Red-Tailed Hawk Black Tea Blend from Damn Fine Tea

hawk_heroTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Damn Fine Tea

Tea Description:

The shrill cry you hear when you see a bird of prey onscreen is almost always that of a Red-Tailed Hawk. It is this cry that, when heard while alone and in the wilderness, reminds you that you are indeed alone and in the wilderness.

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a blend of bright, delicious teas from the mountains of India.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is another tea that I purchased along with the Spring Keemun on the 4th of July (free shipping day!)  It was the only other tea that Damn Fine Tea currently offers that I’ve not yet tried, and I’ve been wanting to.

The brewing parameters on the Damn Fine Tea website suggest brewing this less than 3 minutes for a “smooth, fragrant brew,” and a little longer for more briskness.  My first pot of this tea, I brewed for 2 1/2 minutes in my Breville One-Touch, and that made for a brisk cuppa.  For my second pot of tea, I decided to drop the steep time to 2 minutes to see how this changed the flavor.

hawk_leavesThe two minute steep time produced a pot that was much more to my liking.  I still enjoyed the 2 1/2 minute pot of tea, but the 2 minute pot of tea was as promised:  smooth and fragrant.

The description of this tea on the Damn Fine Tea website does not go into detail about what teas are used to craft this blend, only that it is a blend of “delicious teas from the mountains of India.”  If I had to guess, I would say that there is probably some Assam in this blend given the tannic tones I experienced with the 2 1/2 minute pot of tea.  (Don’t let that scare you off, though, as I mentioned before, just cut back on the steep time and you’ll have a really smooth, delicious pot of tea.)

This is a well-rounded blend:  full-bodied and richly flavored.  It has a nice malty tone to it with a delicious caramel undertone.  Beyond a rich, earthy flavor, I notice hints of fruit in the distance.  It’s a robust cup of tea, but when steeped for 2 minutes in my Breville One-Touch, it’s not overly astringent nor is it bitter.  I wouldn’t even call it tannic at this point.  It’s just … really, really tasty!

It makes for a lovely breakfast tea.  It’s got some gusto to it and it makes a great tea for dipping biscotti or perhaps some cookies that you might have purchased at the bakery, thinking they were going to be soft cookies, only they turned out to be crunchy and hard.  These types of cookies work out well for dipping into tea, and this tea seems to have improved the flavor of “toothsome” cookies.

And of course, I must mention the packaging of this tea.  The label is GORGEOUS!  This is a tea that I would have purchased for the tin alone, but I’m very happy to have a great tasting tea inside the beautifully labeled tin.  And of course, Andrews & Dunham have included a “free gift” with this tea:  a round coaster that matches the tin.  Maybe not the most clever of gifts, but I personally love it because the artwork on this tin is so beautiful … I love having a coaster to match!

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