Nilgiri / Tea Queens . . . .

There are three main tea growing areas; Assam, Darjeeling, and the lesser known Nilgiri. These teas come from the Southern portion of India. This is the first time I’ve tried a plain black from the region and I’m amazed at how different all three are. While Assam tends to be known for their stronger bodied teas with a punch in the face, and Darjeeling known for their muscatel and delicate flavors, Nilgiri on the other hand is somewhat a mix of both. Woodsy flavors mix with very subtle fruity notes to form a light bodied brew. It’s smooth without any astringency. This is the type of tea that is best consumed on it’s own. Food in general is not a good pairing because the flavors are so light and delicate.

Just as a side note I wanted to mentioned how impressed I am with the company that produces this tea. Burnside estates located in Kotagiri Taluk in the “Blue Mountains” of the Nilgiris in South India. They are a sustainable company focused not only on good tea but also on making sure their employees are properly cared for and the eco-friendliness of this company is superb. If you have time please go to their website and give them a look!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tea Queens 
Description:

A smooth, gentle and mellow black tea from the Burnside Estate in Southern India. This classic and elegant tea is rich with a slightly woody and fruity flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast Black Tea from We Are Tea. . .

I couldn’t wait to try this breakfast tea, an Assam that promises not to leave a bitter aftertaste. A lot of breakfast Assam teas leave not only a bitter aftertaste for me but a stomach ache as well. I don’t take milk or sugar in my tea, but I will make an exception for Assam tea that is too strong for me. A little splash of milk will usually make it a pain-free breakfast beverage for me.

This teabag (made of biodegradable cornstarch!) says to steep for only two minutes, and guess what I did? That’s right! I tried to multitask and ended up oversteeping it! I have no idea for how long. I added a bit of hot water just in case and still was left with a deeply rich red/brown cuppa. Bracing myself, I took a sip to wash down my scrambled eggs and summer sausage. (Come on, you really have to have good, strong black tea with a breakfast like that!)

The good news is that it IS a strong and hearty, malty and bready English Breakfast, almost what I would consider an Irish Breakfast. The great news is that even with all the hefty body and strong malty flavor, I had no heartburn whatsoever. No stomach ache. No regrets about my morning beverage choice.

I am looking forward to trying some more of their blends!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  We Are Tea
Description

The nations favourite for a reason! Our full bodied breakfast blend of the finest Assam is perfect for those who love a malty and smooth cuppa. Our blend is packed each June in India’s lush Assam region. A cup of this whole-leaf tea is great for any mood at any time of day, promise. Our English Breakfast provides a smoother brew with no bitter aftertaste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast from Taylors of Harrogate. . .

I needed a basic black tea for breakfast one morning – nothing fancy, just something to wash down an everything bagel with whipped cream cheese and chives. Now I’ve gone and made myself hungry!

I grabbed a tea bag of this that I had been given, and not without some misgivings. I just don’t do bags most of the time and I don’t add milk and sugar to my tea, and sometimes the bagged stuff is pretty rough and needs to be tamed. But I wanted to be quick so I could join my daughter for breakfast and hers was already ready. I threw the bag in my Kamjove steeper and hoped for the best.

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. I steeped it using 205F water to be safe and kept the time short at just under three minutes.

It was a decent cup of tea. I don’t plan to go out and stock up, and it isn’t earth shattering or life changing. What it was, was a decent enough cup of tea that went well with my food, didn’t give me a stomach ache, and didn’t pucker up my mouth and dry me out. It was only lightly brisk and maybe slightly malty.

Overall, it was a decent cup that I wouldn’t pass up if it was offered at a restaurant or hotel. The bagel was definitely star of the show at breakfast, and that’s how I wanted it.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Taylors of Harrogate

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!

Winter Spice / Tease Tea

Whole Star Anise!

What a surprise it was to open the 30g pouch and find that!

It makes it a bit more festive. The dry aroma is faint. Somewhat creamy, spicy, and nutty. My first cup of this was a bland mess but I didn’t want to give up. It’s a unique tea blend; slight creaminess hinted once the tea enters your mouth which turns into a peculiar spicy flavor; which I’m assuming comes from the ginger and the cinnamon. Calming is generally not a descriptor I use when talking about black tea, however, with the chamomile this tea has a nice calming effect.

Everything in this tea blends well together and yet I’m finding myself somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps because they say spice in the name I expected more kick. The first cup was steeped between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes so the next cupping was upped to 5 minutes. I’m currently on a third cup also brewing 5 minutes but adding a 1/2 tsp more of tea. The first taste at 5 minutes was the same as the second cup so the brewing time was upped to 7 minutes. Unfortunately, this removed the creaminess and the spices seemed to have disappeared altogether. The tannins have taken over a bit more and there is a definite astringency in the after taste.

Overall, a nice blend but one that needs at least 4 minutes for full flavor and is not suggested for those who don’t appreciate a light tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tease Tea
Description:

This festive favourite is back for a limited time! A naturally flavoured black tea featuring notes of cinnamon, spice & everything nice. The perfect way to get into the winter spirit!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!