Review of Parlour Room Blend

6 of 103 of 54 of 559 of 100
GoodFairGood Value

This is one of those uncommon tea blends that smells and tastes exactly as advertised—no hidden "flavours" (as it's spelled where sold), no surprises, no Trojan horses. That's a good thing, if you like a smoky rose tea with some fruity elements. Murchie's describes this as, "Evoking the atmosphere of a Victorian sitting room, perfumed with rose, lush fruit, and an alluring note of smoke."

As I'm not a big fan of smoke in tea, and only recently have come to tolerate it in a secondary, very subservient role, and as I vividly remember the same smell wafting out the window of a little hippie house when I was a kid, I would name this product Incense Tea. [I also used incense in college to cover up the undesirable pungency of a roommate's chronically unwashed, sweaty laundry piles. That's a different issue than the hippie's, compelling the same response!]

Yes, I fully believe that this blend was inspired by some idealized, nostalgic notion of a Victorian sitting room: lavishly decorated with rose bouquets, ornately designed rugs on shiny hardwood floors, intricate tapestries and paintings of royalty hanging on walls between oil-lamp holders, stoic men of serious business smoking their cigars whilst closing the deal, and fine English tea presented on silver service by precisely well-mannered maids in exquisitely tailored long dresses. But to me this tastes much like burning rose incense somehow infused to black tea. I don't know what to think, because hot water is a strange and somewhat jarring vector for the incense experience.

At least the base tea does seem to be fairly rich and strong, which it must be to host the other flavors. In the aftertaste and in the wet-leaf aroma, the smoke mostly disappears and you're left with a decent rose tea. If I liked smoky tea more, I'd surely rate this a lot higher. It probably is pretty good for fans of rose tea who also like Russian Caravan, as I imagine "Incense Tea" being a combination of them.

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