BOH Single Garden Palas Afternoon Premium Black Tea from BOH. . . .

This is the tea for the purists.

For those that don’t like fruity tuity flavorings and additives. Boh’s Palas Afternoon Tea is a black tea, of the orange pekoe variety.

I didn’t have any background info on this tea when I taste tested it, other than that it was called Palas Afternoon Tea, which was surprisingly not enough to find in a google search! The product certainly looked more like a black tea, but had a very nutty, earthy flavor that I tend to associate more with green teas. I found it to be much lighter and smoother than most other black teas (in taste and appearance!).

If I’m going to take my tea plain, I generally prefer mine green, so I was surprised when I discovered it was in fact a black cuppa. It lacked the bitterness I often find with black teas, but also the dryness I typically find with green teas. It combined the qualities I prefer from each into one product! It appears to be offered as a canister of loose leaf tea, so if you want to stock up on a mild black tea, check this one out!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Amazon
Description

A fine, flowery pekoe from the cool slopes of Sungei Palas. A light and delicate full leaf tea. We pick the finest quality of leaves to make our tea.  Aromatic and delicate, this smooth  blend uses only the tender shoots.

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, and is best served and enjoyed plain.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Superfine Tanyang gongfu black tea from Tea Vivre . . . .

I’m learning to love unflavored teas this year, and this beautiful offering from Tea Vivre really makes my job easy! Without even opening the bag, I’m already impressed with the gaiwan tea ceremony directions and WOW! The heritage on this tea is amazing, down to the day of when and where it was harvested (April 8, 2017). The gongfu style black tea is named after where it was grown, Tanyang Village in Fujian, of South East China.

The adventure continues as I reveal Twisted ropes of gold and brown… I’ve never seen this type of tea before, it’s actually soft with some fuzzies on it. A green-thumbed friend of mine called this style of leaves “pubescent”, meaning they were just barely mature.

Still dry, they offer a light, clear, inviting scent, like fresh sweet peas in the garden. I decided to taste a leaf, (they make coffee bean snacks so it’s not that crazy to do, right??) and we are reminded of the chocolate noodles they sample out of Pikes place market.

The walnut colored brew offers a hint of honey taste though none was added. I never expected this sort of delicate leaf to be so powerful! They say the longer you brew this style, the mellower the flavor will be, which is quite the opposite of most teas I’ve had, and it’s completely true!! Now I’m curious about the actual chemistry of tannins etc… oh the rabbit holes of science we can get caught up in…
It is “zero percent bitter” and easy to drink (Hanley, R.,2017). There is a refreshing aftertaste, maybe a subtle hint of wintergreen. This tea doesn’t have much of an aftertaste but I tended to wait a while between sips because this tea was just so transcendental that I couldn’t help but daydream about it.

If ever you need to impress someone with a tea, this is the one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black, loose leaf
Where to Buy: TeaVivre

Being the first one among Fujian’s three best Gong Fu Black Teas (Bai Lin Gong Fu, Zheng He Gong Fu, Tan Yang Gong Fu), Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea has tight and thin leaves, looks glossy, which could be seen from TeaVivre’s product photo. When looking at this tea, the golden pekoe is particularly eye-catching, strongly connected to its high quality. Under the effect of photosynthesis, fresh buds contain the largest amount of beneficial substances than other parts. Moreover, the traditional making method of black tea has retained the nutrition in the most volume.

Black tea is renowned with it red leaves and red liquid. The liquid of Tan Yang Gong Fu is bright red, and clean, which brings you a feeling of pureness. The flavor will vary based on different amount of teas and time of infusion. If using gai wan to brew in traditional Chinese way (Recommend Brewing Guide), you will sense the sweet and mellow flavor, and feel a quick sweet aftertaste in your throat. The aroma of Tan Yang Gong Fu will float around you for a long time.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Perfect, Cold-Weather Cup: Boisahabi Estate Assam from Capital Tea Ltd

Assam teas are known for their fuller, malty feel and flavor, distinctly different than the tart zing of Ceylon black teas.  This Assam from the Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd., is a high grade tea (STGFOP (SPL) ) with a mix of black tea leaves and the highly-prized golden tips that bring the complex and delicious flavor.

In the dry leaf, this tea smells comforting and slightly spicy, like cinnamon sticks and fresh wood.  Brewed, the tea becomes surprisingly fruity, with lush muscatel flavors like pear and plum.  Beneath this fruitiness, the black tea is smooth and full, with toffee tones.  Overall, the tea feels very pleasant to drink, with a texture that fills my mouth with a warm, fuzzy feeling, without being too cloying or too sharp.

