So my mom went on a two week vacation to British Columbia, and of course she brought back tea for me as a present/souvenir of sorts! Some of it wasn’t a surprise because it’s things I’d asked her to grab, but some of it was things that she chose on her own or with the help of shop keepers!
All in all, I wound up with fourteen different teas to enjoy from the following shops:
- Terroir Tea Merchant
- Murchie’s Tea & Coffee
- Janet’s Special Teas
- Silk Road
- Cloud Mountain Tea House
- The Fairmont Hotel (Not a tea store; but they do a High Tea where you can buy tea)
Silk Road was one of the places I had asked her to stop; I specifically wanted their Black Currant & Elderflower tea and a higher grade Dragonwell and then this is a tea she chose out for me on her own because she thought the country of origin was kind of unique – and it kind of is! I think I’ve actually had Tanzanian tea before in my Sommelier course but it’s certainly not something you see a ton of.
I was a little disappointed to see it was a CTC grade tea; but I’m not at all surprised by that either. Something like 90% of all tea produced in Africa is CTC grade, generally for tea bags or blends like breakfast blends. That said, even if I’m not really a fan of the strong, full bodied brisk and often greatly tannic brew that CTC produces I’m going to go into this mug of it as open minded as possible.
Honestly? It’s not bad.
Definitely a full bodied, brisk flavour with very round, lingering notes but it’s not unpleasantly strong and I don’t find it too tannic/astringent at all. In fact, one of the first words that comes to mind while sipping on this is “smooth”. There’s a very grainy, malty flavour that coats the tongue and is pleasantly sweet and very silky both in flavour and mouthfeel. I’m greatly enjoying it. Additionally, there’s a bit of lemon flavour in the undertones of the body and finish and while my personal experience with a lot of African black teas has been a more pithy/lemon rind kind of citrus note this is sweeter and almost sort of juicy. All in all, I think this is just a very pleasant tea not just as a CTC but just in general. Good pick, mom!
Flavors: Citrusy, Cocoa, Grain, Lemon, Malt, Sweet