Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Teabox
Incredibly fresh & delicious teas chosen to match your tastes using data science.
Learn more about this tea here.
Namring Special Autumn Darjeeling Black Tea from Teabox is not only a ‘mouthful’ to say – it’s also a ‘mouth full’ of tea to enjoy! Some of you already know that I start each and every day with a black tea and then after that I move on to other types of tea to enjoy throughout the day. When it comes to the tea base that I go thru the most that would be black teas. Namring Special Autumn Darjeeling Black Tea from Teabox is a black tea I would be proud to have in my tea stash at any given time.
Once infused it smells like what you would expect from a black tea base with an added speck of ‘crust’ to the aroma. Namring Special Autumn Darjeeling Black Tea from Teabox ‘brews’ deep and dark and the brown color stands strong. As for the taste it’s a medium-strength black tea flavor but more importantly (for me) it’s a bit astringent (but in a good way) and has a slight crusty flavor in the middle of the sip and subtle plum flavor towards the end of the sip.
Oh…how I LOVE teas with multiple layers and flavor morphing profiles. This one didn’t disappoint! Namring Special Autumn Darjeeling Black Tea from Teabox is “A O K” in my book!
This isn’t a review but an advertisement (sorry guys!) No, we don’t usually advertise here on this site – this is an anomaly – but because one of the founding SororiTea Sisters is now the Mad Tea Artist behind 52Teas, she gets the privilege of deviating from the norm.
And 52Teas has a Holiday Pre-Sale going on right now on Kickstarter! This isn’t a typical “fundraising” Kickstarter campaign, instead, this is a chance for you to get some Christmas shopping done early while it helps us keep things just a little more organized by keeping our pre-sales separate from our day-to-day sales activity.
52Teas is offering 5 unique, limited edition teas for this promotion – these teas will be available only during the season and once they’re sold out, they won’t be reblended until next Christmas!
Here’s the specs on those five VITs (Very Important Teas):
- Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – This is a special blend of black teas with a hint of Lapsang Souchong to give it that smoky touch that you’d experience from an open fire. Flavored with chestnut and caramel and just a hint of spice to give it that winter-y kind of appeal.
- Gingerbread Houjicha – I love the flavor of gingerbread and I think that the roasty-toasty, nutty flavor of houjicha would offer a delightful base to these flavors.
- Eggnog Chai – A Chai blend (black tea with a touch of honeybush) flavored with notes of custard-y eggnog with an extra dash of nutmeg to enliven the cup. This would make a great latte to serve Santa on Christmas Eve!
- Cranberry Orange Cider – A blend of red and green rooibos that’s been flavored with cranberry, orange and apple with a medley of holiday spices.
- Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate – For this blend, I chose a special black tea blend (crafted with teas from our friends at Verdant Tea) for the base that has a rich, natural cacao flavor with hints of malt. Peppermint, marshmallow and even more chocolate-y flavor to create a deliciously delightful cuppa.
YUM! So please take a moment to visit the 52Teas Kickstarter Holiday Pre-Sale and get some of that early Christmas shopping done early! The campaign closes on October 27th so your card won’t be charged until that date, and the teas will be shipped in plenty of time for gift giving!
Thanks for taking a moment to read this . . . now let’s get back to the reviews!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: TeaBox
With prominent chinary characters, this black tea comes as an opulent offering from Jungpana this spring.
Its dark amber-colored liquor makes for a beautiful sight to behold. Look for sweet notes of honey in its refreshing aroma. Its smooth, full-bodied liquor boasts prominent flavors of citrus and green chili. This tea signs off with fruity accents, particularly those of citrus, that linger on for the good haul. Savor a cup of this medium caffeine spring delicacy at any time in the day.
Learn more about this tea here.
This Jungpana Special Spring Darjeeling Chinary Black Tea from TeaBox is lovely. This is one of those teas that I was intrigued by the origin of the loose leaf and found that Jungpana is within the hills of the Darjeeling Region so it seems these little leaves were once smack-dab in the middle of everything.
I found out that Jungpana is a small estate nestled in the hills of the Darjeeling region and is known for the muscatel flavor of its teas. Pure china bushes is primarily used, coupled with different manufacturing techniques resulting an the finest example of richness in flavor and bouquet that Darjeeling teas are renowned for. Jungpana is a garden of highest quality in Darjeeling, it enjoys the most unique micro climatic and soil conditions. This location and climate produces a distinct flavor and consequently has been established as the the leading quality estate of Darjeeling.
I appreciate the freshness of this tea. It has a delightful aroma – both before and after infusing. It has a smooth body with unique flavor featuring this high quality loose leaf tea. Eventho this is a black tea base it’s a weaker black tea base but can be enjoyed morning, noon, and night. Be careful with this one, tho, it can get a bit bitter if oversteeped.
