Palas Afternoon Tea from BOH. . . .

Orange Pekoe. The highest grade for a black tea. Shown not only in the taste but also in the leaf. This tea is a great example of this high grading. The dried leaves are picture worthy; while the wet leaves unravel beautifully. The aroma is a sweet mix of earth. Cedar and hints of wet wood.

The liquid is a clear, golden brown that is velvety on the tongue. The website says best enjoyed plain and I would agree. Do not ruin this one with milk, sugar, cream or likewise.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  BOH
Description

With a light aroma, this full leaf Orange Pekoe ‘A’ afternoon tea is carefully chosen and picked from select tea fields. Its delicate flavours create a tea that is soothing and calming, best served and enjoyed plain.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . .

Many of you know I start each and every day with a Black Tea and then move on to the other tea bases from there and sip on different teas all day long…but…I have to say that Assams are generally among my favorite!

May I introduce you to a new offering from Simpson & Vail? Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1).

This lead me to my own personal research and enrichment on the Marangi Estate. The Marangi Estate is located in the Golaghat district of north-eastern Assam south of the Brahmaputra River. This district’s economy is agriculture in nature, with crops of tea, rice and sugar cane its major crops. Tea is the largest agricultural crop grown here with over 63 large tea gardens as well as many small scale tea-growers. 63 LARGE tea gardens? Yes, please! While this is a small estate, with approximately 250 hectares in cultivation, Marangi is a well respected garden that produces very high quality Assam black tea. After sipping on this tea I would completely agree! This estate seems to be the definition of QUALITY over quantity!

This Assam – that I am sipping on again while typing this review – is from the Marangi Estate and has black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. Taste-wise it is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish. I have to say that malty and cocoa type Assams are among my favorite of the Assams!

This might have to go on my Top Ten Teas of this year so far! YUM!


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea from the Marangi Estate has uniform black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. The taste is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Russian Caravan from Tea Queens. . . .

I usually reserve my smokier teas for cool or cold weather since I find them very comforting, but cloudy, rainy days spent gazing out the window qualify, too!

Tea Queens sells through consultants, and you can host a tea break or a tea party to learn about tea and to taste some of their offerings. If there is no consultant in your area, the website instructs you to call customer service, so I assume you can order directly from them.

This Russian Caravan is a blend of Assam, Keemun with lychee, and Lapsang Souchong. There are no steeping instructions on the website so I went with 200F and four minutes just to pamper the Assam a bit.

The resulting tea is so light I thought perhaps I had made a mistake, but I have another Lapsang blend that comes out a similar color.

This went very well with our breakfast of blueberry scones. The company sells scone mix, too, by the way! And teapot cookie cutters and colorful decorating sugars.

There is a touch of briskness from the Assam, and it is nicely smokey. I like smoke, and a few Russian Caravan blends have disappointed me by being a bit too tame, but this one was just right. I really don’t taste much lychee, even the cups I drank after the scone was long gone. I think mainly I pick up a general fruitiness from the the Assam and lychee together.

I have made a lot of new friends by having people over who want to learn about tea, where it is grown, how it is processed, how to prepare it, why to drink. I think the idea of hosting a party where an expert comes to conduct your own personal tea flight is marvelous! Especially since it gives you a discount on your tea, and real teaheads know how outrageous the tea budget can get!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Queens
Description

A blend of Assam and Keemun with Chinese lychee tea imparts a wonderful fruitiness. Lapsang Souchong adds a gentle touch of smokiness to this one of a kind blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast from The Virginia Tea Company. . .

There are so many teas called English Breakfast, and they can be quite different. The original English Breakfast tea is said to have been pure 100% Chinese Keemun. This is the exception rather than the rule today, and you are more likely to find a mix of black tea from Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya. Modern tea tastes in the UK overall run to strong black tea that not only holds up to, but almost requires, milk and sugar – a nice, boot-you-out-of-bed tea.

Having a tender and sensitive tummy, I am cautious with breakfast blends as I don’t add anything to my tea, and with no milk to smooth my morning beverage the day can go dicey if the tea is too astringent. Also, once awake I am generally ready to go and don’t need to kick in the pants.

This fair trade tea is a blend of Ceylon, Kenyan, and Assam teas. I have put them in the order I believe them to be represented in the blend based on the taste. Far and away the top note for me is the lemony taste of Ceylon tea tingling on my tongue. This high citrus note is almost enough to make you think it is flavored! This often indicates that the tea was grown at a higher elevation of Sri Lanka. I put Assam last because I am not getting a huge amount of malty or bready flavor.

I am quite able to drink this without milk and sugar, enjoying the dry tingle of the briskness of the tea without the almost instant stomach ache some breakfast teas give me. I do believe that if milk and sugar is your thing, the tea could withstand it and wouldn’t wimp out under the additions.

If you love a good, black breakfast blend and want to upgrade to fair trade and organic tea, give it a try!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Virginia Tea Company
Description

This organic tea is perfect for pairing with your morning meal. The full-bodied flavor can be blended with milk and sugar to create an even better drinking experience.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . . .

Wine and food pairings are popular all over the place but here at Sororitea Sisters we love learning about TEA and food pairings! Assam teas complement foods such as chocolate, spiced desserts, meat, strong cheeses, fish and more. Since I follow a vegan diet, I like to pair Assams with non-dairy cheese – such as cacao and carob. I’m not even close to being a baker so I don’t frequent vegan desserts but when I can get my hands on one I would gladly pair it with an Assam. I’m not into ‘fake meats’ because I wasn’t into ‘real meat’ prior to being vegetarian and vegan, but I suppose one could try pairing it with an alternative. I will say, that if I see a vegan cheese, I’m probably going to try it at least once and can see myself sipping on a solid Assam while nibbling on a chunk.

Enter the “Assam of the Day”…Simpson and Vail’s Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1). These black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has an AMAZING malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish. YUM!

Now for a little bit on where this tea comes from…which is the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River. They grow hearty, malty Assam teas – like this one.

The Nokhroy Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border, in the Tinsukia district. In 1816 a village called “Halcyon Chuck” was about to be invaded by the Burmese army. Before the attack, the villagers made a peace offering of ‘Nine Platters’ (NA – HORAI) to the Burmese army, as a gesture of respect. Afterwards, the village was called “Na Horai” and over time it became Nokhroy, symbolizing peace and respect for all.

This is a bold yet peaceful cup and I’m so glad I was able to enjoy it! Yet another winner from S&V!


Here’s the scoop!

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

In the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River grow the hearty, malty Assam teas. The heavy rainfall and hot, humid day time temperatures in this area create the perfect green house like environment for growth, as well as helping to create the unique taste found only in Assam teas. Their distinct flavor can be enjoyed “as is”; however, Assam teas are often used in conjunction with other teas to create numerous blends, specifically breakfast teas.

The Nokhroy Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border, in the Tinsukia district. In 1816 a village called “Halcyon Chuck” was about to be invaded by the Burmese army. Before the attack, the villagers made a peace offering of ‘Nine Platters’ (NA – HORAI) to the Burmese army, as a gesture of respect. Afterwards, the village was called “Na Horai” and over time it became Nokhroy, symbolizing peace and respect for all.

Known for its clean and stylish Orthodox teas with coloury cups, the Estate is home to the famous Nokhroy N / 436 clones known for its unique character. A vigorous uprooting and replanting operation is underway to further enrich the quality of the field.

The black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has the malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!