Last week i wrote about Inti Zen’s Patagonia Bee, which was a fairly intense honey tea. This week i thought i’d try one or two of the other international teas that came in their sampler pack. Don Juan’s description sounds intriguing , if a bit brief: “Dulce de Leche & red fruits tea”.
Don Juan’s enticing warm toffee and black tea scent conjures up the feeling of sitting in a quiet cafe on a Sao Paolo wharf. In taste, Don Juan doesn’t disappoint: a black tea with a bit of bergamot quickly gives way to a light toffee and a subtly tangy though unfamiliar fruit palate. A real treat!
Inca Rose is one of the best smelling yet worse tasting teas i’ve had in recent memory. Its exquisite flush scent of a rose bush in full bloom is lovely and blends enticingly with an Earl Grey afterscent. Described as being an “Italian Bergamot Earl Grey with rose petals”, i was worried i wouldn’t care for the taste. Unfortunately my instincts were dead on. Inca Rose is so heavily bergamotted i can barely taste the Earl Grey. If you enjoy bergamot tea you will love Inca Rose, but i wouldn’t recommend it for an Earl Grey lover.
Chaman Chai, a cardamom spiced Assam is an utterly terrific Argentinian take on an Indian Chai. Advertized as “revitalizing the senses and enegizing the mind and body”, Chaman Chai is almost the opposite of Inca Rose. It smells like a weak chai or a chai latte, but tastes like an unique zinging blend of old Assam and fresh spicy chai. Usually a chai would blow out the taste of anything else it’s combined with. In the case of Chaman Chai though, the tea has been combined ⅔ Assam to ⅓ cardamom chai and the result is a black (the subtlties of an Assam texture are mostly lost) that pushes through the floor of a milk chai. Delicious. It seems like Inti Zen either focuses on making a great smelling tea or a great tasting one, but since they’re successful at both attempts i definitely recommend it.