Organic Leafy Black Colombian Tea from Simpson and Vail. . .

This Organic Leafy Black Tea from Simpson & Vail is the 2nd tea that I’ve tried (that I know of) that hails from the Bitaco Tea Estate. This is a lovely loose leaf tea that features large, twisted leaves. When steeped, this tea yields a cup that’s sweet and mellow with a soft fruity character at the end of each sip.

I did have a little time to play around with this tea, however, and it can be a versatile cuppa if you want it to be. What I mean by that is if you double the amount of loose leaf and cut the steep time in half it gives off a different flavor than described on the companies website. With this steeping method I’ve noticed it’s a much more heartier, and bold brew with a fair amount of maltiness, too!

I think I mentioned this in another tea review recently but this tea is what we call a chariTEA…

Bitaco Tea not only cultivates exceptional teas, they also are committed to their community. They created the Agricola Himalaya Foundation to develop and improve programs focusing on education, especially for local children. Activities focus on the improvement of infrastructure, recreational opportunities, local culture and access to technology.

So not only is it a good cup – it’s a good cause! An all-around feel-GOOD tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

From the mountainous region of Colombia, in an area steeped in biodiversity, along the western slope of the Andes, is the Bitaco tea estate. The gentle mist from the mountains, rich soil, and ample rainfall all stimulate the growth of the tea bushes, producing a tea with unique characteristics.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . .

Many of you know I start each and every day with a Black Tea and then move on to the other tea bases from there and sip on different teas all day long…but…I have to say that Assams are generally among my favorite!

May I introduce you to a new offering from Simpson & Vail? Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1).

This lead me to my own personal research and enrichment on the Marangi Estate. The Marangi Estate is located in the Golaghat district of north-eastern Assam south of the Brahmaputra River. This district’s economy is agriculture in nature, with crops of tea, rice and sugar cane its major crops. Tea is the largest agricultural crop grown here with over 63 large tea gardens as well as many small scale tea-growers. 63 LARGE tea gardens? Yes, please! While this is a small estate, with approximately 250 hectares in cultivation, Marangi is a well respected garden that produces very high quality Assam black tea. After sipping on this tea I would completely agree! This estate seems to be the definition of QUALITY over quantity!

This Assam – that I am sipping on again while typing this review – is from the Marangi Estate and has black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. Taste-wise it is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish. I have to say that malty and cocoa type Assams are among my favorite of the Assams!

This might have to go on my Top Ten Teas of this year so far! YUM!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

This tea from the Marangi Estate has uniform black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. The taste is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson and Vail. . . .

Nepal is one place I have always wanted to travel to. I try and picture the place, the people, the culture. Since I probably will never have the opportunity to go there I will be living my wanderlust thru tea sipping. Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson & Vail helped me with this recently.

Nepal is located in South Asia, and bordered by China and India, and home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest which is the highest point anywhere on Earth. According to S&V and other sources – Nepal is comprised of 75 districts, one of which is the district of Panchthar. Panchthar is located in the Mechi Zone in the easternmost part of Nepal. It borders the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India, and enjoys the same soil and climatic conditions as Darjeeling.

This certified organic garden is located in Panchthar, Nepal at an elevation of 1900 to 2100 meters above sea level. Simpson and Vail’s product description of this tea says that this garden sits among beautiful forested areas and has a stunning view of Mount Kumbhakarna. Pathivara Tea was planted in 1990 and is a relatively young garden that employs 35 people (mostly women). Pathivara almost borders the Sikkim border and the location is quite remote. The yields from Pathivara are not large which allows the growers to concentrate on producing this high-quality tea.

Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson & Vail consists of large black, golden, and well formed leaves that brew to an amber cup. It gives off a delicate yet full flavor on the tongue. The astringency (that is found in many high-grown Himalayan teas) is present in the cup although it is on the lighter side of things. The taste is smooth with a slightly sweet rose taste. An truly delightful cup of tea that I – for one – am thrilled they offer! Yet another great cuppa from our friends at S&V!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

Pathivara Gold tea consists of large black and golden well formed leaves that brew to an amber cup with a delicate yet full flavored taste. The astringency that is found in many high-grown Himalayan teas is present in the cup although it is slight. The taste is smooth with a slightly sweet rose taste. A truly delightful cup of tea that we are thrilled to offer.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . . .

