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Smoked Tea

Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden (Yunomi). . ..

The tea of the moment at Sororitea Sisters is Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden – available from Yunomi! I know the wordage seems like a mouth-full but wait until you EXPERIENCE this tea!

A little background on this unique Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden…it’s a loose leaf black tea from the Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan region. The black leaves are smoked using wood from Japanese Whisky Barrels.

This tea is a Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 International Tea Tasting Competition. I can totally see and TASTE why this was a winner! This tea fascinates me! A lot of effort and hard work went into this one! Special nod to Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden as it is a family business, farm, and tea factory!

This is highly scented because of the whisky barrels used. It’s reminiscent of a Lapsang Souchong but it doesn’t leave the same aftertaste as many (or most) LS’s do! It leaves a sweeter, more pleasant lingering flavor and subtle hints of citrus, even!

I don’t know if it’s because I have been binge watching American Pickers or because I live in an area that has a sizable Amish population but I can’t help but think of a wooden barn on a damp, wet, rainy day. Regardless this tea awakens ALL of the senses! It forces you to pause and think. It’s a great way to take a short break from your busy day! This is a VERY MEMORABLE tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Yunomi
Description

Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 International Tea Tasting Competition, Matsumoto-san smokes his black tea using the wood from Japanese whisky barrels. No flavorings or additives used.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Edgar Allan Poe Black from Simpson and Vail. . . .

My first thought about this brew was “WHO DIED?!”

As you’re steeping, your cup’s contents very swiftly become a really disturbing dark red/black/maroon color.

Which is, of course, SO fitting for an Edgar Allan Poe blend. You’re launched headfirst into a vat of the macabre. If someone asked you what you were drinking, you could deadpan “the blood of my enemies.” IT WOULD LOOK LIKE YOU WERE RIGHT.

The flavor is tart, earthy, smoky, and rich rich rich (yes, I typed it thrice). It’s a blend of black and pu’erh with bergamot and beetroot. I couldn’t pick up any of the bergamot in my spoonful, but such is the Luck of the Flavored Tea Lotto.

I think that the smoky lapsang is the star of the show. If you want to go into a smoking parlor to torment yourself over your writing, this is the perfect thing. You can sip it between smashings on your keyboard or dips into your ink.

This isn’t a good tea for writing on your computer, unfortunately. If I were really a Method Writer, I would have written this out longhand with a dip pen. Then scanned it. And posted it as a series of .jpegs. Part of me wants to transcribe this RIGHT NOW. It’s NOT TOO LATE

Except I’m lazy, and plus, this is easier for you to read and enjoy anyway.

~Eternally yours in gothiness,

Super Starling!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

This dark, earthy blend evokes the damp tombs of Poe’s stories. While it is perhaps the most well known, The Cask of Amontillado is not Poe’s only story in which his fear of being buried alive becomes a major plot point. His vivid descriptions of “utter darkness among a quantity of loose earth” that “threaten[ed] to bury [him] entirely” offered a direction for our blend. It combines the earthy tones of Pu­erh black with the mellow smokiness of Lapsang and the slightest citrus hint of an Earl Grey. The dried beetroot turns the brewed tea a deep blood red.

Ingredients: Black teas, pu­erh tea, lapsang souchong tea, beetroot and bergamot oil.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Smoked Maple from Shanti Tea. . . .

When my fiancé and I first started dating, he was a) charmed by my goofy nerdiness (or so I like to tell myself) and b) totally baffled that I had never really eaten smoked meat beyond the occasional barbeque. A few years into our life together now, I’m well acquainted with the intricacies of home-smoked brisket (mainly, how to eat it. YUM), which are the best BBQ joints within a fifty-mile radius, and how to reeeally love that earthy, rich flavor that smoking imparts on food. And on tea. (See! I promise this story had a point.)

This smoked maple tea from Shanti may be more nuanced than a brisket, but man, is it delicious. The dry leaf smells unmistakably maple, and brewed, you get the same delicious sweetness with the addition of classic, almost-floral oolong undertones. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this one abundantly smoky, there are some hints of smoke and spice at the end of the sip that elevate this tea to the next level. With the addition of some coconut milk, it takes on almost a toasted-marshmallow-y goodness.

I may be a relative newbie to the world of smoked-flavors, but this tea hits on all notes for me. Now to figure out if I could pass it off as a compliment to the brisket at my in-laws’ next family gathering…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
Description

A lightly smoky blend of dark oolong and maple, a best-selling breakfast Oolong.

Ingredients: Tea (Camelia Sinensis), Safflower, Natural Essences

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lapsang Souchong Crocodile Black from Dammann Freres

lapsang-souchong-crocodileTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Dammann Freres

Tea Description:

A black tea with a more smoky flavour than that of its Chinese counterparts. A great smoked tea from the Island of Formosa ; merits discovering.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The ‘Crocodile’ in the name of this tea is certainly intimidating; I picture it snapping at you when you take a sip. Almost like getting whiplash from the intense smoke I suspect I’ll be tasting. The smell of the dry leaf certainly seems to support my theory; however some very quick research seems to indicate the name comes more from the fact this is a Formosa Lapsang Souchong, and less because it’s gonna bite me.

This is actually really good though it’s a little less naturally sweet than some of the other Lapsang Souchong blends I’ve been enjoying lately. It’s got a very brisk black base, and the smoky notes are indeed biting, but in a way that stimulates taste rather than assaults it. Maybe it’s because it’s summer and finally BBQ season but I’m picking up flavor notes that resemble the smell of burning hamburgers on a grill. The finish reminds me a little bit of molasses or those ‘tar candies’ that are sometimes given out around Halloween.

I enjoyed this one best when it was lukewarm; but the entire cuppa was pleasant. I don’t think I could call it any better or worse than another Lapsang Souchong though. It’s certainly very smoky; so if you like your Lapsang light I’d veer away from this blend.