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!

Sweet Colombian Black Tea from Simpson and Vail. . . .

The primary word I’d use for this blend is “smooth.”

Though “Colombian Blend” refers to South America, this tea says New Orleans to me. It’s got a malty, liquor-esque back-of-the-jazz-bar vibe. A throaty saxophone is being played on stage by a guy in sunglasses.

It is ambiguous whether he is blindingly cool or actually unable to see. He is the best you have ever heard. People used to smoke in the bar. They can’t any more, but the smell lingers in the dark, beaten wood furniture. Outside, a party dwindles. Plastic beads clatter on necks and pavement.

The bartenders declare last call, but you are content with the tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

This Sweet Colombian Black Tea has large, black wiry, slightly tippy leaves with a light malty aroma that brews to an amber cup with a smooth taste and delicate fruity notes.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Keemun Imperial Black Tea from Teavivre. . . .

Keemun Imperial Black Tea is one of the more expensive Keemun offerings from Teavivre. Spoiler alert regarding the upcoming review….I am placing it on my re-order list right now.

The instructions on my packet of leaves said to make it at 185F and steep for about three minutes. I hesitated about following those instructions because it is out of the norm for how I make my black teas, but I do usually go with 195F for Keemun teas, so I followed their recommendation and lowered the temp a bit more. Crossing fingers because oh, how I love my Keemun teas!

First sip, and immediately I heard a song playing in my head….”I’ll stop the world and melt with you…”. Oh my goodness. Stop. Breathe. Close,your eyes. Hug in a cup, comforting shawl, slipping into a warm bubble bath, whatever floats your boat as metaphor for a riveting tea experience, here it is.

This smells like TEA. Rich, lovely, calming, soothing TEA. Baked sweet potato, bread-y and malty, burnt caramel, and the lightest waft of smoke that is probably just an image coming from the gentle briskness that gives that tiny rasp on the tongue that lets you know you are having a Keemun, all somehow swimming in a very light-bodied liquor. As I sip more, the briskness grows a little, and I find this a perfect tea to sip with my chocolate chip and pecan scone.

It’s going to be a good day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Teavivre
Description

The fresh leaves for making this tea grew in the original producing area of Keemun tea, at an average elevation of 800 m above sea level. The one bud with one leaf (which just starts to open up, called Chu zhan “初展”) is hand-plucked for making this tea around the Chinese season of Qing Ming in early spring days. These fresh first-plucking leaves for making are loaded with nutrients and hence the finished dry leaves are neat and bold with high percentage of tiny golden tips. There is a sweet, mellow taste which creates a pleasant smooth sensation in your mouth. Overall, the first infusion of this tea is high in roasted sweet potato flavor mixed somewhat flower aroma, the second infusion is very mellow and the third infusion‘s lingering sweet and fragrant aftertaste will give you more enjoyment.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!