I found these in Sainsbury’s the other day. I’ll admit that while I’ve not been actively looking in the tea aisle, I’ve walked down it often enough and I don’t remember ever seeing these. That makes me think they’re a fairly recent release, and yet the timing seems a bit odd. If I’d known about these, I would have been all over them during the hot weather we had recently. They seem like the perfect thing. Anyway, today was warm still, so I took the opportunity to try them anyway. Maybe we’ll have an indian summer, and they’ll come in to their own then? Part of me hopes not, since I absolutely love autumn.
To provide a bit of context, these are silky pyramid-style affairs, specifically intended for rapid cold brewing. I can testify to that – I added 1 bag to the recommended 500ml water for my walk to work this morning, and it was ready to drink within 20 minutes or so. Possibly sooner, except the bottle was in my bag and I wasn’t really paying attention. I opened it when I got off the bus, and it was perfect at that point. The packaging states that these are heat treated to be “safe” for this method of brewing, and in all honesty that’s something I’ve never really thought about before. I’ve cold brewed teas in the fridge for years, and figured they were fine because the temperature is controlled. I suppose you could add these bags to water that wasn’t very cold, and then walk around with it, and that might be a problem, but it’s not one I’ve ever considered.
In terms of the flavour, I was really impressed. I went in to it with mild trepidation, given that it’s a bagged offering from a big commercial brand, and one that specifically states that it contains hibiscus. I needn’t have worried, though, because it turns out it’s exactly what it claims to be. The initial sip is very lemony, in the way of freshly grated lemon zest, which is then followed by an epic candy-rose flavour. It’s sweet, but not overpoweringly so, and not too floral. As someone who isn’t big on floral teas, I can say that with confidence. It’s not subtle, but it reminds me very much of turkish delight in that it’s a scent almost as much as a flavour. A really immersive experience, if you can say that about a tea. Added to the fact that it was really quick and easy to prepare, it’s very much a winner with me! I’d quite like to try it in lemonade or sparkling water, just to see what the carbonation does for the "lemonade"aspect, but I liked it so much, I went looking for other flavours straight after work. They could very well be my new obsession…