Joy! Celebration! Happiness! I am feeling better today, so much so that I left the bedroom and went back to my beloved tea lair. I am definitely on the recovery and I am so happy about it, I can even taste the nuanced layers in an oolong tea! I am not quite up to doing a tasting since my nose is still pretty stuffed, but I am so glad that I can taste things again that I don’t mind waiting. Luckily I have plenty of notes for just such an occasion.

Today’s tea is another of Shan Valley’s samples, the Black Tea to be precise! This CTC (crush tear curl, a method for processing Black Tea. For all the information you could want on this method of processing, I present this Wikipedia article for your knowledge hunting needs) is made from Black tea from Myanmar, as with the previous Shan Valley tea there are no steeping instructions so I winged it, steeping at 212 degrees for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. The aroma of the tea is quite rich and invigorating, blending strong sweet malty notes with rich nuttiness. It reminds me a bit of the aroma of a strongly nutty coffee, or even one of those fancy coffee tea blends that I have tried once or twice. There is a finishing aroma of roasted peanuts. The aroma of this tea certainly wakes up your nose.

The brewed tea leaves have a both earthy and malty aroma with a finishing sharpness. The sharpness reminds me of strong Kenyan CTC tea, there is a touch of sweetness at the finish. The liquid is bright and malty (and quite a lovely color) with a sweet creamy, almost fruity quality to the aroma.

Tasting time, I am sure this is going to give me a wakeup zing of caffeine, which is good since I was drinking this first thing in the morning. The first thing I notice is how smooth the tea is, it has a tiny bit of bitterness that gives it a bold quality and slight dryness. I have found that CTC teas are really hit or miss with me, actually a lot of them are a miss, usually I find them too abrasive, not necessarily too bitter, but too strong and lacking all subtlety. Usually these teas end up being drowned with cream and sugar because I don’t enjoy them straight. This tea, however, is on the end of the CTC spectrum that I enjoy! The taste is a blend of nuttiness, rich earthy notes, and a sweet finish of fruit. Out of curiosity I added a touch of cream and sugar and it was great, the perfect example of a breakfast tea. It retains its bold strength and rich nutty flavor, the cream adds a level of smoothness that compliments the already smooth tea, and the sugar highlights the fruity finish. If you are looking for a bold tea for breakfast, or want to make the switch from coffee to tea, I recommend this tea. I also recommend this tea for people who are making the transition from generic bagged black (think Lipton and its ilk) to a loose tea, who want a more transitional tea rather than jumping right in to the SFGTFOP Assam or Golden Yunnan type teas.

For Blog and Photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/03/shan-valley-black-tea-tea-review.html

Flavors: Malt, Nuts

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Glad you’re feeling better.


Good to hear you are feeling better!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Thanks you two! I am so glad as well :)

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Glad you’re feeling better.


Good to hear you are feeling better!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Thanks you two! I am so glad as well :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



My Rating Guide, This is a personal rating and not necessarily a reflection of the tea’s quality
100-Must have on hand, it is one of my favorite teas
85-99-Really good teas, like exquisitely good
65-84-Not bad, they can be good but generic, or just teas that I found enjoyably ok.
40-64-Not a favorite, but not terrible. I would drink it if it was in front of me but I doubt I would seek it out on my own.
20-40-Not the best tea ever, either it was not to my liking or it was really bland. Chances are I would turn this one down unless I was really thirsty.
0-19-No, just no. Either there was something wrong with this tea or it was utterly undrinkable by me.

I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a large chunk of my life painting miniatures and contemplating my various army layouts. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading and researching category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. I love nature and worked as a Naturalist in the Northwoods one summer, it might have been the best job ever.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it so fair warning! I do tend to not vanish very long though. Also I have some ‘social disorders’ which basically translates to I am really awkward and bad at socializing, so forgive any lack of social graces.

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony black teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P


Kansas City, MO



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