Keemun Imperial Black Tea from Teavivre. . . .

Keemun Imperial Black Tea is one of the more expensive Keemun offerings from Teavivre. Spoiler alert regarding the upcoming review….I am placing it on my re-order list right now.

The instructions on my packet of leaves said to make it at 185F and steep for about three minutes. I hesitated about following those instructions because it is out of the norm for how I make my black teas, but I do usually go with 195F for Keemun teas, so I followed their recommendation and lowered the temp a bit more. Crossing fingers because oh, how I love my Keemun teas!

First sip, and immediately I heard a song playing in my head….”I’ll stop the world and melt with you…”. Oh my goodness. Stop. Breathe. Close,your eyes. Hug in a cup, comforting shawl, slipping into a warm bubble bath, whatever floats your boat as metaphor for a riveting tea experience, here it is.

This smells like TEA. Rich, lovely, calming, soothing TEA. Baked sweet potato, bread-y and malty, burnt caramel, and the lightest waft of smoke that is probably just an image coming from the gentle briskness that gives that tiny rasp on the tongue that lets you know you are having a Keemun, all somehow swimming in a very light-bodied liquor. As I sip more, the briskness grows a little, and I find this a perfect tea to sip with my chocolate chip and pecan scone.

It’s going to be a good day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Teavivre
Description

The fresh leaves for making this tea grew in the original producing area of Keemun tea, at an average elevation of 800 m above sea level. The one bud with one leaf (which just starts to open up, called Chu zhan “初展”) is hand-plucked for making this tea around the Chinese season of Qing Ming in early spring days. These fresh first-plucking leaves for making are loaded with nutrients and hence the finished dry leaves are neat and bold with high percentage of tiny golden tips. There is a sweet, mellow taste which creates a pleasant smooth sensation in your mouth. Overall, the first infusion of this tea is high in roasted sweet potato flavor mixed somewhat flower aroma, the second infusion is very mellow and the third infusion‘s lingering sweet and fragrant aftertaste will give you more enjoyment.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Athlete’s Recovery Organic Black Tea / Fraser Tea

Never judge a tea by it’s look or smell.

This one smells like shampoo. It’s really throwing me off. It’s not a bad smell though.

A natural, sweet, and somewhat floral scent. The wet leaves have the same aroma as well. The liquid is dark amber, a pretty typical black tea color. The flavor is unlike anything I’ve tasted for a black tea before. With each minute that passes the Turmeric becomes stronger.

It has citrus and floral scents with a fruity whisper. After an hour or so of snowing some heavy snow this tea is exactly what I needed. It boasts itself as a recovery tea and with ingredients like turmeric and ginger I can see why.

Whether you just worked out, just woke up, or need a lift I highly suggest you give this one a try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Fraser Tea
Description

Our Athlete’s Recovery Organic Black Tea combines rich blueberries and sweet cherries, from the shoreline of Lake Michigan, with turmeric and ginger to create a recovery blend to help fight inflammation and support an active lifestyle.  Enjoy this heart-healthy and detoxifying blend as an iced tea- its refreshing. Crafted and inspired by long summer days of sipping fruit punch in the sun, Athlete’s Recovery tea may help dial back the effects of aging in a fresh, flavorful and wholesome way.

 Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cherry Green and Black from Fava Tea. . . .

I tried this tea hot, went “meh, this is kind of tart for me,” and put it away.

Fast forward something crazy like two months, and I decided to try it iced. NOWWWW I’m on board, guys. The mix of hibiscus flower, apple bits, orange peel, safflowers, & sour cherries was overpowering at a higher temperature, but iced? It goes from abrasive to spunky.

The hibiscus and cherry swirl together to form that sassy friend who has tons of gossip about everyone you know. They’re so charming that you almost forget that they’re totally telling everyone what you’re saying to them.

I recommend trying this iced. It might even taste good as the base for a mixed drink. I feel like you could throw a little SoCo or flavored vodka in here and get the party started. Maybe get the gals together and start some sassy whispering.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Super green and black tea blend with huge (and I mean HUGE dried cherries!). One of our best-selling green teas in the store. With this one, you have hit the mother load! Not just a drink, an experience! Strong cherry flavor!

Idea: Mix with lemonade for the ultimate Arnold Palmer!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry from Zen Tea Life. . . .

I am always fascinated by how something so simple can impact a cup of tea. For instance, I have had this Strawberry Black Tea by Zen Tea Life before and when I initially had it, it was in a small 6 oz mug. In that mug, the flavor was like a very pleasant shot of strawberry.

Today I brewed it up in a 16 oz mug and the black tea base is far more prominent. It is smooth and almost chocolatey so the presence of the base in and of itself is not offensive. However, with the prevalence of the black tea, the strawberry flavor I enjoyed in my first cup is lacking.

The strawberry flavor has devolved into a generic fruity note. It is no longer discernible as strawberry or even berry. Instead, it now comes off like the red fruit flavor found in a lot of French teas. It is not bad but there is nothing all that interesting about it either.

With all of this said, it seems as though it is a moot point as Zen Tea Life has transitioned to a company that sells just teaware. As such, this tea is no longer available. On the off chance it becomes available again, the key is to brew it in a smaller mug it seems.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zen Tea Life

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Merricat from Malfoy Tea Emporium. . .

I found this tea via a Shirley Jackson gift list on Book Riot. Ms Jackson was an early female horror writer whose work still holds up REALLY WELL today. If you want to be pleasantly surprised by some creepy older stories, give Shirley Jackson a try.

Anyway, this tea is based on a Jackson book I’d just read (We Have Always Lived In The Castle), so of COURSE I had to buy it, and maybe, like, some others fell in the cart, too. The Malfoy Tea Emporium focuses on literary references and guys, I’m mostly made of stuffed animal components, not willpower.

This tea is a mix of “black tea, raspberry leaves, natural creme flavor, natural blackberry flavor, natural cranberry flavor, and cranberries.” It is, true to its name, a creamy berry delight. The primary thing is the cranberry flavor, with the cream and raspberry skipping along behind it. These are fresh out the garden. A Victorian after-dinner treat.

This blend tastes like the berries in the novel that were covered in sugar and arsenic — except I don’t see poison in the ingredients, so I think I’m good here. If you don’t see any more posts from me, call the cops and tell them how I died.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Malfoy Tea Emporium
Description

Inspired by Merricat Blackwood from Shirley Jackson’s story “We Have Always Lived In The Castle”, this tea is blended with black tea, raspberry leaves, natural creme flavor, natural blackberry flavor, natural cranberry flavor, and cranberries.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!