May as well cut to the chase - I was offered the chance to try some new teas by a company in Sydney last week and I pretty much bit their hand off. About five seconds after accepting, I had the uncomfortable thought: what if I don't like the teas? Obviously (obviously), I'm not going to lie.
But all they said was that they'd love to know what I think of them. There was no mention of blogging anything in relation to my experience :) I should probably make them aware of this post, actually, but we'll see how it goes first - there's time for me not to approve of their wares!
Okay, let's go. I was after some new teas anyway, so no skin off my nose to try these and even better that they didn't cost me anything (that's my disclosure, there).
First things first: appearances matter. I do not trust shabbiness when it comes to, well, anything, really. So Kettle Town (oh yeah, I should name the tea company, right?) wins a point straightaway for sexy packaging.
Nice, yes? Yes.
On to the flavours. I requested the following:
Mintilla: black tea with mint and vanilla
Perfect Peach: oolong with peach and rose (this was a mistake :( When I selected my teas, I assumed the oolong was a 'hot' tea as per all my previous oolong experiences. I am not a fan of iced tea. Boo.)
Summer Rose: white tea, rose and orange.
Kettle Town, rather adorably, has sent all three.
Now, the one I don't normally like - the iced tea - is the biggest sample of all! I might try making it as a hot tea and see what happens anyway. In the meantime, the iced tea requires overnight steeping, so the first step was to get this ready. I have just made up two bottles of it - one for me, one for my neighbour - and will sample this tomorrow.
On to the first hot tea: Mintilla. I love black tea and I love mint. I used to drink peppermint tea, but got put off by the sharpness of it (ditto green mint tea).
Mintilla had a seriously delicious smell as I opened it - more mellow than many mint teas. I'm also a sucker for good-looking tea; for me, good-looking means that it looks like bits of an attractive forest. Big, curled leaves, twig-like structures, petals etc - the more the merrier.
Kettle Town has made a foresty tea here and I am happy with it.
Time to brew.
The tea tasted more like straight mint tea than black tea, which is not to say it tasted like straight mint tea.
It's infinitely more soothing on the tastebuds, for one thing. (I have just put the packet down - I've been inhaling it so much whilst writing that I fear some bits have gone up my nose.) I think the vanilla stops it being harsh, but the sweetness of vanilla certainly doesn't create a sweet tea. It's very well-balanced and a great idea! Following the first few considered sips, I drank it all in about a minute.
So it's a win for the first one.
Teas Two and Three will be sampled in due course: I had planned one post for all the teas, but I am full of tea now and the iced one can't be done today in any case.
Oh, before I sign off, amazing side effect of Mintilla: I think it might support snack control!
I bought a carob buckwheat crispbread today (ignore the giant cookies in the picture: just props) to have with the tea, then decided to hold off so as not to taint my palate (tea pro, you know).
Post-tea, however, I didn't even want the snack! Just in case you're thinking you wouldn't want a snack made from carob and buckwheat, either, I also have chocolate pretzels in stock. And a honey yogurt. I don't feel the need for any of them. This is unprecedented: I am always eating. I can only think that the tea/mint/vanilla combo has swooped in, collected my cravings and steeped off with them. How exciting!
Finally, just because I can't really believe it but it is true and important, the mint-vanilla tea DOES NOT TASTE LIKE A CAKE/UNBEARABLY SWEET/SWEET TO ANY INAPPROPRIATE DEGREE. I promise! Sweet/flavoured teas can be horrid, overpowering or both, but this is not.
Here's the Kettle Town website for anyone feeling thirsty now.
PS I just checked the freezer in anticipation of tomorrow's iced tea, only to find all ice cubes MIA. We don't even use them - does anybody else experience this phenomenon of vanishing cubes?