English Olive Leaf Tea from Rare Tea Co.

oliveTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Olives have been cultivated around the world for 5,000 years, but never commercially in the UK until now. The olive grove at Southdown Trees in Sussex is the first and only of its type in the UK.

The leaves are handpicked from the tree, carefully washed, quickly air-dried, then left to cure with the absence of sunlight.

Reaserch suggests that drinking Olive Leaf Tea can help to lower both colesterol and blood pressure and maintain a healthy immune system.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I haven’t consumed a lot of olive leaf tea.  But the few that I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed, and I’m really liking this English Olive Leaf Tea from Rare Tea Co.

And this is different from other olive leaf teas that I’ve had.  The first noticeable difference:  this is whole leaf.  It isn’t a bagged tea.  It doesn’t come in a sachet.  It’s whole leaf, and the leaves look … well, they look like the photo above.  Whole and large like that.  Not crumbled or broken or chopped.

The flavor is sweet and very similar to the taste of a light green tea.  It tastes a little lighter and a little sweeter than most green teas.  There is even a slight buttery taste and texture that is similar to what you might experience with, say, a Chinese Sencha.  It’s a little lighter than that in both flavor and texture, so it’s more like a light Chinese Sencha.

There is also a pleasing savory tone to this.  On the Rare Tea Co. website, it is stated that this is enjoyed with “Pan con Tomate” which is fresh tomatoes with oil and garlic on toast.  I can see how this tisane would make a delightful complement to this dish, and it has me wondering what type of flavors the tomatoes and garlic bring out in this beverage.  I may have to try it myself!

Since this is so similar in taste to a green tea, I think that this would make a really nice substitute for those who must limit their caffeine intake but miss their green tea.  It would also be a nice drink for later in the evening when you want the flavor of green tea but not the stimulation of the caffeine.

Lost Malawi Black Tea from Rare Tea Co.

lost-malawi-black-tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Rich, black tea from a Fairtrade garden in the mountains of Malawi.  To compare this to an ordinary tea would be like comparing a line-drawing with a sculpture. This is like drinking normal tea but in 3-D.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Since it’s Father’s Day here in the states, I thought I’d start the day with a review of one of the more masculine teas I’ve tasted in quite a while.  This Lost Malawi Black Tea from Rare Tea Co. is so rich and malty and DELICIOUS!  I’m not at all surprised though, because the teas that I’ve tried from this company have always impressed me.  They’re one of those companies that never seem to fail to excite me with their stellar teas!

This tea would make an excellent choice for that vital first cup of the day, because it has some real GUSTO to it.  It’s one of those teas that really motivate you to get going, it’s like supercharging your engines!

The flavor is so solid.  Even though it is a very hefty, bold cup of tea – it is remarkably well-rounded.  It is a little malty and these malty tones bring out the undertones of sweetness that taste faintly of honey caramel.  There is no bitterness and not a lot of astringency to speak of either.  It’s just … real rugged and very masculine.  It has some earthy notes to it, evoking thoughts of leather.  It has that really good bake-y, cake-y sort of taste to it, like freshly baked french bread that’s still warm … the kind that’s baked on stone so that the crust is crisp and crackling and chewy!  YUM!

I like that this tastes amazing served straight up, but, it also takes the addition of milk and honey well if you want to have a sweet and creamy cuppa at breakfast time.  A deliciously rich, flavorful cup of tea, and it’s a perfect tea to serve to your dad or the hubby on his special day!

Royal Air Force from Rare Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co. 

Tea Description:

It’s a very traditional British tea of the like we haven’t seen for many years. It comes from two beautiful, independent tea gardens; the Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling, India and Satemwa Estate on Thyolo Mountain in Malawi. Both are committed to creating the finest tea using sustainable practices to benefit both the land and the people who live on it.

These teas were made by farmers, not by vast agri-businesses. They were not processed by machine but crafted by skilled men and women. The producers go to extraordinary lengths to make this wonderful tea. When you taste it I hope you’ll agree that it is a tea we can be really proud of..

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

What a sleepy day it is today. Autumn is ringing in here in Kansas. Leaves falling, wind is intense, its getting colder, everything is turning orange, red, and yellow. I love it. This is the type of day I would normally just dig deeply down into my covers and curl up tighter, sleeping the day away. However, I had far too much to do today and was up earlier than most days. I needed a good strong, stout kick! I reached for a sample of this tea that my Sororitea Sister Anne had sent me.

It smells like steel cut oats simmering on the stove top, smells even slightly of toast, just the aromas I want to wake up to! I love my oats and toast in the morning!

