|"Sweet candied orange backed by a subtle pu-erh earthiness."|
It’s been some time since I’ve sampled something from California Tea House, so I’ve accidentally fallen out of love with them a bit, but I have fond memories of some of their teas. Looking back at my reviews, it seems I enjoyed their plain leaves and thought somewhat less of their flavoured offers, but this was too cool a flavour to pass up.
Honestly, I didn’t expect that much from this blend. I thought “marmalade” would just be a fancy way of saying “orange,” so at best it would be a realistic orange flavour, most likely it would be a vague citrus, and there’s always the risk that it would taste horrifically artificial. But the dry leaves smell brilliantly orangey, and after 3 minutes at 195°, they brew into a deeply red-brown cup that smells equally amazing.
The taste is sweet candied orange backed by a subtle pu-erh earthiness. All the ingredients are perfectly balanced, and they come out tasting distinctly like marmalade and pu-erh. The earthiness of the pu-erh offsets the subtle bitterness and sweetness of the add-ins, and the orange peel lingers. I attempt a second steep, unsure if the flavour would hold, but while it’s lost some of its charm and picked up some extra bitterness, it’s still flavourful and delicious.
Overall, it’s a very intriguing blend. California Tea House set out to do a unique flavour and did it well. It’s too peculiar to be a tea I want on hand all the time, but I polished off my generous sample in only a few days. If you’re looking for something different or love orange/citrus flavoured teas, this is definitely something you should try.
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