American Classic Rockville Raspberry Premium Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation #VeganMoFo2016

For Vegan MoFo today it’s “Something Different” – Cook a cuisine you’ve never tried before or one you don’t often make often enough.  Here at Sororitea Sisters we don’t seem to sip on enough American Made Tea not because we don’t want to but because there is really only ONE working Tea Plantation here in the US.  They are also the ONLY Tea Plantation in North America where you can see hundreds of thousands of tea bushes on site.  So I thought it was fitting that I feature one of their teas for today’s Vegan MoFo prompt.  The tea we are featuring in this post is American Classic Rockville Raspberry Premium Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation.

American Classic Rockville Raspberry Premium Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation is grown in South Carolina and the dry blend looks like an oily flakey tea with very small, short, and thin twigs mixed in.  American Classic Rockville Raspberry Premium Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation is intensely flavored with Non-GMO raspberry.

The taste is a lighter to medium strength black tea base with a good amount of raspberry flavoring on the tongue, too!  If you are looking for something berry-like and gently black tea based and want to support an American Tea Plantation try American Classic Rockville Raspberry Premium Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Charleston Tea Plantation
Whether you brew by the cup or the pot, tea lovers will enjoy the subtle nuances and fresh-from-the-farm flavor of full leaf loose American Classic Teas. Our Rockville Raspberry tin contains 2.3 oz. of flavored premium black tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Kris Grey Black Tea from Ette Tea

Kris_GreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ette Tea

Tea Description:

Shaded as the quintessential earl grey, Kris Grey (Blend no. 050) is a western classic brew fortified with south east asian ingredients.

Kris Grey is a blend of black tea, javanese vanilla beans, blue corn flower, bluepea flower, bergamot oil & edible silver dust.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

My second blend from Ette Tea!

So, I’m not the biggest Earl Grey fan; not that I dislike it, but I just don’t crave it often either. Under normal circumstances I probably wouldn’t have gone for this one – but who can resist sample sizes and the idea of sparkly silver tea? And really, the dry leaf is stunning! It’s covered in this really fine, gorgeous silver dust. So pretty!

Steeped up I’m not going to lie; I’m a little disappointed. The tea is still gorgeous and sparkly, but it’s not as dramatic as I’d have thought given the amount of noticeable glimmer in the dry leaf. Maybe about the same amount of sparkle as DT’s Gitter & Gold blend that people like to ooh and aah over.

The taste is solid though; it’s a good EG with a medium level of citrusy bergamot and silky smooth black base. I feel like a little bit more of vanilla would have really sent this one sky rocketing though. As it stands I can hardly taste the vanilla at all, but as is it’s just fine too. People who really love EG should definitely take a closer look at this because while it isn’t mind blowing, it’s got a really taditional taste with that fun sparkly element that makes it different from the average EG you can get at any store.

So for me, it’s a step down from Pandan Chiffon (which set the bar very high) but still not a flop! Definitely excited to try my next tea from this company!

Goomtee China Classic First Flush Black Tea from Udyan Tea

GoomteeChinaClassicTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goomtee is a very well known Darjeeling heritage garden planted with pure china bushes almost a century ago. Picked from special section of the garden called Ghani between 3000-4000 sq.ft. height, this tea is for the strong hearted first flush lovers as it has a strong body with a very slight tinge of muscatel (grape flavour usually associated with second flush Darjeelings). It is a well balanced cup that leaves a stong after taste as well. With repeated steepings, the liquor becomes sweeter and midler. Perfect tea for long winding day with a good book in hand to read.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

What a treat!  I love it when I get to try the new teas of the season!  This Goomtee China Classic First Flush Black Tea from Udyan Tea is wonderful.

As I’ve confessed before, when it comes to Darjeeling teas, I generally prefer a 2nd flush to a 1st flush because I do love those grape-y, muscatel notes of the 2nd flush.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t find things to love about the first flush Darjeeling teas.

This has a slightly stronger taste than I would normally associate with a Darjeeling.  I still tastes very crisp and Darjeeling-esque to me, but it’s a little bit more forward than the “usual” light flavors of a Darjeeling.

