Black Tea

Black Tea Review: Adagio Yunnan Noir

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Yunnan Noir

Name: Yunnan Noir

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: Unique looking leaves, with plenty of golden tea buds that are swirled and curled into snail like shapes.  Once the leaves are steeped there are many full leaves to be found.

Additions: None

Flavor: A rich, malty, brisk, full-bodied and sensuous tea with a hint of bitter-sweet dark chocolate.

Overall: The Yunnan Noir has wonderful bold and rich flavor, which is simple yet extravagant.  It has become one of my favorite black teas.

Tea Review:

I have so looked forward to writing this review; because I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every sip of Adagio’s Yunnan Noir.

My first impression was that this was a rich and robust tasting black tea, which immediately reminded me of my coffee drinking days.

As I searched deeper into my cup I found an earthy-maltiness which really seemed to give this tea its full-bodied flavor.

Then there was the hint of bitter-sweet dark chocolate that lingered in the back ground, just waiting to be discovered. This note of chocolate adds to the overall richness of the Yunnan Noir. 

This is actually the first tea I’ve sampled that has a distinguishable and consistent dark chocolate flavor, or maybe I’m just getting better at detecting it!

To top it all off, this tea has a nice briskness to it which rounds out the tea very nicely and leaves a tangy taste sensation on the tip of my tongue after each sip.

For some reason, when trying to describe this tea the word sultry keeps coming to mind. I think it is because this tea has some sexiness to it.

It has a beautifully warm and rich taste that is simply captivating. Then it gives you a light, sensuous slap of astringency, just enough to engage the senses, not so much as to leave you feeling turned-off. Lastly, you’re left with a tingly tongue that begs for more tea.

See tea can be sexy!

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I ordered the sample size of this tea. It came in a foil-lined pouch with the name of the tea and steeping instructions on the front. Plus, the bag is re-sealable.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F. Then, I steeped the leaves for about 5 minutes, which resulted in the nice strong and sensuous flavor reported in this review.

I used my one-serving glass teapot, which holds about 6 ounces of liquid.

I also used my PersonaliTEA teapot to sample larger quantities of this tea.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, with acceptable results.

When doing multiple infusions, I did the first infusion for 2 minutes. This gave a nice brisk and malty tasting brew, but lacked depth. For a second steep I did 5 minutes, and had pretty much the same result.

I found that one infusion of the Yunnan Noir gave the best cup of tea.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Trader Joe’s Vanilla & Cinnamon

Trader Joe's Vanilla & Cinnamon

Company/Brand Name: Trader Joe’s

Name: Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea

Category: Black Tea, Flavored (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Vanilla, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon

Flavor: The cinnamon and vanilla flavors are a bit muddy tasting, yet they still work well together

Overall: I’m a sucker for any vanilla and cinnamon tea combination, even if the brew is a bit weak!

Tea Review:

When I first purchased this tea, I was wondering if it would taste similar to one of my favorite holiday teas, which is Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet. They both have exactly the same ingredients: vanilla, “other natural flavors” and cinnamon.

As soon as I got home and opened the wax seal, I knew that I had been correct in my assumption.

While allowing the tea to steep, the resulting fragrance pales in comparison to the Nutcracker Sweet’s inviting aroma.

I had a similar experience with the taste. The flavor is suggestive of vanilla and cinnamon, but it makes for a rather weak brew. Although, I found I could compensate for this by simply using less water.

At times, I got a little bit of a paper-y taste. Overall, the flavors were rather muddied; not clean and crisp tasting. It was difficult to distinguish the vanilla and cinnamon individually, but the combination somehow works out to make a sweet tasting holiday treat.

In conclusion, the Trader Joe’s brand just didn’t have that extra oomph of the Nutcracker Sweet, but would do in a pinch.

Packaging:

This holiday tea came in a rectangular cardboard box. The tea bags are square in shape and layered in twos on top of each other in a wax-lined paper seal. Because two tea bags are connected, you’ve got to tear them apart to use just one.

