Autumn 2019 Special Grade Laoshan Black/Verdant Tea

Please do not mind me as I sit here and gaze at this pulchritudinous tea.

It is somewhat difficult for me to describe the color of these brilliantly twisted leaves.

It is dark brown with hints of grays and greens. The aroma is fresh, toasty, and warm. The wet leaf aroma is vegetal.

Slightly musty. What a unique flavor.

Toasty notes are the forerunners. Followed closely by a chocolate and cream sensation. If steeped too long it takes almost like burnt chocolate.

The after taste is a bit mineral and this really shows when it comes to the feeling it leaves on the tongue.


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Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

Pioneers and community leaders in Laoshan Village, the He family was one of the first to plant tea on the misty ocean-facing slopes of the Taoist Holy Mountain they call home.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Caramel Chai/Tazo

A little while back the SororiTea Sisters shared teas in a traveling tea box. One of the sisters was kind enough to share several tea bags of Tazo’s Vanilla Caramel Chai. I grabbed a couple bags to try since vanilla and caramel are both flavors I usually love and lately I have been trying more and more chais and enjoying them.

Tazo’s Vanilla Caramel Chai is a black tea with cinnamon, licorice root, ginger, black pepper, cloves, and natural flavors. The licorice root has me a bit nervous but hopefully the other flavors hide the typical cloying sweetness of the licorice root.

Normally I would make chais as a latte but with only two tea bags, I didn’t think I had enough leaf for that. Consequently, I am trying the tea plain first but may add a splash of milk to get that latte creaminess.

Sipping on it now I am happy to report that the licorice root is nicely masked. There is a lot of cinnamon in the scent of the steeped tea which transfers over to the taste. I also get a ribbon of clove running through the sip. It is sweet and though I can smell vanilla caramel, nothing distinctly reflects that in flavor other than sweet.

I added a little bit of milk and unfortunately it doesn’t do much for taste. This tea is still cinnamon heavy though there is perhaps a bit less clove now.

Some people don’t like too much spice from their chai blends and if you are one of those people, this could be a nice option for you. As for me, I think spice is the whole point of having a chai and this falls short. I would happily forgive the lack of spice if it was in favor of highlighting the vanilla caramel but this falls short there too. It’s not bad per se but there is nothing all that great either.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tazo Tea

Description

How do you make a great cup of chai tea taste even better? You add rich notes of vanilla, delectable caramel, and the classic spices of chai into the boldest black teas. It’s a sweet twist on a spicy favorite. It’s not just better. It’s better-er.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

photo credit:  Tazo Tea

Ever Have a Tea Make You Sigh and Say “Thank You”. . . Organic Earl Grey Cream/Tigerlily Tea

Have you ever had a cup of tea that made you sigh and whisper “thank you” to no one in particular?

No? Prepare to.

This tea is a buttery, creamy, decadent romp through Earl Grey’s castle. You walk barefoot on lush, oriental carpets. You admire vibrant paintings of rosy-cheeked angels. You wear a robe of crushed velvet.

You taste bergamot, you taste flowers, and good heavens, you taste cream.

You are fancy. No, more than fancy. You are reckless in your bourgeois ways. You are DECADENT.

I don’t really have any complaints about this tea. I almost want a drawback, so I look like an Objective Journalist. Alas, I am not a Serious Writer or a Great Thinker. I am a girl who wears mostly slippers. I pet every dog I see on the street. I want to live in a Rococo painting. And I like this tea. So there.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tigerlily Teas

Description

A remarkably heady Earl Grey tempered with wickedly delicious cream flavour. One cup is not enough!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

all photo credits/logo credits:  Tigerlily Teas

This tea was purchased for personal use and was not recieved to review.

 

Nepali Breakfast/Nepal Tea

When prepping breakfast, I learned that I can’t use my toaster oven and kettle at the same time. That was an interesting discovery that made for a two-step breakfast: bagel first (since the toaster oven was already on) and tea second.

Another discovery: Nepali Breakfast by Nepal Tea is not a straight black tea like I thought it was. When I opened the package, I immediately got a big whiff of masala spices which surprised me. Upon closer inspection of the package, it turns out the package says black tea + spices so I guess this confusion is just on me. Oops.

Anyways, when brewing this up, I did so according to the company suggestion on the package which is to steep the tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. That is against my usual steeping parameters but hopefully Nepal Tea knows best.

After steeping the tea I brought up the Nepali Breakfast page on the Nepal Tea website only to notice that the site says to use not quite boiling water for 4-5 minutes. I also noticed on the Nepal Tea website they recommend steeping this with milk and/or sugar. Again, I did not see this until after I steeped the tea so I did not do this.

Trying the tea, the first thing I noticed is how much sugar probably would have helped this tea. I normally don’t add anything to my tea (unless I am having a latte or smoothie, etc.) but this tea is more bland than the scent of the dry leaf would have you expect. I think perhaps sugar might coax out those spices nicely since nothing really stands out. With that said, despite the fairly harsh steeping parameters, there is no bitterness or astringency here. Mostly just some cinnamon, a touch of clove, maybe a little pepper and a smooth black tea that doesn’t really impart much flavor.

I think this tea has potential but for me it fell short. The smell of the tea really had me thinking I was in store for a punch of spice but barely got a tap on the shoulder.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Nepal Tea

Description

Start the day the Nepalese way with our unique Masala Chiyah.

A blend of Orthodox, CTC teas and our special masala spice mix. Experience the color of CTC, flavors of Orthodox with the ‘zing’ of the home-made spice mix.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mist Valley Estate TGBOP1/Upton Tea

I usually drink black tea from China, but today I am making a little excursion to Nepalese black tea! My expectation is that it will taste more similar to tea from India than from China, and I was correct. It even had a tiny darjeeling vibe!

This is a high-grown tea from an estate that has been in operation since 1989 and has been processing their own tea since 2004. They are currently converting their operations to all organic, so I am looking forward to trying it again in the future!

This is indeed a broken orange pekoe with shades ranging from golden tan to deep brown. In the photo online it shows a lot of green like a darjeeling but my own sample is more tan and almost a cream color mixed with the darker leaves.

I kept the steep on the short side (two minutes) in case this was more reminiscent of an Assam, a tea that is tasty but wreaks havoc on my tender tummy, but I must say it was very well-behaved and perfectly drinkable without additions.

Being high-grown, I thought it might be a bit on the astringent side, but it is only pleasantly brisk. It has a truly classic black tea aroma and taste, mild but not wimpy, lightly brisk but not tart and puckery, and I would call it all around a good basic black tea. It is not overly complex drinking it western style as I am, but at this price I do not expect complex tea. It was a very good accompaniment to my lunch.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea

Description

In hues ranging from light to dark brown, the small, neatly made leaves of this Nepal black tea offering are sprinkled with silver tips. The golden amber liquor is fragrant with a light, fresh aroma. The flavor is rich with floral notes and a sweet, lingering finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!