Perfect, Cold-Weather Cup: Boisahabi Estate Assam from Capital Tea Ltd

Assam teas are known for their fuller, malty feel and flavor, distinctly different than the tart zing of Ceylon black teas.  This Assam from the Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd., is a high grade tea (STGFOP (SPL) ) with a mix of black tea leaves and the highly-prized golden tips that bring the complex and delicious flavor.

In the dry leaf, this tea smells comforting and slightly spicy, like cinnamon sticks and fresh wood.  Brewed, the tea becomes surprisingly fruity, with lush muscatel flavors like pear and plum.  Beneath this fruitiness, the black tea is smooth and full, with toffee tones.  Overall, the tea feels very pleasant to drink, with a texture that fills my mouth with a warm, fuzzy feeling, without being too cloying or too sharp.

In the winter season, I seem to be drawn to all the crazy dessert-flavored teas like pumpkin pie or gingerbread cake, but while those teas are fun, their flavors are certainly enhanced by artificial flavors or added sugars and sprinkles.  There’s a time and place for those tasty flavored teas, but this Assam from Boisahabi Estate really took me by surprise and felt more flavorful and festive than those other blends.

This tea has a beautiful balance of both bold and delicate flavors, with the lighter, garden-like flavors of stone fruit, and the rich caramel and black tea undertones.  Even without sugar or milk, there is a smooth and comforting natural sweetness to this brew, which speaks to the quantity and quality of the golden tips and the tea leaves as a whole.

When you want a mature cup of tea with comforting yet complex flavors, brew a cup of Assam black tea from Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd. and stay cozy in the chilly weather.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Capital Tea Ltd
Description:

Sweetly aromatic attractive deep brown Assam leaves with plenty of golden tips. These leaves infuse to a rich, full bodied, and intensely flavourful tea liquor with prominent notes of candy-malt and toffee. Highly recommended as a breakfast tea to drink with milk

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Oregon Breakfast from Plum Deluxe. . . .

There’s something about a hazelnut tea that just feels like the ultimate decadence– rich, creamy, nutty and dark, blends beautifully with a whole host of flavors. How can you go wrong? And for certain– Plum Deluxe has not got it wrong in this beautiful blend.

If this is what breakfast in Oregon is like– nutty, bright and citrus-y, a beautiful balance between caffeinated black tea and mellow honeybush– then let me hop a plane, because I am SO here for it. This tea makes for a spectacular latte, but is just as comforting and indulgent served black, as well. It reminds me just the tiniest bit of dessert, but this unique combination of flavors simultaneously tastes like nothing I’ve ever had before. Oregon, if the rest of you is as lovely as this breakfast tea, I think it’s time I make a trip!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

This breakfast tea is how Plum Deluxe folk like to start their day. The earthy base of black tea and honeybush teahelps center you; the ping of orange helps wake you and get you excited about today’s possibilities. It’s a simple tea and yet it is rich with subtle flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Have a Sweeter Breakfast Blend with Aso Black from Mellow Monk

Aso Black from Mellow Monk is technically a black tea but it is processed a little differently that most black teas.  If I understood their description correctly, Aso Black tea is made from the tea leaves that would normally go into making sencha green tea.  Picked in the mountains of Japan, these leaves are less processed and less fermented than traditional black tea.  Aso Black is also called “kocha” or “crimson tea”, perhaps due to its medium level of oxidation.  But I digress.

The leaves in my sample were small and flat, though very dark in color.  As it brewed, the tea smelled distinctly starchy like oats or bread.  It had none of the citrus brightness I associate with other black teas.

Mellow Monk recommends letting this tea cool slightly before drinking to let the flavors come forward, so I stepped away from my cup to let it cool down.

When I took my first sip of the tea, I was once again hit with the starchiness of the flavors, though this time it also had quite a bit of sweetness.  In an abstract way, the tea reminded me of oatmeal raisin cookies if they could be turned into a breakfast tea.

In the aftertaste there is a vegetal note that I expect more often from green teas.  It reminds me of the sweet and sour fermented green tea note that I often taste in kukicha green.  With all the sweetness and smooth mouthfeel of the rest of the blend, the green tea aftertaste is less grassy and more fruity, complimenting the sweet oat flavors in the overall smell and taste.