Trader Joes Vanilla and Cinnamon

Preparation Tips:

Per usual, I simply followed the directions printed on the box: “Pour boiling water directly over tea bag in a cup and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bag.”  Since no instructions were given regarding the amount of water to use, I went with the general guideline of 8-ounces. However, I would recommend 6-ounces to obtain a better flavor.

One thing I did find out accidentally, is that this tea can steep for quite a while without getting bitter.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – I would classify this as a dessert tea, because it does taste sweet due to the vanilla and cinnamon combination.

Holiday Tea – For some reason the warms notes of vanilla and cinnamon seem to be well suited for the holidays.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, you’ll have to live near a Trader Joes (because it isn’t available online) and wait until the holidays when it will be in stock again 🙂

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit:  A Girl With Tea 

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Adagio Yunnan Jig

Yunnan Jig

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Yunnan Jig

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: I thought the leaves were quite fine-looking; a mix of brown-black leaves interspersed with golden tips. They smelled as good as they looked with just a hint of cocoa scent.

Additions: None

Flavor: A smooth, malty black tea that is slightly spicy. It has a clean finish and never seems to go bitter.

Overall: I really enjoyed the malty, rich flavor of the Yunnan Jig, but its flavors were a bit elusive. In addition, I was never able to detect a cocoa flavor that the dried leaves had revealed.

Tea Review:

Over the last seven days I consumed my entire sample of Yunnan Jig from Adagio. It wasn’t because this was the best tea I’d ever tasted.

Rather, I went through all of the tea leaves trying to pin down the flavor profile. Once I found that nearly perfect cup, I wasn’t able to replicate it, no matter how hard I tried.

It all started the moment I opened the package.  Once I saw the abundance of lovely golden tips and inhaled the beguiling aroma of the dry leaves, I had high expectations for a delicious cup of tea.

But, that ideal cup would elude me.

Each cup seemed to tease me with indistinct flavors hidden behind a strong, malty black tea. I could sense this tea had more to give than simply its robustness.

Yet, the leaves didn’t seem to want me to decode their inner secrets.

Then one day I had a glimpse of glory. Perhaps on that day my good mood encouraged the leaves to reveal themselves fully.

What I experienced in my teacup was a creamy richness that had a touch of spice to it. The almost peppery flavor actually enhanced the earthy-maltiness to give this tea that special something.

Lastly, the Yunnan Jig has a nice clean finish. In other words, there was just enough astringency in the tea to leave a refreshing sensation in my mouth.

The taste of that ideal cup reminded me of the tango; a sultry and fiery dance that tantalizes you with bold, controlled moves and then surprises you with a dip here and there. The mysterious hint of spiciness is the unexpected dip of the tango. It surprises you, but delights you as well.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I purchased the sample size of this tea, which came in a foil-lined pouch. The name of the tea and steeping instructions where provided on the re-sealable pouch.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F. As I have done in my last several tea reviews, I once again used my one-serving glass teapot from China to steep the leaves.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I thought this tea was best when steeping it only once because I found the subsequent infusions to a bit weak for my taste. I even attempted to keep the first infusion under two minutes, with the hope that the second infusion would be a little more robust. However, I just ended up with two weak cups of tea.

On the plus side, I accidently left this tea steeping for a good 20 minutes and it was still drinkable. It never got bitter.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Teavana Copper Knot Hongcha

Copper Knot Hongcha

Company/Brand Name: Teavana

Name: Copper Knot Hongcha

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan Province of China

The Leaves: A beautiful black tea with lots of golden tips, all of which are hand-curled into a spiraling knot

Additions: None

Flavor: A rich, malty and earthy black tea with notes of dark chocolate and just a touch of sweetness

Overall: I found this tea to be absolutely captivating cup after cup. The Copper Knot Hongcha has wonderful depth and complexity that makes it quite intriguing. In addition, I really enjoyed playing around with different infusions in an attempt to acquire the perfect cup. I would definitely purchase again!

Tea Review:

I’ve been drinking the Copper Knot Hongcha for about a week now and I still find each cup to be a bit of a mystery, which made drinking this tea lots of fun! However, I think I may have unlocked one or two of the secrets this tea has to tell.

