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!

Feng Huang Wuyi Black from Verdant Tea. . . .

Need a pick-me-up when you’ve spent the afternoon scanning and filing papers?

Because I do.

I imagine that your struggles are different, but you identify on some level.

Today I went in for Feng Huang Wuyi Black by Verdant Tea — a new tea with caffeine. Gotta call in those reserves.

The dry leaves are really long and twisty and dark. You know how the Death Eaters in Harry Potter fly around, leaving those long trails behind them? They look like that. I literally looked at the twists and thought “THE DARK LORD HAS RISEN.”

Would the Death Eaters drink this? I think they might, because it’s a pure leaf (no add-ins). And you know how they love purity. (All villains post-WWII have shades of Nazism, which is a bit tedious because there are so many other different types of evil to explore in addition to totalitarian eugenics. Anyway, that’s probably a subject for a much longer think-piece and not a tea review. So I’ll stop here on that trail.)

But it’s an interesting pure tea. Lots of flavor is packed in there. This tea has a mineral zest low note, a creamy mid-note, and a sort of raisin high-note.

According to Verdant’s site, the mineral note is supposed to be the lightest of notes, and berries are supposed to be up at the top; but I’m not getting that when I drink that black.

I worried that my tongue might be dead from years of exposure to my grandmother’s cooking. (SICK BURN.)

So I tried it with a little bit of vanilla almond milk and AHA. BERRY IS IN THERE. Sometimes you need the temperature to drop and a little bit of cream to whisk sweetness onto the tongue.

I prefer this tea with the almond milk and the lighter flavor, which isn’t something I’d normally say.

I think that without the milk, it’s your average Death Eater. With the milk, it’s Dolores Umbridge.

Yikes. Choose your path carefully.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea
Description

Feng Huang Black comes from transplanted Fenghuang Dancong from Guangdong established in the mountainous rocky slopes of Wuyi. As in Guangdong, these plants are cultivated as single bush trees instead of hedges. The result is a beautifully elegant expression of the bright, fruity, complex and sweet flavor of Fenghuang Dancong with the deep mineral notes of Wuyi. Black Tea Xiao Zhong style processing tempers the naturally tropical fruit of Dancong and pushes it towards blackberry. Because this tea is grown as single bushes and picked only once a year, the annual yield for the Li Family is very small. We are lucky to share this small batch from the Li Family’s tea gardens

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A Dessert Tea from Simpson and Vail. . . .#creme brûlée #SimpsonandVail

When I was a kid I hated creme brûlée. I have no idea why! I think it was the custard that turned me off as a child. As an adult, I love me some yummy creme brûlée. I love cracking into the sugar top and I absolutely love custard. I tried a creme brûlée flavored tea a few months back and would have loved it except for the tea-base that they used was gunpowder green tea, which was way too smokey for my tastes. Since then, I have been on the hunt for a yummy creme brûlée flavored tea. I have found two! This is the first one i’m going to try. I will reveal the second at a later date, so stay tuned!

Creme brûlée by Simpson and Vail is a black tea blend. I can smell the sugary sweet custard scent in the dry leaves. I steeped this lovely blend with near-boiling water for four minutes. The steeped liquid smells like summer. I don’t know why I think that…something about it reminds me of summer! But, it definitely has that sweet creme brûlée smell as well. I read some comments about this tea on Simpson and Vail’s website, and a lot of people said that this does not need extra sugar. I usually add a little agave but decided to try it first without sweetener. For me, I still added a little agave.

Why am I tasting coconut? For some reason i’m tasting a hint of coconut, but I think its just the creamy and buttery caramel flavor. This tea has a burnt sugar aroma with creamy caramel and custard undertones. It definitely has a mild sweet taste and is reminding me of flan. For some reason I cant get past coconut though. I wonder if anyone else feels this way too! For some reason this is reminding me of coconut flan or coconut creme brûlée. BUT that is not a bad thing. In fact, I love it!

Aside from the coconut dilemma, this tea does accurately resemble the delicious, burnt sugared custard that we all know and love! I think I may even have enjoyed the flavor of this tea as a child! It is addictive and I keep taking another sip… its all of the yumminess of the decadent dessert, without all the calories!

How can you pass that up?


Here’s the scoop!

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

This scrumptious black tea blend has the taste and aroma of buttery, creamy sweet goodness. The dark amber cup is sweet and creamy with a finish that tastes like caramelized brown sugar.

Ingredients: black teas, flavoring, and marigold petals.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Midnight Melange Black tea from Plum Deluxe

plumdeluxe_logo_strapteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black, Green, Roiboos, Etc.

Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe 

Tea Description:

A fresh cup of curious delight, great for calm mornings or evening gatherings.

All Organic:  Black Tea, Hibiscus, Lemon Peel, Rosehips, Rose Petals, Vanilla Essence.  Has Caffeine. 

Learn more about this tea here. Learn more about their monthly tea subscription plan here.

Taster’s Review:

If you haven’t tried or checked Plum Deluxe out, do yourself a favor and click on those links above. Plum Deluxe is one of those companies that just makes you happy from the start. I may not like every blend they create, but they always put 100% into each blend, truly care about their customers, and have even created an online community for their monthly tea subscribers that is extremely active. I don’t participate as often as I would like to but I always check out whats going on. They have swaps and lots of fun goings on in the group. So neat to see what Plum Deluxe has created.

I have been a customer of Plum Deluxe for some time. I enjoy getting my purple envelope each month full of loose leaf goodness. Like I said, I don’t enjoy every blend but I can always find someone to share the tea with.  Each blend is gorgeously hand blended giving you all the lovely tea feels you can want and more.

This month’s selection is a black tea, which I couldn’t be happier about. (I didn’t see this tea listed in the shop so I think this might be a subscriber only tea.)  My favorite blends that Plum Deluxe creates are black and green tea blends. Midnight Melange Black Tea is a lovely blend of lemon peel, black tea, hibiscus, vanilla, and rose petals. The pieces of lemon are huge and the smell of this tea blend is heavenly.

Prepped with boiling water, I scooped a few tsps into my infuser and steeped the tea for about 4 minutes.  I didn’t want to oversteep so I played it safe in the middle of the suggested parameters.  I allowed the tea to cool for a moment and took a sip.

This tea shines and is perfection! Lush lemon along with a sweet creamy vanilla finish.  There are hints of a tartness here and there from the hibiscus.  The hibiscus is subtle and completes the sweetness from the vanilla nicely. A simple yet complex tea all at the same time. Each flavor really shines and delivers a lovely and gorgeous finished product.

Can’t wait to try this tea as a cold brew. I’m hoping the lemon flavors pop even more.

Another well crafted tea from Plum Deluxe!