Crimson Grove™ Black Tea from Mellow Monk


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Mellow Monk

Tea Description:

Crimson Grove™ is a special presence in the world of tea — a black tea made with leaves from the same green-tea cultivars used to make traditional sencha. The flavor is brisk and clean, with a green-tea-like sweetness and a smoky, nutty taste, finishing with overtones of nutmeg. If you like, say, English breakfast tea, you will be positively enchanted by this tea. So order up some scones and brew up a pot of Crimson Grove™.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Really NICE!  Having tried less than a handful of Japanese black teas, I can tell you that this is a real treat for me to be able to enjoy this Crimson Grove™ from Mellow Monk.  All of the teas that I’ve tried from Mellow Monk have been very enjoyable and they are the purveyor of one of my all-time favorite green teas.  And this Crimson Grove™ is yet another memorable tea from them.

The flavor is sweet and warm.  As the description above suggests, it has the smoky notes and the notes of nutmeg.  Nutmeg is my favorite spice, so, I’m loving the nutmeg-like notes here.  It tastes a bit like someone grated some fresh nutmeg over my cup of black tea!

It’s a very flavorful cup.  It’s not an overly aggressive black tea, though, so I wouldn’t turn to this tea as my first cup of the day for that vigorous shake awake that I look for when I want that jump start at the beginning of the day.  This is smooth and sweet, with a lighter body.  This is something I’d want mid-day for that little pick-me-up to keep me going.

Another awesome offering from Mellow Monk.  If you’re looking for exceptional Japanese teas, this is the place to shop for them!

Tea Trail 2004: Willow Grove Workshop Pu-erh from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

A uniquely clean shu pu’er with both warming and cooling qualities, a sophisticated musky profile, and a sparkling texture like fresh mint and basil leaf. . . .

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf of this Pu-erh doesn’t have a strong aroma, I would describe this as slightly musky/earthy, but not quite as earthy as I might usually experience with a Pu-erh.  The brewed tea has a woodsy kind of scent to it, reminding me of the damp wooded areas just after a rain here in the Pacific Northwest – mossy, damp, earthy … woody and even a little musty.

The flavor is also earthy, but it is lighter than I expected to to be.  There is a tingly sensation to this, like the zesty feeling that the palate experiences with something minty.  It doesn’t really taste minty as much as it feels minty.  It feels crisp and invigorating.

This crisp, lightness lasts for a couple of infusions, and by about the third and fourth infusion, I notice that the body of the tea begins to develop.   The sweet undertones to this tea start out similarly, beginning with subtle sweet notes that develop as I continue to sip.

The tasting notes on Verdant Tea’s website suggests hints of apple and cinnamon, and I taste those too, they are especially noticeable in later infusions.  I find these flavors to be the most intriguing about this tea – because in the first and second infusions, there were mere hints of a cinnamon-like note, but it was very vague … almost like it wasn’t real.  Imagine for a moment, if you would, someone burning cinnamon scented incense in a room hours ago.  The faint suggestion of cinnamon remains in the room hours later, but it is so faint, so barely-there, that you wonder if you’re just imagining it or really experiencing it.  That is how the cinnamon-y apple notes work with this tea in the first couple of infusions.  They are like mere insinuations of a cinnamon/apple flavor, but with the later infusions, these notes become more focused – more real.

This is a really fascinating Pu-erh!