A delicious blend of four of our most loved black teas. Rich and malty Assam provides an aromatic chocolatey note to the floral and sweet Darjeeling, while the crisp Keemun and peppery Yunnan create a strong backbone to this incredible blend. The varying flavor profiles balance each other perfectly to create a smooth, strong breakfast tea to suit any palate.
Ingredients: Darjeeling 2nd Flush, Assam Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe Black Tea, Organic Keemun Breakfast Black Tea, Yunnan Breakfast Black Tea
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Purchase: Simple Loose Leaf
Suggested Brewing Tips:
Serving Size: 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving
Water Temp: 212°F
Steep Time: 3 - 5 minutes
What started out as a simple subscription service has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few months and I've been excited to see the changes Simple Loose Leaf has made as the company has expanded. Hopefully later this month I'll be able to give you an update on all of the new features they've added since I signed up for my subscription in September. With this tea I'm officially half way through my six month subscription and the timing couldn't have been better for this particular tea to arrive at my door. Our high yesterday was -15°F which meant I was in need of a nice bold black tea to warm me up after being out in those freezing temperatures removing snow from the driveway and sidewalk. I live in Wisconsin where we have pesky laws that don't care how cold it is outside, or that school was cancelled statewide for the first time ever, they still require us to have the sidewalk clear enough to walk on.
This is the first time I've doubted my decision to move to Wisconsin... well second, my first winter here was an eye-opener, we had over 100 inches of snow. For a girl who didn't see that much snow over the previous 10 years her life, and didn't own a winter coat, this was a bit of a shock. I bought a coat and things got better, but still, our low yesterday was -25°F, which is just nuts.
Before I made my final decision on which teas to select for my subscription, I asked the owner Andrew which teas he and his co-owners Sarah and Nick preferred so I could include at least one of them in my subscription. I love it when owners are willing to share their personal tastes with me, it gives me an opportunity to try what they feel is the best they have to offer. Oftentimes those teas end up becoming favorites of mine as well. According to Andrew, Sarah and Nick have "similar tastes buds" and prefer the Organic Rooibos, however he is more partial to darker teas, making Four Horsemen Black his choice. It's been pretty well documented that I'm not a huge fan of rooibos (although it is growing on me) so I decided to add Andrew's favorite to my subscription.
I'm really glad that I did.
I found the combination of Darjeeling, Assam, Keemun, and Yunnan Black teas to be nearly perfect. Each tea contributed some of it's best parts for a delicately balanced breakfast blend. The 2nd Flush Darjeeling lent a bit of astringency and hints of fruit (perhaps the illusive muscatel notes people often refer to when describing Darjeeling?) The Assam contributed a rich, almost chocolatey flavor, giving the tea a nice smooth taste. There were hints of sharp, crisp smoke from the Keemun and from the Yunnan a bold, malty flavor. This tea ended up being one that was complex and full of contrasts, bold yet smooth, rich up front with a mellow aftertaste. It has everything I was looking for in a breakfast blend.
I had fully intended to try this out as an iced tea because I think it would be wonderful, but I think you'll understand why I didn't do that this week. Who wants to drink iced tea when it is -15°F outside? Not me, that's for sure.
My Rating: 86/100
Would I order this again? Yes. This bold tea is perfect for when you can't get going in the morning, it will have your eyes open in no time.
In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Simple Loose Leaf has provided me with a $50 credit to use towards their subscription service. It did not cover the cost of everything and I paid $9.54 out of pocket. As always, all opinions are my own.