Keemun Chinese Black Tea from The Tea Spot

I love the discovery of new tea flavors, finding their nuances, comparing and contrasting from a baseline. I started educating myself on tea with subscription boxes, and still have a soft spot for them. Looks like Tea Spot will be my next choice. They offer a monthly subscription box for $16 for about an ounce worth of 5-6 teas and also a quarterly loose leaf club at $45 for 3+ teas of one chosen style, in larger portions obviously. This selection seems to be from the former.

The dry Keemun smells very gentle, a bit like the coriander in my cupboard. There are uniformly tight, straight, leaves, appearing medium on the spectrum of browns. I see some broken bits in wet leaves and a tamarind color brew. It smells subtly sweet, and reminds me of cherries – cheerful but with a slightly tart finish.  1 heaping tsp per 8 oz from the brewing instructions, does not make a strong tea, which some people prefer. I’m not the type to drink this flavor straight, because tannins and I are frenemies.  I think it is It may leave a slight orange taste in my mouth but, this tea is still excellent at its job of caffeinating me!

Just like the Beastie Boys, I like my Sugar with [Keemun] and cream, too sweet to be sour, too nice to be mean.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A splendor of toasty flavor and aroma! The most refined and perhaps the most well-known of Chinese black teas, this Keemun is handpicked in Anhui Province. This tea has an indescribable flavor, with the most delicate hints of smoky pine, orchid, crushed apple and a rich, sweet body.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ye Sheng Hong Cha Wild Style Black Tea from Old Ways Tea . . . . .

It has been a long time since I have had a Wild Style Black tea. I had forgotten just how good – and how unusual – it is.

The first time I had a purple tea, I was a tea noob and made it just like most average black breakfast teas. It was terrible! And it was all my fault. Fortunately I learned how to make it properly very soon after, plus there was a nice reminder of the right way to treat these leaves on the package.

The water temperature is lower and the steep time is even shorter than the last Wild Style I made. It made me wonder if I was really going to get all the flavor out of these leaves. It is pretty light in color for a black tea when steeped, but have no fear. It is not light on flavor.

The first thought when I sipped was, “Wow, what is that? It is so familiar but I can’t pin it down.” After lots of soul searching, I came up with…a warm and mellow citrus, not sharp like lemon but more like orange, plus a light cassia cinnamon flavor. Honey. And a hint of floral notes. So many layers of flavor dancing and sparkling in this cup! Not heavy at any time, light bodied, and complex.

This is one to be enjoyed, paid attention to, not to be downed with an onion bagel while you rush out the door. Treat it like a tea experience, and really get to know all the flavors! I would love to hear what other people get out of it.

It is a real champion in the re-steeping department, too, delivering quite a few excellent steeps with good flavor before weakening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This wild style black tea is from high mountains above Tongmu village located in the Wuyishan Biodiversity Protection area. A strong but clean floral fragrance is present. The tea is described as wild style due to the conditions in which the trees are allowed to grow. The trees are by no means wild, they are still intentionally grown from known cultivars, but are spaced more widely and allowed to grow more how they please. They are not forced into the neat rows that make cutting more efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Morning Pick Me Up From Tocha Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Tocha Tea

Tea Description:

The fragrance of purifying Osmanthus flowers is the perfect complement to the subtle sweetness of whole leaf black tea. Quench your thirst and revitalize your spirit with this smooth, full-bodied blend; ideal for kick-starting your morning or uplifting your afternoon.  

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A few months back, I won a contest that Tocha Teas was having on their Instagram page. I was ecstatic! I didn’t know a whole lot about their teas, but just by the name alone, I couldn’t wait to try them. Morning Pick Me Up was one of the blends I was sent.

First lets start this off by saying Tocha offers their line up in tea sachets, not as a loose leaf tea. I rarely drink anything but loose leaf.  There are times-I will admit-that a tea bag or sachet is just easier to steep than loose leaf. But these sachets are full of gorgeous looking tea blends. Especially this one!

Morning Pick Me Up is a blend of black tea and osmanthus flowers. Almost a floral black tea if you will. But this tea isn’t a dainty floral tea by any means.  My container of this tea is just about empty and I can feel myself wanting to buy more!

