It’s not as synthetic as some other berry teas I’ve had, with perhaps, slightly more roundness to the fruitiness, yet it still kind of brings to mind cough medicine. It may actually be the black tea’s earthy, mineral contribution that accentuates the artificial side of the berriness, although the black tea isn’t on it own quite noticeable. Yet, if picking, the tea's scent would seem like a black raspberry, gathering some of the black tea's darkness.
Kally Tea includes the brewing instructions on their teas funky black packaging so ripening up a cup is easy. They recommend using one to one and a half teaspoons of tea with boiling water for three minutes. Not so red, but rather a medium light mahogany, the brew smells ripe full of berry and berryful. I don’t know it’s a spot on raspberry but it’s not so far although, the scent seems a combination of floral and the white center pith of raspberries. You can tease out a nice dollop of raspberry jam behind the more prevalent berry-ish floral that is accented with a bit of sour. However, the sour comes more into play in the flavour as its greeting on the tastebuds is tartly hibiscus, which calls into question just how ripe that raspberry was. The tea’s flavour also veers more floral than fruity, kind of like rosewater, with a floral that makes me think of hand cream. As a result the acidity, which can often accentuate fruitiness, seems to clash and demarcate how pretty the flavour is. While the light to medium body flows nicely, with a subtle mineral bitterness from the black tea that takes a backseat to the floral swing, lightly structured. Despite the prominence of the flowery synthetic vibe, there is a red tasting fruitiness, even if it doesn’t really culminate as much raspberry. Yet, as the tea finishes, the raspberry, quite delightfully fresh, although still a touch tart and almost icy, builds with a splendid fruitiness. It’s just a touch of a shame, the berriness isn’t as harmonious or synchronous in the body.
Upon re-steeping, the sandalwood coloured second cup is darker than the first, while it remains moderately fragrant. Its scent eventually falls into a kind of raspberry, taking a pause to register, as it pulls from red, sour and perfumey notes atop the tinge of embers from the black tea. The aroma is slightly more synthetic smelling and almost a hint powdery, to bring to mind warm drink crystals and red licorice. The tea tastes similar to the first cup, although, it gets flintier and also a bit powdery. The weak black tea flavour lends a light warmth into the raspberry flavour. Compared to the first cup, it isn’t as tart, while the berriness is still slightly synthetic and perfumey tasting. Yet, the tea maintains a light to medium aftertaste, still lovely and quite raspberry-like.
Overall, Kally Tea’s Ripe Raspberry does ripple with a red vibrancy. While the tea bursts with flavour versus many other paler berry teas out there, as the sour leads the sweet and the commingling of perfumey character with the milder black tea doesn’t seem quite as ripe or come together so well until the aftertaste. Even though it might not be my first choice of their berry teas, that raspberry aftertaste is mighty fine to make me think the tea might even ice nicer. With its tart berry swing, it is bound to perk up a hot summer day.
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