Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Excellent Tea Company
The Excellent Tea Company’s Superb Black Tea is a pesticide-free, Fair Trade Certified,* single-estate tea bag from the Mountains of the Moon in Rwanda, East Africa, where the high altitude, clean air, and fertile volcanic soils produce exceptionally smooth and highly prized tea without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers.
Learn more about this tea here.
Hmm… I like this. It’s a decent black tea, rich and malty, and I like that it’s pesticide-free and Fair Trade.
I do find myself wishing it was not a bagged tea. Perhaps it’s just me, but, I could swear that I taste a “wet paper” kind of taste in there. It isn’t a strong taste, and it isn’t off-putting enough so that I want to stop drinking it … but I do still wish it wasn’t there, and I wonder if it is indeed from the filter paper bag.
But despite this one misgiving about the tea, I must say that it is a tasty tea, and it is quite economical too. The fact that it is bagged means that it’s convenient – ideal for one of those days when you don’t have time to go loose leaf (and we all have those days on occasion, don’t we?) And even though it is a bagged tea, it’s one of the better tasting bagged teas I’ve had in a while … even with that faint “wet paper” taste that I am detecting.
Overall, this is an enjoyable tea. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it Superb … but, I enjoyed it.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Rwanda Rukeri is an Orange Pekoe grade green tea that originates from a cooperative of small farms in Rwanda. This tea is grown at an altitude of 5,900 feet above sea level. The thin forest green leaves unfurl during steeping to produce a vibrant lime-colored liquor. This unique tea has a juicy mouth feel with notes of artichoke and seaweed. Rwanda Rukeri is an assertive tea that produces a pleasant astringency.
Learn more about this tea here.
When I opened the package, I immediately noticed the fragrance of this tea. Perhaps it’s because I just got finished mowing the lawn this afternoon, but, this tea smelled distinctly like freshly cut grass! It’s really quite fresh and exhilarating. Once brewed, the bright green colored tea has a lighter aroma, but it still smells very fresh and green.
The taste is pleasantly sweet and very smooth. It has a juicy quality to it, very thirst-quenching … which is quite nice especially since I did just mow the lawn and am in need of refreshment!
This is a very “green” tasting tea, with notes of kelp and steamed vegetables. The description above suggests the flavor of artichoke and I’m tasting that, It’s mild and pleasant.
What I’m finding very interesting about this is that usually with a strong vegetative flavor like I am tasting here, the mouthfeel is usually thicker, reminiscent of a broth. The mouthfeel here is lighter, reminding me more of a nectar than a broth. The texture is very light, almost crisp, rather than thick or creamy. The finish has a tangy astringency to it, with a slight citrus-y acidity noted. The citrus-y taste lingers into the aftertaste.
This is very refreshing served hot, and just as nice when served iced which is how I’m drinking it now. I find it to be very restorative and soothing. A really delicious green tea from Rwanda, and what’s even better … it’s on sale! Now through July 15th, this tea is priced at 18% off regular price. Sounds like it’s a good time to stock up!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Teapigs
About this tea:
For those of you who have bought our morning glory tea before, this is the same great blend except we’ve added even more tea to our temple. We renamed it english breakfast as some people didn’t recognise that this is our everyday blend of tea.
Our signature blend – the teapigs version of builders’ tea, if you will. Far from ordinary, it’s a skilful balancing act between three glorious teas: a gutsy Assam, a mellow little Ceylon and a powerful newcomer from Rwanda. (Learn more about life on the Pfunda estate here)
Since Teapigs is a English tea company, I’d expect nothing less but excellence from their English breakfast blend – and I am not disappointed. This tea is wonderfully brisk. BOLD!
It is an intriguing blend of three types of black tea leaves: Ceylon, Assam and Rwandan. You’re probably quite familiar with Ceylon and Assam teas and what they might deliver to a cup, but, maybe not so much with a Rwandan tea. If you’re interested, you can click on the Pfunda Estate link above to learn more!
I have previously reviewed this tea on The Tea Review Blog, and my opinion hasn’t really changed much since my first tasting. It is still every bit as pleasant. It is delicious without any addition, but I like it with a little bit of honey to bring out some of the sweeter low tones. It also takes the addition of milk well if you choose to add it – it will make this a very creamy delight!