Remember going to K-Mart with your mom, back in the 70’s? Too young for that? Lucky you! That’s OK… remember any mall, or discount store with rows of gumball machines near the checkout! These days, they seem to be full of toys and trinkets… earphones, dolls, stickers, tattoos… but a few decades ago, they were just full of gum! Small ones for a penny, and big ones for a nickel. We always wanted some! And remember how the flavour lasted for about 3 minutes, and then disappeared into this sort of bitter, stiff rubbery glob? Remember that?
Today I found this gorgeous tin of “White Cherry” loose tea by Earth Teaze and well… I had to keep it… it followed me home! I’ve never heard of this company, so I was intrigued. I was hoping this would taste like the wonderful “Kyoto Cherry Rose” which is sweet, delicate, and charming!
I open the tin and am greeted with a blast of fairly artificial ‘cherry’ aroma. It smells EXACTLY like either cherry-flavoured gumballs, or BIG TURK chocolate bars with the fakey red gooey ‘Turkish Delight’ centre. It’s an unmistakable smell. Please don’t confuse it with actual ‘Turkish Delight’ which is actually delightful!
So, I’m a little worried about this tea… I check the ingredients again… “White tea (Ceylon), Cherries, Coconut chips, flavour, Rosebuds”.
OK, I steep for about 2-3 minutes… boiling. It’s a deep yellow, and it smells like artificial cherry.
The taste is initially sweet like “Big Turk”, and then quickly fades to bitter on the tongue, with a cherry aroma in the mouth. It’s pretty much exactly like those old gumballs! Sweet at the start… definitely ‘cherry’ flavoured, and then fading to a faintly cherry-ish bitterness. I wonder if I can lose the bitterness if I steep it less time. Then it would just be cherry-sweet!
This tea would be off-putting to those who don’t like artificial flavours, but it might be OK iced, or in a summer freezer-pop with some real fruit. I’ll give it one more chance to impress me before I give up on it completely. For now… I’ll just enjoy the memories of K-Mart and the gumball machines!