I will admit that during childhood I had a quite blinkered vision of tea. Not only was it a drink that your nan - who was a gazillion year's old - drunk, but it was also a horrendous, weirdly brown, stewed monstrosity. There was absolutely nothing appealing in it at all. A glass of coke or Ribena was much better. Green tea was only sold in health shops and was reserved for people who were of the hippy inclination, and fruit tea was limited to strawberry or grapefruit I seem to remember.
Naturally though as I grew up and matured my opinions have certainly changed (well, they must have there are over 300 tea reviews on here!) and now tea pumps through my body instead of blood.
However, one of the last taboo's that I've broken is fruit tea. I will admit I have VERY bad memories of fruit tea. I was thirteen, suffering toothache and mum thought it was a good idea to give me a blackcurrant tea. Not only did it up the pain level by roughly 1000 times, it was hideous. It had, I seem to recall, a horrid furry texture.
Since starting this blog I have been reserved when it comes to fruit tea. However, in my opinion, things are really turning around. There are companies out there who specialise in fruit tea, creating exciting flavours and wonderful textures. I won't touch a supermarket fruit tea, they have not evolved since I was young, but little by little I am experimenting and enjoying fruit infusions.
Yesterday I received a gorgeous package of tea from The UK Loose Leaf Tea Company and included in the package was blend called Peach Garden.
Last night I tried Peach Garden. Oh my ...
From the minute I opened this gorgeous tea, I fell head over heels in love. Though this is called peach garden the fruit listed is actually apricot which I have a huge fondness for so I was really grateful this blend had been selected. But there was absolutely no way in the world I was expecting such a gloriously scented tea. It takes your breath away, that familiar and much adored aroma of fresh fruit. First impressions were certainly very, very positive.
This tea is lovely to look at. There are huge chunks of apricot and they are wonderfully sticky to the touch. Mixed into the blend are lovely pink rose petals.
Included in this tea though are pieces of apple, rosehip and cinnamon. A interesting blend.
This infusion can be steeped for as long as you wish. I had to admit I poured the water on the tea, nipped up to the loo and then answered the front door, so by the time I had come round to getting back to the tea, it had been infused for about seven minutes and was a deep, scarlet colour, which is extremely eye catching.
With normal black or green tea I usually drink it straight away but I always leave fruit tea to cool a bit as I end up normally with burned tongue!
But whilst waiting for that short period it allowed me to experience the aroma of the tea which is refreshing and almost tropical. I really liked it and it impressed my brother who is a traditional tea drinker at heart.
What a beauty this tea is. Its a different sort of fruit tea to your traditional flavours which tend to be strawberry and mango or blackcurrant. The flavour from the apricot is sweetly fresh. There is a undeniable juiciness to this tea that is wonderful. The apricot is a rich flavour, too, which is moreish to a degree that my first cup was gulped down and the second on the brew before the kettle had cooled.
Included within this tea is also apple and I love how it brings a slightly tart element to the tea, which works as it compliments the sweetness from the apricot. Too much sweetness can be too much, too much sharpness is off putting. This tea has been blended so well that the two work hand in hand.
Along with sweetness, along with tartness there comes a spicy tang from the additional cinnamon. Like a flower in bloom, this tea unfolds with each sip. Each sip bringing something different, a exciting new taste.
And beyond all of those flavours and textures, there is one final surprise ... the smooth element of vanilla. Now, this is a rich flavour and if this was in a tea on it's own it could of been overpowering, however, with the tartness of apple especially, this just adds another layer to the flavour, it rounds it off nicely without taking over from the other flavours.
In short, this is a perfect fruit tea. The flavours have depth, work well together, compliment one another and are precisely blended. The tea feels all natural, too, which some bog standard fruit tea's don't tend to feel to me, anyway.
If you are a fruit tea lover this is certainly the tea for you. If, like me, you've tried cheaper fruit tea's and have been put off I would highly advise you to try this tea. This is what REAL fruit tea should taste like. This tea has full, fresh flavours and is blended wonderfully well.
From the angle of being a fruit tea sceptic, this bland has a massive thumbs up from me.
I am impressed. I am happy after drinking this tea. And I am just a little bit in love.
Please waste no time. Pop over to The Loose Leaf Tea Company and treat yourself to some Peach Garden. You won't regret it and you will certainly fall as much in love as I have.
Right now I've just spotted their cherry tea. Will I buy some???? ... possibly!
Thanks to Laura at: Laura's Tea Room for this great review.