Review: KTeas Bolivian Whole Leaf Black Tea

Black Tea, Bolivian Tea, KTeas Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It was difficult for me to pinpoint at first, but I detected mint, cinnamon and fennel on the nose. A very uniquely spicy smell, even more so than high altitude Indian teas of the Darjeeling persuasion."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.4/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.5/10, Melanie gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 8.1/10, Rebecca gave it 8.5/10
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kteaslogoThe Andes have always held a fascination for me, but never in terms of beverages. The only "tea" I knew of from that region was mate de coca. (Yes, it's exactly what you think it is.) However, through the rumblings of various tea-related sites, I had come across mention of high altitude teas grown in Central and Southern America. Yamamotoyama - the Japanese tea giant, for instance - owns a few plantations in the New World. I'm not sure what the exact figure is, though.

A few Bolivian-grown teas have surfaced on Teaviews on occasion. Alas, I never had the opportunity to try them until now. Thanks be to KTeas for providing such a new opportunity. Half of my fixation/obsession with tea revolves around the unique origins, stories, and myths centered around this beautiful beverage. But enough poetic (or pathetic) dilly-dallying.

The KTeas profile compares this to an Assam without the bite. Appearance-wise, it bore no passing resemblance to the hearty Indian black. If I were to make a cursory comparison, I would say it resembled a Formosan black or oolong, heavily roasted. The scent, however, did not support the roasted appearance at all. It was difficult for me to pinpoint at first, but I detected mint, cinnamon and fennel on the nose. A very uniquely spicy smell, even more so than high altitude Indian teas of the Darjeeling persuasion.

Brewing instructions were a wonderful shade of simple; 2 heaping teaspoons in 8oz of boiling water for three-to-five minutes. I followed the measurements exactly - since KTeas was usually spot-on with the recommendations - but brewed on the low side for only three minutes. Not a fan of a tannic oversteep.

The tea leaves infused the water to liquid chestnut. The mouthpiece aroma was indeed malty like that of an Assam with a residual spicy tickle at the end. It was a very clean scent. I'm in agreement that - at least in that department - it didn't have much bite. On the flavor front, the foretaste possessed an astringent kick, but that settled quite nicely into a creamy, caramel-like middle with a molasses lean. No real aftertaste to speak of except to say the malt aspect lingered. A grand addition to the black tea ranks.

It's interesting to note that during traditional Bolivian tea time, empanadas are a compliment. I know that a McDonald's is nearby. Hrm, pondering...nah.

— To purchase KTeas Bolivian Whole Leaf Black 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.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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