Organic Black Gold Tips from Treasure Green Tea Company

golden_tipsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

Organic Black Gold Tips is an excellent black tea for every morning. It has visible golden tips that provide smoothness and sweetness. Enjoy alone or with milk.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve noticed a sort of trend in my tea drinking and I think that Amoda Tea has helped me fully realize this trend.  I guess that I’ve always been aware of it, but I have a strong preference for black tea and when I’m given a selection of several different teas, if there is a black tea among the selections, that’s the tea I will usually reach for.  Such is the case with this Organic Black Gold Tips from Treasure Green Tea Company – one of the four teas featured in this month’s Amoda Tea Box.

This is a really lovely Black tea.  I love that it’s organic.  But even more than that, I love that it’s rich and full-flavored.  It’s deliciously smooth and pleasantly sweet with notes of caramel and cacao.  It’s full-flavored and robust without a lot of astringency and no bitterness.

I brewed this in my Breville One Touch tea maker.  I eyeballed it – but by the looks of it, the sample from Amoda was just enough for 500ml of tea!  So I poured 500ml of freshly filtered water into the jug and emptied the pouch into the basket.  Then I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and the temperature for boiling (212°F).

This created a perfect pot of tea – and with my awesome tea mug (a Christmas present from my daughter, Amethyst) – it’s actually a full cup of tea.  This baby holds 16 ounces of tea!

And this tea is quite lovely.  The kind of black tea that I like to start my day with because it IS rich and malty and full of flavor.  It’s smooth.  It’s not bitter.  There is very little astringency.  It’s all those things that make me so happy when I drink a cup of tea.

As I continue to sip, I start to explore beyond those notes of cacao and caramel.  There are notes of leather and almost a tobacco-ish sort of flavor.  Molasses.  Hints of warm spice.  There’s a lot of complexity to this tea.

A really lovely tea – I’m glad it was part of this month’s box from Amoda Tea.

Duchess Black Tea from White Two Tea

Duchess_BlackTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  White Two Tea

Tea Description:

Just the tip of the leaf is used in the production of the Duchess black tea, which is made in a traditional Jinmaofeng [gold tip] style. This tea is suitable for both heavy brewing and gongfu style, depending on personal preference. The fragrances range from sweet and floral to mint.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about White Two Tea’s Monthly Subscription here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  This Duchess Black Tea from White Two Tea is oh-so-delish!

It’s a golden Yunnan tea and it brews up coppery.  I brewed this tea in my Kati Tumbler.  I measured out a bamboo scoop of tea – I had to estimate this because the leaves are very long and wiry and didn’t really fill the scoop very well – and heated the kettle to 205°F.  I poured the water over the leaves and let the tea steep for three minutes.

The flavor is wonderful!  Very much what you’d expect from a Golden Yunnan tea.  The sip starts out sweet with a strong caramel-y note.  The texture is smooth and thick.  The caramel flavor develops, offering hints of molasses and hints of spice.  By mid-sip, I’m picking up on notes of Leather and baked bread and malt.  In the distance, I pick up on hints of cacao.  The finish is smooth (very little to no astringency whatsoever) and sweet.  In the aftertaste, I pick up on faint floral notes with whispers of spice.

An absolutely LOVELY cup of tea.  I prefer this tea served hot but as it cools, it is still quite good.  It would make a great mid-to-late morning tea when you want something rich and satisfying to keep you going.

Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling Black Tea Autumn Flush from Golden Tips

Gopaldhara GoldTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips

Tea Description:

Among the most sought after invoice’s from the years pre-winter harvest, the Gopaldhara Gold is an autumnal beauty. A delicate yet rounded black tea with intricate flowery notes. The tea brings about a subtle and sweet profile with hints of fine muscatel and an slightly earthy roundness. The lingering aftertaste brings in sensations of dark bold chocolate and cocoa. A fantastic leaf tea texture with golden tips spread evenly, this is definitely among our better autumn Darjeeling’s.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Nice!  This is Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling Black Tea Autumn Flush from Golden Tips is a beauty!  It’s not your typical Darjeeling – and that’s a very good thing!

This has a richness to it that I don’t often find in a Darjeeling tea.  It’s very satisfying and well-rounded.  It is almost robust!  Almost.  It has a very rich, pleasing flavor that I might find in a stronger tea.  It’s not quite as ‘light’ or crisp as a typical Darjeeling, but it does have that familiar mustcatel that I look for in an autumn harvest Darjeeling.  It’s like the best of both worlds in one teacup!

While it’s not quite as thick or strong as I would want for a morning cuppa, it does have a strong enough flavor that I’d enjoy it as a later morning or early afternoon cup.  It’d make a really good pick-me-up when you’re looking for that boost mid-day.

