The flavor and aroma of this tea is so delightfully complex, not unlike the flavor and bouquet of the wine with which it has been infused – Cabernet. The fragrance is quite intoxicating, with hints of cinnamon and licorice (both were also used to flavor this tea) as well as subtle notes of ripe berries, and even a whisper of mint.
Even more intriguing is the flavor of this tea. The Assam here is a fine quality tea with a distinguished malty flavor and a delicate note of spice in the background, which is pleasantly accented with the addition of the licorice and cinnamon flavors.
But what is most charming about this particular tea is the Cabernet infusion. This has imparted a prominent black currant flavor that is even richer than some black currant flavored teas I’ve tried. There is a definitive tartness to the overall profile of the blend, which lingers in the finish.
Red Leaf Tea describes their Assam Jungle Cabernet as
***Wine Infused Tea***
The Assam region of India is well known for its strong, malty black teas and pungent green teas. To the powerful briskness of these teas we have added the sweet and vivid flavor of a bright cabernet wine. Heavily infused prior to drying, the full-bodied cabernet pervades the deep and dark Assam herbs, brightening a black tea that famously stimulates your afternoons!
There is a notable astringency to this tea, in part, I suspect from the wine itself. The astringency leaves the palate feeling clean, with an aftertaste that possesses a tangy twinge that is similar to the aftertaste that remains after eating tart berries.
As it is so cold outside, I found this to be quite lovely as a hot tea. However, as it cooled, I noticed that the flavors did not become extraordinarily muted, which communicated to me that it would make a delicious iced tea as well.
Because of the tart character of this tea, I do recommend a little bit of sweetener to soften it. However, if you like tart teas, then you might want to try it first without sweetener to see how you like it. I also found that the small amount of sweetener (agave nectar, of course) perked up the softer licorice and cinnamon flavors in this blend, which I really appreciated.
I would not add milk or cream to this tea, however, because it would just be weird. I don’t add milk or cream to my wine (on those rare occasions when I actually do drink wine) … and I can’t imagine adding it to this wine-infused tea.
As it is that time of year… I would recommend this tea as a gift for the wine collector on your list. It may not be a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, but perhaps it is something that they would appreciate, and would certainly be much easier on the pocketbook than a Grace Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Dean & Deluca.