For this final tea, I am cheating a bit in that I am actually testing this tea on the afternoon of Day 6 and scheduling the post for the morning after. This is the sixth and final tea out of my tasting kit, Decaf Strawberry.
This black tea has been decaffeinated, which means that there may still be small amounts of caffeine remaining, but it’s probably not going to keep you up all night. It’s better to go with a purely herbal tisane if you have to avoid caffeine entirely.
In addition to the decaffeinated black tea, this Sri Lankan tea from Great Big Teas has added pieces of strawberry and papaya, in addition to natural flavors. The recommended brew time is 4-7 minutes with boiling (212 F) water. I think I was somewhere in the 5 minute range and still didn’t get a strong bitter signal from the tannins.
Surprisingly, the strawberry in this tea comes out mostly in the aroma. The fruit flavor is relatively mild, especially in comparison with Day 1’s Blueberry Infusion. Part of me wishes I had the time to go back through and test each of these again iced- I think both the fruit and rose flavors of this series would stand up well to the cold and be quite refreshing on these hot August days.
As suggested, this tea would pair well with a strong dessert, such as strawberry shortcake. With the fruit mostly in the aroma, I would guess the flavors to be complimentary. For those who prefer sweetened tea, this would be a good candidate for a “neutral” sweetener such as clover honey.
The pairing of honeys with teas is still a new area for me, and my main eating (versus mead-making) honey is a local honey which has quite a strong flavor, so it’s really not the best for taste testing these different teas. Eating local honey is thought to have many health benefits, including improving seasonal allergies and anti-inflammatory effects. I’m not sure I’ve seen an improvement in mine, but it tastes delicious and helps my local economy. If you’re looking for a supplier, I recommend checking your local farmer’s market since many of the honeys you find in the grocery don’t always contain pollen and are imported from farther away. The Bee Folks are one of our regional favorites as well, with lots of different options.
This wraps up my week long series previewing the teas I received in my tea tasting kit from Great Big Teas. I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring these teas with me. I’ve already got my eye on at least 15 other teas I’m keen to try for the coming fall and winter season, but I’m going to switch gears and try out some recipes and work on some crochet projects in the mean time. Hope you enjoyed!