Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Arbor Teas
This exquisite black tea hails from the Jing Mai Mangjing region of China’s southwestern Yunnan province, made from the 1300-year-old tea trees found there – some of the oldest living tea trees in the world. The people of Jing Mai Mangjing’s high mountain tea villages climb their ancient tea trees to harvest the new growth leaves and buds used to create this organic and Fair Trade Certified tea. It is quite tippy, rich with golden buds and large, delicately twisted leaves. The full-bodied infusion is deep red with a molasses-like sweetness, a subtle milkiness and light coppery finish.
This is a very beautiful tea in every way. The dry leaf is lovely to look at with its long, slightly curled leaves. The leaves are a deep mahogany with golden-yellow tips. When they are steeped, they produce a deep, dark liquor that possesses a beautiful bouquet – it smells slightly earthy, floral, and spicy with a deep fruit note.
But the real beauty of this tea lies in its flavor – it is delightful. The flavor is very rich. It has a fruit-like undertone that is somewhat wine-like in flavor. It is a bit tannic – not bitter – but it does have an astringency that is pleasant and cleansing and is also quite like a fine dry wine.
There are notes of spice that are almost peppery that I am really enjoying. This spice note is a wonderful contrast to the creamy, almost-caramel-y sweetness that rounds out the flavor of this amazing tea.
There is a lovely autumnal feel to this tea and is making me long for the days when the leaves begin to change (they haven’t yet started here in the Pacific Northwest, but I am eager for it). It is delicious served hot and I think it is probably best served that way, but, it would also make a very good iced tea (excellent with a thin slice of lemon). It has that caramel-y undertone to it so it really doesn’t need any sweetener. This is just perfect, just as it is!