Anything cherry flavored typically brings to mind the artificial-tasting candies and cough syrups from childhood. A good cherry flavored tea, however, can be a delightful blend of fresh, jammy fruit flavors that leaves you dreaming of ripe, summer orchards.
This was the flavor I had in mind when I discovered Cherries Jubilee from Davidson’s Tea. This is a caffeine-free herbal blend and is categorized as a dessert tea. This was my first experience with Davidson’s Tea and I was pleased to find that they are an online retailer with many other enticing blends to try. I was a little surprised after reading the organic ingredients of barley, chicory, chamomile, carob, rooibos and natural flavor. This was certainly unlike any other dessert tea I had come across.
Cherries Jubilee comes neatly packaged in a standard teabag, but without the string. The teabag itself smelled like tangy, almost spicy fruit. During the five-minute steeping time in boiling water, I was concerned to see that the tea liquor rapidly became darker and darker. The result was a cup of thick, dark brown tea. The tea liquor smelled heavily of almonds with a hint of sweet cherries.
Davidson’s Tea describes this tea as
Cherries Jubilee is a luscious herbal tea combining the sweet flavor of ripe cherries with toasted almonds. Serve hot with frothy milk or iced, garnished with sweet bang cherries in the summertime!
This tea has a complex flavor that is almost difficult to describe, as there are so many different notes to discern. Upon the first sip a grainy flavor with a nutty base becomes apparent, which I assume is from the barley and chicory ingredients. The cherry essence isn’t immediately present, but comes in at the end as a very faint, bitter and lingering finish.
After this first impression I was somewhat taken aback that this tea is labeled as a dessert tea, since it is more spicy that naturally sweet. The package suggested adding milk and sweetener, and at this point I was more than willing to follow any recommendations that might lead to this tea being at least drinkable.
I found that the milk tones down the spiciness and brings out a little more of the cherry flavor. The sweetener makes the nutty almond taste more prominent. The addition of milk and sweetener did enable me to finish the cup, but this blend was more reminiscent of coffee than an herbal blend with it’s thickness and bitterness. While I will probably pass on the Cherries Jubilee in the future, I am certainly looking forward to exploring other blends from Davidson’s Tea.