I liked this one the first time I had it. I liked it even more today.
This was a free sample from Russel Allyn at Harney and Sons.
This was the final tea served at tea party today. We did not count the iced Vanilla Jasmine from Golden Moon when we voted for our favorite tea of the day, so it was just between this one and Sun Moon Lake from Fong Mong. My guest was not a fan of the Sun Moon Lake tea, but this tea elicited quite a response. She said that this tea reminded her of the sugar cane pressings that she went to as a child in Louisiana, when they squeezed the sweet juice from the cane and then boiled it in copper pots, stirring and skimming the surface continually, then pouring it from pan to pan as it gets purer and boils down. My great uncle had sugar cane fields and equipment here in North Carolina, so I had heard these stories from my mother as well.
There is a wild sweetness to this tea, a scent similar to sniffing a bowl of raw cane sugar. I know – I have a bowl on the tea table and compared the two! The taste that lingers is a dark sweetness, like honey. Dark and rich. In a way, it makes me think of liquid raisins. I like raisins by themselves, but if there is something black in my cookie it had darned well better be a chocolate chip! But the texture and stickiness of raisins doesn’t appeal to me. Here is a way to get that wonderful flavor in the most enjoyable way!
I also realized that this is the very flavor I loved in Black Ruby from the now closed Shui Tea. I am glad to find something that steps in so nicely to take the place of that beloved member of my tea shelf! This tea held its own against the cookie plate we were sharing, the Sun Moon Lake disappeared a bit under the cookies but was very good when the palate cleared, so I don’t think I would serve SML with food much.
Thank you, again, Russel and Harney and Sons! It’s a winner!