For instance, when using water just under boiling, the tea reveals its chocolaty undertones and malty flavor. But, when its lovely leaves are steeped in boiling water, a rich brew is produced with some bite too it; reminding me of my coffee drinking days.

In addition to this tea’s interesting flavor profile, I found it quite entertaining to watch the leaves unfurl as they steeped. Not to mention the imagery that came to mind when sipping this tea.

I often imagined a log cabin nestled in the woods on a cool spring-like day, when the snow is just starting to melt. This imagery came to mind, I believe, because this tea has sweet-earthy taste to it, reminding me of how the ground smells when it is allowed to see the sun after several months of a snowy, cold hibernation. A perfect tea on a cold, dreary winter day when springtime seems to far away.

Washi Tea Tins from Teavana

Packaging:

I had purchased the Copper Knot Hongcha from the Teavana store at the Mall of America. Since I didn’t have any canisters at home, I decided to also purchase a Washi tea tin. I had the friendly Teavana guy place my loose leaves in the red canister for safe keeping!

Preparation Tips:

Teavana suggested using one teaspoon of tea per eight ounces of water, heated to 195F. The leaves should steep for about 2-3 minutes. I found these directions to be fairly accurate.

I used my one-serving, glass teapot to steep the leaves, which worked okay. However, I would recommend using a larger teapot to give the leaves even more room to expand, because the unfurled leaves are quite large.  Adagio’s PersonaliTEA teapot worked very well for this purpose; I took out the brewing basket, which gave the leaves plenty of room to unfold.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – You’ll want to play around with different infusion times to find your perfect cup. I personally found that I was able to get two delicious infusions from the Copper Knot Hongcha. For the first infusion, I steeped the leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, for the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to brew for a good 5 minutes.

I do like my tea on the stronger side, so if you prefer a lighter brew you may be able to get a few more infusions out of the leaves than I did.

Oh, I even forgot about my brew a couple times. When I finally remembered to check on it, the leaves had been steeping for a good ten minutes or more. Yet, this tea never got bitter.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea or shop for over 100 types of other healthy, gourmet teas, as well as teapots and other  accessories, then click the link below. Teavana offers free ground shipping on orders over $50.

Teavana

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Adagio Ceylon Sonata

Ceylon Sonata

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Ceylon Sonata

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Sri Lanka

The Leaves: Midnight black cut leaves, with patches of rusty dark-brown

Additions: None

Flavor: A balanced black tea with some astringency and an ever so slight citrusy flavor which is rounded off by a touch of toasty-smokiness

Overall: My first impression of the Ceylon Sonata was that it tasted a little weak, but after spending some quality time with this tea I found that I really started to enjoy it.

Tea Review:

At first, I was a bit perplexed by the flavor profile. There seemed to be a faint hint of fruitiness. But what really captured my attention was a tangy-bitter taste that seemed to linger on the tongue.

I noticed some astringency as well, feeling my mouth pucker slightly, as if I were eating a citrus fruit. That’s when it hit me, the tea tasted ever so slightly of lemon.

Complementing the citrusy flavor, I found a touch of toastiness. For whatever reason, that is the word that keeps coming to mind. Not malty or biscuity, but toasty.

After further examination, I had begun to realize that the toastiness I was experiencing was in fact, a subtle smokiness.

It’s not a Lapsang Souchong kind of smokiness, which conjures of images of roaring campfires with big billows of smoke rising into the air. The smoky flavor is more reminiscent of trying to cook toast with a match flame. Not that I’ve tried that lately!

An interesting image comes to mind when sipping on the Ceylon Sonata: I am sitting in a canoe out in the middle of a calm lake on a cold, brisk fall day. I can sense the chill in the air, but remain nice and toasty warm in my thermal outdoor wear. As I look across the lake, I see the vibrant colors of the turning leaves in the morning sun.