The flavor has a light fruity note to it but keeps its composure as a bold, strong, tea. Its rich, and malty, with a light zing that says, “Wake up Soldier!” It has a light sweetness but still takes well to added sweeteners if you prefer. I personally try not to sugar coat my morning as I would only slag back into a state of stupor and would not resist the temptation to go back to bed. I need to face my mornings head on, with vigor, and this tea provides me the gentle shove I need!

The fruit in this tea brings forth the darjeeling muscatel notes, just enough to open the eyes and make you pay attention. Perky is how I would describe the fruity note.

However, on the flip-side, I also find this tea so smooth that it would be fitting for an afternoon tea as well as a morning pick me up! There is a creamy mouthfeel in the sip which to me speaks of comfort, like a cup that gives you a gentle hug then says “now get to work!”

Indian Meghalaya Cloud Tea from Rare Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Tea Description:

From high in the cloudy hills between Assam and Darjeeling this unique tea really holds the best of both regions – light and floral with deep malty notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh.  My.  Goodness!  This tea is really amazing.

I have had this tea for a little while now, receiving it at the same time that I received the Royal Air Force tea from Rare Tea Co.  But I wanted to save trying it for a day when I was ready to experience something really exceptional, because I was confident that this would be just as exquisite as the RAF tea.  I tend to do that with tea companies when I try the first tea from them, if it really impresses me, I mean REALLY impresses me, I tend to place very high expectations on them for future tastings.  Sometimes this leaves me vulnerable to disappointment, fortunately, that is not the case with this tea.  This is indeed EXCEPTIONAL.

The website did not tell me whether this was a black tea or something else, but on Steepster, this tea was added to the website by “Rare Tea Lady” so I figured that someone from the company added it and they categorized it as black, so I went with it.  But that doesn’t mean that I brewed this the same way I would brew a black tea … because something about the name immediately made me think “Darjeeling” so I chose to brew this the way I’d brew a Darjeeling, using a lower temperature – in this case 195°F – and steeping it for 2 1/2 minutes.  And I’m really glad that I did, because I can’t imagine this tea tasting any better than it does.

This has such a pleasing sweetness to it, and it is remarkably smooth from start to finish.  It does have a lot of Darjeeling-esque qualities to it, it has a strong fruit taste to it, with hints of muscatel.  But it doesn’t have that sharp astringency that so many other Darjeelings tend to have.  There is some astringency to this, but it is very slight.  More like it’s “trying” to be astringent like the other Darjeeling teas, and it almost gets there but, it doesn’t quite make it … does that make sense?  Instead it is slightly tangy toward the finish and that tangy note morphs into a clear citrus-y tone in the aftertaste.

I really love this tea.  It is so smooth and delicious.  This is the kind of tea that you’d serve to very special guests that you’d want to impress.   I find that this is best served hot – but not too hot.  Allow it to cool a few moments (maybe 2 minutes) before you take your first sip, and then prepare to be taken on a beautiful journey in the Clouds!

Royal Air Force Tea from Rare Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Tea Description:

A bespoke blend created for the RAF. When only the best will do.

But don’t take our word for it. Here is comedian Alexander Armstrong explaining why RAF Tea is worth it.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I just received my package of tea from Rare Tea Co. today, and before brewing this splendid Royal Air Force blend, I perused the Rare Tea Co. website to learn a little more about the tea.  While I was there, I clicked on the link above (this one), watched the video and had a really good laugh thanks to Alexander Armstrong.

And now that I’ve tasted this tea, I have to say that Mr. Armstrong is right.  This is delicious.  And, yes, it does taste like tea.  But, I don’t think you visited this website today to hear me reaffirm the words of Alexander Armstrong.

When I opened the package I noticed that the leaf looked a bit like a Darjeeling, or at least a blend containing Darjeeling.  And after reading the website, I found that it is, indeed, a blend that contains a Darjeeling tea as well as an estate tea from Malawi.  So, I brewed this with not quite boiling water (200°F) and steeped for 2 minutes.

The results are marvelous.  The tea is rich with fruity high notes and I taste a hint of muscatel.  The Satemwa estate tea in this blend provides a strong, malty character.  The tea is sweet with bright fruit tones and the caramel-y taste of the malt.  These two teas meld together so perfectly, creating a very full-bodied, rounded taste.  It is bold enough to serve first thing in the morning, and smooth enough to serve as an afternoon tea.

This tea does take to the additions of milk and sugar well, but, I find this to be quite lovely served without additions.  It is nice iced, too, although I think the cooling process seems to dull the flavors somewhat.  For the best flavor, serve hot.