This is interesting. I’m not sure I totally get the point of flavouring a Darjeeling since their inherent astringency doesn’t usually lend itself in a complimentary way to blended tea but I’m trying to be open minded about it.
There is astringency here though, especially as the tea cools. I don’t really mind it, but it feels like more than the average flavoured tea drinker would probably expect. It’s not quite quince to me, though it has that pear-like orchard fruit element. Lacking the aromatics and florals I think of as part of quince, though. Unless you count the hibiscus and the floral element, but I don’t think I do.
Overall though, I actually love the flavour direction here. It’s got a really strong “juicy fruit” vibe to it, sort of like the gum that I feel like so many of us grew up with but fruitier and less sugary/cloying. I get notes of pear, banana, and grapefruit as I drink this. It feels lush. So even though it’s not quince it’s shockingly complex yet cohesive and distinct from other fruity blacks I’ve had in recent memory. A bit sad I only had the small sample of this since Tea Forte isn’t actually terribly convenient to get here in Canada, and I would probably buy more of this if it was.