Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Canton Tea Co.
This black tea is wilted and then fired briefly in Yunnan red cane sugar (an unprocessed sugar similar to muscavado). The tea maker learned the sugar technique from a Fujian tea master in Wuyi, and brought it back to Yunnan to make it his own. Just a small amount of sugar is used in the firing process, it is mixed with water and added to the wilted tea leaves during the frying stage of the processing, giving the brewed tea a pleasingly balanced sweetness. Having proved popular with both Tea Club customers and Canton staff, we had to bring this tea into our collection.
Learn more about this tea here.
The name of this tea attracted me to it right away – Sugarcane Black Tea. Just the sound of it sounds like it’s going to make my sweet tooth very happy. So, when Canton Tea Co. sent me a sampling of it, I was very excited to try it!
I read a little bit about the process this tea undergoes to earn the name “Sugarcane Black” – apparently, the tea varietal used here is Zheng shan xiao zhong which is the same tea that is smoked to become Lapsang Souchong. But instead of smoking this tea…
… freshly picked tea is wilted and then briefly fried in tropical Yunnan muscovado style (un-processed) red sugar. The sugar is mixed with water, and used sparingly in the frying process of the leaves …
To brew this tea, I used my Kati Tumbler. I measured a bamboo scoop of the curly leaves into the basket of my Kati and added 12 ounces of boiling water to the tumbler. Then I let it steep for 3 minutes. The tea brews up lighter in color than I expected. Lapsang Souchong tea tends to be very dark, but this is a color that is somewhere between amber and light copper.
The flavor is delightful! The sweetness imparted onto this tea from the processing described above is delicate – this isn’t too sweet. There’s a nice balance between sweet, sugary notes and the natural fruit and floral notes from the tea. It’s very mellow and pleasant.
There is an overall lightness to this cup – it’s not a hefty or robust type of tea. This isn’t the tea you’d want to grab for that first cup of the day. Instead, this is the kind of tea that you’d want to share with guests or enjoy on a quiet afternoon when you can curl up and simply relax and take in the joy of this tea!
Really nice. A rather unique tea – certainly something that I’d recommend to all those who enjoy something a little different.