Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
This versatile tea from Mozambique is a fantastic value for a smooth and flavorful everyday tea, and can be enjoyed both hot and iced. Flavor notes of vanilla, rose and nutmeg enhance the experience.
Learn more about this tea here.
When I first opened the pouch of this Monte Branco Estate PF1 Black Tea from Upton Tea Imports, I had my doubts. The leaves are very finely chopped. We’re talking … severely chopped. They look more like a super-finely ground coffee bean than tea leaves!
But, I decided to give it a chance. After all, my SororiTea Sister, Azzrian, seemed to really enjoy this tea, and I trust her judgement. And this is really quite an impressive cup of tea!
The flavor is rich and smooth. There is a slight astringency to it, but I would classify it as mild to moderate. It starts out quite mild, but by mid-cup, the astringency has developed somewhat. It isn’t bothersome, but, if you’re one of those that tends to be sensitive to astringency, there is some to this tea.
There is a pleasant malty tone to this tea, and this seems to highlight the vanilla-esque notes that are mentioned in the above description. I notice fruit tones and an earthy note, and a slight nutty flavor. It has a rich “spiced” sort of flavor, but not “spicy” like you might find from a chai blend … this is more like a “well seasoned” flavor, with hints of subtle spice and wood-like notes.
I didn’t pick up on the rose notes that the description promised until about mid-cup. For a while there, I thought maybe something was going wrong with my taste buds, because I just wasn’t tasting those floral notes. But, by mid-cup, the rose seemed to come through quite nicely… and it is a distinct rose note, as if someone took some Rose Congou and finely ground the tea leaves along with the tea leaves from the Monte Branco estate.
I like that I taste no bitterness. There is a lovely undertone of sweetness that is caramel-like, and there is a pleasing complexity to this tea. My first impression of the finely chopped leaf lead me to believe that this going to be more of a hearty, robust tea with more gusto than character but I’m happy to say that while this is indeed a very bold and energizing tea, there is also a really enjoyable complexity to be explored here. Definitely a tea worth trying!