Old Tree Black Tea – Premium from Old Ways Tea. . . . .

One of my favorite visual characteristics of various black teas are the thin, long, wiry leaves. And among my favorite flavors of black teas are the ones that are more complex, flavorful, and bold. I was thrilled when this tea proved both of my loves! The tea on tap for today is Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees, hence the name! The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal and are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu which is high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. And the soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing.

This is a gem of a black tea with a more than impressive story behind it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wildberry Black Tea from Simpson and Vail . . . .

BERRIES BERRIES BERRIES. Berries near! Berries far! Berries drank from a jar!

Berries sipped in a car!

Berries berries on your tongue; berries are for everyone!

This berry blend is so berry-licious that I had to slip into a rhyme trance. I’m back now, though, to let you know that wow, this is a lot of berries.

It’s a blend of wildberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They ooze into one thick (slightly NyQuil-like) mix.

Iced, the berries are more sweet and less medicinal, but they’re still pretty strong.

I definitely prefer this iced. It’s got a lot of a perky kick that works better cold than hot. If you’re a berry fanatic, you’ll love this BERRY MUCH. But if you’re on the fence, this might be a little much.

You need to reach in your heart. To thine own self be true. Berries here, berries there, berries are everywhere! Berries are pals I love the most! Berries have taken over this post!

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

This outstanding berry blend is a combination of strawberry, blueberry and blackberry flavors. It brews to a deep amber cup with a fresh picked berry aroma and a taste that explodes on your taste buds. Delicious hot or iced, it’s the perfect cup for a relaxing summer day!

Ingredients: black teas, wildberry flavor, blackberry leaves, raspberry pieces, and malva (mallow) blossoms.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cerise Noire from Dammann Freres. . . .

I love black cherry. It is one of those flavors that just gets me. I blame my mom. When I was a little girl she used to go to an ice cream sale and pick up pints of ice cream to keep on hand. Among the haul was always Black Cherry Ice Cream and me and my mom would always sneak down in the middle of the night (aka 10 pm) and just eat it right out of the container. I got older and the fondness stuck so to this day I can’t resist black cherry or in the case of this tea, “Cerise Noire”.

French teas, such as this one, are best suited to a low and slow steeping so I brewed this for 4 minutes in 190F. The end result is surprisingly thick. Since its scented, the black tea comes through first, mild and smooth. Then comes the cherry flavoring which is subtle. French teas have a typical red fruits flavor and this tea has that, though it does lean more to cherry than anything else.

Since I had enough leaf, I decided to also brew this up as a chocolate milk latte. Chocolate and cherries are quite the pair so I figured how could this be bad. Unfortunately it isn’t great. The chocolate milk combined with with the black tea just makes for a dark flavor that is not really chocolate nor cherry nor tea. The combination is almost a bit bitter and quite heavy. I had high hopes but chocolate milk latte is not the way to go with this one.

As far as black cherry goes, there could be more. At least for my tastes. Though it does have the typical french tea flavor profile so if that is what your looking for and you’re a black cherry fan, this could be a tea for you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Dammann Freres
Description

A blend of black teas perfumed with the delicious flavour of black cherry.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Mint Truffle from The Tea Spot. . . . .

I’m a fan of all things chocolate mint. So, I was happy to have this chance to try Chocolate Mint Truffle from The Tea Spot.

However, I was a little hesitant. The first loose leaf tea I ever bought was a chocolate mint tea, and I didn’t like it. Chocolate and black tea isn’t always a great combination for me. I find that it can lead to bitterness. The good news? This tea is it, guys. This is it. This is the chocolate mint tea I’ve been searching for.

I steep this tea for four minutes at 212 degrees. Since I know the chocolate and black tea combo is prone to getting bitter, I’m very careful about not oversteeping. This tea smells super sweet and more like real chocolate than other teas I’ve tried. So, before I ever took a sip I had high hopes.

The tea lives up to its name. Rich and sweet with a cool mint finish. It’s perfect on its own, without sweetener. I don’t have a bad thing to say about it. I never thought I’d find a chocolate mint tea that I actually liked.

This is the chocolate mint tea that dreams are made of, friends. Go grab it if you’re in need of something sweet.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Tea Spot
Description

Our new favorite around the office! Chocolate mint tea on a black whole leaf tea base with fresh peppermint, gives a minty fresh aroma to every sip. This full leaf mint chocolate tea creates the feeling of a decadent mint mocha, while the crisp peppermint leaves remind you that you’re having a healthy indulgence. This zero-calorie sugar-free dessert tea is one you can truly feel good having over and over again. You’ll be reminded of other chocolate mint delights, and free from the guilt, as you cozy up with a cup this season and taste the difference.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lady Grey from Prestogeorge Coffee & Tea. . .

Ah, Lady Grey: the Earl’s stalwart, silky wife. It was with this vixen that I first fell in love, I’ll have you know. It wasn’t a loose leaf; it was some big brand boxed tea in bags, but it occurred to me that wow, tea was BECOMING MY THING.

So thank you, Lady Grey. You were my first love and I will always be indebted to you.

This particular Lady comes from PrestoGeorge, a HUUUUUGE tea and coffee shop in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s so grand one might call it an emporium. They have ENORMOUS glass jars of tea that you can pop open and sniff. Customers and staff are constantly popping around, grabbing tea off the massive shelves and replacing it. The turnover, chaos, and lovely smells make it almost a magical Harry Potter type of experience. (To be fair, if you went on a weekday, the experience would probably be calmer. Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District on a nice, warm Saturday is always crowded.)

Prestogeorge’s take on Lady Grey is, true to form, a more delicate Earl Grey. Lady Greys are typically more flowery and has less bergamot and more lemon/orange.

This Lady carries off her title with aplomb. The mouthfeel (ew, gross word) is EXTREMELY silky. This is some QUALITY stuff. The base tea is rich, a little bit malty and maybe a smidge woodsy. It feels like the Lady has put on a nice dress and is taking a stroll around the flowers and the grounds with her husband’s hunting beagles. It’s the last of late summer. They’ve wandered a bit afar, but she knows that the beagles will lead her home. She’ll let their noses lead the way back to her Earl’s arms.

If you’re interested in acquiring this tea for yourself, you can shop online and have it shipped to you. If, however, you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh, you should go check this place out in person. It’s enchanting.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Prestogeorge Coffee & Tea
Description

Whole Leaf black tea, blue mallow blossoms and begamot and citrus flavors. The bergamot flavor is more delicate than the Earl Grey Tea. Also a hint of citrus flavor is added to Lady Grey. Enjoyed the world over.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!