Rainforest Alliance Certified – Strong Black Tea from The Tao of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Tao of Tea

Product Description:

Uplifting brew with earthy aroma and hints of black cherries and warm cane sugar.

You can learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m loving this tea.

But, I must be honest, I was a little disappointed by it at first.  And I think that disappointed is too strong a word for how I felt.  I think I was mislead by the name of the tea “Strong Black Tea” to me indicates that I’m about to taste something incredibly bold, with a hefty taste and texture.  Something to give you that sharp kick in the buns that is needed on those mornings that you don’t want to get going.  I don’t think that this tea would accomplish that, because it isn’t as strong (at least, not to me) as the name would suggest.

But that is not to say that this tea isn’t exquisite, because it IS!  It is a truly delicious tea that merely suffers from a misnomer, which after perusing The Tao of Tea’s website, I notice there is also a “Light” Black Tea from the Rainforest Alliance collection, so perhaps the strong is in comparison to the light, and not so much strong compared to other black teas outside of the Rainforest Alliance collection.

But that’s enough about that.  Let me get to telling you about what makes this tea so delicious.  With the first couple of sips, I noticed a similarity to an Oolong tea.  It has that soft mouthfeel that I might experience from an Oolong, as well as a hint of vegetative flavor that hits the palate right about mid-sip.  There is also a chocolate flavor – like bitter chocolate – that hits the palate at almost the same time, and these two notes provide a very savory tone that is quite appealing, and I think essential to the palate at about this moment in the sip, because the overall flavor of this tea is quite reminiscent of raw sugar cane.  Sweet with an undertone of molasses.  Let me put it this way:  my sweet tooth right now is very happy!

The description suggests these notes of “warm cane sugar” (if you’re one who automatically sweetens a tea before trying it I suggest not doing that with this tea – taste it first, I found that this is pleasantly sweet without any sweetener) and also it suggests notes of black cherry.  And I am getting those fruit tones as well, but it isn’t a syrupy kind of cherry flavor, this is more like a hint of fruit off somewhere in the distance.  As I attempted to describe it on Steepster:  “it is more of a insinuation of cherry that doesn’t quite become fully recognized.”  It is there, but, then again, is it?

While I’m loving the smooth sweetness of this tea, I’m also noticing a rustic edge to it too.  There is some astringency, it is fairly mild and slightly dry.  And while this tea isn’t the strong, hearty tea that I was expecting, I am glad that I was mislead … or shall I say, pleasantly surprised? … by this one because I’m liking it just the way it is.


Co-Founder/Co-Creator of SororiTea Sisters, Mad Tea Artist at 52Teas
Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of "Gramma" and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

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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