It’s wonderfully smooth with very little astringency.  I notice just a hint of dryness as the sip progresses into the aftertaste, but it’s very slight.  There’s no bitterness to this cup.  It’s sweet with notes of fruit and a wine-like quality without the astringency of the wine.  And as suggested in the above description, I’m even picking up on a chocolate-y note.  (I’m thinking that this tea would be a fabulous accompaniment to a chocolate bar.  Then again, who needs an excuse for either good tea or chocolate?)

I’ve tasted quite a few teas from Golden Tips now, and I think that this one might be my favorite thus far.  It’s just so spectacular.

Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea from What-Cha Tea

NepalGoldenTips Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

An incredible black tea made entirely of young buds, the smoothest black tea we have tried with a refined malty taste and no bitterness or astringency. 

We are proud to source all our Nepal teas direct from Greenland Organic Farm, who are very much at the forefront of a burgeoning Nepali tea industry dedicated to producing high quality artisanal teas. Greenland Organic Farm are completely pesticide and chemical free farm dedicated to producing tea in an ethical and fair manner. Greenland Organic Farm is located in East Nepal in the shadows of Mt. Kancghenjunga at an altitude of 3,000m.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh my goodness, these Golden Tips from Nepal are so lovely!

The dry leaf is visually stunning.  The coloration of the leaves vary from a chocolate brown to a golden brown.  The tips are golden (as the name implies!)  It’s very fragrant, smelling of fruit and flower with notes of earth.  The brewed liquid smells much like the dry leaf.

I steeped this tea in my Breville One-Touch using 500 ml of freshly filtered water and 2 bamboo scoops of tea.  I steeped it at 205°F for 2 1/2 minutes and … the tea tastes simply amazing!

Tea growing on a slope in Nepal

Honey!  Malt!  Cacao!  Caramel!  Sweet notes of fruit!  Hints of flower!

The mouthfeel is pleasant.  Thick and smooth, it feels a little bit like thinned honey as the tea glides over the palate.  And it tastes like honey too.  This tea is rich and full-flavored.

The malty notes marry beautifully with the caramel-y undertone to create a rich, satisfying sweetness.  The notes of cacao are bittersweet.  As I continue to sip, I start to pick up on warm notes of spice.  This is a cozy tasting tea and as the weather has finally begun to cool the warmth from this tea is certainly welcome.  It’s a cozy, comforting cup of tea to enjoy.

Many of the Nepalese black teas that I’ve tasted are more reminiscent of Darjeeling but not so with this one.  This doesn’t have that crisp, lightness of a Darjeeling, instead, this is richer, reminiscent perhaps of a Golden Yunnan or a Fujian Black.

This tea is also good for two infusions, so be sure to re-steep those leaves and get all the flavor you can out of them!  The second infusion is just as delightful as the first!

This is not a tea that I would reach for on the mornings when I need to get up and go.  Instead, this is the tea I’d want to reach for on the mornings when I can curl up under a fluffy blanket and just relax a little.  The kind of tea that you want to linger over for a while because it tastes so good that you don’t want the cup to end!

It is as I said at the start:  this is oh-so-lovely!

Silver Tip White Tea from P.M.David Silva & Sons

silvertipsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  PMD (P.M.David Silva & Sons)

Tea Description: 

Silver Tips has long been the preserve of Kings and connoisseurs. This exclusive white tea follows a truly unique production process. Before sunrise, specialist tea pluckers select the most tender buds of only the finest tea bushes. It is essential that the master tea maker uses all his expertise, patience and effort to transform the buds into Silver Tips – it takes 5 kilos of buds to produce 1 kilo of Silver Tips.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

These leaves are absolutely gorgeous!  They’re pale green and the edges are silvery.  The leaves are soft to the touch and I can feel the fluffy down-like particles on the leaves.  The aroma is delicate and lightly vegetal, reminiscent of hay.

And the flavor is delightful.  So sweet!  Smooth, light and refreshing!  Even when served hot, I can feel it cool me, which is greatly appreciated on this hot summer day.  It is very soothing and calming to sip.  This is the kind of tea I want to reach for on one of those days when things just aren’t going my way.  This tea will turn everything around!

The sweetness is almost like raw cane sugar!  There are notes of melon and the softest hint of sweet apple.  A light vegetal taste – but oh so subtle!  It is barely there and hard to pick up on unless I slurp the sip to aerate it.

It’s a very refreshing beverage.  I feel it relax me as I drink it.

To brew this tea, I approached it the way I approach most white teas.  I use a low temperature (170°F) and steep it for 4 minutes.  This produces a very enjoyable flavor that is delicate and delicious.  But don’t mistake the word “delicate” for lacking in flavor, because this certainly does not lack in flavor.  There is a whole lot of flavor in this cup!

This is a superb Silver Tip (aka Silver Needle) tea, and I’m not at all surprised that it came from P.M.David Silva & Sons because so far, I’ve been blown away with the quality that I’ve tasted from this company.  I highly recommend checking them out!