Azores Shade-Grown Orange Pekoe ‘Ponta Branca’ Black Tea from What-Cha Tea

AzoresShadeGrownBlackTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

Azores Shade-Grown Orange Pekoe is a unique tea with an equally complex taste; a light and smooth start with a brisk full finish.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I first opened the pouch of this tea, I noticed the aroma.  It is a strong scent and is reminiscent of leather.  A very masculine scent.

To brew this tea, I put a scoop of the leaves into my small (warmed) teapot and added 12 ounces of boiling water to the teapot and allowed the tea to steep for 3 minutes and then strained the liquid into my favorite tea mug.  The color is dark and the fragrance is softer than that of the dry leaf, smelling vaguely of leather, perhaps, but more like sweet fruit – almost like a sweet, sugary date.

AzoresShadeGrownBlack1My first sip I took as I was looking at the description above that says “a light and smooth start with a brisk full finish.”  Yeah, I agree with that.  It starts out light with a delicate citrus note but smoother, not quite as astringent as citrus fruit but with the sweetness of an a sweet orange.  It is a bright yet smooth note.  As the sip progresses, I pick up on more of a sweeter, denser type of fruit.  Like a combination of a ripe plum and a ripe peach – all the sweetness of those two fruits but none of the tartness.  As I near the finish, I pick up on some of the sweet caramel-y undertones.

This has a bracing flavor that is very rich and rewarding.  It’s a bold tasting tea, maybe not quite as invigorating as I would want my first cup of tea for the day to be, but this would be an excellent choice for late morning or mid-day.  A great “tea-time” type of tea:  perhaps with some scones or shortbread?  It has that rich, freshly baked type of flavor that I like:  somewhat bready and very satisfying.   It would probably take the additions of milk and honey well, but, I rather like it straight up.  The flavor is sweet and smooth and additions may just overwhelm the tea.  Try this one before you add anything to it.

Another winning tea from What-Cha!  I think that’s all they sell there, because I’ve tried a lot of teas from them and haven’t come across anything disappointing yet!

Orange Pekoe Tea from Gorreana Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Gorreana Tea

Tea Description:

An exquisite premium grade black tea grown in the mineral rich Gorreana mountains surrounded by the majestic blue Atlantic ocean and exotic flowers that scent the delicate tea leaves to bring out its unique bold flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Although the name may sound like it’s a citrus fruit flavored tea, Orange Pekoe refers to the grading of this black tea, not the flavor.  This is not the tea bagge fodder that is found in your local grocery store … this is a pure, high-quality black tea from Portugal, and it’s quite delightful!

This medium-bodied black tea has a sweet, honey-like flavor with wonderful floral notes that weave their way throughout the sip.  It is a mild, even-tempered kind of tea, with hints of earthiness in the background.  It is not bitter.  It has only a hint of astringency at the tail, and a sweet aftertaste.

This isn’t what I’d call a bold or robust tea, nor is it a tea that I’d recommend as a breakfast tea as it doesn’t have that certain get-up-and-go kind of gusto to it.  But, what it does have is a bright, lively flavor that is sure to warm up your afternoon or early evening, and it has a delicious flavor that you’ll be proud to serve to guests.  It also makes an excellent iced tea – try it with a wedge of lemon!

A very enjoyable tea, I highly recommend it.

Hysson Green Tea (Chá Verde) from Gorreana Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Gorreana Tea

Product Description:

A rare premium grade lightly steamed green tea that stands in a class of it’s own for over a century.

Gorreana’s organic green tea is grown hundreds of miles away from industrial pollution and plucked fresh annually during the summer months of June and July on Europe’s mid-Atlantic volcanic islands known as the Azores. 

Noted for it’s long twisted full leafs, sweet flavor and delicate smooth notes this organic green tea is plucked from the bush using only the finest summer leaves then is lightly steamed and sealed immediately all at our eco-friendly estate for optimal freshness.

Taster’s Review:

Like my SororiTea Sister, TeaEqualsBliss, I too had a pretty terrible experience with Hysson in the past.  (Perhaps it was with the same tea!)  It tasted dusty and downright disgusting.  So, I didn’t really have high hopes for this Hysson from Gorreana.  Imagine my surprise when I found it really delightful!

