Himalayan Musky Thunder from Terroir Tea Merchant. . . . .

Not long ago I conducted an Oolong-a-Thon and did back-to-back tastings of all the oolong teas in my collection.  Somehow I missed this Himalayan Musky Thunder from Terroir Tea Merchant.  That’s because it didn’t look like an oolong at first glance.  Apparently, Himalayan Musky Thunder is a “dark oolong,” meaning it is more heavily oxidized than its greener oolong cousins.  Like other oolongs, I brewed this tea with cooler water (190 F) and steeped it a few times.  

Upon brewing, the scent and taste of dark chocolate were very forward.  When you taste a chocolate bar with a high cocoa percentage, there’s an almost-floral note to the earthy chocolate flavor, and that note comes through in this tea as well.  There’s a rich muscatel, red grape flavor right after the chocolate tones, making this tea winner for any dark chocolate, red wine drinkers out there.  

If the package didn’t inform me that this dark tea was actually an oolong and not a black tea, the mouthfeel would have given it away.  There’s a silky smoothness to how this tea falls on your tongue that is reminiscent of milk oolong teas, without any of the mouth-puckering sharpness you find in black teas. 

Upon further steeping, the sweet chocolate tones evolve into earthier notes, like a vegetable garden after a fresh rain.  The tannin richness of red wine and unsweetened cocoa linger as an aftertaste.  

All the tasting aside, I love the name for this tea, Himalayan Musky Thunder, and I think it is aptly chosen.  This is one of the boldest oolongs I’ve tasted: deep and romantic like the smell of the air and earth after a thunderstorm.  The next time you find yourself caught in the rain, wait out the storm with a cup of this tea and a bar of dark chocolate.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Terroir Tea Merchant

With qualities of a black tea and no astringency, this strip style dark oolong is surprisingly light and full of flavour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 Oolong Blend from Butiki Teas

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Our Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 differs slightly from our previous version and has a fuller body, is creamier, and utilizes a more gentle base tea. This 2.0 version pairs our Doke Rolling Thunder oolong with pumpkin, vanilla, and cream flavors. Pumpkin and vanilla notes dominate our Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0; however, there is a sweet creaminess present that lingers. Some caramel notes can also be detected. We highly recommend adding some brown crystal sugar to transform this tea into a rich, creamy, decadent, vanilla and pumpkin desert treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t think I tried Butiki Teas’ first version of their Pumpkin Milkshake tea, but, I’m glad to be trying this Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 Oolong Blend from Butiki Teas!  It is yummy!

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a pumpkin milkshake.  But I’m liking what I’m tasting in my tea cup right now.  This tastes of pumpkin, spice, and vanilla with a very enjoyable Oolong background that is earthy.  There are some distant fruit notes that seem to accentuate the pumpkin more than stand out on their own.   There’s also … a sort of … toasty-ish flavor that I’m tasting which I can only assume is part of the Oolong’s character.  I like how this toasty note combines with the spices.  It’s a very harmonious blend.

What I’m enjoying most about this, I think, is that even though the pumpkin, vanilla and spices are strong, they aren’t overpowering the base.  Everything comes together in a very pleasing way.  It’s warm and comforting … but at the same time, I can see how this would make a really enjoyable iced tea too.

Ohio Thunder Chai from Stauf’s Tea House (aka Stauf’s Coffee Roasters)

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Stauf’s Tea House/Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

Tea Description:

Smooth balance of crisp tea flavors, palate lingering and warming spices, and cleansing tannins.  Light spicy finish with a hint of fruitiness.

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

You know me, I love chai, and I’m always eager to try a new chai (or perhaps I should say:  new to me chai).  So, when one of my tea drinking comrades offered to send me some of this chai from Stauf’s, I was more than happy to take him up on his offer.

And now that I’m drinking this chai, I’m so happy that he offered me this opportunity.  This is an excellent chai!  It is richly spiced and yet it has a smooth delivery.  It is neither too spicy, nor is it too subtle.  I’d say it falls somewhere between the two extremes, leaning more toward the spicy than the subtle.  While I do enjoy a spicy chai, I like that this one has achieved a balance between spice and flavorful tea.

The tea base is a blend of Ceylon and Assam, which brings me back to my own tea blending days as the tea base that I used for my Masterpiece Chai was a blend of Ceylon and Assam.  I like that Stauf’s chose to combine these two teas, as it gives the tea base a strong tone that it needs as well as a little complex character.  The tea is strong enough to stand up and be tasted amongst the powerful flavors of the spices, but it doesn’t become bitter or throw the flavor off in any way.  It tastes smooth yet rich and bold.

And then there are the spices!  When I first started sipping, I noticed the cinnamon right away.  And the cinnamon remained the strongest note through the first couple of sips… but now that I am more than half-way finished with my cup, the other spice flavors have emerged and seem to have an equal amount of the palate’s attention.

I can taste the cardamom!  It gives  the cup a very pleasing warmth and hint of citrus-y flavor.  I can taste the cloves.  I can taste the pepper and the ginger, but I like that these two have not been added with too heavy a hand.  It has a peppery background note that seems to perk up the palate but never becomes too overpowering.

Stauf’s has achieved a very pleasing balance here, not just with the spices, but also with the tea base.  The result:  a fantastic cup of chai that is delicious served straight up (a small amount of turbinado sugar will enhance the spices without making it too sweet) as well as served as a latte!  YUM!  This one gets high praise from me.