Ye Sheng Hong Cha Wild Style Black Tea from Old Ways Tea . . . . .

It has been a long time since I have had a Wild Style Black tea. I had forgotten just how good – and how unusual – it is.

The first time I had a purple tea, I was a tea noob and made it just like most average black breakfast teas. It was terrible! And it was all my fault. Fortunately I learned how to make it properly very soon after, plus there was a nice reminder of the right way to treat these leaves on the package.

The water temperature is lower and the steep time is even shorter than the last Wild Style I made. It made me wonder if I was really going to get all the flavor out of these leaves. It is pretty light in color for a black tea when steeped, but have no fear. It is not light on flavor.

The first thought when I sipped was, “Wow, what is that? It is so familiar but I can’t pin it down.” After lots of soul searching, I came up with…a warm and mellow citrus, not sharp like lemon but more like orange, plus a light cassia cinnamon flavor. Honey. And a hint of floral notes. So many layers of flavor dancing and sparkling in this cup! Not heavy at any time, light bodied, and complex.

This is one to be enjoyed, paid attention to, not to be downed with an onion bagel while you rush out the door. Treat it like a tea experience, and really get to know all the flavors! I would love to hear what other people get out of it.

It is a real champion in the re-steeping department, too, delivering quite a few excellent steeps with good flavor before weakening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This wild style black tea is from high mountains above Tongmu village located in the Wuyishan Biodiversity Protection area. A strong but clean floral fragrance is present. The tea is described as wild style due to the conditions in which the trees are allowed to grow. The trees are by no means wild, they are still intentionally grown from known cultivars, but are spaced more widely and allowed to grow more how they please. They are not forced into the neat rows that make cutting more efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Golden Tips Black Tea from Chai Safari. . . .

It’s almost midnight and I’m in the mood for tea! What to pick? What to pick? I want something delicious. I want a tea experience, not just any old cuppa.

Ah, this fits the bill.

Chai Safari has their tea grouped by mood on their website and I must say this one is spot on. This Golden Tips Black Tea is listed in the Fresh and Vibrant categories. An odd choice for late at night, but I am intrigued. Besides, I LOVE golden tip teas!

The medium length leaves are twisted and golden tan in color with some very light brown ones. Instructions call for less than boiling temperature water and a three minute steep. I would normally experiment and go with my standard black tea parameters, but I stuck with the company recommendation on this one and I am glad I did.

The tea has such beautiful clarity. And while it has light body, it nevertheless has a complex flavor, beginning with a golden raisin aroma that hits as the cup draws near to your lips, and on the sip develops into honey and malt and a wisp of rye bread. The tea is brisk and a little dry and the flavor lingers on for a long while. This gives it the vibrancy that earned its classification. Those golden tips are packed with sweetness.

We are re-steeping the leaves and the second steep is possibly more fragrant than the first. The third steep has almost as much color as the first two, but the dryness is a little abated and this is a “wetter” tasting cup. I find it slightly sweeter, as well.

This would be fabulous with a good cheddar. Next time. Next time…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Chai Safari
Description

A brief peak harvest between mid-May and early August yields this renowned black tea with golden tips that denotes buds.  Colorful golden tips mingle with full leaves to create rich flavors and aromas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

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

Simpson & Vail has announced a few new Colombian Teas and I thought I would share with you their Colombian Black Tea today!

Their Colombian Black Tea is from the mountainous region of Colombia, in an area steeped in biodiversity, along the western slope of the Andes, called the Bitaco tea estate.

The gentle mist from the mountains, rich soil, and ample rainfall stimulates the growth of the tea bushes and produces this tea shouting its unique characteristics.

The large, black wiry, slightly tippy leaves have a light malty aroma and brew to an amber cup with a smooth taste and delicate fruity notes according to S&V! And I would have to agree!

I have been sipping in this one for a while. It hails a fairly sturdy 2nd infusion, too!

Even tho this is a pretty strong black tea it’s not OVERLY strong – like you need someone to break your morning zombie trance – but it’s a nice bolder cuppa to sip though out the day or even in the afternoon or early evening! Another DANDY of a black tea from Simpson & Vail!


Here’s the scoop!

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

From the mountainous region of Colombia, in an area steeped in biodiversity, along the western slope of the Andes, is the Bitaco tea estate. 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. The large, black wiry, slightly tippy leaves have a light malty aroma and brew to an amber cup with a smooth taste and delicate fruity notes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Pearls (Hong Zhen Zhu) from Silk Road Teas. . . .

I recently finished up my sample of Red Pearls (Hong Zhen Zhu) from Silk Road Teas. I’m not going to lie…a single, small, dramatic tear ran down the side of my face as I consumed the last sips of this wonderful infusion!

The color of the liquor itself was VERY dark laying there in my cuppa. It paired perfectly with the rainy days we have been having lately. Not that this is a gloom and doom cup but more like a comforting cuppa, instead!

This is a high-grade Mao Feng leaf that has been rolled into shiny small pearls and oxidized to a deep brown color.

It’s softly aromatic, offers a touch of smokiness, and has a light, naturally sweet finish.

The word I keep coming back to with this taste of tea is molasses! Not sure why but that is what this one reminds me of…molasses! It’s sweet, dark, thick, bold, tarry-malty, and delicious!

A black tea many to most would be PROUD to have in their stash! I know I was darn delighted!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Silk Road Teas
Description

A high-grade Mao Feng leaf has been rolled into a shiny small pearl and oxidized to a deep brown color. The result is an unusual and rare Fujian Province black tea that is softly aromatic, offering a touch of smokiness and a light, naturally sweet finish. Cup color is a rich red and clean. Our lot is very well made, the craftsmanship is apparent. This style of black tea was once quite common but in recent years has become rare as the processing of the leaf is quite difficult.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!