This tea is a proprietary blend of plan and smoked black tea and roasted chicory, buckwheat, and wild rice. It’s promoted as a sort of “replacement” for coffee on their website. The idea is that you may want to switch to tea for health benefits, but if you missed the roasted taste of coffee, this may fill the niche. On paper, it seems kind of expensive, but when I receive my sample, it’s comprised of massive paper bags holding a ridiculous amount of tea. I do the math and realise that each bag is around a whopping 7 grams. So while $7 for 10 bags seems the high end of reasonable, $7 for 2.5 ounces of a tea blend is very affordable.
I tear one bag open and see a mix of CTC black tea and curled black tea leaves, bits of what I assume is chicory and buckwheat, and the distinct spears of wild long-grain rice. I brew it as the recommend: One bag per cup at 195° for 3 minutes. The dry blend had mostly just smelled of the smoked black tea, but once brewed it smells smoky, roasty, and even somewhat sweet.
All in all, it’s a pretty brilliant blend. It’s smoky, roasty, and terrifically robust. I can see why they tout it as the tea version of coffee, and I could see it being a great way to wake up. It’s got an acidic finish, not uncommon in either roasted tea or coffee, but not my favourite way to finish off a cup. Other than that, though, it’s smooth and easy to drink. Since there’s so much leaf in each bag, I try brewing it with two cups of water per bag. It’s all right, certainly drinkable, but it loses its brilliance. I won’t bother brewing it so diluted again.
If you enjoy lapsang souchong, this is another way to get that smoked flavour without hitting the note quite as strongly as a pure smoked tea would. It’s a sort of “lapsang light.” I don’t mind smoked teas, but I usually have about six ounces and am ready to call it quits. With this blend, however, I find myself craving another cup immediately after polishing off the first one. Very unique, and at $1 for a sample, it’s definitely worth trying at least once.
— To purchase The CoffeeTrade Company Mountainjack Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
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