I tried Simpson and Vail's Pear Tea today. This is a bit unusual in that it is a quality black tea. It smells very pear-y, really too much so for my taste - more like pear nectar than fresh pears. The tea leaves are really black and mostly of a good size. I brewed it about 205 for 3 minutes and it still smelled very strongly of pear. The sad news is I didn't care for it. The pear flavor was much too strong and not the nicest. I like to taste my tea and if there are additions, I want them to be a hint, a lure, a siren, not a call girl. Simpson and Vail do a lot of very nice subtle teas, but sometimes they just go a little nuts.
Later on I had some of my favorite - Yunnan Gold. I could drink this stuff forever, I am that fond of it. The label says Imperial Golden Black Tea [Imperial Gold Dianhong]. I have no idea what company it is from. I compared the label to all the others I have and it didn't match any of them. Anyway, the dry leaves were a good mix of golden buds and very large dark brown twisted leaves. Less gold than I would have expected in an Imperial designation. It had that characteristic Yunnan scent and brewed up into a beautiful dark brown cup that was quite satisfying. Not the best I've had, but quite good. If it had been the most superb I would've been really unhappy to not know where it came from.
The photo above is another Swiss watering trough, this one beside my great-granfather's house. The water in it continuously runs from a spring higher up the mountain and it tasted like liquid heaven. Wish I had some to do my best teas in!