This tea was a tea that was blended by a local tea merchant, Cuppa’T Specialty Teas, for 2016, which is the 125th Anniversary of Government House in Regina, SK.
Government House was built in 1891, and served as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories. It currently serves as a multi-purpose Heritage Facility and museum. And most importantly, in the spring/summer it serves Victorian High Tea on the weekends.
They did a contest where people could sign up to be a tea taster, there were 3 blends, this fruity blend, a traditional blend, and a maple blend, and I guess this is the one that won.
It is definitely not what I was expecting to be a Government House tea. I would think a bold black with creamy notes, or a black with vanilla, maybe a green with a bit of spice. Something simple but very elegant. I never expected a strawberry mint blend but I guess the description about the gardener makes perfect sense.
The dry tea is small leaves of black tea with very finely chopped mint. There are largish dried strawberries that are all clumped up with tea. It makes me think there was some oil or liquid type flavour that then clumped up all the tea.
The smell is super delicious. It smells like strawberry bubble gum; candied strawvberries with a bit of mint. It is sweet and has quite a bit of “pop” to it.
The tea brewed is ok. There is a black tea base that is slightly astringent at the end of the sip. It is light to moderate boldness. There are definitely cooling mint undertones. I think it is a bit of a spearmint/peppermint mix. It is not very strong but definitely present. The strawberry flavour is unfortunately lacklustre. It is an artificial, but not bad, strawberry flavour. But it loses the pop that the scent had. It definitely needs some sweetness added to it I think.
Overall it is good. The flavours were definitely a surprise from what I was expecting. I think it would be great iced. And maybe iced with lemonade :)
It is available only at Cuppa T and at Government House. All the proceeds go to the Government House Historical Society which supports and preserves this historical site.