PEPPERCORNS. Hello peppercorns! Yes, I like you too, would you mind settling down for a bit so I can see what else is in there? No? Ah.
When I work at it, I can tell there’s ginger in there. I can smell the anise and the licorice, but I can only taste them in the aftertaste – or, interestingly, once my mug has gone cold. In the full flush heat of the initial sip, I cannot. Fortunately, they are subtle enough to sneak past the peppercorns – did I mention peppercorns? – to add body to the tea without me noticing it. But when this tea is hot, mostly what I notice is red and black are having a nice big argument in my mug over which one of them is Queen of Most Pepperiness. :-)
I don’t mind – I wouldn’t have bought this tea if I did not like pepper, and also, the tea is not heat-spicy, it has the flavor of pepper with no burn to it. I bought this as a sample to split with a friend, and I will probably buy a small container of it to keep on the “every so often” shelf. In the future, I might cut it with a little extra ceylon to give it some low notes – the pepper is hot and high enough that I’m missing the umame of my normal tea flavors. Or maybe I’ll just keep it as is, and only have it on days when I want a hot thin tea.
Edited to add: Oof. OK, this tea is quite tasty, but those peppercorns are a lot fiercer than they let on – this is a tea to drink in small pots, not my usual 24 ounce monsters. Because otherwise, you’re putting a lot of pepper oils into your stomach all at once, and the result can be moderately painful. (Oops. :)
Flavors: Licorice, Pepper