Back to the aroma because I think that is what really caught my attention with this one – other than the flavor on the tongue – of course. Pre-infusion the aroma is sweet and toasty but also floral and hints at subtle chili notes. The post infusion adds the warmness of honey to the mix. The best part is the long lingering fruit-floral finish.
This aroma and flavor may be a hard one to pin point as you can see. So I guess that means you will have to try it for yourself to see what I mean!
Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: Udyan Tea
Goapldhara is one of the highest tea estates of Darjeeling and is located in the Mirik valley. The garden is planted with high quality clonal bushes and produces exquisite teas. Gopaldhara First Flush Darjeeling Tea has a floral aroma and a sweet & mellow taste. A great tea to relax and refresh your mind.
Learn more about this tea here.
Oh. My. Goodness! What a lovely Darjeeling!
I steeped this Gopaldhara Spring Special Black Tea from Udyan Tea in my Breville One-Touch, and I was a little surprised when the tea maker finished it’s cycle – the tea is not black. It’s not even coppery. It’s yellow! Like the color of melted butter that had been slightly browned – but only ever so slightly – still more yellow than brown.
Parameters: I measured 2 bamboo scoops of tea in the basket of my Breville and added 500ml of freshly filtered water to the jug. Then I set the temperature for 195°F and the timer for 2 1/2 minutes.
But don’t let this rather unusual color for a ‘black’ tea freak you out – this is some seriously good stuff! Think of it as liquid gold.
Really smooth – much smoother than I’m used to from a Darjeeling. There is some dry astringency toward the tail – but not a lot. No bitterness. Now, I can’t say that you wouldn’t experience those things if you brewed it at a different temperature (I find that with Darjeeling, it’s important to keep the temperature below boiling because the boil is a tad too hot for Darjeeling tea) and a different steep time (2 1/2 minutes is my sweet spot when it comes to Darjeeling tea).
This is sweet and floral. No overt sharpness from the floral notes, it’s very soft and beautiful. There are some delicate fruit notes to this – more like a citrus note than a grape-y note like you might experience from other Darjeeling teas. Imagine a splash of a fruity/grape-y wine added to your orange juice and you would have the fruit-like notes I’m experiencing.
But mostly, what I taste is a delightful medley of flower.
It’s soft and pleasant – a lovely afternoon tea. This is the kind of tea you want to serve to people you want to impress. They’ll be impressed!
Truly a remarkable tea – beautiful!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Le Palais des Thés
Feng Huang Dan Cong “Special” (Special Phoenix tea) comes from Guangdong province (Chao Zhou district) in China. The leaves, which are only fermented briefly, are generally very long (5 to 6 cm), and the liquor evokes fruity, floral and spicy notes.
This superior quality tea grows at a high altitude (1,500 metres), and pluckings are often reserved in advance by wealthy connoisseurs.
An exceptional tea with intense fruity, floral and spicy notes. Very rich and incredibly long in the mouth.
Learn more about this tea here.
As I prepared this tea, I was impressed with how fragrant it is. The strong aroma of spiced fruit with notes of flower filled the kitchen. My mouth started watering because my taste buds were anticipating the luscious flavor of a Phoenix Oolong! Yes!
To prepare this “Special” Feng Huang Dan Cong, I used my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the bowl of the vessel. I then added enough water to cover the leaves (heated to 180°F) and let the tea “rinse” for 15 seconds. I strained off the liquid and discarded it, and then I steeped the rinsed leaves for 45 seconds. With each subsequent infusion, I add 15 seconds. I combine the first and second infusions to make my first cup. My second cup is infusion three and four. And so on . . .
When I brew tea this way (gong fu), I find that my first cup is usually the softest in flavor because the leaves haven’t fully opened yet. But this first cup is quite strong in flavor! Sweet! Delicious! Fruity, floral with intriguing spicy notes. It’s so warm and beautiful – a perfect tea for this chilly autumn day.
The sip starts with a note of sweetness that isn’t immediately recognized, but after a moment or two my palate decides it tastes like honey. I notice fruit notes – stone fruits, like a cross between nectarine and plum – mingling with the honey flavor. Floral notes begin to weave their way in and out just before mid-sip. There is a delicate undertone of spice throughout the sip and by the time I reach the tail, the spice comes through for a strong finish.
The second cup is much smoother than the first. It’s stronger in flavor, but the flavors seem to be more mellowed out now. They are less focused, as if they’ve been softened around the edges. The honeyed notes meld harmoniously with the fruit and flower notes and the spice is still strongest at the tail.
Later infusions continued to mellow. The flavor still strong, I kept noticing a more unified flavor where the fruit and the flower became more of a seamless note, and the spice progressed softly and came on strong at the end. The honeyed notes became less distinct as they seemed to become part of the floral, fruity flavors rather than it’s own individual flavor.
This is a really beautiful tea that was a real treat to explore! I highly recommend it!