Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Samovar
Origin: Hawaii Island, Hawaii, USA
Flavor Profile: Thanks to the emerging terroir of Hawaii, this black tea’s flavor profile is completely different from that of any other tea. It is tremendously clean, smooth and refined, with no astringency or bitterness even when brewed for long periods.
High-quality leaves brew into a crystalline amber infusion. A thin, crisp body yields delicate notes of mugicha (roasted barley tea), caramel, barley malt and rice syrup, with a slight taste of roasted sweet potato. Each sip warms, refreshes and reveals new dimensions of flavor.
As I sit here, writing this, it is the first time tasting this amazing tea. I’ve known about it for quite some time, but it is a rare tea that seems to sell out very quickly… and it’s become available again only very recently. This was the first chance I had to order some… and I am glad that I did!
I was quite reluctant at first, because it seemed a bit pricey to me. But after hearing so many people on Steepster RAVE about this tea, I HAD to bite the bullet and order some. And let me tell you – this tea is worth every penny.
This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted. And it makes me so happy that it’s hard to contain myself to find the words to describe it for you. Yes, it’s really that good.
It has a deep, rich sweetness to it that I would describe as a burnt sugar sweetness… SO GOOD. There is a bread-like flavor to it too, I’ve seen other people on Steepster describe it as a Rye bread kind of flavor, and I agree with that comparison.
There is absolutely no astringency to this – which is rather unique for a black tea. There is also no hint of bitterness.
Now I must come clean here and admit that I didn’t brew it according to the package directions… I went into “auto mode” and measured some of the leaves into my Kati tumbler. Because these leaves are ENORMOUS and curly it is difficult to measure the way I typically would (via tea spoon), so instead, I just eyeballed it. I allowed it to steep for 3 minutes, and the result is what sits in front of me now, and I’m quite elated with this cuppa. Plus, by the look of the leaves, I can get at least one more infusion out of this, possibly two!
Next time I brew it I will use my gaiwan using shorter steep times and see if I can note any differences in flavor.
Everyone should try this tea. Even if you don’t like tea, you should try this tea. Even if you don’t like black tea, you should try this tea. It is amazing!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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