Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
Named after Robert Fortune who toured the tea producing regions in the 1840s under the auspices of the East India Company. Darjeeling adds a pleasing brightness; Yunnan lends a dark, honey colored liquor and delicately spicy overtones.
Learn more about this tea here.
The aroma of dry leaf of this Robert Fortune Blend 41 from Upton Tea Imports – which is a blend of Darjeeling and Yunnan teas – is woody with earthy low notes. The fragrance of the brewed tea is very similar to the dry leaf – woody, earthy, with notes of sweetness (like honey!) and hints of fruit and flower in the distance. It’s a very inviting scent … very autumnal.
This tastes really quite nice. Darjeeling tends to be a lighter, brighter … sort of sparkling taste on the tongue and the Yunnan – which is a more full-bodied tea – seems to fill in the flavor and provide a very well-rounded taste. The deep flavor of the Yunnan is a very compelling complement to the light, crisp taste of the Darjeeling.
There is a distinct woodsy tone to this cup, giving it a definite “masculine” sort of taste. I taste notes of fermented grape, evoking thoughts of a well-aged wine: something that I don’t drink very often (read: never) but, if I were to indulge in such a luxury … these delightful fruit notes are something that I would expect to experience in a well-aged, fine wine.
There is a sweetness to this tea as well … a sweetness that reminds me of honey and caramel. Both honey and caramel are sweet notes that I associate with “heavy” or “thick” flavors, and here, the honey-esque, caramel-y notes are decidedly thinner than teas that I might usually note with a honey tone or a caramel note.
There are floral notes here too, but they are quite distant. Imagine a field of flowers in the distance … you can’t really see the individual flowers but just a field of color … this is what I note here. A taste that is reminiscent of a flowery sweetness but nothing that is too distinct.
What I am enjoying most with this tea is the complexity and the body of the tea. I like that this is not as robust and full as a Yunnan … but not as crisp and light as a Darjeeling … it is skillfully blended to find a happy medium between these two dynamic teas to create a flavor that really excites the palate.
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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