I enjoy iced tea on summer days and warm tea in mornings or lazy afternoons, or any time I’m reading or writing. Tea and books just seem to go together well. I guess I’ve always liked tea, though I’ve always been a casual drinker. I never felt like I was fancy (or rich) enough to be a tea connoisseur, but why not? Nobody is born with refined tastes. Everyone starts somewhere, so there’s no reason I can’t become a classy tea person too, and I get to share the adventure with everybody!
As a penniless writer, I decided it was best to start with things I had on hand. I was fortunate enough to receive a lovely little tea pot with an infuser as a bridesmaid’s gift a few years back. Six years? Seven? I’m sorry, Tiff, I don’t remember when your anniversary is!
Anyway, while I always loved the teapot, it always served more as decoration in the kitchen than anything else. I’m grateful to have it, though, and getting to use a special gift from a special friend for a new experience is grand!
For my first cup of tea as a tea person: Youthberry white tea from Teavana.
I don’t remember why I had this tea, but it was already in my pantry and had been for several months, sealed away in an airtight container. Actually, I think I had it for a tea party I intended to have with my mother and mother-in-law. Needless to say, the tea party didn’t happen, so I’d never had a taste.
I normally like fruity teas, so it seemed like a good option. It’s a pleasant-smelling mix of white tea leaves and fruits, with a few flower petals as well. Apples, mango and pineapple make it sweetly fragrant, with red currants and açai berries to give the brewed tea a lovely purple-red color in the cup.
Despite the candied fruit pieces and what I’ve heard about white tea having a light flavor, I was surprised by the bitterness of this tea. I followed the directions to the letter, since the label warned of improper preparation resulting in bitter tea, so I was disappointed it required me to add a bit of raw honey to sweeten it up before I could taste anything but bitter tea.
Once sweetened, the other flavors began to emerge. The taste of mango and pineapple were the strongest, with more subtle hints of tart apple beneath. The honey I added was barely perceptible, which pleased me, since it meant I got to focus on the more nuanced aftertaste of hibiscus petals.
On the whole, the flavor was very tropical, and while I had it hot, I think the tea would be better served iced and perhaps slightly sweetened. While I think it would be enjoyable that way, I found it too exotic for my taste.
Have a tea recommendation for this newbie? Leave it in the comments!