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!
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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