This is a unique tea, worth a taste by black tea and green tea lovers alike.  If you are tired of ceylon’s sharpness, or assam’s full fuzziness, try Aso Black for your next breakfast blend and maybe you’ll find it makes for a sweeter morning.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Green
Where to Buy: Mellow Monk
Description:

How about a nice change of pace? Aso Black™ is black tea (kocha, or “crimson tea” in Japanese) made from the leaves of green tea varietals grown in the pristine foothills of Mt. Aso. Gently harvested leaves are only lightly fermented compared to conventional black tea, for a sweetness not found in ordinary black teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black from Postcard Teas. . . .

What is better to a tea lover than to have a little extra time in the morning in which one may prepare a simple breakfast and steep the perfect tea pairing for it, taking time to truly experience the cup? I am thus blessed this morning.

While I usually have a sensible breakfast, I am craving waffles this morning, buttered and doused with real maple syrup, warmed. This requires a tea that can cut through the sweetness and assert itself, but I am not a fan of harsh tea that must be tamed with milk and sugar.

Enter Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black from Postcard Teas in London. This is a Japanese black tea grown without chemicals, without pesticides or herbicides, even without manure. Thus, “super natural” in the way it is grown.

This is not your average black breakfast tea! While it is a Camellia sinensis sinensis varietal, the taste is of a fruity second flush Darjeeling. There is an aftertaste of light malt with a tingle on the tongue. The flavor lingers for quite a long time, with a little rush of fruity sweet/sour muscat rising with each breath, and finally a rising sweetness in the throat such as often follows a brisk green tea. The briskness persists. The flavor continues. I think a lover of Darjeeling tea owes it to themselves to try this one.

The leaves re-steep very nicely, adding economy to its virtues if the price has you troubled. I like to combine the first and second steep so I really only need a teaspoon of leaf to have a couple of cups of very satisfying tea, plus having both steeps made and on the table means I can enjoy without going back to the kitchen to re-steep.

This is one of those teas that you buy because life is short, and it would be a shame not to experience something fine now and then. This tea will be on my mind for a long time.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Postcard Teas
Description

An unusually aromatic Japanese black tea from Kumamoto area of Kyushu in Japan. The tea is made on a small 8 acre farm in Minamata-shi by 4th generation tea maker Master Matsumoto, who uses his great grandfather’s 90 year old Yabukita ancient tea trees grown without any chemicals, herbicides, fertilisers, or even manure – hence the tea grows ‘supernaturally’.

This is one of the most versatile black teas we have, combining some of the best qualities of Darjeeling, Assam and Chinese teas and adding something extra of its own. The tea has the aromatic qualities of a second flush Darjeeling and a plum/prune sweetness which comes out more when brewed lightly, but when brewed strong it tastes like the richest, smoothest Assam or Breakfast tea without any astringency or tannins. It can also take milk very well if required.

Sufficiently unusual to interest a seasoned tea drinker but familiar and comforting enough for someone just getting into specialty black tea – if we had to recommend just one black tea in our selection to someone overwhelmed by choice then this would be it.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jump Start You Day with This Blend from Adagio Teas

Jump start your car with a blast of electricity.  Jump start your brain and your day with this high caffeine cuppa!  For tea lovers everywhere, it’s no secret that mate tea is a powerful pick-me-up, and often cited as a great alternative to coffee.  Well Jump Start blend from Adagio teas has toasted mate and so much more.

There’s not just mate, there’s traditional black tea in the blend as well, a staple of every breakfast blend around.  But let’s take this caffeine level a step further:  kola nuts.  Kola nuts are caffeine-containing tree nuts, previously used as an ingredient in sodas, hence where we get the term “cola.”  So there’s caffeine from the mate, from the black tea, and even from the kola nut inclusion.  This tea should come with a warning, like roller coasters: don’t brew this tea if you have a heart condition.  You’ll be rocketing out of your socks in no time!

So how do all of these ingredients taste?  The toasted mate brings roasty, earthy, dry hay notes, which serve as a compliment to the more traditional boldness of the black tea.  With additions like smooth, sweet cocoa nibs, and warm, spicy cinnamon bark, it’s hard not to imagine the kola nuts adding their own kind of cola sweetness.  I brewed this blend black, how I take most of my tea, but it is bold enough to hold up its flavor, even if softened with a bit of milk.

This will be an amazing tea for those of you who just can’t seem to get enough caffeine.  Skip your espresso-laced red-eye cold brew coffee, and just brew a cup of Jump Start instead!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Herbal
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: Mate, Kola, and Black tea make up this well-caffeinated blend to make your mornings deliciously efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!