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.