Old Tree Black Tea – Premium from Old Ways Tea. . . . .

One of my favorite visual characteristics of various black teas are the thin, long, wiry leaves. And among my favorite flavors of black teas are the ones that are more complex, flavorful, and bold. I was thrilled when this tea proved both of my loves! The tea on tap for today is Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees, hence the name! The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal and are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu which is high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. And the soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing.

This is a gem of a black tea with a more than impressive story behind it!


Here’s the scoop!

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

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Plantation Fresh Uva Tea from Zesta

The crisp aroma of these maroon, CTC BOP leaves transports you with their smell of brambles dried in an arid forest.

Zesta aims for this tea collection, which includes this Uva, to provide an authentic Ceylon journey, well, mission accomplished! Turns out, this selection is from Sri Lanka’s 4th largest grower.

Zesta recommends brewing with boiling water, which produces a rich mahogany brew.

I also made a cup at my usual 175F, which had more of a ruby color to it. I didn’t detect any major differences in taste between the two temps. Though I know its pure tea, I taste lots of refreshing red apple and somehow a sweet, fresh-cut grass in there.

Sweetener also made a negligible difference in taste. Pairs deliciously with all kinds of milk!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Loose Black Tea
Where to Buy: Zesta

Description:

The perfect gift for the tea devotee, the enchanting pine wood gift box has premium black teas from all five tea growing regions in Sri Lanka – Dimbula, Ruhuna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Uva. Ceylon tea became famous for its unique taste variety that differs across the regions and elevations which are reflected in these teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail. . . .

China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail…oh…how I adore, thee!

I’m not going to hide it! I’ll shout it from the rooftops, folks! I think this is a fantastic loose leaf wonder!

It’s been said time and time again that Yunnan teas are particularly delightful as breakfast or early afternoon teas. I would have to agree! When I first experienced this lovely cup it was bright and early in the morning and it surely slapped my butt and got me moving and ready to face my day!

This tea is described as an exquisite organic tea that is grown in Cangyuan county which is a remote location in western Yunnan. To give you a visual of this loose leaf is has long black, tippy leaves ‘interspersed with ample golden buds’ (S&V’s phrase – not mine – but I couldn’t think of a better way to put it). This lovely tea brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste. That pipe tobacco aroma reminds me of my grandfather and brings back some of memorable quirks that I will NEVER forget!

This is more than a cup of tea for me. It’s flashes and flickers of my grandfather with his smirky grin, his joking around, his strut, his overall being. It’s funny what aromas trigger, isn’t it?

Thanks S&V for this trip down memory lane – and a terrific cup of tea – to boot!

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

Yunnan, known as the birthplace of tea, is a province in southwestern China that borders Vietnam, Burma, and Laos. Yunnan translates literally to “south of the clouds”. Its diverse landscape offers everything from tropical rainforests to mountainous terrain and is home to a wide variety of plant species. The Yunnan region focuses heavily on agricultural production.

Yunnan teas are particularly delightful as breakfast or early afternoon teas.

This exquisite organic tea is grown in Cangyuan county, a remote location in western Yunnan. It is comprised of long black and tippy leaves interspersed with ample golden buds. It brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Inconceivable! Vizzini’s Brew from Geeky Teas . . . . . . .

I love a tea with a good theme, so Vizzini’s Brew from Geeky Teas was a joy to drink and write about.  Vizzini refers to the character from the Princess Bride film, you know the one who was always shouting: inconceivable!  His brew was made with a black tea from the Fujian province of China.

When brewed, this blend was exceptionally smooth, both smelling and tasting reminiscent of creamy hot cocoa.  With a chocolate scent and silky mouthfeel, this brew was far sweeter and more comforting than the grating voice of its namesake.

Beneath the sweet buttery-vanilla cocoa flavors, there were hints of honey-roasted nuts, reminding me of honeybush teas.  The range and potency of these delicious flavors were impressive, knowing that this was an unflavored black tea.

I think the real cleverness in choosing this blend for Vizzini lies in its brewing notes.  Geeky Teas said that this type of tea can be brewed strong or light according to your preference, and it will maintain its tasty cocoa notes without getting bitter.  I couldn’t help but imagine brewing two mugs side-by-side with different brew times and tasting them to compare.

It made me think of Vizzini’s infamous “pick your poison” scene in the Princess Bride.  A clever man would brew a strong tea… Light or strong: which would you choose? Just remember: never go against a Sicilian when death– I mean.. a good cup of tea– is on the line!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Geeky Teas
Description:

Black tea from the Fuijian province of China. Can be brewed strong or weak. As you wish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yunnan Imperial / Tea and Tins . . . . .

Generally when someone says Yunnan I think Pu er.

So before I even looked at the leaf I figured that’s what this tea was. Even now while I write this and look at the leaves it looks like it could be. Tightly rolled leaves in various shades of brown.

When brewed the wet leaves have a musty, wet earth smell. It’s a relaxing smell in some ways.

Dark, clear amber liquor. An earthy brew with notes of cedar and wet forest floor.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tea and Tins
Description

The principal growing regions in Yunnan are located in altitudes of 4,000 to 6,500 feet. At annual average temperatures between 53 F and 73 F, high-grade, black and green qualities are produced.

The very large portion of large, golden leaf tips gives the full sweet-spicy taste and malty, soft aftertaste to the Yunnan Imperial. The large leaf is dark, matt green and contains many bronze-colored tips, the infusion is heavy and dark

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!