Posts Tagged ‘Black Tea’

Image

Produced by: North Tea Power

Price: £4.00 p/ 50g (only available to buy in the cafe)

Puerh has always been a bit of a mystery tea for me, there seems so much to it and the older it is the better and I have kind of avoided drinking it out of not quite knowing what I am buying. I have bought some previously but found I really did not like it but this one from NTP is pretty nice.

Image

It brews up to a lovely dark colour after around 5 minutes brew time and is something a little different from my usual black teas from Assam, Ceylon or Kenya. I can’t see me drinking this on a regular basis but to break from my regular choices this is enjoyable enough. For a non Puerh drinking this was a good starting point.

Advertisements

Image

 

Produced by: PMD Tea

Price: £5.50 for 50g

This was a curiosity tea that I was wanting to try – a smoky Ceylon. Now i’m no fan of Lapsang Souchong (it’s too intense) and I don’t mind Russian Caravan but this just get’s it right.

Image

The dried tea is smoked over cinnamon bark which gives it a lovely smoky taste but this aftertaste lingers in your mouth even after you have drank the liquor. Whereas some smoked teas feel like you have swallowed an ashtray, this is just really tasty and at no point does the smokiness become too much or ruin the drinking experience. When brewing it looks like a pint of guiness, it really does go that dark in colour but this is just a nice balance of taste and flavour. Well done PMD!

80%

Image

Produced by: Tealux

Price: £7.75 p/ 50g

For a country that is always associated with Green Tea I was interested in trying this black tea. I brewed it up just off the boil, it is quite fine sized pieces of tea that don’t give off any discernable aroma when brewing.

Image

Once fully brewed you get a deep coloured brew similar to an Assam but to describe it’s taste is pretty difficult. If you are a black tea drinker that likes Indian, Ceylon or African black teas then you might find this not to your liking. It is pretty mellow for a black tea and a pleasant drink but its hard to put into words exactly what it tastes like! It’s one to try for yourselves to see what you think of it, would I buy it again? No, I’ve tried it and thats enough but as a curiosity I’m happy to have bought some.

65%

Image

This was a tea that I had seen and had wanted to try for sometime. I like the Tealux site as they offer lots of weird and wonderful teas but this one caught my eye. Brewing up, I made this up with slightly more tea than suggested as there wasn’t enough to split between two servings. 

Image

This tea smells gorgeous, real hints of sweetness and chocolate come out of both the aroma and the taste. It is almost like having a desert in a cup, it doesn’t feel like you are drinking a cup of tea even though you are. There is something very special about this tea that I have not tasted anywhere else, its an odd one to try but it is really lovely. I would order this again, if you do order from Tealux please do bear in mind it is quite long shipping times though.

85%

Image

 

Produced by: PMD Tea

Price: Not currently available

Another lovely free sample from the nice people at PMD, I brewed this up to find a typical Ceylon but with no real distinguishable taste or character to it. Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t make for a bad brew, it is in fact pretty pleasant but it isn’t the greatest Ceylon tea that I have ever tried.

Image

Brewing up to a lovely coppery colour, we have a tea that is reasonably light to drink and refreshing but it just feels very average and nothing extraordinary. I know I can’t like every Ceylon tea but this is just quite plain. Happy to have got this as a freebie, may have felt let down if I had paid for it.

65%

20140427-092413.jpg

 

 

Produced by: TeaHorse

Price: N/A (No longer trading)

Nothing starts the day off better than a good Assam tea, for those none coffee drinkers such as myself, this is what is gonna give you the best start to the day. And here is another fine example of a good quality Assam from the now sadly defunct TeaHorse. This just sits below the real hard hitters of this tea, given you enough bite but without it being heavy on the maltiness. If you want an Assam that doesn’t need or want milk then this would be a good quality one to opt for.

20140427-092430.jpg

Brewed up for four minutes with boiling water this is a lovely example of an Assam tea, it doesnt reach the usual colour of an Assam and sits closer to a Ceylon but taste wise this is just fantastic. I would definitely buy this again and for those of you who want to try Assam but don’t want something too intense this would be a good tea to choose.

90%

Your tea journey

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

As I’m not at home much at the moment, reviews are few and far between for now but this got me wondering what else could I write about. And so it struck me, every0ne who is a lover of tea must have a back story about how they got to where they are now.

I remember when I was younger my great auntie having a full tea set, a proper pot, tea cosy, milk jug and sugar bowl and proper china cups and saucers. That to me was one of my childhood memories, seeing the loose tea scooped into a pre warmed pot, then filled with boiling water and a tea cosy put over it. Then leaving it a few minutes and pouring it out into the cups, milk first and sugar, then the tea.

It wasn’t until I stopped drinking alcohol that I became an avid tea drinker. I was picky about what I bought at the supermarket but I wouldn’t deviate from a good breakfast tea or an Assam. About two years ago I went away for a weekend with Gemma (my wife) and in our lodge there was a teapot. As we went out to get some shopping at Booths I picked up a pack of loose tea to take back with us. The next step came when a colleague went on holiday to Sri Lanka (not at all jealous!) and I always ask people if you’re going away to bring me back some tea. This is what he did but this was in the form of loose tea so then I had to buy a tea infuser and off I went.

Finally when I went to London in August for a film festival, I had time to kill so popped down to the Twinings shop on The Strand and bought back a selection of various teabags but I also tried some loose tea at their teabar at the back of the shop. This is where my enthusiasm and inquisitiveness for different types of tea started and from there on in I try and get some new teas every month to try. Some I love, some I’m indifferent to but it is an interesting journey to try something completely different and I’d say I like tea in a way another person may have an interest in wine or quality malt whiskies.

Not everyone gets it as they just see tea as an everyday commodity like milk, bread, sugar etc but as you delve beyond the mediocrity of the teabag there is a lot to enjoy. Learning about where your tea comes from, the country and estate, where it is grown, how it tastes and learning how to properly brew it using the right measurements, temperature and time is a skill in itself. It is also an interest that doesn’t cost the earth, a nice shipment of tea for a month costs me less than what a couple of bottles of wine would.

So what next? Well I got a teamaker for Christmas which offers different brewing temperatures and means I can resteep to my hearts content. I’d also like a gongfu set and also a proper quality set of cups and saucers too. All I need now is a bigger house to store it all.

Do I have any suggestions for a person picking up and trying loose tea? Well the first step is to learn your own taste preferences, there is no right or wrong answers. Try and sample as many different teas as you can but learn how to make it correctly. I’m adamant the reason many people dislike green tea is that its down to dipping a teabag in boiling water and wondering why it tastes so awful. Try a quality loose green tea, lower temperature for a shorter time and taste the difference. You chill white wine and serve red at room temperature so learn how to make the tea you have bought.

Any finally don’t over complicate it, get a selection of loose tea, your kettle, a pot and a strainer and off you go. It’s how I started and it really is that simple.

Kris