Great Smoky Mountains

Tea type
Black Fruit Herbal Blend
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Berries, Blackberry, Artificial, Berry, Candy, Chalk, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Wood
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 11 oz / 325 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve been drinking this one for the last two weeks. My first cup I did not care for it. I had my last cup today and I’ll say, it’s improved but probably still not one I would purchase again. The...” Read full tasting note
    33
  • “My last one to try from the National Parks collection! This is a blackberry black tea with a bit of lapsang in the mix for smokiness. If I’m being honest, I knew immediately from the smell that I...” Read full tasting note

From Simpson & Vail

After living near the Smokies for three years, this park and the community hold a special place in my heart. The Smoky Mountains is the most visited park in the US with numbers such as 11.4 million visits in 2018. There is a multitude of reasons for these large numbers. On my last visit to the Smokies I met a woman and her family on vacation. She told me she vacationed in the Smokies every year since the 1970s and hikes a different trail every year! The variety of hiking trails is only one of the reasons people keep coming back. Delicious blackberries grow abundantly here and it’s almost impossible to leave the Smokies without blackberry flavored goodies: Blackberry jam, blackberry donuts, and (the best) blackberry moonshine. Naturally when designing a blend for this park we started with a prominent blackberry flavor then added a subtle smoky taste which represents the haze that lays across the mountains.

History:
This National Park is unique because, unlike out west where the government owned the land, the proposed land for the Smokies was already occupied by European settlers (farmers, loggers, and other businesses). After a trip to several national parks in the west, Anne Davis decided that the Great Smoky Mountains would be a perfect home for a national park. She set out to take part in establishing this park in order to halt the progress of loggers, who were beginning to diminish resources and wildlife from the area. She was elected to the state legislature with this goal in mind and became instrumental in proposing the legislation that provided funds for the purchase of the Little River Lumber Company land that became the kernel for what would grow into the national park. Her efforts were one of many that dated back to the late 1890’s in the struggle to establish a western style national park in the east.

In 1929, the same year that Simpson & Vail was incorporated, the National Park Service set out to purchase private land within the proposed park boundaries. While many people sold their holdings others, like the Walker family, were more resistant. John and Margaret Jane Walker lived in a small 3 room, two story cabin with their eleven children. After John Walker died, he left the home to his six unmarried daughters. The sisters refused to leave their home and it wasn’t until 1940, that they agreed to sell their family residence with the stipulation of being allowed to live out their lives on the property. As visitors began to flood the Smokies, the Walker sisters still lived their humble, mountain lifestyle. They were welcoming to tourists for a little over 30 years after the park’s founding until, in 1966, the last sister passed away. The Walker’s homestead still stands and is a visual reminder of the mountain lifestyle that once existed in the Park.

Ingredients: Black teas, lapsang souchong tea, blackberries, blackberry leaf, marigold petals and blackberry flavor.

About Simpson & Vail View company

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2 Tasting Notes

33
102 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this one for the last two weeks. My first cup I did not care for it. I had my last cup today and I’ll say, it’s improved but probably still not one I would purchase again.

The leaves are neat to look at with bright colored berries mixed in. This probably should have been a sign to me that it might be a bit to sweet for my tastes. There is a strong berry taste with a very very very small hint of smoke if I concentrate hard.

Flavors: Berries, Blackberry

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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2884 tasting notes

My last one to try from the National Parks collection! This is a blackberry black tea with a bit of lapsang in the mix for smokiness.

If I’m being honest, I knew immediately from the smell that I wasn’t going to enjoy this tea. The blackberry flavoring definitely has that chalky quality to it that always reminds me of berry-flavored Tums. I don’t know if other people ever have that impression or if it’s just a weird association I have, but it’s fairly common for me with berry flavoring.

Anyway! The blackberry is the strongest flavor here, and it does taste rather candy/artificial to me with some chalkiness. Almost like Smarties maybe, but less sweet? The smoke is extremely subtle, too subtle in my opinion. I’m not sure I would notice it if I didn’t know it was there. There’s just a hint of campfire smoke and dark wood behind the blackberry. A tiny bit of tartness pops up in the aftertaste, perhaps from the freeze-dried berries.

While I like the concept of this one a lot, it falls short for me because of the very candy-like blackberry and the almost imperceptible lapsang smokiness. Certainly not a favorite from this collection.

I think I’ll hold off on a rating because I feel like I have an abnormal reaction to a lot of berry flavors…

Flavors: Artificial, Berry, Blackberry, Candy, Chalk, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
tea-sipper

Aw, it IS a great concept

Cameron B.

I know, I was excited for it! Ah well… Maybe someone else would love it.

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