China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail. . . .

China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail…oh…how I adore, thee!

I’m not going to hide it! I’ll shout it from the rooftops, folks! I think this is a fantastic loose leaf wonder!

It’s been said time and time again that Yunnan teas are particularly delightful as breakfast or early afternoon teas. I would have to agree! When I first experienced this lovely cup it was bright and early in the morning and it surely slapped my butt and got me moving and ready to face my day!

This tea is described as an exquisite organic tea that is grown in Cangyuan county which is a remote location in western Yunnan. To give you a visual of this loose leaf is has long black, tippy leaves ‘interspersed with ample golden buds’ (S&V’s phrase – not mine – but I couldn’t think of a better way to put it). This lovely tea brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste. That pipe tobacco aroma reminds me of my grandfather and brings back some of memorable quirks that I will NEVER forget!

This is more than a cup of tea for me. It’s flashes and flickers of my grandfather with his smirky grin, his joking around, his strut, his overall being. It’s funny what aromas trigger, isn’t it?

Thanks S&V for this trip down memory lane – and a terrific cup of tea – to boot!

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

Yunnan, known as the birthplace of tea, is a province in southwestern China that borders Vietnam, Burma, and Laos. Yunnan translates literally to “south of the clouds”. Its diverse landscape offers everything from tropical rainforests to mountainous terrain and is home to a wide variety of plant species. The Yunnan region focuses heavily on agricultural production.

Yunnan teas are particularly delightful as breakfast or early afternoon teas.

This exquisite organic tea is grown in Cangyuan county, a remote location in western Yunnan. It is comprised of long black and tippy leaves interspersed with ample golden buds. It brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Carrot Cake Pancakes from 52Teas

I am a carrot cake fiend. I also love me some pancakes. And before I found this magical tea hybrid of the two, I found actual carrot cake pancakes…or perhaps it was pancakes carrot cake? Basically it was a cake sold in a deli in Montreal that looked like 20 pancakes stacked, with cream cheese icing in between the layers. It always fascinated me but I never got to try it so this tea is my chance to give it a go.

The first thing I noticed while drinking this tea is that it has the nice spice that I love in a good carrot cake. The cinnamon is definitely strong, though smooth, with a touch of nutmeg and a dash of allspice. It is a nice rounded spice flavor that is kept in check by the sweetness of the carrot. With that said, the black tea has a touch of thickness in the mouthfeel that is bringing to mind a denser pancake as opposed to a fluffy/light cake.

At first when I finished the cup I was sad that there was no semblance of a cream cheese icing. With that said, I can definitely see this as carrot cake pancakes, as in pancakes inspired by a carrot cake recipe as opposed to the carrot cake that looked like 20 stacked pancakes layered with icing. So no cream cheese icing but this does taste like a pancake with carrot cake spices and some carrot sweetness. If you want carrot cake, this is not the tea to go with but if you want carrot cake pancakes, then give this a try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pomegranate Oolong from Harney & Sons. . . .

The first word that comes to mind while drinking this tea is “zesty.” Pomegranate — aside from being a difficult word to spell — is a complex flavor. It’s sweet, but it’s also got that sassy tang. The oolong flavor — slightly vegetal, a little bit nature-y, but nothing horribly strong — makes it seem thoughtful. I’m getting a “literature” vibe from the oolong.

For some reason, this tea is reminding me of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. At first, you’re getting all that sparkly, fruity zest. Then you sip further and you realize, hey, there’s a little bit of something “extra” here. Maybe this girl could, you know, go to Harvard Law and start winning cases. YOU NEVER KNOW.

This tea is delicious hot, but I don’t recommend it cold. The green gets a little weird. It’s a hot-tea. Don’t try to go off-book.

Of course, now that I’ve said that, you’re all going to try it cold. You’re going to try to paint me as a restrictive-rules monster. I’m not! I’m cool! Not as cool as Elle, but, you know, modestly cool.

Now, ladies, Bend. Snap. Brew. Enjoy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons
Description

Deliciously silky and full of complex flavors, our Pomegranate Oolong tea blends large Ti Quan Yin leaves—also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy—with the tangy, sparkling flavor of pomegranate. The result is a luscious and fruit-forward brew with a toasty aroma and ample flavors of bright pomegranate. Brew hot to enjoy its smooth, silky texture and sweet aroma at its finest.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast from The Virginia Tea Company. . . .

There are so many teas called English Breakfast, and they can be quite different. The original English Breakfast tea is said to have been pure 100% Chinese Keemun. This is the exception rather than the rule today, and you are more likely to find a mix of black tea from Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya. Modern tea tastes in the UK overall run to strong black tea that not only holds up to, but almost requires, milk and sugar – a nice, boot-you-out-of-bed tea.

Having a tender and sensitive tummy, I am cautious with breakfast blends as I don’t add anything to my tea, and with no milk to smooth my morning beverage the day can go dicey if the tea is too astringent. Also, once awake I am generally ready to go and don’t need to kick in the pants.

This fair trade tea is a blend of Ceylon, Kenyan, and Assam teas. I have put them in the order I believe them to be represented in the blend based on the taste. Far and away the top note for me is the lemony taste of Ceylon tea tingling on my tongue. This high citrus note is almost enough to make you think it is flavored! This often indicates that the tea was grown at a higher elevation of Sri Lanka. I put Assam last because I am not getting a huge amount of malty or bready flavor.

I am quite able to drink this without milk and sugar, enjoying the dry tingle of the briskness of the tea without the almost instant stomach ache some breakfast teas give me. I do believe that if milk and sugar is your thing, the tea could withstand it and wouldn’t wimp out under the additions.

If you love a good, black breakfast blend and want to upgrade to fair trade and organic tea, give it a try!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Virginia Tea Company
Description

This organic tea is perfect for pairing with your morning meal. The full-bodied flavor can be blended with milk and sugar to create an even better drinking experience.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey de la Creme from Tiesta Tea. . . .

This tea was available in the bulk section of my local grocery store! I couldn’t believe it. I’d seen tea before available in bulk, but I’d never seen blends so I had to try this blend for myself. The name “Earl Grey de la Crème” made me immediately think of a latte and I wasn’t sure how a tea without crème would accomplish the expectation I had drawn from the name.

The blend is a mix of Earl Grey, cornflower, and other natural flavors. I’ve always found that cornflower with Early Grey truly helps create a milder bergamot aftertaste, and I’ve never found and Earl Grey and cornflower blend that I didn’t like. This particular blend gives a high tea to cornflower ratio so if you are a fan of cornflower, this is an amazing blend. Earl Grey de la Crème is considered an energizer tea from Tiesta Tea which means the blend contains mate and black teas which help deal with fatigue by giving an added mental and physical boost. There is definitely a hint of vanilla in this blend which makes it a perfect tea to drink straight or to turn into that latte that the name lends itself to!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

A unique addition of vanilla and blue mallow flowers create a richer, creamier version of an old favorite to keep your mind fog-free.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!