Chinese Black Tea

Tea Collection Review: Art of Tea Holiday Sampler

Holiday Tea Sampler Pillow Box

Company/Brand Name: Art of Tea

Collection Name: Holiday Sampler includes Cran Marnier, Butterscotch, Santa’s Little Helper and Pumpkin Pie

Category: Various Organic Blends – White, Black, Puerh and Rooibos/Honeybush

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Various

The Leaves: Various

Overall: At first I was a bit disappointed with the four Holiday Sampler teas, because the flavors were quite different than what I was used to, being the black tea lover that I am. So, I had to remind myself that I had purchased the sampler set to step outside the box and try something new.

To fully enjoy the experience, I had to let go of my preconceived taste preferences and allow each tea to speak to me in its own distinctive way. That is when I really started to enjoy each sample and appreciate the nuances of the four unique blends.

As the Art of Tea website states, “This is a great way to expand and engage your palate on teas and beyond. I have to say that I whole-heartily agree.

Tea Review:

Sample 1

Name: Cran Marnier {Available Year-Round}

Category: Tisane; Organic South African Honeybush and Organic South African Rooibos

Cran Marnier

The Leaves: Red rooibos shreds with visible chunks of dried apple and cranberry, plus various spices

Additions: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Licorice Root, Organic Apple Bits, Organic Cranberries, Organic Cloves, Organic Nutmeg, Natural Flavors

Flavor: When I first opened the sample pouch, I noticed that the leaves smelled like orange and spice; I just had to brew up a cup right away.

This caffeine-free rooibos blend had a subtle spiciness that was reminiscent of chai tea, but with a smooth-creaminess that was a bit of a welcomed surprise. Speaking of surprises, if the creamy-spiciness wasn’t enough there was also refreshing, citrusy finish that made for a brilliant cup.

The overall flavor reminded me a bit of Tang Spice Tea Mix that my mom made for us as kids. This mixture had Tang and instant tea in it, plus cinnamon and cloves (if I am remembering correctly). Anyway, it was a tasty treat. But, the Cran Marnier is a much healthier option!

I have to say that out of the four holiday samples, I most enjoyed the Cran Marnier. My cup had plenty of character and each sip was a new delight. Luckily, this tisane blend is available year-round as a dessert tea.

Preparation Tips: As recommended by the Art of Tea website, I used nearly boiling water and let the leaves steep for a full 5-7 minutes. For best flavor, be sure to use one full tablespoon (not teaspoon) of rooibos per cup of water. Also, I Finum Brewing Basket will come in handy to keep all the tiny rooibos shreds separated from your brew.

Sample 2

Name: Pumpkin Pie {Seasonal Only}

Category: Tisane; Organic & Fair Trade South African Rooibos and Organic South African Honeybush

Pumpkin Pie

The Leaves: Red rooibos shreds with bright yellow marigold petals and noticeable chunks of spices

Additions: Organic Cloves, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Marigolds, Natural and Artificial Flavors

Flavor: This caffeine-free blend is quite delicate tasting, so much so that I could barely detect any flavor at all at first, except for the rooibos itself.

Once I quieted my mind and focused on my cup of tea, that is when I tasted real pumpkin pie. However, the flavor was quite elusive. Each cup seemed to reveal just one brilliant sip and then the brew became just a gentle swirl of sweet-spiciness with a hint of creaminess.

Overall, I liked this rooibos blend because it made me concentrate on the taste and nothing else. I will often drink a cup of brew will working, only stopping to take a sip, experience the flavor and move onward. But this tisane, demanded my full attention and for that I am grateful.

Preparation Tips: I used one heaping tablespoon (three teaspoons of rooibos) per eight ounces of boiling water and let steep for 5-7 minutes. Due to the elusive tastes in this tea, filtered water is a must. In addition, to keep all the tiny rooibos shreds from sneaking into your cup, consider using a Finum Brewing Basket. I really love mine!

Sample 3

Name: Santa’s Little Helper {Seasonal Only}

Category: Organic Puerh, Organic Black Tea

Santa's Little Helper

The Leaves: Dark chocolate colored leaves punctuated with tiny candy cane and pine tree sugar confections

Additions: Sugar Confections, Natural Flavors

Flavor: When I opened the sample pouch the leaves smelled of mint and dark chocolate, so I was pretty excited to brew up a cup. But, when I took my first sip, there was a musty taste that caught me off guard. If I hadn’t been willing to investigate further, I would have poured the rest of the concoction down the sink because I found the initial flavor to be quite displeasing to my untrained palate.

During my second attempt, the musty taste became more of an earthy flavor, which I assumed was the puerh talking to me. Not entirely dissuaded, I took a third sip and that is when I noticed the bittersweet dark chocolate note, the subtle sweetness and the cool minty finish.

