Friday, October 17, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Periwinkle

The Tin
The Persimmon Tree Description:
Periwinkle combines the best of two sensations: thick and creamy. The dark, thick black leaves of Assam tea and soothing star shaped vanilla bits create a visually appealing and delicious black and white infusion. Pour a warm cup of this mixture, and enjoy the unique, delicious combination of thick Assam and creamy vanilla.

Organic Black Loose Leaf Tea, White Loose Leaf Tea, Natural Flavors

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree

My Review:
I have to admit, vanilla teas are not normally something I seek out. I don't dislike them. It is simply not a flavor that hits my radar often. This looked interesting on The Persimmon Tree's website. It is listed as a blend of Assam black tea and white loose leaf, as well as containing 'soothing star shaped vanilla bits'. Too cool to pass up.

Dry Leaf And A Mystery
Opening the tin immediately releases a strong vanilla scent. Removing a scoop of leaf for exam and pictures, has me scratching my head. I clearly see the black Assam leaf with a fair share of golden tips.

I do not see what appears to be white tea leaf in the mix. I also do not see the vanilla bits. I'm sure this is the correct tea as the scent is pretty much guaranteeing it.

So I did the only logical thing I could think of doing - I dumped half the tin onto a plate. Aha! There I found the soothing star shaped thingy. I still do not see loose white tea leaf.

Dry Leaf Mystery Solved
I am pretty sure the site description is incorrect. The star appears to me to be hand rolled white tea leaf. However, the description does say vanilla bits rather than vanilla scented. So its a mystery. Where is Scooby Doo when you need him?

What I decided to do was ask The Persimmon Tree if perhaps the site description is miss worded. And then after hitting send, I read the description on the tin. It says, "This soothing tea blend combines organic Assam black tea with hand-crafted white tea 'flowers' and vanilla pieces." Well now that makes a lot more sense! I deserve a Scooby Snack!

A Vanilla Cup
With the mystery solved, the leaf went into the press and 205 F water was added for a 3 minute steep. The result is an shiny orange liquor. The wet leaf scent is of caramelized vanilla. Nice.

The taste is lighter than the scent suggests but it is plenty vanilla. What I appreciate about this blend is the vanilla does not overpower the aftertaste, leaving an icky taste. The aftertaste is a clean vanilla that fades away quickly.

The vanilla produces a creamy feeling when sipping. How does a flavor cause that creamy sensation. I have no idea. Some mysteries should just be accepted without solving.

I can't really single out the white tea. I think it is there mostly to look interesting. I think there would need to be a whole lot more stars in the mix to make any significant taste impact.

The Assam black tea is nicely smooth with no rough edges. I used to think that was impossible back in my tea bag only days. I have read reviews of this one that claimed the base was bitter. I don't get that. Of course I was raised on Earl Grey with a harsh Ceylon base, so I may just be immune.

Honestly this caused no stomach burn as some black teas tend to produce. If you do find it a little bitter, add a little sweetener, and maybe a little milk. Oooh, I think I need to try it hot with milk and sugar later.

I thought this was a good solid vanilla tea without the usual strong aftertaste.

You can find Periwinkle here.

Immediately after posting my review which was only minutes after writing The Persimmon Tree, I got this response to my description question -  We apologize for the confusion of the description. We will have to edit it to make it a bit more clear. But essentially, it is an organic assam black tea, white tea in a shape of stars and bits of natural flavors of vanilla essence.

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