And there is a muscatel note too!  It’s not as dominate as in a second flush Darjeeling, but it’s there – a delicate, muscat grape note that lingers in the background at the beginning of the sip and comes forward a little bit as the sip progresses.  Lovely!

Floral notes weave their way throughout the sip.  A sweet note that almost tastes as though someone drizzled a drop or two of honey in my cup.  Notes of wood, hints of fruit that complement the muscat grape notes, and a slightly dry, wine-like finish.

Another fantastic tea from Udyan Tea – if you haven’t yet tried teas from them, I highly recommend checking them out!

Classic English Breakfast Black Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

ClassicEnglishBreakfastTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

It’s classic! It’s English (actually it’s Indian and Sri Lankan)! It’s…breakfast! Nevermind. We’ll cut to the chase. It’s a nice cup of malty black tea from the Bargara and Kandoli Assam estates of India and the Kenilworth estate of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Great with milk, good with sugar, best in the morning. This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve enjoyed quite a few of M&K’s Tea Company’s blends now so I was really eager to try this Classic English Breakfast Black Tea to see how well they crafted a traditional favorite.  And I’m really glad that I had this opportunity to try it, because this is quite nice.

To brew:  I put 1 bamboo scoop of tea into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and then poured in 12 ounces of boiling water.  I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and let time take care of the rest.

This is a robust blend.  I like that it focuses more on the Assam than the Ceylon, which gives it more of a rugged, hefty flavor.  It’s strong and edgy, but without being bitter or too astringent.  Had I steeped this for longer, though, I think that I would have had a bitter cup.  Take care not to oversteep this blend!

The flavor is bold with notes of malt and there is a fruity, wine-like quality to this as well.  There are two single estate Assam teas in this blend and I suspect one is more malty while the other is a more ‘wine-like’ Assam.  It’s a nice balance between the two qualities.  The Ceylon adds a certain ‘evenness’ to the flavor.  It’s a rich, flavorful cup that would take the additions of milk and honey well – which is what most people look for in a breakfast blend.

Personally, I don’t usually add milk or honey to my teas, so my cup has that rugged edge to it that I like in the morning.  It’s the kind of tea that I’d want if I need a good shake awake.  It’s the kind of tea that will get you going.

Really nice!

Earl Grey Tea from Twinings of London

EarlGreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Twinings of London

Tea Description:

Twinings has been blending my family tea for years. Today, I am proud to continue this tradition with the tea celebrated throughout the world known as Twinings Earl Grey. Legend has it that my ancestor, the second Earl Grey, was presented with this exquisite recipe by an envoy on his return from China.

Fine black tea perfectly balanced with the distinctive flavour of bergamot, a citrus fruit.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I can’t believe I haven’t yet tried this Earl Grey tea from Twinings of London!  I’ve tried so many!  This being a more ‘common’ brand that is more readily available, I am surprised that I’ve not tried it.  But there you have it!

And to be honest, I really wasn’t missing out on much.  Sadly, if this is one of the Earl Grey teas that people are exposed to early in their tea drinking experience, I can see why there are so many people who don’t really care for Earl Grey tea.

That’s not to say that this is bad, exactly.  But it’s certainly not great.  If this was one of the first Earl Grey teas that I had tried, I probably wouldn’t be as enthusiastic an Earl Grey drinker that I am today, so I guess it’s a good thing that I haven’t tried this Earl Grey until now.

The aroma is kind of dull – both the dry leaf and the brewed tea.  The brewed tea is a little more lively than the dry leaf, but it doesn’t have that bright, invigorating bergamot aroma that I’ve come to love when it comes to Earl Grey.

And that dull flavor translates to the cup too.  This just … isn’t all that exciting.  It’s one of the most boring Earl Grey teas I’ve tasted.  And as I mentioned earlier, I’ve tasted a lot of Earl Grey tea.

The black tea is kind of boring.  It’s just kind of … blah.  So much so that I find myself struggling to come up with some descriptive words to describe what I’m tasting but I can’t seem to do it because it’s just so uninspired.

Generally, when I drink an Earl Grey tea, I’m excited and roused with joy over drinking one of my very favorite tea flavors – but that’s not happening right now because this tea lacks excitement in general.  It’s just really quite ordinary.  In a world full of exciting teas, why would anyone limit themselves to something so average?