After several more sips, I began to enjoy myself and started to notice the complexity in my cup. Each taste experience was slightly different and as the tea cooled the cocoa note became quite pronounced.

However, the musty-earthy taste continued to linger to the very last drop. This key taste is what will keep me from purchasing the Santa’s Little Helper in the future. But, I’m glad to have given it a try for something different.

Overall, this is a high quality blend, but for my personal tastes it wasn’t a winner.

Preparation Tips: As recommended on the Art of Tea website, I used water at 206F (just under boiling) and stepped the leaves for about 3-5 minutes. In addition, I found one-teaspoon per eight-ounces of water sufficient for a quality cup.

Sample 4

Name: Butterscotch  {Available Year-Round}

Category: Organic White Tea

Butterscotch

The Leaves: Beautiful green leaves with bits of yellow marigold petals, punctuated with round, pink peppercorns

Additions: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Organic Marigolds, Natural Flavors

Flavor: The leaves have an intriguing aroma, quite similar to butterscotch. I was expectant of a fascinating cup. But, I just never found it. Instead, I got a slightly sweet, light tasting tea that was satisfying, but not extraordinary.

The butterscotch flavor did play the leading role in each cup, but I could find little depth. I have to admit that I am not a connoisseur of white tea and perhaps someone with a better trained palate may find the complexity I was missing.

Although, there were moments when I had steeped the leaves just right and a nuance of creaminess was present. This added some character to the infusion.

I also discovered that if the leaves are steeped too long or in water that is too hot, this resulted in a bitter tasting brew. While it wasn’t displeasing, it was a tad bit annoying because I was trying to find that perfect cup that kept eluding me.

I’m not sure I would purchase this tea again, only because I would want to try other white teas first. But, for a white tea lover this may be a wonderful treat.

As with the other teas in this holiday sampler set, I am glad I stepped outside my comfort zone I gave something new a try, especially since I’ve tried so few white teas this past year.

Preparation Tips: Since there were no directions on the sample pouch other than a steep time of 3-5 minutes, I went to the Art of Tea website for more thorough instructions.

The website recommended a water temperature of 175-185F and a steep time of 1-3 minutes. I followed these instructions, playing around with variations. As suggested, I also used one heaping tablespoon per eight ounces of water; you’ll need this much Butterscotch for maximum flavor.

Art of Tea Sample Packaging

Due to the delicate tastes in this blend, filtered water is a must.

Packaging:

Each blend is packed in a resealable, foil-lined pouch. The four pouches come together in a kraft pillow box with decorative label and brown ribbon.

I love this packaging because not only does it make for a stunning presentation, but it also makes it perfect for gift giving any time of year.

Each sample contains around 1-2 ounces or 15-20 servings.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this holiday sample pack, or any of the other unique tea blends from Art of Tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Art of Tea main web page. Enjoy!

Art of Tea

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: American Tea Room Grand Yunnan Imperial

Grand Yunnan Imperial

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Grand Yunnan Imperial

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: The leaves are dark-brown to black in color with a sprinkling of golden tips

Additions: None

Flavor: A robust and slightly malty/biscuity brew with plenty of complexity

Overall: As I sit here writing this loose tea review and drinking the last of my sample, I am wishing I had ordered more of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. I really enjoy a strong and multifaceted black tea and this one certainly packs a powerful punch on both fronts.

Tea Review:

At first, I notice the robust-maltiness of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. As I explore further, the complexity of the brew starts to emerge. That is when I notice the unsweetened dark-chocolate note, which gives this black tea a richness that I really like.

Yet, there is something else there, another taste I can’t quite comprehend. Then it comes to me, a slight smokiness further enriches my cup along with a touch of spiciness.

As I finish off the first infusion, a decadent bitter-sweet dark chocolate flavor leaves my palette begging for more.

The second infusion is quite brilliant as well, especially for a black tea. I found that the smoky-spiciness has dissipated a bit and in its place is a honey-like sweetness. Overall, the second cup is mellower, but sweeter.

This is the kind of tea that you really want to savor in quiet contemplation so as not to miss any underlying flavors.

When I sip this tea, I find myself transported to a mountain top far above the din of the world. On that peak I feel one with nature and my warm brew reminds me that I am indeed alive—fully alive.

Sample Packs from American Tea Room

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of this tea, which came in a black pouch with colorful label. The label included the name of the tea as well as steeping instructions. One little annoyance with these bags, however, is that they don’t re-seal. On the plus side, they do have a thick foil-lining to help keep the tea fresh.

