Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden (Yunomi). . ..

The tea of the moment at Sororitea Sisters is Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden – available from Yunomi! I know the wordage seems like a mouth-full but wait until you EXPERIENCE this tea!

A little background on this unique Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden…it’s a loose leaf black tea from the Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan region. The black leaves are smoked using wood from Japanese Whisky Barrels.

This tea is a Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 International Tea Tasting Competition. I can totally see and TASTE why this was a winner! This tea fascinates me! A lot of effort and hard work went into this one! Special nod to Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden as it is a family business, farm, and tea factory!

This is highly scented because of the whisky barrels used. It’s reminiscent of a Lapsang Souchong but it doesn’t leave the same aftertaste as many (or most) LS’s do! It leaves a sweeter, more pleasant lingering flavor and subtle hints of citrus, even!

I don’t know if it’s because I have been binge watching American Pickers or because I live in an area that has a sizable Amish population but I can’t help but think of a wooden barn on a damp, wet, rainy day. Regardless this tea awakens ALL of the senses! It forces you to pause and think. It’s a great way to take a short break from your busy day! This is a VERY MEMORABLE tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Yunomi
Description

Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 International Tea Tasting Competition, Matsumoto-san smokes his black tea using the wood from Japanese whisky barrels. No flavorings or additives used.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sherlock Holmes Inspired Tea from First Edition Tea Co.

Sherlock Holmes is certainly a classic literary character. There are various renditions of him on the market and everyone has their own favorite. My personal favorite is the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock. Though, regardless of which Sherlock you know and like, we can all agree that he is a bit of a jerk. Brilliant and has his soft spots, but “rough around the edges” is a bit of an understatement when it comes to this classic character.

With that in mind, I would say Mr. Holmes and a Smokey English Breakfast seem like a fitting pairing. Rough around the edges with a hint of sweet, and it doesn’t hurt that the base is traditionally English. Plus, among other things, the lapsang can invoke memories of the character’s well-known smoking habit.

Just like Mr. Holmes and his personality, smokiness in tea is a harsh and polarizing flavor component. It can be off-putting for some but when done right, as it is here, it creates an interesting scent and flavor, like a campfire. It is a bit like tobacco in taste but not bitter in the slightest. There is also a sweetness here though, like a hint of honey that compliments the smoke quite nicely. It’s subtle but it’s there and it keeps this tea from being one-note, and though I don’t personally sweeten my teas, I could see this taking sweetener quite nicely.

As far as smokey teas go, this is a nice take on a classic and in my mind, it is quite well suited to the literary masterpiece that inspired it.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  First Edition Tea Co.
Description

A mysterious blend of traditional English Breakfast tea packed with plenty of pipe smoke, a hint of bergamot, nettle, and a surprising touch of honey sweetness. Perfect for sipping while lost in your mind palace. It’s elementary.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sensiblyscript’s Take on Lapsang Chai by Bluebird Tea Company. . . .

Steeping specs: One teaspoon at 212 degrees for 4 minutes in 1 cup of water.

This was an exciting idea for a tea. I’ve tried actual lapsang souchong once and couldn’t get through my mugful (maybe it was a bad idea to add milk, but I couldn’t stand it without milk either so I figured it couldn’t hurt anything). It’s not because I don’t like smoky flavors, either. I love smoked meat (I mean, BACON, right?), and I love campfires although it’s true I don’t eat them. But combining smoky tea with other strong spices that I know I like sounds like a very clever idea. I only wish I’d had it. In fact, I think I might have the rest of that sample packet of Lapsang somewhere; maybe I should go experiment with mixing it with various chais.

But I digress. . . .

After steeping for four minutes I took a good whiff–it smells tantalizingly smoky. This could be either a good thing or a problem, as mentioned above. The color is amber-ish–on the light side for a chai, I think (and I do have the unfortunate tendency to judge my tea’s strength by its color! I’ve been known to waaaaay over-steep my tea just because it didn’t look dark enough to me). A few crumbs of leaf have escaped my basket, so maybe I’ll use the finer mesh next time I steep this. What’s really exciting is that although the smell is smoky, I can smell spices too! Cinnamon, ginger, and possibly clove, I think.

