|"This is one wonderful tea that pays off in spades – whether you are paying attention or not. "|
Mark T. Wendell created this blend in memory of a close personal friend (presumably of Elliott & Hartley Johnson, I’m guessing, as they are the current owners of the company). Not many details are given, such as who this pays tribute to, or what happened to that person, but as 10% of the proceeds go to the Cancer Research Institute, one can put the pieces of the puzzle together and realize what a great and noble tea this is, regardless of the taste, varietal or character. Lucky for us, it is a great tea on the palate as well as the conscious.
Manhattan Tribute is essentially a straight-up black tea, but it is comprised of a blend of 3 high-quality teas: Indian, Formosan and Ceylon. I appreciate the air of mystery that surrounds that – that is some vague information. “Indian” tea could be anything from Nilgiri to Darjeeling to Assam – and I have a suspicion that it very well may be all three. Formosan – surely an oolong, but is it a Dong Ding? A Pouchon? Whatever this secret recipe holds, it is incredibly excellent. In fact, it’s my most satisfying cup of black tea I’ve imbibed this summer. Is it bold? Most definitely. Flavorful? Absolutely. Yet something about it sneaks under the radar so well that I was able to casually sip it and carry on with my daily business. When I stop to pay attention, I note many terrific qualities. A good malty richness. A solid, bold presence. A strong spiciness and citrus tinge on the nose in dried form – but those characteristics dissipate evenly and smoothly once infused in the cup. There’s even a mint-like cooling sensation somehow in the lingering finish ?! This is one wonderful tea that pays off in spades – whether you are paying attention or not.
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