I opened the bag and was hit with a ridiculously powerful punch of artificial strawberry essence, to the point where it made me a little queasy! The scent reminds me of something from my childhood, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It might be strawberry-flavored Creme Savers, which I VERY MUCH ENJOYED in the late ’90s/early 2000s. That said, I was a little nervous the tea would taste like 100% artificial, perfume-y strawberry and nothing else.
At first, it doesn’t. Once it’s brewed up, the artificial scent mostly dissipates and I’m getting a much more natural strawberry aroma, although there’s definitely an artificial flavor that hits at the back of a sip. It’s layered on the same soapy black tea base I recognize from Canadian Breakfast; the website tells me it’s a blend of Ceylon and Keemun. (I really need to get better at recognizing black tea varieties!) I’m not really getting vanilla or anything to evoke the “shortcake” part of this tea, and I feel like the base is just not super high quality… so, overall, this is pretty meh. It’s also making my entire WFH office room smell like a cheap strawberry candle someone bought at the dollar store and forgot about in the trunk of their car. Ooh, or maybe it smells like a cheap air freshener?! That could be what I’m getting in the scent. Regardless… not great.
A bit of oat milk adds some body and helps hide the artificial flavor, but I think this one will be, ahem, shared in the TTB when it comes my way. XD
Edit: OK, I couldn’t finish my cup because even the small amount of lingering artificial strawberry scent was bothering me. I can’t get the car freshener comparison out of my head! I have to reduce my rating because to me, this is just vile. I rarely dump tea, but this one went down the sink. :(
Flavors: Artificial, Soap, Strawberry