To me this imagery makes perfect sense, because the tangy-crispness of the tea is like the refreshing chilly, crisp air of fall. The vibrant colors of the trees, along with my layers of clothing, bring a sense of warmth to the picture, which captures the toasty-smoky flavor of the tea.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging: 

I ordered the sample size of this tea, which came in a foil-lined bag that was re-sealable.

Preparation Tips: 

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F, except that I made it a “heaping teaspoon” of tea.

I went straight for my one-serving, glass teapot this time. I didn’t even bother with the stainless steel, mesh ball infuser because it’s simply too small to give the leaves room to expand.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to get two infusions from the Ceylon Sonata. For the first infusion, I steeped the leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then for the second infusion, I coaxed out whatever the leaves had left to give in a five minute steeping.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No 

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Adagio Assam Melody

Assam Melody

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Assam Melody

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Assam, India

The Leaves: Cut midnight black leaves with an occasional golden tip

Additions: None

Flavor:  A full-bodied and robust black tea that has a delightful earthy-maltiness

Overall: The Assam Melody makes a wonderful cup of tea suitable for daily consumption. However, it also has enough character to keep things interesting.

Tea Review:

The first thing I notice about this particular brand of Assam is that it reminded me of my coffee drinking days. The combination of earthiness and maltiness come together brilliantly, providing a well-rounded and strong-tasting cup of tea.

What also made this tea quite interesting is that I was able to get two really good infusions from it.

The first infusion tended to have a smooth, full-bodied flavor that leaned more towards malty than biscuity.

I found that the second infusion had a bit more astringency, which was rather energizing. In fact, it gave the tea a little oomph, making it stand-out slightly from the first cup.

When sipping my brew, I find myself thinking of a lush rainforest. There is something about this tea that tastes a bit lavish, yet untamed. It’s as if I have hiked miles into the depths of the jungle to pour myself a proper cup of tea using a dainty teacup with saucer.

This juxtaposition of exotic lushness and refinement keeps me quite entertained to the very last drop. At which point, I find myself wanting more.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I purchased the sample size of this tea. My order came in a good-sized, foil-lined bag. The name of the tea as well as brewing instructions where provided on the re-sealable pouch.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F.

For my first brewing attempt, I used a stainless steel, mesh ball infuser. This worked fine because the leaves really didn’t need much room to expand since they were cut rather small.

However, I found that when doing more than one infusion, I preferred using my one-serving, glass teapot.

I actually discovered that by using this particular infusion tool the flavor of the tea was enhanced. Perhaps, because it gave the leaves more room to expand.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – As I mentioned above, I was able to get two good infusions from the Assam Melody. Here’s how I did it: I steeped the leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes for the first infusion. For the second infusion, I gave the leaves a nice long steep of about five minutes.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Adagio Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Golden Monkey

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Fujian Province, China

The Leaves: Unique looking leaves that are long and slightly twisted with golden tips. The smell of the dry leaf reminds me a bit of chocolate biscuits

Additions: None

Flavor: A smooth, medium-bodied tea with a fruity, earthy and biscuity taste. Topping it all off is a touch of sweetness.

Overall: I found that the Golden Monkey had wonderful character and plenty of depth to keep my full interest. I tend to like my black teas with a bit more body; this one seemed to be on the lighter side. Nonetheless, it makes an enjoyable cup of tea that I am considering keeping on hand long-term.

Tea Review:

I have come across many tea enthusiasts who are quite smitten with Golden Monkey, so I’ve been looking forward to trying some of this tea for a while now.

My first cup did not disappoint.

In fact, I was fascinated by each delightful sip. It was as if each mouthful had something else to reveal.

The top note for me was a stone fruit taste, which had just a hint of sweetness.

Right beneath the fruitiness is an earthiness. I’m not talking about dirt here; the taste is as if nature herself has been captured in the essence of the tea.

To bring it all together is a rather biscuity flavor, which I’ve discovered to be regularly referred to as malty by other tea lovers. But, I prefer to call it biscuity, because that is what the taste reminds me of—biscuits raising in a warm kitchen.

