English Breakfast Tea from Canton Tea Co.

canton_english_breakfast_black_teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea Blend

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Company

Tea Description:

The UK’s favourite – a classic English tea with New York roots.  

The first English Breakfast Tea was created in New York in the 1800s by our namesake, the original Canton Tea Co. Their black tea was a runaway success, replicated by all other tea companies. Our superior house blend has now been reformulated by Rare Tea Hunter Phil Mumby and is full of complex flavours. The neat, wiry leaves of two Assams from the Nokhroy and Siajuli estates provide the backbone of this tea, with richness from our own Feng Qing Yunnan black, a smooth creamy character from Ceylon black from the Doomgastawala estate, and a crisp, brisk, toasty bite from Rwandan black from the Rukeri estate. A very versatile tea, a quick brew is delicious without milk, but it can happily carry milk if steeped a little longer and stronger.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m not one to shy away from CTC-based teas. Anyone that’s read my reviews for any length of time knows that Butiki’s Crimson Horizon and the now extinct Grandpa’s Anytime Tea were 2 that I thought highly of because of their baked biscuit note and lovely round mouthfeel. The trick with CTCs is the steep time. Don’t leave the cup for ANY reason during the short steep (1-2 minutes) or you’ll get hair on your chest…..

Well, here’s another to add to the “hairy chest” list. Canton Tea Co makes a lovely alternative Breakfast tea (Canton Breakfast Tea) so I included this “traditional blend” in my most recent order to the company….curious. When I opened the packet I was surprised to see a CTC blend…not all CTC mind you, but definitely CTC and broken leaves.  OK, then….we’ll do a short steep. Canton recommended 2-4 minutes, so I went with 2 and I’m glad I did.

Holy Macanoley is this tea strong! Robust is the PERFECT word to describe this tea. It is straight up English Breakfast. There is a ton of malt, biscuit and a touch of citrus. It is bold, kick your butt and if steeped for 4 minutes would probably stain your teeth in a week! The Yunnan is completely lost to me in this blend. It is the Kenya, Assam and Rwanda that fill my mouth with all the flavors you expect from a traditional English breakfast tea. Notes of baked bread, malt and a touch of citrus are boldly apparent in this blend.  There is astringency here, but not puckerville…just enough for your mouth to want the next sip, which it’s easy to do.

This is a tea that English breakfast blend lovers should not miss. Bold, robust and strong, it is Builders in a business suit. It will stand up to breakfast, lunch or dinner with loads of flavor to spare. This won’t be my only cup of this today. Guaranteed.

Organic Arya Diamond Second Flush Darjeeling Tea from Canton Tea Co.

arya_diamond_darjeeling_black_teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

One of the Arya Estate’s acclaimed ‘Jewel’ teas. The Diamond delivers the bright, beautifully balanced muscatel flavours of one of the most sought after teas in the world. The dark, twisted tea leaves have streaks of gold and fuzzy silver tips. When infused, the tea is smooth and rounded with a long, sweet aftertaste that evokes dried fruits and nuts.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I received a sample of this Organic Arya Diamond Second Flush Darjeeling Tea from Canton Tea Co., I knew I was in for a treat.  I have been very impressed with the quality of teas that I’ve tried thus far from the Arya estate, in fact, I might go so far as to say that they’re one of my very favorite Darjeeling estates.

So, I had high expectations going into this tea and it did not let me down!  This is excellent!

As I’ve said on more than one occasion, second flush are my favorite when it comes to Darjeeling.  I love that muscatel flavor from the second flush and that’s something that you don’t often find (occasionally you do but it’s rare) in a first flush.

This is nice and smooth.  It has a nicely round flavor.  The muscatel notes are sweet and grape-like.  The finish is smooth with very little astringency.  The aftertaste is sweet and fruity.  The above description suggested a nut-like flavor, but I didn’t really get anything that tasted nutty to me.  Instead, I just got a really enjoyable fruit taste that reminded me a bit of a sweet wine.  The cup disappeared before I could finish the review!  That’s always a sign to me that the tea is seriously good!

Mi Lan Dan Cong Oolong from Canton Tea Co.

mi_lan_dan_cong_oolong_teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Dan Cong is the champagne of oolong tea: ripe with intense fruit and sweetness. The first time people taste this tea they are astonished by the arresting honey and floral notes – all completely natural. The tender leaves are thoroughly fermented and baked to produce a rich liquor bursting with peach, lychee, honey and orchid flavours. Grown on a plantation on the lower slopes of Wu Dong Mountain, Chao Zhou, this high-grade Chinese tea can be enjoyed through multiple infusions.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I so adore this Mi Lan Dan Cong Oolong from Canton Tea Co.!  It has a delightful honeyed flavor with notes of flower and lychee fruit.

