30 Aug La Tea Dah | T2 Tea Chilli Berry Boom
Man, I got so much tea on our mini tour of England. Rather than slummin’ it as usual and travelling with hand luggage only, we decided to be glamorous and book on hold luggage. Ryanair elite, amirite?
This meant I could bring an empty suitcase for my hand luggage, with the intention of filling it with lots of COOL BUYS. It ended up being almost entirely filled with new tea. And I’m only slightly exaggerating. I love hitting up tea shops when travelling, okay?
The first of many tea emporiums we found (or rather I found and dragged Scott around for about 15 mins) was T2 Tea in the Victoria Gate shopping centre in Leeds. We’d just arrived in Leeds after our very early flight from Dublin. As our room wasn’t ready yet, we dropped our luggage off and began one of my favourite things to do when visiting a new city: wandering around.
First off, Victoria Gate is magnificent. Scott & I have a habit of wandering around massive shopping centres while on trips away and this is definitely up there with my favourites. It was so opulent, adorned in silver and shiny things and did not at all feel like a shopping centre experience. It actually felt like a casino.
ANYWAY, I was having a great morning. T2 had a selection of summer tea cocktails to try and there was so much pretty teaware and tea accessories I didn’t know where to start browsing. Oh yeah, and there was tea shelved up to the ceiling. Basically, it was very exciting.
After a great deal of deliberation and staring at their many, many tea cubes I finally settled on the very enticing Chilli Cherry Boom. I’m not usually a fruit tea drinker so this was a bold move for me. But, I love cherry, I love spice and it smelt divine. I also got signed up for T2’s tea club and this meant I got a free sample from a little box by the till. SCORE.
I’ve been very excited about trying Chilli Berry Boom because every time I open my tea cupboard (yes, I have a tea cupboard and it’s great) I’m hit with its delicious scent. It has overpowered the scents of all the other teas in there (and there’s quite a lot of them.)
I finally cracked the ‘ol teapot out and brewed it up this weekend past.
Chilli Berry Boom
Comprised of an eclectic mix of herbs and fruits (apple, hibiscus, beetroot, chilli, pink pepper, natural and artificial flavouring, sweet blackberry leaves, strawberries, cranberries, cornflower petals and safflower petals) I was intrigued to see taste this interesting blend of flavours.
As it turns out, Chilli Berry Boom isn’t actually a tea at all… technically. It’s described as a “tisane” which after a bit of research, I’ve discovered is a herbal infusion like chamomile tea or mint tea. I suppose we just call it tea for convenience and their similarities.
Normally, I’m not really a fan of fruit tea. Perhaps I’ve had a bad experience of fruit teas but there’s just something disappointing about them. Like, when you try a strawberry tea and there’s a part of you somehow expecting it to be like a sort of strawberry juice but in actual fact it tastes really bitter and only has the slightest hint of strawberry flavours.
Anyway, I put these reservations behind me because I’ve recently really got into cranberry green tea (the Twinings one is delish, FYI). So perhaps fruit tea is growing on me, who knows.
How did it taste?
CBB has a recommended brewing time of 3-5 minutes, and that’s actually quite a long time compared to green teas which tend to be about 1-2 minutes for their subtle tastes. There’s so many flavours going on in CBB though, this longer brewing time makes sense.
It’s very sweet. Smooth at first but with a very sweet aftertaste. You can pick up the hint of a taste almost akin to bubblegum. I imagine this is the combination of apple and strawberry. The taste definitely isn’t light or subtle, CBB actually has a richness to it which feels strange for a herbal tea.
Although there’s petals in the ingredients, I didn’t really pick up any floral notes which as big fan of jasmine tea, I found a little bit disappointing. As to the spice element, I didn’t find it to be overly spicy per se, but there is a definite catch in the throat after sipping – similar to but perhaps not as overpowering as drinking a ginger tea or drink. Also, I found the longer you left it to brew the more prominent the spice kick.
CBB really grew on me the longer I sipped at it. There wasn’t that awful, vinegar-like bitterness you so often find when drinking fruit teas. It also isn’t overpoweringly sweet – this is levelled out by its richness, which I imagine is brought about by the presence of beetroot. Which also probably contributes heavily to the tea’s deep red colour.
The tea blend itself reminded me of True Tea Club’s Rainbow Chaser Tea – wonderfully colourful and vibrant. CBB looks and smells exciting and I feel that the tea itself lives up to these initial enticements.
Chilli Berry Boom is £8 per cube and the cube actually has a pretty decent amount of tea in it. I reckon you’d get at least 20 pots of tea out of it.
T2 is a colourful, vibrant tea brand steeped (I had to do a tea pun, sorry) in history – being around since 1999. They started out in Australia and now seem to have stores across the world (none sadly in Northern Ireland.)
Chilli Berry Boom has definitely encouraged me to try more of T2’s extensive range of tea. And maybe one day invest in one of their beautiful teapots #teapotgoals.
Have you tried any new teas lately? Let me know in the comments!