Leaf Type: Black
A blend of black teas from three of India’s premiere growing regions: Assam, Darjeeling and the Nilgiris. This tea has all the highlights of India’s best black teas in a flavorful, coppery-colored blend that is similar in style to an “English Breakfast” tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m always excited to try teas from Etsy sellers, because I used to sell my tea blends on Etsy. I like to support these artisans – and yes! Blending tea is an art! I also always check Etsy first when there’s something that I need like a new set of pot holders (I just purchased some recently similar to these lovelies!)
So when I found the seller ArtfulTea on Etsy, I decided to try some of their teas. I purchased this sampler, and I think I mentioned it in an earlier post. The sampler is so beautifully packaged. The box was lined in brightly colored tissue paper, and the loose leaf samples were pre-measured into unbleached paper DIY teabags which you can opt to use or you can empty the tea into a small brewing vessel to let the tea steep loose.
Everything about this experience was lovely – and I have to admit that it reminded me a bit of when I was a tea purveyor on Etsy … I took a lot of care in my packaging too. It is a practice that is often overlooked, and one that I personally appreciate when I order teas online.
This Star of India is not the first tea that I’ve sampled from ArtfulTea, but I think it might be my favorite thus far.
My first reaction after taking a sip of the coppery liquid? Wow! It’s a very well-rounded cup of tea. My palate seems very satisfied with this tea. It’s sweet but not too sweet, it’s smooth, not overly astringent, and it has a rich, flavorful taste. It’s not bitter (although I wouldn’t advise oversteeping it!) and it’s got a substantial flavor without feeling or tasting too heavy.
The blend is crafted using Assam, Nilgiri and Darjeeling teas, and I really like this combination of tea leaves. The Assam and Nilgiri offer a pleasing malty flavor with a nice caramel-y undertone. Sweet and rich! These both are hearty teas, and I like how the Darjeeling rounds them out, lightening the overall flavor and texture of the cup so that it feels less heavy. It would make a very agreeable afternoon cup, or if you’re looking for a nice weekend breakfast tea, this one would do nicely.
Along with these malty notes and flavors of caramel, there are sweet, fruity notes that contrast with an earthy, woodsy note. The flavors seem nicely balanced with one another. There is a light cleansing astringency toward the finish, and it leaves the palate feeling refreshed in the aftertaste.
It’s not a tea that I’d add milk to (I just don’t really care for milk in my Darjeeling teas because it overwhelms the delicate nuances of a Darjeeling, in my opinion), but it would take a dollop of honey nicely if you want to add that, or perhaps you’d like a thin slice of lemon, that would work well here too. I found that I preferred this one hot. As the tea cooled, it ended up tasting a lot like an average black tea, but while hot, I could taste a lot of the subtleties that this tea offers. It’s a pleasant, complex blend that should be explored!