Steeped like a black tea with the recommended parameters offered on the package, this tea yields a gorgeous dark liquor full of malty notes mingled with a sultry subtle sweetness that yields almost a floral hint now and again. Really well done and one that gives you that full-bodied experience you look for in a brilliant black tea blend.  I’m quite surprised by the fact this tea is a tea sachet and not a flavor I’m getting from  a loose leaf.  These pyramid sachets are packed full of robust marvelous black tea flavor that sticks with you.

So what I’m trying to say is what a gorgeous way to start your morning or afternoon off right- I need to steep up another cuppa to finish off my day for sure!

Chocolate Rose Truffle Black Tea from 52Teas

ChocolateRosesmallerTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

The base of the tea is a blend of four black teas: two teas from Verdant Tea, a rich, malty Assam and a rose Congou. To that I added chocolate flavoring, cacao shells & nibs, mini vegan chocolate chips and vegan white chocolate chips. The result is a very chocolate-y tea with just a hint of rose that’s a perfectly romantic tea to give to that special someone this Valentine’s Day – or any day of the year that you want to tell someone you care! 

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to 52Teas tea of the week program here.

Taster’s Review:

I recently did a review for this tea on my own blog but thought that this blend need another review here!

This tea is one of the best chocolate teas I’ve ever tried. Seriously!

When you first open this pouch of tea, be prepared for the most lushest decadent chocolate aroma you have ever smelled. Seriously. The aroma coming from this tea made me feel like I was going to gain 10 pounds just by smelling it. Cacao nibs and shells, milk chocolate, and white chocolate, all mixed up with a black tea base and rose petals.  Tea Heaven!

I brewed this tea up with fresh boiled water and my french press.  I allowed the tea to steep for about 3 minutes before pushing down on the plunger. I allowed the tea to cool before I took a few minutes.  As the tea was cooling, I was still getting all of those wonderful gorgeous chocolate aromas.

Now I will admit, chocolate teas are not my thing but 52Teas chocolate teas have been delicious so I just had to try this one. First sip in I was preparing myself for this overabundance of chocolate flavorings to hit me at once. The exact opposite. This tea is so delicate and gentle.  The chocolate notes translate into a softer gentle flavor that mingles gorgeously with the black teas and rose petals, allowing each ingredient to sing their own song and make a brilliant cuppa.

The black tea provided a wonderful smoothness with a slight astringent note. The rose petals provided that sweetness that was needed to combat the slightly bitter cacao shells & nibs. The white chocolate was the most pronounced of the chocolate flavors I could really get a good tasting of and it was just heavenly!

Well done 52Teas. This as close to perfection as they come with chocolate teas for me! I have already devoured a few steepings and plan to brew up more! I believe this one is still available. I recommend everyone grab some while they can. Delicious!

San-Te-Ria from Lemon City Teas

santeriaTea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Lemon City Tea

Tea Description:

You forgot to make an offering to your orishas today? No wonder you’re feeling so tired. Have a cup of San-té-ria. This blend of premium black tea will get you so awake, it’ll seem like divine intervention..

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is sipdown #13 on my epic journey to sipping down my tea stash before I can buy more.

What a great tea too! This tea is very well done and is giving me the pep in my step for the rest of the afternoon.  This tea can be bought as a loose leaf tea or tea bags.  I had the tea bag variety which is lovely for when I’m at work.  Boil some water and plop in the tea bag.  A few minutes later, TADA! Lovely tea.

This particular tea is a blend of different black teas.  From what I’m seeing on the back of the package this is Premium Whole Leaf Nilgiri Tea-Hand-Blended with Yunnan Golden Buds. Well, whatever it is blended with, it is good!

San-te-ria hits all the right notes that I like in my black teas.  Not overly malty with a hint of dryness, but by no means overwhelming.  A smooth sipping tea.  This one definitely has those trademarks and more.  I’m really liking it and before I knew it, the cuppa is gone.  (Insert sad face here).

I can tell this tea would be amazing iced.  I think I’ll try that with the next infusion.  And if you wanted this to be more flavored like, I bet throwing in a vanilla bean would be amazing.  This tea has that flavor profile of slightly woodsy.  Just thinking of adding vanilla beans makes me crave cuppa.

This tea does its job.  It has such a nice cleansing taste to it after drinking a few flavored teas.  Gives my taste buds a nice break.