Summer time is fresh fruit time. Currently strawberries and blueberries, I'm eagerly awaiting the week or two until stone fruits are suddenly bursting into ripeness. All throughout the year, I eye the stone fruits in the store, and hell, I'll buy a few plums, nectarines, or apricots here or there, but I'm fascist about my peaches. Fresh and local, or none at all. A hard grocery store peach, picked before ripeness to survive a long shipping journey...blah. But a fresh peach, so soft and juicy that it bruises if you look too hard at it...man, there are just some things on this earth that you get all spiritual about.
I do love peach. It's a unique and versatile flavor, blending wonderfully with green tea, black tea, and more importantly, bourbon. I've even had peach wine, peach lambic, and heard tell of wondeful peach ciders out there. Ginger and peach are often paired together, probably since ginger's earthy spice complements peach's sweet fruit flavors so well. I've had ginger peach as a combo in white, green ,and black teas, but Culinary Tea's ginger peach black tea is easily the best of the lot.
The base is the familiar Metropolitan Tea Ceylon blend, generic black tea flavor, but clean, sturdy, and smooth. The flavor additions are perfectly balanced, a pleasant ginger burn at the back of the throat, mild peach fruitiness, black tea astringency. Nothing stands out, but this is just a perfectly balanced cup, a good cup of hot tea, and a sublime glass of summertime iced tea. In today's food and drink world, so much seems to be about extremes, but this cuppa is so great because it effortlessly finds a balance without being boring. Score: 92 (A-)