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Black Tea

Brigadoon/Adagio Teas

After taking a bit of a hiatus, we are happy to be back! Can’t say how often we will be posting but happy to kick off the new year with a particularly famous tea from Adagio Teas.

If you are familiar with Adagio Teas, you are familiar with their holiday and themed teas.  A particular tea I have recently heard quite a bit about and seen quite a few posting about- Brigadoon, Adagio’s Leap Year blend.

Brigadoon is a blended black tea comprised of Asam and Keemun teas.  Also added into the mix is Silver Needle white tea and blue cornflowers.   I originally though this tea was an earl grey blend but to my delight- this tea is a Scottish Breakfast Tea.

After taking a small hiatus from caffeine, I was a bit hesitate to try this tea as I’ve noticed a sensitivity to caffeine recently (increased headaches).  As I took my first sip of this tea, instant love formed for this tea and I knew immediately why this tea is so highly regarded.

This black tea prepped hot (212F- steeped 4 minutes) is smooth and malty with a robust feel.  No notes of astringency whatsoever.  There are hints of sweetness and floral moments here and there.  After a couple sips, I decided this tea would be a beautiful latte and I frothed up milk to add in.  The combination of the frothed milk just increased my admiration for this tea.

Big fan of this one and even though I need to be careful with how much of this tea I drink in a day- I have a feeling I’ll be stocking up on this one.  As an FYI, if you do intend to stock up on this one (which I highly recommend doing), this tea is only available for a short time starting on 2/29/2024!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Description

Celebrate Leap Day with this Scottish Breakfast Blend of Assam and Keemun teas. We’ve added a touch of Silver Needle and blue cornflowers to evoke the blue and white of the Scottish flag that Brigadoon would fly.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Black Tea/52Teas

Continuing on the theme of Spooky Season. . . Pumpkin Gingerbread seemed to be a good fit.  Of course pumpkins are a huge part of spooky season but there is also a horror franchise about a Gingerbread that comes to life so when I saw this tea in my stash, it was just meant to be.

If you aren’t familiar with 52Teas, I highly recommend you check them out.  Readers of this blog know that the current owner of 52Teas is one of the co-founders of the SororiTea Sisters and to be honest- a personal friend of mine.  But, even if that wasn’t the case, I would still highly recommend 52Teas.

52Teas blends up new teas each and every week- providing an amazing array of new high quality tea blends to check out.  The only issue is that if you fall in love with one of these blends, you need to get yourself to the site and quickly pick up a few more because once these teas sell out, they typically are not reblended.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Black Tea is a black and honeybush tea blend with pumpkin, ginger root, cinnamon and a variety of other spices and natural flavors.  The aroma of the blend reminds me very much of a chai tea.  Since the weather is becoming very fall like, I thought this tea would be best enjoyed hot so I brewed up water at 212F, allowed the tea to brew for right around 3 minutes and allowed the cuppa to cool for about 5 minutes.

First sip in and you are greeted with all of the fall flavors- pumpkin, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, clove. . .simply delicious.  The ginger is the flavor I am picking up the most but the flavoring doesn’t come off as overpowering.  I’m not the biggest fan of ginger but I easily drank down a few cuppas of this blend and finished off the package with ease.   I do wish that the pumpkin shone through a bit more but I did love the gingerbread with a dash of pumpkin vibes I was getting and the black tea finish to end each sip was lovely.   This is one of those teas that would be amazing as a latte enjoyed during my morning commutes.

This tea was the perfect companion to my spooky viewing of As Above So Below- one of my favorite spooky movies to enjoy to get the Spooky Season officially underway.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Description

Our handcrafted teas are vegan, Gluten-free & Allergen-friendly because you deserve tea you can sip with confidence.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Russian Caravan/Grace Tea Company

Photo Credit: Grace Tea Company

I am a fan of smoky teas, whether they are smoked over a fire like lapsang teas often are, or whether they are teas with natural smoky notes like some Keemun teas.

Russian Caravan teas are usually less smoky than lapsangs. As tea traveled the great distance from China, India, and Ceylon to Russia in camel trains, the evening campfires of the caravans would gradually scent the teas with a light smoky flavor, and this flavor was so delectable and such a part of the tea that it is recreated today.

Too often, tea companies use inferior leaf for teas that are going to be flavored or scented. I find many lapsangs to be weak and watery as far as the base goes, for instance. While I love my smoke, I don’t want to sacrifice quality in the base. Russian Caravan by Grace Tea delivers with this pure China blend, consisting of mostly Keemun with a bit of Lapsang.

