This seemed like a festive thing to try today. I brewed it two ways: 1) gong fu (as ridiculous as that is!), and 2) as instructed – Western style, with sugar, chilled.
Even though the flavors were much sharper and more tart gong-fu style, I have to say that I preferred the kick as opposed to the Western style. Chilled and sweetened, it tasted like a sort of strawberry-lemonade mix that you would make from a powder. Not bad at all – tasty, in fact – but not really something I crave. Gong-fu style, the flavors had more of a tart whallop of citrus and fruit, which is more my style.
I have to say that, whatever your preference is, there are two things that I appreciate about this tea (it does have tea leaves, not just flowers and stuff). First, when you open the packet, you are greeted with big chunks of fruit and cardamom pods. Second, the addition of cardamom is genius. It arrives especially in the aftertaste, picking up just as the tartness dies down, and adds a wonderful savory, herbal sweetness to end on. This addition adds much more depth and complexity to the experience.
There you have it. I’m way outside of my experience and comfort zone here, but it was fun!
Dry leaf – orange balanced with sweetness of pomegranate and cranberry and floral of hibiscus. Some herbal hints of cardamom.
Smell – hibiscus, fruit of pomegranate and cranberry, citrus of orange. Very slight malty and nutty background notes from black tea.
Taste – rush of tart citrus and fruit flavors – cranberry, pomegranate, and orange prevalent. Finish becomes dry and slightly nut shell / husk-like. Cardamom herbal sweetness arrives in aftertaste.