Chocolate PuErh from Numi Organic Teas

Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh bags are the perfect intro to flavored Puerh: organic yet inexpensive, and bagged for easy travel. In fact it was the very first tea I pulled from my very first sampler, an inexpensive add-on in my amazon cart. This is also sold loose leaf by the pound.

I have to admit I was skeptical because not only did I dislike chocolate, but I also had heard “fishy” things about the fermented tea. But as a scientist, I had to test these assumptions, and the evidence supported the null hypothesis. This was a light bodied, full flavor tea, that I’ve found is impossible to screw up in the brewing process.

This silky brown infusion reminds me of a hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows fresh from the campfire, and ooooooh that tiniest hint of that nutmeg. Alton Brown would be proud.  As a final touch of perfection, cue a chef’s kiss, no sweetener was needed!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Pu-Erh
Where to Buy: Numi Tea

This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rington’s Kenyan Gold Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

kenyanRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea

Tea Description:

Unlike some traditional teas, Kenyan teas are produced in ways that make them perfect for teabags – fast infusing and full of flavour. Tea grown east of the Rift Valley is widely considered to be some of the best quality tea in the world, that’s why our Kenyan Gold blend is sourced exclusively from this region. We specially seal these teas on the estates to ensure they are as fresh and flavourful as possible, producing a fuller, smoother taste. It’s what Ringtons are good at.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Kenyan Gold Black is a bagged tea from Ringtons, a UK tea company. At first glance, it looks like a typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up to a fairly dark golden-brown, so I added a splash of milk.

I half expected this one to be either bready or chocolatey, given that it’s a Kenyan tea and described as “gold”. Possibly my previous experiences led me astray a little, though, as this one really isn’t either of those things. What it is is moderately malty, with the molasses-like sweetness that implies. It’s fairly one-note in that respect, though, except for a very mild smokiness kicking around in the background. It’s quite a strong, hearty brew with a lot of body, and is almost thick-tasting and chewable. Such texture! The flavour lingers nicely into the aftertaste, making this a very satisfying, flavourful cup. It doesn’t have much subtlety, but that’s a very small criticism.

I enjoyed this one. It’s a reliable, everyday kind of tea – not particularly unique, but strong and wonderfully malty. It’s a tea I’d definitely revisit.

Traditional Black Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

traditionalTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

The perfect every day tea, rich and refreshing. From our ‘Original Blends’ family of teas. Two cup tea bags. Gas-flushed. 2 x 50 tea bags.

Our Traditional Blend contains some of the best teas produced from around the world, selected predominantly from our long standing relationships with family businesses in East Africa and India. Our expert tea blenders taste and choose each individual tea that goes into the blend, ensuring you always receive that unique, refreshing and lasting flavour that makes Ringtons Traditional our most popular blend.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Traditional Black is a bagged tea from Ringtons, a UK tea company. At first glance, it looks like a typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up to a fairly dark golden-brown, so I added a splash of milk.

To taste, this one is a malt monster! It’s deliciously sweet in that thick, syrupy, almost molasses-like way that really malty teas can be. It’s certainly sweet enough that I’d never personally consider adding sugar, and I do have a sweet tooth. The mid sip has beautiful milk chocolate notes, not over-strong, but definitely there. It’s rare to find that in a bagged tea, I’ve found, so I think this definitely speaks to the quality of the teas used in this blend. The cup as a whole is deliciously creamy (probably the milk helps this a little, but even so) and very smooth. My only slight reservation is that it’s a little tannic – my teeth feel kind of furry after a couple of sips, and it’s certainly a strong, hearty blend – so it’s perhaps not one to drink on a completely empty stomach. On the whole, though, it’s a delight to drink, and a serious challenger to my normal “everyday” tea.

 

Breakfast Blend Black Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

breakfastblendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

Ringtons English Breakfast Tea is a superior black tea blend from Assam and Kenya, with a strong and refreshing taste. With a medium/high caffeine content, this bright and lively blend is strong enough to help wake you up in the morning.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The first thing I have to say about this one is that it really surprised me. I don’t drink a lot of bagged tea at the moment, but it generally seems much of a muchness to me when I do. At least in the UK, the flavour profiles of “breakfast blend” style black teas seem very similar – sweet, malty, strong, and otherwise fairly nondescript. Until now. At first glance, Ringtons English Breakfast looks like your typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up a pretty strong-looking red-brown, so I added a splash of milk.

I wasn’t expecting much, except perhaps a quality black bagged tea – an everyday sort of experience, I thought. Not at all. It’s delicious! The first thing I picked up on is the strong baked bread flavour, which I’ve never before experienced except in fairly premium loose leaf varieties. It’s sweet and malty through the mid-sip, perfectly smooth with no bitterness or astringency at all. Right at the end of the sip, there’s the tiniest hint of milk chocolate. I don’t know what varieties of tea went into this blend specifically, but I’m guessing there must be an Assam, probably a Chinese black, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s not floral, exactly, although that was my first thought, so I don’t think it’s a Darjeeling. Maybe a Ceylon, or something Kenyan? It’s certainly intriguing!

I thoroughly enjoyed this cup. It has a real depth of flavour, and it’s almost completely unique amongst the bagged breakfast teas I’ve tried in my time. I’d happily drink this one again – I actually think it might be replacing my normal breakfast tea for a while. It’s just too delicious to pass up!

PG Tips Original from PG Tips

PGTipsOriginalTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  PG Tips

Tea Description:

The eighth wonder of the world! Our cleverly designed Pyramid bags give the tea leaves room to move so you can get even more of the great PG tips flavour. One Cup is exactly what it says on the box: just the right amount of tea for a single brew. Instant is for that cuppa on the run, just use granules that dissolve instantly in hot water. Our loose leaf tea is for those who still use the traditional way to make the perfect cuppa.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I enjoy all sorts of  loose black tea, but sometimes all I want to do is pop a teabag into a cup and get on with my morning. While loose leaf definitely offers a richer, better flavor, when you’re in a rush, teabag is often the way to go. PG Tips has always been there for me and for that reason alone, I have a box in the house at all times. PG Tips has been in kitchen cupboards since about 1930. Plus, it has a clever little monkey as the brand’s mascot.

If you’re looking for a tea with different flavor notes, I am not sure if this one would fit the bill. For me, this is a solid, basic cup of black tea that goes very well with milk and a biscuit. I think of it as a tea that helps you get your day started. If you’re looking for a black tea with many layers steep after steep, you’re better off with a loose leaf.

I would suggest you give PG Tips a try if you want to try a different bagged black tea. It makes a delicious, strong and reliable cup.