Wine and food pairings are popular all over the place but here at Sororitea Sisters we love learning about TEA and food pairings! Assam teas complement foods such as chocolate, spiced desserts, meat, strong cheeses, fish and more. Since I follow a vegan diet, I like to pair Assams with non-dairy cheese – such as cacao and carob. I’m not even close to being a baker so I don’t frequent vegan desserts but when I can get my hands on one I would gladly pair it with an Assam. I’m not into ‘fake meats’ because I wasn’t into ‘real meat’ prior to being vegetarian and vegan, but I suppose one could try pairing it with an alternative. I will say, that if I see a vegan cheese, I’m probably going to try it at least once and can see myself sipping on a solid Assam while nibbling on a chunk.

Enter the “Assam of the Day”…Simpson and Vail’s Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1). These black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has an AMAZING malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish. YUM!

Now for a little bit on where this tea comes from…which is the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River. They grow hearty, malty Assam teas – like this one.

The Nokhroy Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border, in the Tinsukia district. In 1816 a village called “Halcyon Chuck” was about to be invaded by the Burmese army. Before the attack, the villagers made a peace offering of ‘Nine Platters’ (NA – HORAI) to the Burmese army, as a gesture of respect. Afterwards, the village was called “Na Horai” and over time it became Nokhroy, symbolizing peace and respect for all.

This is a bold yet peaceful cup and I’m so glad I was able to enjoy it! Yet another winner from S&V!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

In the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River grow the hearty, malty Assam teas. The heavy rainfall and hot, humid day time temperatures in this area create the perfect green house like environment for growth, as well as helping to create the unique taste found only in Assam teas. Their distinct flavor can be enjoyed “as is”; however, Assam teas are often used in conjunction with other teas to create numerous blends, specifically breakfast teas.

The Nokhroy Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border, in the Tinsukia district. In 1816 a village called “Halcyon Chuck” was about to be invaded by the Burmese army. Before the attack, the villagers made a peace offering of ‘Nine Platters’ (NA – HORAI) to the Burmese army, as a gesture of respect. Afterwards, the village was called “Na Horai” and over time it became Nokhroy, symbolizing peace and respect for all.

Known for its clean and stylish Orthodox teas with coloury cups, the Estate is home to the famous Nokhroy N / 436 clones known for its unique character. A vigorous uprooting and replanting operation is underway to further enrich the quality of the field.

The black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has the malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Louisa May Alcott from Simpson and Vail

Just when I think I’ve tried all the lovely literary teas from Simpson and Vail I find a new blend.  This time it is Louisa May Alcott’s blend.

This tea is made with chunmee green tea, which is new to me.  The light and easygoing tones of this fruity green tea blend makes it pleasant and approachable but far from dull.  The green tea base is gentle and sweet and pairs perfectly with the abundant apple and strawberry pieces in the blend.

When brewed, this tea feels like late summer with potent real fruit flavors, and grassy green tea tones. The combination evokes images of lush fruit harvests and the last warm summer days with sun-baked grass.

There is a hint of rose petals in the finish of ach sip, adding to the end of summer garden feeling.  I really appreciate the green tea being both sweet and buttery, which helps the fruit from being too sweet or simple.  This is a great blend for when you are looking for something delicate but memorable. Also a good choice of tea when you want to bring up the feeling of some late summer days.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description:

Early in Little Women, while visiting a sick Laurie, Jo says that her sister Meg’s blancmange is made “very nicely.” Later, her own attempt turns out “lumpy” and accompanied by strawberries that were “not as ripe as they looked.” Our blend follows Meg’s example and is almost, as Laurie says, “too pretty to [drink].” Combining almond and strawberry flavors, this blend brews to a delicious tea that is fruity and aromatic. It manages to be both sweet and light thanks to the Chunmee green tea base and the gentle floral notes added by the rose petals.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!