Hongyu Hongcha from Fong Mong Tea. . . .

The wet leaf has the most interesting smell.

So much so that I am having trouble being able to put a descriptor to it.

Perhaps its hints of eucalyptus in mahogany sawdust in a mixture of compost and wet leaves.

It’s such a complex aroma! Somewhat medicinal as well but not in a bad way. A silky mouth feel and dark, clear amber in color.

Quite an earthy tea. The aroma carries over into the after taste but the first time the liquid hits your tongue a full force of earthy flavors assault you.

I’m not really sure I would say it’s minty like their website describes but it does have that slight mouth clean sensation that mint gives you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Fong Mong Tea
Description

Organic Hong Yu Hong Cha, Sun Moon Lake black tea (well-known as Ruby #18) can be declared Red Treasure in central Taiwan. A hybrid from a Burma Assam varietal (mother) and a Taiwanese wild camellia sinensis varietal (father), was researched for years by TRES developing as a unique new cultivar producing carmine and perfectly clear liquor with super high quality in the world. The tea trees are widely planted in Nantou County growing thick and rich tea leaves because of the fertile soil and moderate climate in central Taiwan. Its unique sweet malt aroma and strong cinnamon and mint taste, delicious with hints of fruit, and a little earthy make it truly unforgettable. Rich catechins enrich its character of black tea itself. It is also the best ingredient to makebubble tea (the most famous Taiwanese tea drink on earth).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sun Moon Lake Assam from Cameron Taiwan Premium Loose Leaf Teas . . . .

Sun Moon Lake Black tea from Cameron gets its name from its home region of Taiwan.  What a celestial and romantic name! Do how did the tea compare?

This was a competition grade assam black tea.  The dry leaves were large and flat, darkly colored from the full oxidation process.  When I put my nose into the bag of dry leaves it smelled pleasantly like chocolate and dark plum.

Brewed, this tea was smooth and crisp, which was a bit of a surprise.  I’m familiar with assam teas with big names like golden tiger which brew up deep and chocolatey, with a robust warm-and-fuzzy feeling.

This assam was much brighter, tasting a little greener.  It reminded me of the tartness of a breakfast black tea, with a brisk and refreshingly dry mouthfeel. Though there wasn’t as much of the cozy chocolate notes as I expected in the brewed tea, there were plenty of sweet fruit flavors like apricot and plum alongside the more traditional black tea notes.

Maybe the duality of Sun and Moon come into play in comparing the tea’s scent with its taste.  The fragrance of the dry leaves are very much the evening moon, with darker, richer tones of cacao and purple plum.  The brewed leaves are much more like the sun, bright and crisp and perfect for breakfast.

This is a great tea if you are looking for a high quality assam that will surprise you.  Take a walk on the brighter side of assam and brew up a cup of Sun Moon Lake tea from Cameron.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Cameron Taiwan Premium Loose Leaf Teas
Description:

Sun Moon Lake is located at altitude of 700m, surrounded with mountains and lakes with remarkable environment and typical climate. Heavy moist and stable yearly average temperature make the tea trees grow thick and rich tea leaves which produce carmine and perfectly clear liquor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fraser Tea Trappist Monk

An interesting twist on Monk’s blend.

Cherries are one ingredient you don’t see often in tea. Though I honestly don’t taste as much cherry flavor as I thought I would it does produce a nice undertone for the vanilla and caramel flavors.

It has a velvety mouth feel. The wet leaves remind me of the smell of coffee creamer. Go figure. For those who enjoy flavored black tea this is definitely one you need to try. It has unique character with flavors that aren’t too over powering but still deep enough for those who like a little punch with their tea.

If you like to support tea companies that focus not only on quality but sustainability I invite you to check out Fraser. They are a company from Michigan that look to enhance the lives of their framers while providing a truly unique blend of teas.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Fraser Tea
Description

A unique twist on the tradition of Monk’s Blend tea, our Trappist Monk Organic Black Tea melds Michigan cherries with exotic vanilla and sweet caramel organic flavor and is crafted from the highest quality Assam tea. Through bold flavors, that are tempered with zesty orange peel, pomegranate and grenadine, the essence of this tea takes on a rich sweetness. We named this blend after the Trappist monks whose order our father was a member. Choose this organic black tea to help increase alertness and focus, we wish you a healthy mind, body and spirit with each cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

BOH Single Garden Palas Afternoon Premium Black Tea from BOH. . . .

This is the tea for the purists.

For those that don’t like fruity tuity flavorings and additives. Boh’s Palas Afternoon Tea is a black tea, of the orange pekoe variety.

I didn’t have any background info on this tea when I taste tested it, other than that it was called Palas Afternoon Tea, which was surprisingly not enough to find in a google search! The product certainly looked more like a black tea, but had a very nutty, earthy flavor that I tend to associate more with green teas. I found it to be much lighter and smoother than most other black teas (in taste and appearance!).

If I’m going to take my tea plain, I generally prefer mine green, so I was surprised when I discovered it was in fact a black cuppa. It lacked the bitterness I often find with black teas, but also the dryness I typically find with green teas. It combined the qualities I prefer from each into one product! It appears to be offered as a canister of loose leaf tea, so if you want to stock up on a mild black tea, check this one out!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Amazon
Description

A fine, flowery pekoe from the cool slopes of Sungei Palas. A light and delicate full leaf tea. We pick the finest quality of leaves to make our tea.  Aromatic and delicate, this smooth  blend uses only the tender shoots.

With a light aroma, this full leaf Orange Pekoe “A” afternoon tea is carefully chosen and picked from select tea fields. Its delicate flavours create a tea that is soothing and calming, and is best served and enjoyed plain.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Chocolate Tiramisu from Fava Tea. . . .

I accidentally left this in the steeper far too long — which you aren’t supposed to do with green — but it’s still really tasty, so that’s a sublimely positive thing for us scatterbrained tea enthusiasts.

This tea tastes like white chocolate, nuts, and caramel. It’s supposed to taste like Tiramisu, but I’m not sure I’m getting that. Tiramisu, to me, mostly has coffee notes. That said, who cares, a tasty tea is a tasty tea. This is SO creamy and delicious and sweet. It’s a slick mouth-feel (ew, the phrase “mouth-feel” is horrible) that really coats the inside of the mouth.

I feel like I’m in a French patisserie with this tea. Everything is Marie Antoinette pastel. I have a tiny purebred dog upon my lap. My pinky is up. I’m with all of my friends. We’re wearing blush and having a scintillating conversation that focuses on fine arts and gossip.

We might enjoy ourselves so much that we oversteep the tea. But that’s okay. This tea doesn’t mind.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black & Green
Where to Buy:  Fava Tea
Description

This is a green and black tea blend with almonds, coconut, and cocoa pieces. If you like the darker, creamy, savory teas, this is one for you! A popular dessert tea. Blends well with rock sugar. Try Vanilla Rocks, Chocolate Cream Rocks, or Strawberry Rocks, for starters!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!