As the tea cools, it becomes slightly creamy. Upon reaching the bottom of my cup, I find that I desperately want more.

I stare momentarily at the empty vessel and see that a single drop of tea is still to be had, and that final taste discloses one last treasure, an ever so slight touch of chocolate.

Because of the rich-earthiness this tea provides, each sip transports me to an awe-inspiring underground cavern filled with lush green foliage, striking blossoms and exotic wildlife, much like the Genesis cave in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size, which came in a foil-lined pouch. Steeping instructions and the name of the tea where written on the re-sealable bag.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F.

First, I attempted to use a stainless steel, mesh ball infuser, but it didn’t really allow enough room for the tea leaves to fully expand. I much preferred using my one-serving glass teapot, which worked perfectly, especially for the multiple infusions.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to steep three good cups of tea from 1 teaspoon of Golden Monkey.

I steeped the leaves for about two minutes for the first infusion. Then, for the second infusion, I steeped them for about three more minutes. For the final infusion, I gave the leaves a nice long steep of about five minutes.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet

Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet

Company/Brand Name: Celestial Seasonings

Name: Nutcracker Sweet

Category: Black Tea Blend (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Vanilla, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon

Flavor: A sweet, aromatic tea with an enchanting vanilla taste and just a hint of cinnamon spice

Overall: I always look forward to this time of year, because I know it is holiday tea season! Nutcracker Sweet has been one of my favorite holiday teas for many years now. Every time I open a box, my senses are captivated by the sweet vanilla scent. I can feel myself drift away momentarily to some magical place where anything is possible.

Tea Review:

As this tea steeps, it fills the surrounding area with a wonderful aroma, like something yummy is baking in the oven.

Once the tea is ready, the first sip never disappoints. The brew has a warm vanilla note that is delightfully creamy and rich tasting.

What makes this tea particularly interesting is the touch of cinnamon spice that lingers in the background. The spiciness is just right, not too harsh and not too subtle as to be overlooked.

I’ve found that sometimes vanilla flavored tea can taste a bit off, but I didn’t find that to be the case with this particular combination.

In fact, the vanilla is the star of this black tea blend, making it a holiday favorite.

Packaging:

Inside the colorful cardboard box is a wax-lined paper seal where all the tea bags are held. The square, flat tea bags are layered in twos and each tea bag is connected to another. To separate the two tea bags, you’ve got to tear them apart at the perforated center.

Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet

Preparation Tips:

I simply followed the directions printed on the box: “Pour freshly boiled water over one tea bag. Steep 3 to 5 minutes and remove tea bag.” Because there were no notes about how much water to use, I went with the general guideline of one cup. Then, I used a holiday mug to make things extra special!

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – The Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker box states that this is a “decadent-yet-healthy treat.” With zero calories, this tea is perfect when craving a little something sweet.

Iced Tea – This tea blend is also quite tasty when iced. Drinking it cooled seems to bring out the cinnamon flavor; it actually ends up tasting a bit spicier when chilled.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea from Amazon.com just click the link below. Enjoy!

Nutcracker Sweet

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Keemun Panda

ETS Keemun Panda

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Keemun Panda

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: China

The Leaves: The broken, thin leaves are dark brown, almost black in color

Additions: None

Flavor: A smooth, full-bodied tea with a touch of fruitiness that is rounded out by a woodsy-earthy note

Overall: 4.0/5

An interesting black tea, that seemed to keep changing flavor with each cup. But one constant was its smooth taste that was always satisfying.

Packaging:

The Keemun Panda is one of the selections that came in my Chinese Teas sampler pack.

Each one-ounce sample came in a thick-plastic, black bag with the tea name on the label. Unfortunately, as there were no steeping instructions included on the label, I had to go to the English Tea Store’s website for more information. However, the tea pouches are re-sealable, making them easy to use cup after cup.

As a side note, when I ordered this particular sampler package, I didn’t receive all the teas advertised. Three of the teas were not shipped, duplicates were sent instead. However, the webpage does specify that substitutions may happen.