The description above suggests notes of peach and yes, I definitely do taste peach but I also find myself tasting plum-y notes too.  Like hints of sweet and sour from a ripe plum. I taste distinct floral notes – orchid! – and I love the way the orchid melds with the fruit notes and the sweet, honey taste.

The flavors all come together so smoothly – seamlessly.  It’s sweet with the contrasting sour notes.  It’s nicely round with very little astringency and no bitterness.  Just very, very beautiful to sip.

Later infusions offered even smoother flavors – the sharpness of the Lychee notes have softened somewhat now and melded with the other fruit flavors, creating a sort of unique fruit taste that’s a little Lychee, a little peach and a little plum.  I’m picking up on fewer sour notes now, just a hint here and there.

But the cup is still delightfully sweet and honey-esque.

I’d recommend this tea to any tea lover looking for an exceptional tea experience!  This tea delivers!

Green Dragon from Canton Tea Co.

green_dragonTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Blended for us by Rare Tea Hunter, Phil Mumby, this is a base of China Green Sencha given a full makeover with the citrus kick of lemon zest, lemongrass, lemon oil – and ginger. The combination of the fresh, green grass sencha notes, the lemony flavour and the warming ginger is completed by the subtlest hint of liquorice root to give a lingering sweetness.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  When Canton Tea Co.asked me to try their new Green Dragon – I was excited!  I’ve been really impressed with the quality of teas that I’ve tried from Canton and I love the combination of lemon and ginger – so I was sure that I’d enjoy this new blend of theirs.

And I do!  The lemony notes are tart with just enough sweetness to them to keep me from puckering when I take a sip.  The warmth from the ginger is mild.  And the licorice root is barely noticeable – even those who don’t typically like licorice root would probably enjoy this because the licorice root doesn’t really stand out as an obvious flavor.  It’s more like a hint of sweetness toward the tail.

The Chinese Sencha is a sweet, fresh taste with a hint of grassy flavor.  It has a pleasant creaminess to it, light and buttery.  I like the way this buttery quality melds with the lemon-y notes, creating an almost lemon custard type of experience with each sip.  It’s very smooth.

As I continue to sip, the warmth from the ginger builds slightly in the back of the throat.  It never gets really warm though.  It’s a very mild, gentle peppery note that offers contrast to the creaminess of the tea and the tangy lemon notes.

A really lovely tea – it’s a delightful summertime tea that tastes great as a hot tea or a refreshing iced tea!

Canton Assam Black Tea from Canton Tea Co.

canton_assamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

We have waited a long time to bring in our own house Assam. Now we have one to shout about and have made it a Canton signature tea. It is a blend of two, high grade, Khongea Estate teas – one of which has just won the North American Tea Championships in the Assam category. That’s how good it is. The family-owned estate is known to us and we are delighted to be working closely with them. Do what Assam is made to do and steep the leaves for several minutes to get a really good, strong, dark liquor that is smooth and rich with notes of fruit. Not heavily malty, but brisk and full-bodied making it a classic breakfast tea which works well with milk. As with all of our teas, it can also be brewed light and quick and enjoyed it without milk. The golden tips you can see in the dry leaf is the higher grade CL.GFBOP: Clonal Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t think that Assam teas are actually my favorite type of black tea but I can’t deny that when I find an Assam tea in my stash of teas to try, I’m a happy sipper.  Assam teas may not be my favorite, but a good Assam tea is certainly always welcome in my teacup – I love that rich, robust, malty flavor that it provides.

And this Canton Assam Black Tea from Canton Tea Co. has what I typically look for in an Assam tea, although it is a little different than what I would normally expect.

This Assam is a bit smoother than I’m typically used to in an Assam – it isn’t quite as astringent.  But the trade-in for that is that it does lack a little bit of the strong, hefty body that I usually expect from an Assam.  It’s not quite as strong or sturdy as a typical Assam – although this would still make a great breakfast tea.  It’s still a robust, bold tea – but it’s a little lighter and smoother than what you might be expecting from an Assam.

It’s also not quite as malty as I usually expect.  There is still malty notes here and hints of caramel.  It’s still pleasantly sweet.  But, I’m getting more sweetness from a stone fruit (plum) note than I am from caramel or malt.  I also taste hints of raisin that are quite nice.

It’s still a full-bodied tea – it’s just not quite as rugged as I usually experience with an Assam.  But that’s OK – it’s still really good and it reaffirms for me just why I get excited when I am offered a new-to-me Assam to try.

I like that I can try a tea and have an idea of what to expect and get something a little different than I expected.  That’s one of the great things about tea and why I encourage people to try different teas!  Even if you’ve tried Assam teas in the past (and this applies to any other type of tea as well) – and even if that experience wasn’t all of what you wanted, you shouldn’t give up on Assam.  Try new teas and you might just find one that you not only like, but LOVE!  It’s a journey well worth taking when you find that tea that becomes your new favorite.

So if you’re looking for a new Assam to try – you should consider this one!  It’s lovely!