In the winter season, I seem to be drawn to all the crazy dessert-flavored teas like pumpkin pie or gingerbread cake, but while those teas are fun, their flavors are certainly enhanced by artificial flavors or added sugars and sprinkles.  There’s a time and place for those tasty flavored teas, but this Assam from Boisahabi Estate really took me by surprise and felt more flavorful and festive than those other blends.

This tea has a beautiful balance of both bold and delicate flavors, with the lighter, garden-like flavors of stone fruit, and the rich caramel and black tea undertones.  Even without sugar or milk, there is a smooth and comforting natural sweetness to this brew, which speaks to the quantity and quality of the golden tips and the tea leaves as a whole.

When you want a mature cup of tea with comforting yet complex flavors, brew a cup of Assam black tea from Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd. and stay cozy in the chilly weather.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Capital Tea Ltd
Description:

Sweetly aromatic attractive deep brown Assam leaves with plenty of golden tips. These leaves infuse to a rich, full bodied, and intensely flavourful tea liquor with prominent notes of candy-malt and toffee. Highly recommended as a breakfast tea to drink with milk

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

The Energy for Word Craft – James Joyce Tea Blend by Simpson and Vail. . . .

From day to day we find ourselves taxed with work, school, and the other things that make our life worthwhile. And when we try to sit down to pursue our hobbies, may it be writing, reading, or any other creative venture we find ourselves creatively drained. We either stare at a blank page or a room that holds our craft that refuses to give us the needed inspiration to fuel our venture.

This, my friends, is where I have found myself a lot this month. Balancing school and my desire to put the story, that I have been holding on to for ages, onto paper seems to be a momentous task. But that is where tea comes in.

To be specific James Joyce’s Tea Blend by Simpson & Vail gave me the needed boost to finally put something down on paper. Now, this is tea not alike the others I have tried for this tea is very simple in nature. This cuppa is like Irish/English Breakfast and as a matter of fact, it tastes like a blend of those two. It has that perfect maltiness that I have come to love in Irish Breakfast with a little bit of the robustness that English Breakfast has to offer.

The price of this tea won’t hurt your wallet either for you can get either a 4 oz package for $6.90 whereas if you want the decorative 4 oz tin that will be about $3 extra at $9.75.

Even though this tea didn’t have anything new or different added to the blend I still appreciate it. Drinking this blend brought me back to the days when I first tried hot tea. Calling this tea simple is not negative in this case for a simple cup of tea could be the only thing you need to get you back on track.

See you for the next cuppa!

Kara


Here’s the scoop!

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

James Joyce was born February 2, 1882 in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. He attended a private boarding school until his father’s debts caught up with the family and he and his siblings were forced to leave. He would later attend college and, while he achieved high marks, his views never aligned with the Jesuit professors. A collection of his short stories, The Dubliners, was published in 1914 and introduced Joyce’s dense and atmospheric prose to the world. He would go on to travel Europe, spending most of his productive years in France, where Ulysses was published in 1922. Joyce’s influence continues into the 21st century where his method of conveying the complexity and chaos of random thought as a stream of consciousness is still in use.

For Joyce, tea was an expected part of life and it appears in his works as a routine part of the day. As a man of taste, he enjoyed the finer things in life and, as an article describing a meeting at his house says, “Mrs. Joyce gives us the best tea and the nicest cakes that are to be had in any house in Paris.” Our James Joyce tea blend uses a distinctly Irish mix of black teas to mimic the type of drink he and his friends would have enjoyed.

This delightfully bold blend of teas brews to a golden cup with a malty flavor and a slightly fruity aftertaste.

Ingredients: Black teas from India, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pekoe Breakfast from Pekoe . . . .

The smell of this tea reminded me of English Breakfast, and that triggered me to think this blend would be great with cream and sugar! Pekoe’s website recommends trying this blend with cream and sugar, and the flavor profile does not disappoint. The flavors of this black tea were able to penetrate the cream and sugar to provide a smooth and clean black tea flavor.

I was able to get three quality brews from this tea in one serving of leaves. I personally selected to brew this in my press, and the leaves provided a beautiful light mahogany color when brewed. Before I discarded these tea leaves, I also tried this blend as an iced tea with sugar. I’m from Louisiana and a good black sweet tea is a staple in my family. When on a third brew, this tea gave wonderful light notes that were enhanced by the sweetener in the sweet tea. It was everything a sweet tea should be for a southern girl!

This tea could easily replace your English Breakfast tea that you have in your cupboard, and the quality of the leaves are apparent. This is definitely a tea I’m excited to brew again.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Pekoe
Description

Perfect for when you’re up at dawn for a run or readying for another busy day, sip on our signature organic loose leaf black tea that provides uplifting energy in a smooth and malty cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!