Tea Review:

I found this tea to be difficult to pin down; each cup I brewed seemed to be somewhat different.  However, the hint of sweet-fruitiness was consistent along with the deep-woodsy flavor.

It was the other flavors that kept eluding me. For instance, at times this tea seemed malty and then at other times there was a tease of smokiness. And sometimes, it didn’t say much at all.

When drinking this tea, I am taken away to some wooded area with towering trees. Sitting in the middle of it all, there is a table covered with some lightweight, colorful fabric that is stirring in the breeze. The only thing keeping the delicate table cover from floating up towards the tree limbs is a hodge-podge of teaware.

It seems the woodsy-earthy note reminds me of a forest and the sweet-fruitiness brings colorful images to mind. Yet, the changing character of this tea brings to mind visions of chaos, much like the mélange of teapots and teacups holding the tablecloth in place.

When it comes right down to it, however, I see before me an interesting display that puts a smile on my face.

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store website recommends steeping this black tea in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2 to 5 minutes.

However, no instructions on how much tea or water to use were provided so, I went with the general recommendation of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

For this particular tea, I used a T-Sac paper tea filter.

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

[button link=”http://agirlwithtea.com/english-tea-store” type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] English Tea Store[/button]

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Lapsang Souchong

ETS Lapsang Souchong

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Lapsang Souchong

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: Fujian Province, China

The Leaves: The leaves are nearly black in color and have an intense smoky smell

Additions: None

Flavor: A strong and distinctive tasting brew with an intense smokiness and just a touch of pine

Overall: 3.5/5

An interesting taste experience; it’s like drinking a campfire. I am not a huge fan of this smoky flavored black tea, but it is definitely a taste experience worth exploring.

Packaging:

I purchased this tea from the English Tea Store as part of a Chinese Teas sampler pack. My one-ounce sample of this tea was sent in a thick-plastic, black pouch that had the name of the tea on the front.

No brewing tips were included on the Lapsang Souchong sampler bag, so I had to visit the website for more information. On the plus side, the pouch is re-sealable.

As a side note, when ordering the sampler packs, be aware that not all the advertised selections may be sent.

For instance, three of the teas shown on the Chinese Teas sampler pack webpage where not included in my order. Instead, I received three packages of the Lapsang Souchong and a duplicate of the Jasmine with Flowers.

In all fairness, it does state on the website that: “substitutions may be made according to availability.”

Tea Review:

The aroma of the brew is just as powerful as the dried tea leaves. In fact, I could smell the brew from several feet away.

The first sip was a little overwhelming. The smokiness is intense and certainly the primary flavor. However, I did detect just a hint of pine before my allergies started to kick into high gear.

Did I mention that I am allergic to pine trees? Burning wood isn’t exactly my friend either. Although, I do love the smell of pine as well as campfires but, they just don’t like me.

Even though I found this tea intriguing in the taste department, it caused me to feel as if I was experiencing a bit of an allergic reaction. I sensed my chest and throat tighten. Then, a wave of dizziness swept over me and lingered for a while even after the last sip.

The image that comes to mind when drinking the Lapsang Souchong is that of a huge campfire burning in the middle of a pine forest. I can see the flames rise up and lick the stars in the midnight-blue sky. Huge billows of smoke encircle me and I feel trapped within the warmth of the fire.

Needless to say, after my first cup I really didn’t desire any more.

I ended up giving the remaining Lapsang Souchong to my mom. She finds this tea to be quite comforting because of the campfire like flavor. As for me, I don’t think Lapsang Souchong will be my personal tea of choice going forward, but it was fun to try this tea for the first time.

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store recommends steeping the leaves in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes. Since there were no instructions on how much tea or water to use, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

However, I wish I had started off with a shorter steep or less tea, because the flavor of the Lapsang Souchong was super intense.

To keep the leaves separate from the brew, I once again used a T-Sac paper filter. As I move away from tea bags to loose leaf tea, I’ve found these bags to be quite helpful in my transition!

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

[button link=”http://agirlwithtea.com/english-tea-store” type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] English Tea Store[/button]