I wanted to start the new year with a “party” of sorts, and this sounded like a delight!
Description: “This is a crisp black tea blend made by marrying mild black tea, tart green apple, and herbaceous fennel.”
Instructions:“212°f /100°c | 3.5g, one tablespoon | 10oz / 300ml | 4-5 mins. longer is stronger | reinfuse up to two times”*
Review: I found out about August Uncommon Tea through my tea friend, Kelly (ros_strange on Instagram), who recommended the company because she enjoyed their blends. I splurged and ended up getting the sample box with all 32 of August Uncommon’s teas which also came with a tea scoop (1 tablespoon) and a brewing guide.* All the teas sounded interesting so I couldn’t help myself!
I’m glad that August Uncommon has sample sizes for all its teas and blends. Another thing I liked about the brand is that the website highlights the different ingredients in the blends, something I wish was done more often!
Since there were so many to choose from, I asked Kelly and she suggested this blend because it was her favourite. The dry blend was a contrast of the dark twisted black tea leaves and cloves against the tan fennel, caraway, and apple pieces. The blend had a strong smell straight from the packaging of mostly apples and spices which reminded me of a Granny Smith apple pie or Apple Jacks cereal.
After 5 minutes, the liquor was a clear reddish-brown liquor with a dominant spiced (mostly cloves) and faint apple smell that filled the room. The smell of the tea blend directly translated into the taste of the liquor, which was sweetness from the apples, followed by smoked cloves, and then fennel/caraway. The black tea crept in at the end with some earthy notes and astringency at the back of the throat. The taste of the apple and fennel lingered in the mouth.
The website mentioned that milk would bring out the sweetness of the apples, so I brewed up a new cup for 5 minutes and added a splash of oat milk which made the liquor a milk chocolate colour. True to the website, the sweetness of the apples was enhanced. The oat milk also mellowed out the spices, gave the liquor a silky quality, and removed the dryness. I found it tasted like spiced apples or apple pie with a scoop of ice cream and the milky liquor coated the mouth and lingered.
Finally, I brewed the blend with two infusions, as suggested at the back of the packaging. The first infusion had more spiced/smoked notes from the cloves, and the second infusion was fairly faint with a slightly sweet apple and spiced flavour.
The wet leaves smelled like apples, followed by fennel/caraway, and earthy notes from the black tea.
The taste profile of this black tea (apple, fennel, and cloves) was new to me, so I can see why Kelly liked it so much! While I liked the blend on its own, I enjoyed it best with the addition of the oat milk which really let the sweetness of the apple shine. I personally found I rather brew one stronger infusion, than split it into two. Overall, I enjoyed this blend but it predicates if you like fennel/caraway or clove. That being said, I am excited to try my next tea from August Uncommon (4/5 rating)!
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Other: All natural, non-gmo, vegan, gluten free
- Ingredients: South indian black tea, egyptian fennel seed, turkish apple, caraway, natural flavoring, clove
- Company: August Uncommon Tea
The question of the post: Do you like apple forward teas?
* Brewing Recommendations Discrepancies:
When tasting teas/tisanes for reviews, I will use the recommendations/instructions provided by the company. When I opened the All the Tea sampler box (below), I noticed a postcard at the top and a crystal clear scoop. The postcard had the title: “Brewing so easy you can do it half asleep.” So, with that in mind, I decided to brew my first black tea blend from August Uncommon (Cabaret) using the provided scoop and the suggestions on the card.
After trying Cabaret twice, I noticed I only had one scoop of tea left, but the sampler indicated that it makes 4 cups. So, I contacted the company who explained: “Our teas are intended to be brewed by weight[.] The scoop we include with our orders is, at best, an approximation of 3.5 grams of tea. […] We include these scoops so you’ll have a starting point, but they’re not intended to be an accurate way to measure tea.”
I personally wished August Uncommon had not provided the postcard and scoop as it added more confusion. Especially if it is not accurate and only provided the weight recommendations if that is how the teas/blends are intended to be brewed.