It’s been a long time since I did a tea review. A whole year, in fact! I haven’t had much new tea to drink in the past year. After receiving a lot of freebies, I decided I should use up what I had on hand before I experimented with anything new. I made good headway. I’d just started considering getting a few new teas to try when a lovely friend sent me a box of treats along with a book to enjoy–just in time for my recovery from oral surgery.
One of the teas sent along was Tea Forte’s Black Cherry Noir in a single-steep packet, perfect for a quick afternoon pot of tea. Not only did it sound delicious, the packaging was incredibly aesthetically pleasing. Seriously, I wish my house could look like this packaging. Or maybe it kind of does? The desk where I spend most of my day is a sleek black and silver, and I’ve got pink accents and cherry blossoms all over the place. Either way, it looked good.
The first thing that struck me when I opened the package was how intense the fragrance was. It was a really sharp and almost bitter scent, which made me second-guess my choice. I went ahead and brewed it anyway, opting for the heat and brewing time I use for all my other black teas. Then it was time for a taste.
Thankfully, it wasn’t bitter at all! I wasn’t sure what to expect from the flavor, since this was one of the few instances I was going into a tea blind. The packaging didn’t say anything other than the name of the flavor, so I had no clue what was in it. More than anything, the first sip was pleasantly tart with a very smooth black tea taste. I had hoped for something sweeter, though, so I added some rock sugar and a bit of milk to see if that gave me what I wanted. That ended up being perfect for my mood, bringing out some notes of vanilla and some sweeter berry tastes, though there was a hint of sharpness that I couldn’t quite place.
After I looked up the blend on Tea Forte’s site, I determined it was the licorice root I was tasting. Interesting, because if I’d read the ingredients prior, my extreme dislike of licorice probably would have kept me from sampling this tea at all! The fruit flavors come from strawberry, raspberry, and cherry, and there is just a touch of vanilla, so my guess there was right.
Overall, a very tasty blend with a really rich black base. I’d recommend it straight as a breakfast tea, or with sugar and milk or cream for a sweet dessert tea treat. Despite my distaste for licorice, I’ll be adding a canister of this one to my shopping list. Win one for failing to read the ingredients, huh?