Leaf Type: Black Leaf Blend
Where to Buy: Siam Tee
An aromatic Thai tea blend based on a black tea, collected by members of the resident mountain tribe of Lahu semi wild ancient tea trees in the province of fishing which, by means of subtle and skillful addition of a selected blend of fruit and spices such as cranberry, ginger apple, strawberry and cherry in a unique way the atmosphere of the area covered by forest and agricultural land mountains of northern Thailand captures.
Learn more about this tea here.
Siam Tee is growing to be one of my favourite EU companies, particularly when it comes to blends. This Hillside blend is also available with a green tea base but I chose a black base to try. One of my reasons for adoring their blends is because they use natural flavours from either fruit or essential oil and I take comfort in knowing I’m not drinking chemicals. Far too many times have I experienced a chemical, super sugary fruit tea that claims to be one of the best but really it tastes cheap and tacky, well I have yet to experience anything of the sort from Siam Tee.
Hillside Black says that it contains: cranberry, apple, ginger, strawberry and cherry but does not disclose full information, if you have any allergy then please be aware. The owner of the company Thomas is a very nice man and I’m sure he would address any concerns that you may have in an e-mail.
Opening the packet and taking a quick sniff reveals a mild mixed fruit scent. Further inspection shows very large leaves that are: black, curly, long, thinly rolled and are dark black with some golden tips present. Spreading the mixture out also exposes a couple of large fruit pieces. A closer sniff-spection adds sweet wood to the mild fruit tone.
Steeping Parameters: 5g of blend. Boiling water. 320ml vessel. 3-4 Minute Steep.
Once steeped the tea liquid is amber with a red hue and bares a sweet, strawberry fruit scent with undertones of wood and sour malt.
The first few sips reveal delicate yet sweet fruit notes with some astringency and a sour malt background. The after taste is sweet and fruity whilst not being too overpowering. The fruit is coming through as strawberry sweet but cranberry sour/tart.
As it cools the sour malt comes through a little more but the after taste is fruity and it lingers with the malt, adding some dryness to it all. Perhaps slightly perfumed over all but in a nice contrast to the malt.
The rest of the cup remained rather consistent in terms of strength and flavour. I know I bigged up Siam Tee at the start of my review and while this is not my favourite blend it is still a good job. In terms of quality they are one of the best available. No broken or finely chopped leaves here! The black base is stronger than the fruit but that is to my preference, with such a good quality black tea I want to be able to taste it. So think of this as a black tea with added fruit flavours rather than a fruit tea that happens to contain black leaves.
Overall I like it, a lot actually. Ok so I don’t love it like some of their other blends (Monsoon Oolong is to die for) but this certainly bridges the gap on this rainy afternoon.
Happy Steeping Everyone!