Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . . .

Wine and food pairings are popular all over the place but here at Sororitea Sisters we love learning about TEA and food pairings! Assam teas complement foods such as chocolate, spiced desserts, meat, strong cheeses, fish and more. Since I follow a vegan diet, I like to pair Assams with non-dairy cheese – such as cacao and carob. I’m not even close to being a baker so I don’t frequent vegan desserts but when I can get my hands on one I would gladly pair it with an Assam. I’m not into ‘fake meats’ because I wasn’t into ‘real meat’ prior to being vegetarian and vegan, but I suppose one could try pairing it with an alternative. I will say, that if I see a vegan cheese, I’m probably going to try it at least once and can see myself sipping on a solid Assam while nibbling on a chunk.

Enter the “Assam of the Day”…Simpson and Vail’s Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1). These black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has an AMAZING malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish. YUM!

Now for a little bit on where this tea comes from…which is the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River. They grow hearty, malty Assam teas – like this one.

The Nokhroy Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border, in the Tinsukia district. In 1816 a village called “Halcyon Chuck” was about to be invaded by the Burmese army. Before the attack, the villagers made a peace offering of ‘Nine Platters’ (NA – HORAI) to the Burmese army, as a gesture of respect. Afterwards, the village was called “Na Horai” and over time it became Nokhroy, symbolizing peace and respect for all.

This is a bold yet peaceful cup and I’m so glad I was able to enjoy it! Yet another winner from S&V!


Here’s the scoop!

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

In the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River grow the hearty, malty Assam teas. The heavy rainfall and hot, humid day time temperatures in this area create the perfect green house like environment for growth, as well as helping to create the unique taste found only in Assam teas. Their distinct flavor can be enjoyed “as is”; however, Assam teas are often used in conjunction with other teas to create numerous blends, specifically breakfast teas.

The Nokhroy Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border, in the Tinsukia district. In 1816 a village called “Halcyon Chuck” was about to be invaded by the Burmese army. Before the attack, the villagers made a peace offering of ‘Nine Platters’ (NA – HORAI) to the Burmese army, as a gesture of respect. Afterwards, the village was called “Na Horai” and over time it became Nokhroy, symbolizing peace and respect for all.

Known for its clean and stylish Orthodox teas with coloury cups, the Estate is home to the famous Nokhroy N / 436 clones known for its unique character. A vigorous uprooting and replanting operation is underway to further enrich the quality of the field.

The black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has the malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Louisa May Alcott from Simpson and Vail

Just when I think I’ve tried all the lovely literary teas from Simpson and Vail I find a new blend.  This time it is Louisa May Alcott’s blend.

This tea is made with chunmee green tea, which is new to me.  The light and easygoing tones of this fruity green tea blend makes it pleasant and approachable but far from dull.  The green tea base is gentle and sweet and pairs perfectly with the abundant apple and strawberry pieces in the blend.

When brewed, this tea feels like late summer with potent real fruit flavors, and grassy green tea tones. The combination evokes images of lush fruit harvests and the last warm summer days with sun-baked grass.

There is a hint of rose petals in the finish of ach sip, adding to the end of summer garden feeling.  I really appreciate the green tea being both sweet and buttery, which helps the fruit from being too sweet or simple.  This is a great blend for when you are looking for something delicate but memorable. Also a good choice of tea when you want to bring up the feeling of some late summer days.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Early in Little Women, while visiting a sick Laurie, Jo says that her sister Meg’s blancmange is made “very nicely.” Later, her own attempt turns out “lumpy” and accompanied by strawberries that were “not as ripe as they looked.” Our blend follows Meg’s example and is almost, as Laurie says, “too pretty to [drink].” Combining almond and strawberry flavors, this blend brews to a delicious tea that is fruity and aromatic. It manages to be both sweet and light thanks to the Chunmee green tea base and the gentle floral notes added by the rose petals.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vietnam Ha Giang Organic Black Tea from Simpson and Vail

Vietnam Ha Giang Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail – didn’t last long in my tea stash – that is for sure. Good problem for S&V…bad problem for me!

My own personal default for black tea is double the amount for a short time because I like it STRONG! End result was an dark amber cup with slightly smooth taste. But don’t assume by me saying this was smooth that it was lacking a nice rich flavor because that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The leaves were crispy and slightly tippy and just what I crave in the morning and what my body needs to kick the afternoon lull, too!