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and a brewing time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Because there were no specific directions about the amount of water or tea to use, I decided on one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot.

In addition, I used filtered water, which doesn’t make a big difference in taste for the first cup, but does impact the flavor of the second infusion.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – For the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to steep for about 5 to 6 minutes. I was quite pleased, but a little surprised as well, that I was able to get two very good cups of tea from a single teaspoon.

Dessert Tea – I found that I really enjoyed this tea in the morning as my wake-me-up brew, but I also found myself craving this tea after eating a rich tasting dessert. It helped to keep me from going back to the kitchen for more chocolate!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Grand Yunnan Imperial tea. Enjoy!

Grand Yunnan Imperial

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: American Tea Room Kensington

Kensington

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Kensington (English Breakfast Blend)

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Assam, India and Yunnan, China

The Leaves: Dark brown to midnight black leaves with a splash of golden tips. The dried leaves have an inviting sweet-earthy scent.

Additions: None

Flavor: A full-bodied and malty tasting brew with a touch of sweetness and just enough oomph! to get you going in the morning

Overall: Yunnan and Assam are two of my favorite black teas, but I had never thought to combine them. Good thing that the American Tea Room did it for me! This tea blend combines the best of two worlds and makes a rich and luxurious cup of tea.

Tea Review:

Since this English breakfast tea brings together two black teas that I adore, I was kind of expecting fireworks overhead when taking my initial sip. Even though the sky didn’t light-up with splashes of color, I was still dazzled by the combination of flavors.

At first, when the tea was still rather hot, I detected a note of sweetness. Just behind the scenes is a subtle, yet tantalizing flavor of bittersweet chocolate.

As the tea cooled, the maltiness seemed to really kick in, which made my cup even more interesting and enchanting.

The Kensington blend has a nice refreshing finish, just enough astringency to eloquently round out a robust and sumptuous brew. Plus, I love that little tingle on my tongue after each sip!

The overall experience left me feeling rather revitalized and empowered, ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

American Tea Room Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Kensington loose tea, which came in a black bag with colorful label that included steeping directions.

However, one little annoyance with these bags is that they don’t re-seal, but on the plus side they do have a thick foil-lining to keep the tea tasting fresh longer.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes.

I tried to follow these instructions fairly closely; occasionally I did let the leaves steep a minute longer out of habit, but I didn’t find that it made a significant difference in the taste.

As with most of my recent reviews, I used my six-ounce glass teapot. Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I decided to go with the general guideline of one level teaspoon.

I do recommend using filtered-water, if possible, to allow all the wonderful nuances of this tea to really shine.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to get two infusions from the Kensington tea. The first was definitely much more robust and the second retained the maltiness of the first infusion, but was mellower tasting.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Kensington tea. Enjoy!

Kensington

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 Black Dragon Pearls

Black Dragon Pearls

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Black Dragon Pearls

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: An abundance of full leaves, with some golden buds. The leaves are wrapped into small, marble-sized balls and are spectacular to watch unfurl as they steep.

Additions: None

Flavor: A wonderfully rich and earthy cup with tantalizing notes of bittersweet chocolate.

Overall: This has become another one of my favorite black teas. Not only does this tea provide an entertaining presentation, it also delivers a sumptuous taste experience that one would expect in a fine dining setting.

Tea Review:

When I first started drinking this tea, I used two pearls per six ounces and received a satisfactory cup. There was nothing extraordinary about the brew, other than a sharp taste I had not encountered before in a black tea.

However, once I discovered three pearls, magic happened.

The sharp taste was no longer there. Instead, I found a well-rounded, robust and earthy brew that had a distinct cocoa note; an ideal combination of flavors that left me feeling rather decadent and certainly wanting more.

For some reason while I was drinking this tea, I found myself transported to a handsome study with huge bookcases filled with leather-bound books. A fireplace is glowing and lights-up the exotic treasures from far-away places that adorn the massive room. I’m sitting in an overstuffed chair and listening to some sultry jazz as I sip my decadent tea. It’s as if all my worries have turned into gold, at least for one brief moment.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I ordered the sample size of this tea, which came in a good-sized, foil-lined pouch with the name of the tea and steeping instructions. The pouch is also re-sealable. Sweet!

Preparation Tips:

I used three pearls in my 6-ounce glass teapot and allowed the leaves to steep for 5 minutes in water that was approximately 200F.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, but I found the first cup to be the best.

Dessert Tea – I really enjoyed this tea after a meal. In fact, it is a wonderful replacement for dessert, especially if you’re looking to save a few calories. Although, if you’re feeling rather indulgent, go for the chocolate. Then put the perfect finishing touch on your meal with a cup of Black Dragon Pearls.

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 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: 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 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.