Wild Black Tea / Dian Hong / Teabook

Superb. When one thinks of wild tea trees the picture of an old tree with moss and lichen growing on it comes to mind but I had never thought of what it may taste of.

If you have a chance to try the tea of an old, wild tea tree do not pass it up. (And for all you funny bunnies if you send me a picture of yourself biting a tree I will laugh).

The woody characteristics are like nothing I’ve had before. Along with it’s woodsy notes it is also malty and has honey notes. It is incredibly smooth with a glorious mouth feel.

Currently on the third steeping of this tea. Using a gaiwan, hot water but not boiling,  for the first steep and let the water gradually cool.

When the liquid first enters my mouth I get a floral sensation but it always dissipates quickly into the woodsy flavors.

We are on four steepings now.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Teabook
Description

This tea is not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ruby 18 from American Gongfu. . .

This is one of those teas, like Darjeeling and Big Red Robe, that almost need their own classification.

They are simply marked as a certain type due to how they are processed but their elegant flavors deserve something more.

The best flavors, in my opinion come out when it is brewed at a lower temperature. Luke warm is the best. Sweet sensations of spices like clove and earthiness like wet wood.

The wet leaves have an amazing sweet aroma.

Some would say camphor and I would agree.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  American Gongfu
Description

This instant crowd favorite has an interesting pedigree.  Ruby #18  – also know as Red Jade – is the name of a cultivar developed in Taiwan by pairing a wildTaiwanese tea tree Camellia formosensis with a Burmese Assam (C. sinensisvar. assamica.).  The best crafted Ruby 18 leaf usually comes from Nantou’s Sun Moon Lake region.

Brewed lightly or at lower temperature, the tea exhibits an aromatic sweetness with hints of gingerbread and other spice flavors.  Brewed deeply or at high heat, yields a strong spicy tea, with notes of camphor, allspice, and deep woodiness.

A little goes a long way with this leaf, making it economical as well as delicious. We recommend a lighter brew if you’re new to this tea.

Cold brewing this tea produces an excellent, complex brew that is irresistible.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Arabian Nights from Fox Tea Club. . . .

It’s black. It’s green. It’s creamy. It’s buttery. It’s fruity. It’s got complete roses in its blend.

This tea sounds like an indecisive hot mess, I know. The blend’s ingredients sound like someone had a bunch of leftovers and upended them into a vat. (They include, for reference, Black Tea, Calendula, Cornflower, Green Tea, Mango, Pineapple, Rose).

But it totally works. It’s sweet and friendly and flowery. I’m not getting “Arabian Nights” from this (possibly because I’ve never had Turkish delight). I’m getting “Mother Goose.” This tea is a fairytale jumble. All of your favorite stories and flavors, blending together. It’s a dessert potluck. *

* (note: Have you ever had a dessert potluck? Probably the best party I ever threw.)

If you’re in the mood for some sweetness, throw this in your kettle. All the rabbits and sprites in the forest will be clamoring to join you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green/Black
Where to Buy:  Fox Tea Club
Description

Exotic seductive smoothness and delicate spice aromas float from the cup with each sip of this black and green tea blend, which includes calendula, red rose, and cornflower petals. Remarkable subtle tones of vanilla cream with rich sponge cake recall warm deserts evenings with the crescent moon rising in the starry sky.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jiri Horse from teabento. . . .

A few months back on Steepster, a little company called teabento just blew up. Reviews upon reviews were suddenly popping up for this company I had never heard of and people were loving it. One tea that seemed to be quite the success was this tea, Jiri Horse. The term “milk chocolate” was used a lot to describe it and for many it was a reminder of another popular tea on Steepster, Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea.

Now, Laoshan Black was THE straight black tea when I first joined Steepster. It was the winner or all winners for so many people and for that reason even I, as someone who basically only drank flavored teas at the time, was intrigued. Of course some kind soul was generous enough to send me a sample of this beloved tea but alas it was wasted on me because even though I could appreciate it was a nice tea and I enjoyed it well enough, it wasn’t my flavored teas and so I quickly moved on.

However, the more you drink and explore tea, the more you realize your tastes change. Many make the transition from flavored teas to straight teas and then become purists who will only touch the non-flavored stuff. I am not that person. I still love my sprinkles and my chocolate bits and my fruit chunks all mixed up in there but my tastes have developed so that I enjoy straight teas now too. So basically I am in the very expensive phase of the transition where I will drink and enjoy anything so no sections are left ignored when shopping for tea. I have been in this position for quite some time which my wallet doesn’t love but I have endless options which is nice.

Anyways, what this long rant brings us to is that when I read about this tea and all the love it was getting, I just HAD to try it. I didn’t truly appreciate the Laoshan Black but hopefully I can appreciate this tea which I steeped for 3 minutes in 190F water, after a quick rinse.

After my first sip, I can clearly see the chocolate connection. It definitely has that hot cocoa sort of vibe to it that’s a little bit creamy, a little bit milky and a whole lot of chocolate. I don’t know if I am fully getting as much “milk chocolate” as I thought I would and if I am being honest I am a bit saddened by that, however, I am still happy with the flavor here. To me, it is like a powdered hot chocolate mix that was made in water as opposed to milk – just a little watered down and leaning just a touch towards cocoa as opposed to actual chocolate, but it still hits the sweet spot. If this was powdered hot chocolate I would be mad that it wasn’t creamier or sweeter but since this is tea, I am impressed.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  teabento
Description

An absolutely unique and amazing black tea! We were totally surprised by its prominent, deep, rich chocolate aroma and taste as we tried this tea at the first time. We could hardly believe that what we drunk was not a hot cocoa, but a 100% pure black tea. An outstanding gastronomic experience!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Goomtee Muscatel Valley Autumn Flush 2016, Darjeeling Organic from Tea Swan. . .

Many of you may already know that I start each and everyday with at least one black tea. Recently finished up my stash of Goomtee Muscatel Valley Autumn Flush 2016, Darjeeling Organic from Tea Swan and I have to say it will be sorely missed!

The natural flavor of Goomtee Muscatel Valley Autumn Flush 2016, Darjeeling Organic from Tea Swan was both floral and spice and they shine thru this straight-up black tea. It’s warming and comforting on just about ANY day.

I like my black tea strong so I tend to add a few extra leaves of tea to my cuppa. A nice hefty, overflowing teaspoon in about 200 degree water for about 2 minutes seemed to do the job for me.

The aftertaste was a lingering masculine type flavor sort of like pine, for example. Prior to steeping the leaves we crisp and much like you see in the photo above. This is an outstanding black tea. If you are a fan of straight-up black teas – you are going to want to try this one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Swan
Description

Goomtee Muscatel Valley Black Tea is unique variant of whole leaf tea is collected from Darjeeling during the autumn flush. It combines the flowery essence of autumn and the spicy charm of spring.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!