S&V’s Vietnam organic black tea comes from the Ha Giang province in northern Vietnam along the Tay Con Linh mountain range (at 1300, above sea level) – deep within the ancient forests of Shan tea that have been growing for hundreds of years. Shan tea is a specialty in this region and the investment helped farmers to preserve this tea. A nursery of seedlings was created and workers were taught how to use crop rotation, green manure and biological pest control to sustainably develop this tea. Monies were also put towards new production facilities to ensure a consistent, high quality leaf. The area went through an economic revival in 2010 with a serious investment in the community. The goal of the investment was to achieve a better, higher quality tea using modern production techniques coupled with organic farming practices. This investment has more than paid off and the people living in this area have seen steady increases in production, quality and pay.

Improvements like these really get me energized about the region, the product, and the people behind the leaves and the cuppa! I can’t wait to see and TASTE what other teas comes from Vietnam and how it continues to grow in the coming years!


Here’s the scoop!

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

The black, slightly tippy, leaves of this Vietnam black tea brew up to an amber cup with a mild astringency and a smooth, slightly earthy taste. A delightful afternoon cup!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Colombian Andean Princess Black Tea from Simpson and Vail. . .

Grape-y Goodness? Yes, please! But Colombian Andean Princess Black from Simpson & Vail is much more than that thanks to the simple – yet impressively unique – list of ingredients! The ingredients in this loose leaf tea are Colombian Black Tea, Isabella Grape Skin, Andean Raspberry, and Hibiscus Flower.

If any tea has done Hibiscus Flower perfectly it’s THIS tea! I wouldn’t change a thing about the hibiscus ratio or any other ingredient ratio in this lovely loose tea!

The grape and raspberry combination really make this special. Everything seems to have the same color hue when dry that it camouflages within the packet of ingredients!

S&V states on their website that this tea blend balances the naturally acidic flavor characteristics of Colombian fruits with the sweet flavor of Black Tea. Isabella grape is a hybrid distinguished by its high acidity and enhanced level of antioxidants. Andean raspberry is a type of blackberry found in northwest South America that is noted for its high vitamin C content, calcium, and phosphorus. Andean Princess tea brews to an amber cup with a full fruit flavor.

I enjoyed reading a bit more on this tea and the region it hails from which is the mountainous region of Colombia, in an area steeped in biodiversity, along the western slope of the Andes, is the Bitaco tea estate. They say the gentle mist from the mountains, rich soil, and ample rainfall all stimulate the growth of the tea bushes, producing a tea with unique characteristics.

I was excited to also learn that Bitaco Tea owns over 200 acres of tea plants that are cultivated at over 6,000 feet above sea level in the region of Choco. This region enjoys a high rainfall and has exceptional biodiversity. The tea gardens are located next to a thriving, protected rain forest, the Bitaco Regional Forest Reserve, where there is a wide diversity of flora and fauna: 256 bird species, 28 amphibian species, 23 reptile species and 772 species of plants. The garden, located near the Equator, enjoys a consistent climate which results in a bountiful production of tasty, delicate tea-tips that are picked and processed throughout the year.

Bitaco Tea not only cultivates exceptional teas, they also are committed to their community – (which you know we LOVE to talk about ChariTEAs here at the Sororitea Sisters). They created the Agricola Himalaya Foundation to develop and improve programs focusing on education, especially for local children. Activities focus on the improvement of infrastructure, recreational opportunities, local culture and access to technology.

This is a complete CommuniTEA Tea! Share with others and enjoy and KNOW it comes from people who also are passionate and care, too!


Here’s the scoop!

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

This Blend balances the naturally acidic flavor characteristics of Colombian fruits with the sweet flavor of Black Tea. Isabella grape is a hybrid distinguished by its high acidity and enhanced level of antioxidants. Andean raspberry is a type of blackberry found in northwest South America that is noted for its high vitamin C content, calcium, and phosphorus. Andean Princess tea brews to an amber cup with a full fruit flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Currant Explosion from Simpson and Vail

This tea lives up to its name. There are so many dried berries in the dry leaf it is more like trail mix than tea. Currants and rose hips galore! The blend is jazzed up with little magenta raspberry pieces as well.

The other amazing part of this tea is that it is a fruity herbal blend without hibiscus. Love it, hate it, hibiscus can sometimes be a deal breaker for tea drinkers. Rest easy and brew this berry blend instead.

The tea brews up a golden color and smells like berries and damp grass. The blackberry leaves add a softer foliage flavor beyond the fruitiness. This helps the berries taste more natural, rather than candy-sweet.

The raspberries play a bigger role in the flavor than I expected, their red berry jam flavor coming through first, followed by the deeper tart tones of the currant.

The currant seems like a formal, adult flavor to me, but if you make this tea into a sweetened cold brew it could be the hit of a kids’ summer party. Or keep it straight-laced and drink it hot from a traditional teacup to help ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description: This flavored tisane explodes on your taste buds! The exceptional blend is a huge hit with young and old alike.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!