Sunday, February 1, 2009

Review: McNulty's Elderberry Blend

McNulty's Tea and Coffee Co. ($5.50, 1/4 lb.)

Assuming you can make it past the raunchy sex shops and equally raunchy NYU students that populate the area around McNulty’s, you can get to a really great tea shop (a full review of which is coming soon). McNulty’s not only has a lot of teas, they have a lot of teas available for seeing and smelling (I’ve never asked about tasting). Based purely on the merits of sight and smell I decided to give their Elderberry Blend a try.

If looking at this stuff doesn’t make you want to drink it maybe you should stick to rain water or gasoline or whatever it is that has ruined your good sense. There is no hiding the enticement of those dried elderberries and hibiscus flowers. They look more like additions to a high level granola mix than the beginnings of a relaxing drink. If you can bring yourself to pour hot water over these delectable elements, things get even better.

Brewing to a highly fragrant, deep purplish-red this blend is not fooling around. Deep on berry flavor, the smell makes you feel as though you might be head first in a sambucus nigra bush and the taste that follows only emphasizes the notion.

Simply put, the berry flavor is strong. With a slightly bitter twinge at the end this, as far as I can tell, is a real elderberry experience. One often comes across teas in this world that smell great only to find their flavor a muted disappointment. This is not one of them.

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