I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I last ordered from Mountain Stream Teas. After drinking two samples from them that were clearly rancid (not stale), I moved on to other avenues. This year, I felt called to them again, something about wanting, for whatever reason, to try some less than perfect leaf. They have a range of certified organic and no pesticide teas. There are the familiar balled oolong and some lesser known styles of Taiwanese tea, both processed in traditional and experimental manners.
This tea is a part of a series of tea-stuffed citrus fruits that I think Mountain Stream Teas released in the past year or two. Cursory reading shows this method of preserving tea originated with the Hakka people of China and the knowledge migrated with them to Taiwan.
I’m very much a citrus lover and have enjoyed but never been wowed by shou pu’er stuffed oranges/tangerines. When I saw the combination of teas and citrus fruits, I had to try a few. They offer black tea stuffed lemons and pomelos and an oolong stuffed orange (which is only currently available as the whole fruit and not a sample).
I brewed this yesterday morning by stewing it in my work thermos, tossing in a big chunk of rock-hard lemon rind and what tea was stuck to it. It produced a dark and rich medicinal-citrus brew. Lots of sweet, dark raisiny, roasted honey flavor from the black tea mixed with the bright and tart taste of the lemon pulp that was processed with the black tea. The lemon rind looks like something you’d expect to find next to a mummy – this tea was meant to store for the long haul. The peel contributes an earthy, rich and brothy, fermented medicinal zesty overtone.
I think I’d actually like to add this to my collection. It may not get drank often but I really enjoyed it. If the black tea stuffed pomelo is as comforting and satisfying, I may sequester the collection of 3 fruits for the afterlife ;) I’d love to see Roswell Strange’s take on these!
Also, it’s good to see MST got their game together and now vacuum pack all their oolong, even the 10g samples. That should help keep the tea from going stale or turning rancid.
Flavors: Broth, Citrusy, Earth, Honey, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Medicinal, Molasses, Raisins, Roasted, Sweet, Tart