Masu Old Tree Black Tea/Old Ways Tea. . .

Something was tugging at me this evening…a longing to shut myself away with a pot of tea and candlelight and soft flutes playing.

It is so easy to make a cup of tea, and the process itself can be calming and enjoyable. I wanted to go the extra step and create an atmosphere for a full tea experience. Candles were lit first, the tea tray arranged on the floor, water set to heat, a tea selected, and Asian traditional music playing.

Some time ago, I would have felt impatient in the preparations, wanting to get to the part where we sit and drink. I have learned now to view the setting up and the cleaning up as part of the pleasure of the whole experience and I feel very contented as I prepare.

The tea selected is from Old Ways Tea. This is a black tea, Masu Lao Cong Hong Cha. It is in a lovely red and gold package of five grams weight. I think that is perfect for this little gong fu session.

The leaves are beautiful. They are long, twisted, and black. I poured hot water into my little pot, poured it out, and then added the leaves and put the lid on for a minute. The warm, steamy environment in the pot allows you to smell the leaves better prior to actually steeping the tea.

The aroma is rich and dark. There is no cocoa aroma here as you find in many Wuyi teas. It is a rich scent of TEA, pure and unadulterated. More layers of scent begin to peek out and continue to develop throughout the session.

I kept the first steep short as my pot is quite small. We used an aroma cup to fully enjoy every aspect of this session, and now there is a strong burnt sugar aroma. This is not the wafting smokey aroma of a lapsang, but a deep and stable smell as of burnt sugar when making caramel. I am reminded of the brown sugar toast my mother made, when the brown sugar would melt into a hard crust on top of the bread that would shatter and crumble when you bit into it. Then after a deeper sniff, it reminds me of peach cobbler. My favorite part of a homemade cobbler, fresh from the oven, is the edge where the batter has touched the pan and become crispy and deep brown instead of cake-y like the middle.

With each steep, the baked fruit aromas grow with this tea. The sugar is fading a little and fruit steps forward more, and then an aroma like osmanthus begins to blossom. Combined with the baked fruit and sugar, it smells like a fine, natural cologne.

This was an excellent tea for a gong fu session. It is not a heavy tea, nor is it astringent. The body is medium and the color somewhat light for a black tea. I am so glad we made the most of it, and took the time to enjoy its full beauty. I am left feeling very much at peace, even after the tea things are washed and dried and put away. The peace lingers.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea


2018 premium black tea from my cousin’s garden in Masu. 2018 has brought a good harvest and we are excited to offer this tea once again. Lighter fragrance with strong mouth feel and overall roundness. Brew it strong or weak, the tea can deliver.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Foggy Coconut/52Teas. . . . .

Foggy Coconut blend was inspired by a coffee shop London Fog. First you need to know what a London Fog is, if you don’t know already! There may be variations but usually a London Fog is made with Earl Grey tea, lots of milk, and some vanilla and sugar, sometimes brown sugar.

The creator of this blend was ordering her London Fog with coconut milk instead of cow’s milk and loved the creamy coconut flavor. Hence, Foggy Coconut came into being.

When I served this tea, the reaction was instant. “Wow! I smell coconut!” And yes, that is the first you notice about this tea. Fortunately, we were all coconut lovers drinking it!

I love that you can still TASTE THE TEA, as a lot of flavored teas major on the flavors so much that the tea itself gets lost. This blend uses Assam and Yunnan tea that can stand up to plenty of flavors without going into hiding.

As for the bergamot, (which haters love to call blergamot) it is very refined. It comes through almost as a fruitiness rather than as edgy harsh citrus. I think the vanilla softens it wonderfully.

I drank this with no additions, but if you wanted to make a London Fog with it you could. You don’t need to, though, as all the flavors we look for in London Fog are right here. It is creamy and sweet, and the coconut lends it the full body usually provided by milk – dairy or otherwise – in a London Fog.

This was a delightful afternoon tea, and I will definitely be serving it again.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas


This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Dark Coconut/Love Some Tea. . .

Coconut is one of those flavors that can be really good or really bad. Sometimes it can be creamy and delicious and sometimes it can taste like lotion. That is why I occasionally put off trying coconut teas even though I am a coconut fan. I am especially hesitant when I never tried a tea from a company before and don’t know what to expect. That is why this Dark Coconut tea by Love Some Tea has been hanging out in my cupboard for over a year despite the bright and colorful packaging consistently catching my eye.

