What is better to a tea lover than to have a little extra time in the morning in which one may prepare a simple breakfast and steep the perfect tea pairing for it, taking time to truly experience the cup? I am thus blessed this morning.
While I usually have a sensible breakfast, I am craving waffles this morning, buttered and doused with real maple syrup, warmed. This requires a tea that can cut through the sweetness and assert itself, but I am not a fan of harsh tea that must be tamed with milk and sugar.
Enter Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black from Postcard Teas in London. This is a Japanese black tea grown without chemicals, without pesticides or herbicides, even without manure. Thus, “super natural” in the way it is grown.
This is not your average black breakfast tea! While it is a Camellia sinensis sinensis varietal, the taste is of a fruity second flush Darjeeling. There is an aftertaste of light malt with a tingle on the tongue. The flavor lingers for quite a long time, with a little rush of fruity sweet/sour muscat rising with each breath, and finally a rising sweetness in the throat such as often follows a brisk green tea. The briskness persists. The flavor continues. I think a lover of Darjeeling tea owes it to themselves to try this one.
The leaves re-steep very nicely, adding economy to its virtues if the price has you troubled. I like to combine the first and second steep so I really only need a teaspoon of leaf to have a couple of cups of very satisfying tea, plus having both steeps made and on the table means I can enjoy without going back to the kitchen to re-steep.
This is one of those teas that you buy because life is short, and it would be a shame not to experience something fine now and then. This tea will be on my mind for a long time.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Postcard Teas
An unusually aromatic Japanese black tea from Kumamoto area of Kyushu in Japan. The tea is made on a small 8 acre farm in Minamata-shi by 4th generation tea maker Master Matsumoto, who uses his great grandfather’s 90 year old Yabukita ancient tea trees grown without any chemicals, herbicides, fertilisers, or even manure – hence the tea grows ‘supernaturally’.
This is one of the most versatile black teas we have, combining some of the best qualities of Darjeeling, Assam and Chinese teas and adding something extra of its own. The tea has the aromatic qualities of a second flush Darjeeling and a plum/prune sweetness which comes out more when brewed lightly, but when brewed strong it tastes like the richest, smoothest Assam or Breakfast tea without any astringency or tannins. It can also take milk very well if required.
Sufficiently unusual to interest a seasoned tea drinker but familiar and comforting enough for someone just getting into specialty black tea – if we had to recommend just one black tea in our selection to someone overwhelmed by choice then this would be it.