2017 Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong from Verdant Tea. . .

The Backstreet Boys have a song on an early album that went, “If you wanna get it good, girl, get yourself a bad boy.” This is pretty rich coming from the Backstreet Boys, obviously, but one cannot deny the appeal of a bad boy. Cigarettes, leather, motorcycles, hard liquor, and a devil-may-care attitude.

In my teas (and in my real life), I tend toward the “good boy”: straight or sweetly-flavored teas. But every once in a while, the bad boy winks at me — and I see, for a moment, what all the other girls are gushing about.

This lapsang souchong is a trouble-maker. It’s smoky and rich and dark and mineral. Its flavor is “natural and subtle addition that came from drying the leaves in a wok heated by pine wood. The smoke from the pine wood naturally mixed with the tea, creating a deeper and more foresty flavor that accentuated the tea’s minerality.”

If you’d like to see that drying room in action (you know you do), you should go to the listing for the tea.

Although this tea isn’t my “type,” I totally see its appeal for other people, and think that, if you want to try a rich new lapsang souchong, this might be the one for you. It’s a wild, satisfying ride.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea
Description

The earliest Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, (or Lapsang Souchong as it is commonly referred to in the West) was never deep-smoked. The smokiness was a natural and subtle addition that came from drying the leaves in a wok heated by pine wood. The smoke from the pine wood naturally mixed with the tea, creating a deeper and more foresty flavor that accentuated the tea’s minerality. The Li Family preserves this old-school aesthetic with careful application of smoke from local resinous pine. The sweet, roasted quality of the smoke processing blends with the rich flavor of the tea to yield a dark fruity flavor, and bring front and center the mineral texture of the soil of Wuyi.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Da Hong Pao Oolong Premium Oolong/Little Red Cup Tea Co. . . .

I seem to be in a funk lately. I need to snap out of it. If I continue to drink tasty teas like this one – it just might help! The tea I’m sipping on today is Little Red Cup Tea Co’s Da Hong Pao Premium Oolong.

This tea brews to a deep mahogany red. I can pick up notes of cinnamon-plum, and gently roasted caramel. It’s robust but not overly robust and this tea has no bitter notes! It offers the perfect balance of smooth, deep, rich, and natural flavor.

I do LOVE the aroma before, during, and after infusing, too! There is a spec of cocao nib nose on it that was a pleasant surprise! It’s delish on the tongue and taste-buds, to boot!

This is one of the better oolongs I have tried in the past year! Hands Down! I would suggest it to just about anyone!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Little Red Cup

Description

Our Da Hong Pao (大红袍) is a marvelous mountain-grown rock tea from Enshi Prefecture in southwestern Hubei Province. Almost fully oxidized, it brews a deep mahogany red — with notes of cinnamon, plums, and caramel.  Robust yet easy to brew, this tea has no bitter notes — only smooth, deep, rich, flavor.

This is a tea to be enjoyed on a regular basis, but also one to bring out for special occasions. It has taken us nearly ten years since we began our search for a great Da Hong Pao that is both organic and Fair Trade to get to the point where we can add this special oolong to our offerings. It is at once familiar and yet a cut above ordinary oolongs, a tea we are certain you will love.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Oriental Beauty from Qi Aerista. . . .

Qi Aerista’s Oriental Beauty oolong is so dark I’d probably have thought it was a black tea if I hadn’t been told otherwise by its name.

This tea has a really unique honey-black flavor that comes from, interestingly, its odd chemical makeup. These tea leaves were attacked by a certain kind of bug; so the tea, as a defense, released a chemical to attract its predators. This chemical (or the interaction with the bugs, not sure which) tastes like there’s pollen ground into the rich woodsy earth of the tea. Because it’s a straight black, I’m fairly sure this doesn’t translate into calories. Yessss.

I like this tea a lot. It has a good taste and a cool story. I offer up a thumb pointed to the sky, friends.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista
Description

This tea is no longer offered on the site but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coconut Baozhong/Tea Queens. . . .

Imagine, if you will, the joys of a honey orchid oolong, a light, fruity, pollen-y, flowery ooling. Then sprinkle the delights of coconut (my current favorite flavor) atop it.

What do you have?

Sweet, willowy, airy heaven. All of the Earth’s natural delicacies, blended together into one warm, sunny Friday medley.

Every time I sip this, I’m like “ahhhhh, so good.” I have said it aloud.

This tea makes me feel like a person sitting outside in a big, lovely white hat. I am slightly fancy. I have good taste. The air is crisp. There are mountains in the background, vibrant and green.

If I were able to sing, I might.

But I won’t subject you to that. I am a restrained and classy person.

Enjoy the tea!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Queens

Description

Extraordinarily smooth, creamy and slightly fruity. The flavor of coconut and Baozhong compliment each other beautifully.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hawaiian Pineapple Mango Green/The Tea Farm. . . . .

Today I was craving a sweet something or other and thought with this new health kick I’m on- that I would try to curve this craving with tea. I’ve done it before but always end up justifying a cookie and the end of the cuppa. What can I say? Shortbread cookies just to with tea beautifully!

Looking over my teas that I needed to pay some attention, I came across this blend, Hawaiian Pineapple Mango Green- a green tea blended with pieces of pineapple and mango.  Figured that combination of flavors would be perfect to keep me from reaching from the cookie jar. . .and I was right!

With water prepped right around 180F and then steeped for about 3 minutes- the tea just didn’t have the umpf of flavor I was looking for. I could taste the green tea base, which was pleasant enough, but I wasn’t getting the pineapple or the mango.  I decided I could wait a few more minutes and steeped the tea for about 8 minutes.  Took another sip and was greeted with that sweet pineapple and mango flavors I was looking for. The flavors were sweet and I found myself not needing the cookie after all.

I can imagine this tea would be delicious in the summer iced giving you all the tropical vibes you can handle!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  The Tea Farm

Description

Try our Hawaiian Pineapple Mango Green Tea as an iced tea as a delicious afternoon iced tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!