Island Coconut Tea from Bernideen’s

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Brand:  Metropolitan Tea

Available from:  Bernideen’s

Product Description:

Wonderful Flavor releases tropical memories of secluded beaches with palm trees bending to the sea.

Taster’s Review:

I received a tin of this tea in a recent swap in a tea group that I co-moderate.  The lady who was my swap partner is the proprietor of Bernideen’s in Historic Old Colorado City:  Bernideen!  Now, I’ve not been to Bernideen’s but, if I ever have the opportunity to travel to Colorado City, Bernideen’s will definitely be on my list of places to visit!  It looks like such a wonderful shop, full of charm!

This is a somewhat persnickety tea, but I discovered that it was worth the effort to figure out the right way to brew it.  The first time I steeped it, I steeped it for a little too long; the tea was bitter.  The second time, the water was too hot; the tea was bitter.  But the third time I steeped it, using extra care to make sure I not use too much leaf, too much time, or water that was too hot, I ended up with a pretty amazing cup of tea.  It may seem like a lot of work… but in the end it was worth the effort.

So, let me share with you my recommended parameters for this tea:  Water should be no hotter than 200°F; if you normally use a heaping teaspoon of loose leaf tea per cup of tea, I recommend using a bit less … say a level teaspoon as opposed to the heaping?  Steep for 2 minutes; 2 1/2 minutes is really pushing it.  Your diligence will be rewarded with a deliciously brisk black tea that is brimming with delightful coconut flavor.

The black tea used here is most likely a Ceylon as most of the flavored black teas in Metropolitan Tea’s catalog possess a Ceylon base.  When brought together with the coconut notes, the Ceylon seems rather sensitive, more sensitive than with other flavored black tea blends that I’ve tried from Metropolitan Tea (as a former tea purveyor, I can say that I’ve tried quite a few of their offerings over the years).  That doesn’t make this a bad tea, just one that requires a little patience and attentiveness to prepare it properly.

The black tea is pleasantly strong – not really what I’d call “bold” but, more of a crisp tasting black tea that has a fair amount of astringency toward the tail.  The astringency leaves the palate clean, which is especially nice as the flavor of the coconut lingers a bit, making a very enjoyable aftertaste.

The coconut is strong but not overdone.  It isn’t as strong a coconut essence as some teas I’ve tried, but I think that the level of flavor works well here.  It is sweet and creamy without being cloying.  Very nice.

Thank you to Bernideen for sending me the wonderful package, it was a joy to be on the receiving end of one of your swap packages!  What a lovely cup of tea!

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