Month two of my three month Handmade Tea subscription arrived. This time I kept that wax sealed envelope closed and decided I would let the tea speak for itself before reading the provided tasting note.
First thing I noticed was the big pieces of coconut in the blend. The scent of them takes over which makes since given the bright white coconut chips amidst a sea of black tea. When steeped up though, the malty assam base is what floods the nose leaving me a little bit worried that those coconut chips are just for show.
Sipping on the blend, I will say it is a pretty nice black tea. The malt is strong here. It is smooth but a little bit pithy and astringent as the sip finishes. I imagine that is the contribution of the lime element seeing as I have no other indication of its presence in the tea. There are also notes of raisin and stonefruits, sweet and jammy, with a drizzle of honey. Now and then there is a creaminess that I think is the coconut though it is faint and merely textural. To be honest, if I was blindly trying this, having not known the name or seen the dry leaf, I would have assumed this was a plain assam tea, not a flavored one.
So, having now tried the tea and assessed it for myself, let’s see how my observations compared to those laid out in the tasting note: “The black tea has light raisin notes along with a brisk astringency” – so far it seems my thoughts are in line with what is to be expected. “Next we add coconut chips to add a natural sweet flavor. Coconut also adds a thicker and more complex mouth feel” – I definitely got the mouth feel component here, though I interpreted as a creaminess as opposed to the described thickness and the sweetness I attributed to the base instead of the coconut. “Lastly, dried lime peel is added in to finish out the blend. The tartness and subtle sweetness of the citrus balances well with the coconut and raisin-like notes of the base tea” – this was lost on me.
In addition to the tasting note, the blender provides a message in which he also makes note of the stone-fruit flavor I picked up on in the tea. He also speaks to the fact that he believes this is a good winter tea which is an interesting point in light of the more tropical/summery coconut and lime flavors. However, having drank the tea, I can see how this is better for the winter given the focus on the rich base as opposed to the lighter flavoring
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Handmade Tea
This is a selection from Handmade Tea’s monthly subscription plan. Click below if you want to learn more about this plan.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Enter Steepster.com. This is where I met some incredible tea friends, discovered tea swaps, and learned of so many amazing tea companies. My desire to try all the teas grew and since joining three years ago I have tried over a thousand different teas. I have learned what ingredients I love and I have learned what flavors I don’t like. I determined my go-to brewing method is Western-style with no added milk or sweeteners, though I also enjoy cold brewing, iced teas, teapops, lattes, and smoothies. I have yet to brew gong-fu style but I hope to do so just as soon as I get the proper teaware to do it.
About a year ago, I actually stopped drinking tea but as my stash of over 200 teas started aging I decided I needed to respark my interest. I chose to take a 365 days of tea challenge on Instagram in which I post a new tea picture every day. So far it has been rather successful as I find myself drinking (and buying) more and more tea each day. Plus it enabled CuppaGeek to find me and invite me here to SororiTea Sisters.