Drinking this tea hot I am happy to report this falls into the really good coconut category. The coconut flavor is fresh and creamy. Deliciously true to tasty coconut with pastry/bread notes from the black tea base. The flavors together create a coconut macaroon tea. It’s smooth and it’s rich and I am pleasantly surprised.

This tea has definitely peaked my interest in Love Some Tea as this is one of the better coconut teas I have come across which is even more surprising given the age of this tea. Usually there tends to be flavor deterioration over time and this shows no sign of any flavor lacking. Just one great coconut tea.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Love Some Tea


Our favorite wild picked black tea flavored with heavy notes of coconut, bold and robust flavor profile.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Touch of Grey/Dem Bones

Hello dear readers, I come bringing a brew that is more than welcome in my ever growing tea shelf. It is from a brand that has captured my heart in its macabre design and its quirky humor. Their first product that caught my eye was their sugar skull cubes but when I found out that Dem Bones also had tea I just had to try it.

This tea features an invigorating blend of orange pekoe, bergamot oil, the dried flower petals of marigold, cornflower, and rose. The pekoe is the jolt of energy at the start and then it mellows out with the trio of flowers with the hint of bergamot oil keeping that citrusy flavor all throughout each sip.

Now on the prices, on Etsy and on her site DemBonesShoppe, you can only purchase a 2-ounce bag of tea for $11. Which I believe is a really good price considering that most of the bigger names in tea sell a 1 ounce tin of tea for about $5+. Additionally, as far as I know, you cannot purchase samples outright but I do believe that you can message Dem Bones, either on the site or on Etsy, for more information.

All in all, I believe this tea is a new staple in my tea lineup. I like to look at it as a sister to my other all-time favorite, The Picture of Earl Gray by Noveltea Tins. So if you like the sound of a flowery tea but don’t want to sacrifice caffeine I say that this a great mix of both worlds.

See you for the next cuppa!

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Dem Bones


Party with the dead and lift your spirits with this insanely aromatic floral tea blend.

The Orange Peoke hold it’s own to the citrusy fruitiness of Bergamot Oil. Rose, cornflower and Marigold petals grace the blend not only with a burst of color but enhance the citrus notes. This is a classic!

Try it with a dash of cream and Dem Bones Sugar Cube Skulls.

INGREDIENTS: Black Tea Blend (camellia sinesis), Marigold Petals (calendula officinalis), Cornflower Petals (centaurea cyanus), Rose Petals (rosa canina), and Bergamot Oil.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rated R/T By Daniel. . . .

As a tea addict I go through periods where I am obsessed with certain types of tea. My current obsession has been raspberry flavored teas. So, in my typical tea addict fashion, I have been scouring all of the tea companies I could think of looking for raspberry teas. This brought me to T by Daniel. I have heard great things of the company and the teas for some time now but when I saw that they had a raspberry tea named Rated R, called that as it is “rated R for raspberry content,” I knew that I it was time to give the company a try. T by Daniel is a Canadian company however shipping to the Midwest was very fast. I love that they included a handwritten thank you note to personally thank me for my purchase. I really appreciated this little touch.

I ordered several tea varieties but Rated R was the tea that really prompted my order. Lets begin with the smell. This tea has such a bright and robust raspberry smell. It reminds me of those little gumdrop raspberry candies. Not only does the tea smell amazing but the dry tea is very pretty. It has a black tea base with white coconut flakes, large white gumdrops, red raspberries and pink rose petals peeking out. Also, the flavorings added are all natural. This is very remarkable to me to have such a strong raspberry smell with all natural flavors

I steeped this tea up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes. It has a very smooth and enjoyable black tea base that hits the tongue first followed by a lovely natural raspberry flavor on the back side of the taste. The raspberry flavor does not get lost in the black tea taste, rather it compliments it very nicely. The coconut adds a touch of creaminess to the blend to round it out. I am very pleased with this tea, it has become my “gold standard” of raspberry teas.

I have now tried several teas from T by Daniel and have to say I am very excited by what I have tried. They have a cool, hip vibe to their company that I love and the owners, a husband and wife team, are very engaging. I really think that they are up and coming and I look forward to more great teas from them!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  T by Daniel


No, this is not a scary movie…but this tea is so downright delicious we just had to rate it R, for raspberry content of course!
Sit back and relax and relieve that day toy day stress with this creamy raspberry black tea….It’s so good, it’s BAD.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!