The aroma from my cup is vegetative, smelling a bit like a combination of freshly cut grass and roasted vegetables.  Yes, there is a hint of roasted goodness in there too.

The flavor is sweet and not nearly as vegetative as the fragrance suggests.  Mere hints of grassy tones, but more of what I would describe as a fresh taste.  What do I mean by “fresh taste”?  Well, think of the air on a bright spring morning following a light rain, when the plants are showing signs of new growth… that sort of light yet vibrant experience… now imagine that as a flavor.  That is kind of what I’m tasting from this Hysson right now.

There is also a nutty tone to this tea as well as a fruit note to this that reminds me a bit of green apple.  Crisp and sweet, but with a hint of sour too.  Not a pucker-y sour, but the refreshing sour you experience when you bite into a granny smith apple.

This is a delicious Hysson, one good enough to change my impression of Hysson tea!

Broken Leaf from Gorreana Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Gorreana Tea

Product Description:

Gorreana’s broken leaf tea has been a staple on European tables for over a century. Grown in the highly aromatic hills of the Gorreana estate, comes this fantastic breakfast tea that indulges the senses. Once you mix your boiling water with this fantastic loose leaf tea you witness what tea lovers calls a “dancing of the leaves,” where the water begins to turn a golden jaune as the fresh loose leaves ignite your tea.

This tea is perfect for those who like to add milk or sweetener to their tea. Higher in caffeine content then our green tea -still significantly much lower than a cup of coffee. Picked from the lowest leaf, this tea has a smooth aroma and taste, with very little in tannin. A European treat 5 generations in the making!

Taster’s Review:

This tea surprised me – in a very good way.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from a tea called “Broken Leaf” because the tea snob in me has my mind set that says whole leaf is better.  And, usually, it is.  But this is an example of not judging a book by its cover … or, not judging a tea by its name.

This tea is delightful.  The body is a little lighter than a typical black tea – I would classify it as a medium-bodied tea.  It doesn’t feel as strong or gutsy as, say, an Assam might, making this an excellent afternoon tea.  It would also be great iced, served with a little lemon, perhaps?

The flavor is smooth and sweet.  Overall, I’m finding this tea to be pleasant and light – a perfect refreshment for days when you don’t want to feel weighed down.  This is the kind of tea that I’d keep on hand when I want something simple and unfettered.

This is what every day tea should be!

Cha Verde Hysson Green Tea from Gorreana

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: Gorreana

Product Description:

Plantações de Chá Gorreana is a tea plantation in the Azores, Portugal.

Gorreana’s single estate organic green tea, grown on the island of Sao Miguel (known as the green island) off the European coast, is a unique premium green tea that indulges even the most sophisticated palates. Green tea can be enjoyed as an afternoon tea up to a evening tea, since it is naturally low in caffeine and rich in both amino acids and antioxidants. So, enjoy a cup of Gorreana’s single estate green tea today, and taste why it’s the only place in Europe green tea has been grown for over 125 years!

Tasters Review:

It seems I have a lot to say about this tea.  For many different reasons.  One being…the last Hysson Tea I tried from a different company was down right awful.  This one from Gorreana was  breath of fresh air (which I will get to in a moment!)  Another reason I have quite a bit to say about this one is that I tried Googling it and there weren’t a lot of Tea Review Sites that have reviewed it as of yet.  Here at SororiTEA Sisters we are very excited to be one of the first!  I will say that our friends at Steepster have a few people sipping on this one – in case you were interested.

Like I said above…I was surprised, happy, and satisfied with this one.  Maybe the word “Satisfied” down plays it a bit…maybe “delighted” would be a better word.  Regardless…this was tasty and different…here’s how it struck me…

Dry – this smells fresh and airy.  It also smells slightly of herbs but also of veggies.  Not overly-so but there are notes present.  After infusion was complete this smelled  mellow but refreshing or spring-like even.

The taste was wonderful.  Very pure, quite crisp for a green, although it had hints of herb and vegetal flavors as well as being a little nutty – yet sweet – and slightly juicy but also a little chewy, even!  This was the surprise for me!  I was surprised but totally stoked that this had a slight chewy quality to it.  You don’t get “chewy” often in a green…not this kind of chewy, that is.  This is really special!

The after taste is a little floral and a little vegetal and herbally.  The more I drink this one the more I like it!  Very nice, indeed!