Zhen Quo Fine Black Tea/A Southern Season

I have seen this tea sold under several different spellings, but this is the only one of this type I have tried. It is one of the first fine loose leaf teas I ever purchased, and I haven’t outgrown it. When I am in the town where they sell it, I get a bit for the shelf.

My husband only likes his black tea with milk and sugar, and since he tries to cut back on sugar where he can he prefers that we drink green, white, oolong or puerh together. I had a hunch that he would like this one plain, and it paid off. That tells you a good bit about this special tea from the Yunnan Province. It tells you that it doesn’t taste like a breakfast tea, it isn’t malty, and it isn’t very brisk. So let’s talk about what it IS.

This lovely black tea steeps up a little light in color, but it is far from light in flavor. There are layers of goodness in each cup. This is smooth, slightly savory, and has hints of golden raisin and honey, a hint of sweet pastry, and a little fruit. High notes and middle notes abound, with just a little bit of bass.

It resteeps wonderfully, so even though this is a regional shop with only a few locations, they do ship, and it is worth a try. Or perhaps you can try a Zhen Qu from other sources and let us know how it compares to this description!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: A Southern Season

Description

A black tea from Yunnan province, a big bodied, deep rich brew that is a mix of dry savory notes balanced by pervasive sweetness and a hint of fruit

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Darjeeling Spring Black Tea / Udyan Tea

Never have I seen a tea company use so many tea puns. I love it!

There is a lot to love about this company, besides the puns of course. They are a team of tea lovers who want to bring the best tea to others.

They offer only Indian teas but from what I can tell they only offer top grade tea.

For those herbal lovers they also have an interesting line of wellness teas.

As for this Darjeeling, I am impressed. It has a bit of astringency to it but it works well with the sweet floral notes. The moment you open the bag and smell the dry leaf there is no doubt in your mind that it is a Darjeeling.

It has that classic aroma which turns almost muscatel when wet. Speaking of which I detect a faint amount of honey but not much in the way of muscetal notes. The only unfortunate part for me is that they are located in India.

If you don’t mind the extra time and cost in shipping definitely check these guys out.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Udyan Tea

Description:

A finely selected, round and full bodied Black Tea from First Flush season in Darjeeling

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Black Tea-Dian Hong/Teabook. . . .

I have had this sample of Wild Black Tea/Dian Hong for quite some time now. I have taken it out to make it countless times and then got distracted by another tea and went that route instead.

Well, when I finally made it, I didn’t even drink it hot. My sister called to FaceTime me with her puppy and the call went for some time. The tea cooled. Yet when I did finally take my first sip, I quite liked it.

The tea is somehow both brisk and smooth at the same time. For me, briskness is usually synonymous with astringency but this tea managed to have one without the other. The good morning-pick-me-up without the bad bitterness. With that said, at times it can be drying but mostly it is a sweet honeyed malt.

Is this tea my favorite Dian Hong I have tried? No. But it is nice. A solid option.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teabook

Description

This tea is not listed on the site but click below to learn more about Teabook.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Organic Nilgiri Black Tea from Bare Leaves Tea via Sipsby Box. . . . .

Black tea is a variety of tea that just isn’t my go to.  Give me a solid white, green, or oolong and I’m a happy camper.  For some reason I seem to shy away from black teas more and more. Which is why I adore Sips By boxes so much.

Sips By is a company that curates a monthly tea box for about $15 that contains tea from a variety of different tea companies.  Usually get 4 different selections in your box.  These selections are based on your tasting profile that you fill out when you sign up for the service.

So I will admit. . . this sample has been hanging out in my tea stash for a few months.  Again, because black tea just isn’t what I grab as my daily drinker. But after you discovering my love for my Wall Infuser Mug, I thought this tea may just be the way to start off my day today.

Brewed up freshly boiled water and scooped in a hearty serving of the tea into my Wall Infuser Mug.  Allowed the tea to steep for a few minutes and took my first sip. And to be honest, this tea isn’t too bad.  Actually, I’m digging this tea a lot!

The tea is very soft and subtle.  The malty notes are slight and so is the astringency factor. I’m also noticing this flavor that reminds me of a floral note.  This is such a gentle blend that I would have no problem drinking this as a daily drinker.  I’m excited to try this tea as a cold brew.  I can only imagine the dynamite cold brew this tea could offer.

And before I know it, my mug is empty and I need more water for a second steeping. If you are like me and maybe black tea varieties just aren’t your (ahem) cup of tea. . . maybe check out this offering from Bare Leaves.  It might just give you a change of pace that you didn’t realize you were even looking for!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Bare Leaves 
Description

This bright and fragrant tea comes from the South Indian mountainous region of Nilgiri, which translates to “Blue Mountains.”

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!