First taste: it’s definitely not tasting like liquid smoke here, which is good! The flavor combo is hard to describe, though. The smoky tang and the warmth from the spices hit me at approximately the same time with each sip, which means it really has a kick! It’s not a super spicy chai, though, so if you’re sensitive to spice that probably won’t be a problem (depending on just how sensitive you are, of course. Some people manage to complain of spiciness in foods that taste basically bland to me).

The smokiness combines especially well with the ginger notes for some reason. Does ginger have a smoky component normally? I don’t know. I just know that this tastes really, really good. The smoke lingers a bit after each sip, but like I said, it’s not overpowering.

I also tried this tea with milk and sugar and found it still enjoyable, although less unique. That could just be due to the fact that I have a tendency to put milk and sugar in all my tea, though the milk does seem to muffle the brightness of the spice notes a bit too.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.
Description

We like to do things a bit differently at Bluebird. Our latest infusion is a thoughtful blend of Lapsang Souchong, malty Assam + aromatic masala chai spices. A BREWtiful blend of tea + culture alike!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea. . . . .

I have been upping my intake of Lapsang Souchong as of late. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cooler weather, change of season, or just because I’m craving it – but what ever the reason I glad I am. Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea is the tea of the moment for me and I have been wanting to share it with you for a while now.

Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea is a stereotypical yet top-notch Lapsang Souchong! It gives off the ‘camp fire’ smell you would expect it would. It has a rather loud aroma and flavor but I would expect nothing less from this gem of a company! I enjoy this because of its pungency. Because of its quality. And because of its character. It does finish quiet smooth considering how it starts out and I find that fascinating and I welcome it.

If you are looking for something for the change of season or just looking for a potent, smoky, flavored black tea – try Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea – I enjoyed every sip!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Little Red Cup Tea
Description

Our Lapsang Souchong (Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, 正山小种) is amazing. We know, that’s a bold statement, and some will disagree. But Lapsang Souchong is a love it or hate it proposition, and we’ve given our hearts to this tea. This is one of our strongest teas, think bridge abutments or skyscraper foundations. This is our most pungent tea — we send it to you in a ziplock bag in addition to our regular packaging.

The black tea is redolent three distinct flavors at once — the black tea base, a hint of longyan (Dragon Eye, a Chinese tree fruit similar to lychee) and the pinewood smoke which is the tea’s most defining element.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Smoking Coconut Black Tea from 52Teas. . . .

I loved everything about this warming tea. I loved seeing the big coconut pieces, the delicious coconut aroma, and of course the taste. As soon as I poured the boiling water over this tea, all I could smell was coconut.

I associate coconut with all things sunny and warm, so it was very soothing on a cold, grey, snowy winter day. I added a little raw sugar and a splash of coconut milk and just enjoyed the heck out of this cup. I never thought of combining any kind of tea with coconut(other than milk) but it really works out so well.

The caffeine in the black tea helped to wake up my fuzzy brain, and the aromatherapy of the coconut helped not only wake up my senses, but put me in a mellow, peaceful frame of mind which is so important. I felt like this tea was giving me a big, welcoming wake up hug. If you love coconut, this is a tea that you need to try. It’s the kind of tea that you mourn the last sip, you just want it to last forever.

I would say this is in my top three favorite new teas I tried in 2016. Actually, I would say it’s in my top two. It’s competing with another coconut tea, matcha with coconut. I guess I just love coconut!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

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

Tea Description:  I just wanted a tea that was coconut-y and a little bit smoky. So that’s what I did.

Sometimes, that’s what my inspiration is all about. I wanted a coconut-y tea and I thought that the combination of a lightly smoky tea with the creamy, sweet coconut flavor would be really interesting. 

I started with a blend of black teas – a rich, malty Assam; a smooth, medium-bodied Ceylon and a tippy, robust Yunnan. Then I added just a teensy bit of Lapsang Souchong to give it a hint of smoke. I wasn’t going for a heavily smoked tea this time around – I didn’t want an overpoweringly smoky presence – just enough smoke to add some contrast to the silky sweet coconut flavor. Then I added a bunch of huge shreds of coconut. 

The result is a sublimely yummy cuppa that you’ve gotta try. Sure, it might be a little on the ‘usual’ side especially when compared to some of the teas that we’ve made in the past but it’s no less delicious. Sometimes – going with something a little more ordinary can lead to extraordinary results!

This tea is vegan, gluten-free and all organic!

organic ingredients: black teas, coconut and natural flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!