Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: KTeas
Each sip of this black tea reveals new dimensions in the flavor profile. The terroir of Hawaii imbues these high-quality leaves with a clean, smooth, refined flavor profile in which you will likely find no astringency nor bitterness. Some of the growers’ descriptors serve best: Crystalline amber infusion. Thin, crisp body. Delicate notes of caramel, varley malt, and rice syrup. Slight taste of roasted sweet potato.
I’ve tasted several Hawaiian-grown teas now, and I must say that I’ve been impressed with just about every one that I’ve tried. This Makai Black Tea from KTeas is no exception.
The color of the liquor is lighter than I expected it to be; it is a clear, medium-to-dark amber color much like the liquor of a dark Oolong. There is something else to this tea that reminds me of an Oolong – the texture. It has a softness to the mouthfeel that I often experience with Oolong tea.
This has such a nice complexity. Beautiful malty tones and a rich sweetness that I would describe as somewhere between honey and (as the description above suggests) rice syrup. I also get the hints of caramel here, as well as the faintest note of cocoa. There is some astringency in the finish, but rather than being dry or tangy, I am finding it to be somewhat starchy. This starchy dryness accentuates the cocoa taste. This starchiness also highlights some of the sweet potato taste that is also mentioned in the description.
I infused these leaves twice and they produced two delightful yet different cups. The second infusion was a bit thinner in texture than the first, and it possessed a more subdued flavor. I notice a little less of the cocoa note but there is a delightful spice-like tone in the distance with this infusion. It was delicious and certainly well worth the effort to infuse this one twice.
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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