Normally I would review this as a fall tea because I always reach for smoky tea on the first chilly or darkish days of autumn. The campfire/fireplace vibe is so comforting. But I made quite the discovery a couple of weeks ago.

SMOKY TEA IS AN AWESOME PAIRING WITH ICE CREAM! Granted, the first ice cream I tried it with was a s’mores flavor one, so there you already have the suggestion of campfires. It was the power of suggestion when eating the ice cream that made me jump up and make a pot of Russian Caravan to have with it. But I have now tried it with other flavors of ice cream and must declare it to be an awesome foil for the rich, cold sweetness. One bite of freezing sugary decadence, one big sip of smoky, hot comfort.

Alas, I have emptied my tea tin before I ran out of ice cream, so tomorrow night I will be trying a nice, strong lapsang with my vanilla chocolate chip.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Grace Tea Company

Description

Being a pure China tea blend, our Russian Caravan black loose leaf tea comes close to the luxury teas that were transported by camel train from the tea-producing areas of India, Ceylon and China to Europe, via Russia during the 18th century.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Monsoon/teakruthi

Photo Credit: teakruthi

In one year you probably couldn’t taste all of the different types of tea. I would be highly impressed and maybe a little worried if you did.

The differences that one can find from one plant is astounding.

Even the region of Ceylon, which is generally known for its black teas, has a variety of different types. Take a Ceylon green, a Japanese green, and a Chinese green and you will get many different flavor profiles! It’s amazing!

So far in all of the Teakruthi samples I’ve tried I have discovered most to have astringency but this one doesn’t have a bit. There is a bit on the second, though I am also using a smaller steeping vestibule.

A unique mix of woodsy and earthy notes. Some nutty notes here and there. Wet forest floor in the wet leaf aroma after steeping but the most amazing smell as soon as the water touched the leaves. (There needs to be a term for this)

Instantly my nostrils were filled with wet warm jungle. Like I wasn’t standing in my kitchen anymore. What an amazing feeling that was.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  teakruthi

Description

We harvested our Wild Monsoon tea from the Southern province of Sri Lanka in the Ruhuna tea district. This tea grows in an area nourished by high humidity and monsoon season, and surrounded by diverse wildlife. The forests of Ruhuna are home to elephants, leopards, bears, wild boar, deer, giant flamingos, and of course, the finest teas. The area is teeming with life; it is never dull. Dark gold in colour, this tea is mild, malty, and fine, and delivers to your pallet a lively flavour that tastes like adventure.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

East Frisian/Harney and Sons

I purchased this tea to use as an enrichment lesson for some young ladies to whom I am teaching elementary German. Tea and cookies make for a fun lesson! And who knew that if East Frisia was a country instead of a region, they would have the highest per capita consumption of black tea in the world?

I wanted to be as authentic as possible and did a test run today. Their “Teetied” is different from any other.

First, a large piece of rock sugar (Kluntje) is put into a porcelain or china cup. Then the rich tea is poured over it and the rock sugar should crackle. After the tea is poured, a small ladle of cream is added to the tea gently, pouring along the side of the cup so that the cream makes a cloud (Wolkje) in the tea. You must never stir!

It is considered polite to drink at least three cups of tea, although more than that is fine. When you finished, you place a spoon (the one you definitely did NOT use to stir your tea!) in your cup or you can turn your cup over on the saucer.

The tea is usually a strong Assam blended with a bit of Darjeeling and some Ceylon. This one is very dark, earthy, and bready. It is a tad brisk but less so than I expected.

The cloud in the tea fascinated me and really made this Teetied a mindfulness session as I watched the cloud roll and change shape after each sip. The cream coats your lips and takes the edge off the strong tea, then the tea dominates, and at the last you get a small sip or two that is incredibly sweet. The rock sugar should be large enough to last through all three cups of tea and each cup that you drink should be finished completely so that the subsequent cup doesn’t look muddy when you add the cream.

I think this lesson will be a success, and I can hardly wait to try it again with some cookies or pastries!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons 

Description

Fortify yourself with East Frisian, our popular full-bodied black tea blend of Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam. It’s named for East Frisia, Germany’s cold, wet, and dreary North Sea coast – the ideal spot to drink hot tea, and the East Frisians do! They consume more black tea than anyone else in the world. They do drink it with cream and crystalized sugar.

(Credit- Harney & Sons)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!