Black Beauty/Mandala Tea -Skysamurai-

NOOOOO!! I thought this was a Lapsang.

It smelled to heavily of campfire smoke I didn’t think it could be anything but Lapsang….

But no… It’s a wonderful black tea And why am I screaming?

Because I dumped a good lot of it in my bone broth that is cooking from yesterdays turkey leftovers. Shame, shame, shame. It really s too bad. This tea is so smooth.

A Keenum style but without the astringency. Aroma of apricots and slightly earthy in the wet leaf. I’m currently on my third steeping and it’s still going strong. I hope my bone broth is amazing.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Mandala Tea

Description

Black Beauty is a very fitting name for this wonderful tea!  If you are a fan of Keemun style black teas, you will want to try this one.  Most of our customers and myself, now prefer this over the Keemun black.  It is wonderfully sweet, almost chocolatey and little to no astringency present! The tea liquor is clear and longer steepings will give it a slightly red hue.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

China Keemun First Grade/Upton Tea Imports -Ashmanra-

I received a gift of this tea in the mail from a fellow tea lover. Tea people are THE BEST! And Keemun is one of my favorite tea types, so let’s get down to business!

The package says First Grade China Keemun but the website puts it the other way around as China Keemun First Grade. This is an entry level Keemun with an astonishingly low price, so if you are not overly picky and want a daily drinker, this would be very economical.

The aroma of the dry leaves is very nostalgic for me. It smells just like the tea section of A Southern Season, harkening back to my earliest explorations of tea. This smells like TEA. The aroma is bracing and rich, and very comforting to me.

I erred on the side of caution and made this more like they would in China with a slightly lower temperature and a short three minute first steep, followed by a four minute re-steep.

Wow. I can not imagine taking this to five minutes with boiling water unless you are adding milk and sugar. Strong stuff.

I am getting no cocoa at all, no chocolate. The overwhelming impression is tobacco and wood.
There is a touch of wine or muscatel, like a darjeeling. There is a definite natural smokey flavor, not like lapsang but rather the light smoke often found in daily drinker Chinese black tea.

The aroma had so many layers and was so rich that I really thought the tea was going to blow me away. But it isn’t quite my favorite profile. I enjoyed it without milk or sugar with my breakfast, but this wouldn’t do double duty for me as an afternoon tea or a dessert accompaniment.

What I think it WILL do very well is sweet iced tea. It has the heft and smoothness to carry it off.

UPDATE: I made it as a sweet tea and let it chill overnight because we all know iced tea tastes best after it has had time to meld.

The taste really surprised me. I thought it would be a really classic iced black tea flavor but somehow the fruity aspect really amped up, to the point that it almost tastes like a flavored tea! Interesting!

Not a favorite Keemun type for me, but glad to have tried it. If you like winey Keemuns and are looking for a super economical price point, this is worth checking out.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Description

With its rich flavor profile and smooth mouth feel, this standard grade Keemun represents a great value for a China black tea. Hints of wine and a suggestion of smoke round out the earthy, full-bodied cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A Mellow Black Tea/Kaley Tea- CuppaGeek

This year has been something.  Might I even say this might be the worse year I’ve ever experienced at least for my family. . . but I try to always look at the brighter side.  Between all of the nation wide situations going on like COVID 19 and the current political climate here in the States, my family has been hit with a lot of health related hardships that has left a void in our hearts.  But through all of these hardships and what felt like a never ending cycle of bad news and stressful situations, I found solace and peace each and every day within a cuppa tea that was constantly by my side during those hard weeks of September through the present day.  Each day, no matter what else was going on or how I felt- I made sure that I had a cuppa tea at the ready to help soothe my soul and keep me going.  One of those cuppas that I enjoyed was Kaley Teas’s black tea.

The title for this tea really says it all.  No fuss, no complex this or that- this is a lovely black tea that is mellow on flavor but still quite delightful.  Brewed with freshly prepped boiling water and allowed to steep for right around 3 minutes- this tea has a bright note of crisp maltiness with a touch of astringency that really keeps you going sip after sip.  Every once in a while I noted a bread like flavor or a potentially raisin finish.  This black tea stood up to a few steepings and I even think I oversteeped for a moment or two and still enjoyed the cuppa and wanted more.  From the description I found on the tea (after doing some searching on the site), there was some comments about floral and bergamot orange flavors, I’m not so sure my palette picked up on those but I’ll be curious to see if my other SororiTea Sisters do.

Kaley Tea is a company that I’m not 100% familiar with and their website looks like they are still working on bring their story to market.  I’m quite excited to check out their other teas and I just adore how they label each tea with a reassuring title like a mellow black tea or a graceful green tea.  For someone like me who has been finding themseleves looking more for straight tea blends instead of flavored ones, this one is a keeper.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Kaley Teas

Description

Black twiggy twisted tea leaves turn into a light shimmering copper golden liquor with every steep. Floral notes mixed with rice paddy hay provides a distinct base. A finale of bergamot orange and chocolate gives way to bee’s honey, making up a colorful bouquet of delicate & sublimely refined flavours. Bright coppery infused leaves emanate floral perfumes, enmeshed with sugary, citrusy notes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam Black Tea/52Teas – Ashmanra –

A good vanilla black tea is a shelf staple in my opinion. Sometimes you need black tea but you want something to soften it, or make it a little bit pampering or luxurious.

French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam is a blend of first and second flush Assam leaves. They are strong, malty, and brisk. While the tea is piping hot you don’t notice the briskness as much, but as it cools it becomes increasingly more drying.

I am loving it as a morning cup, but I could definitely see it as an afternoon pick-me-up as well. The vanilla softens the Assam a little and blooms roundly after the swallow. That’s when the briskness kicks in and makes you pick up your cup for another sip.

I take my tea plain, but this could definitely handle both milk and sugar if you like your tea that way. In fact, I can see this being turned into a decadent dessert drink as a sweet latte or with the addition of vanilla creamer.

As for me, I will continue to enjoy it just as it is! And since it is so good with snacks, I think it is time to grab a cookie or two!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Apricot Brandy/Spice & Tea Merchants -TeaEqualsBliss –

Apricot Brandy from Spice & Tea Merchants – based out of Michigan – is an organic flavored black tea that is labeled “More Caffeine” on their website and “Most Caffeine” on their package! More OR Most Caffeine…AND Apricot Brandy flavor? I’m game! Bring it on!

This tea has been infused with apricot pieces and natural brandy flavor. It’s full, delicious, sweet, and LUSH! It’s appealing to all of the senses!

The origin of this tea – India. The suggested brewing instructions – 1 teaspoon per 8 ounce water at 212 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes. I, for one, doubled it up to 2 teaspoons, and steeped for 3 and a half to 4 minutes and it was pretty stellar!

When I bought this I only purchased 1 ounce. I should have grabbed at least 5 or 6 ounces so it would last me a while because it’s already gone! It was terrific while it lasted! A definite THUMBS UP!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Spice & Tea Merchants

Description

Our apricot brandy tea had been blended with apricot pieces and infused with natural brandy flavor which gives this black tea blend a delicious full flavor and luscious sweetness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!