Review: Art of Tea Classic Black

Art of Tea, Black Tea, Nilgiri Tea, Organic Tea, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I definitely would seek this tea out again for it's smooth, creamy body and it's rich and changing flavour profile. Highly recommended."
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.2/10
Other Teaviews: Melanie gave it 10/10, Shaiha gave it 8.8/10, Geoff gave it 9.5/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
artofteaclassicblackThis organic tea won first place at the World Tea Expo in the Black Tea Category. This blend combines high elevation, estate grown Nilgiri tea with Yunnan Gold buds. At a glance, the Nilgiri definitely dominates the blend. Only a few of the Yunnan's golden threads are visible amongst the purplish-brown leaves of the Indian tea. There leaves come in all shapes and sizes, from entirely whole to dust particles. The aroma is very sweet and rich, full of chocolate, vanilla and berry notes.

I steeped a level teaspoon of leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 205 degrees Fahrenheit and steeped for 4 minutes. As soon as I dunked the leaves in, the water turned a deep mahogany brown. A light, malty and biscuity aroma emerged from the cup. This is a case where the result is more than the sum of it's parts. Together the Nilgiri and the Yunnan combine to make a very rich and rewarding brew: it oozes slowly across the tongue, like the smoothest of operators. I haven't had many experiences with Nilgiri teas but from what I remember they lend a luscious creamy quality to the cup, as is the case here. Meanwhile the Yunnan adds it's characteristic burnt sugar and roasted root vegetable notes. I found this tea to have a strong berry-like element to it as well. At the same time there is also a good dose of chocolate and caramel, along with a dry finish. Some astringency develops as it cools, but just enough to give the tea a pleasant briskness. Although this tea is certainly stout enough to take milk and sugar, I enjoyed it most plain, allowing me to savour the rich and changing notes waltzing across my palate!

I infused the leaves again, for 5 minutes this time. The Yunnan that took more of a back seat in the first round is now much more prominent. There are also many more malt and biscuit notes. It's lost some of it's depth but it still makes for a tasty cup. A drinkable third cup can be eked out by steeping the leaves for 10 minutes or more. It never gets bitter but the tea is not very flavourful at this point. I wouldn't go out of my way to do this again.

This is my second experience with Art Of Tea, both of which have made me stand up and take notice. This company seems to provide exceptional teas, while encouraging sustainable development such as organic farming and fair trade. I definitely would seek this tea out again for it's smooth, creamy body and it's rich flavour profile. Highly recommended.

Vendor Alert! For a wide selection of green, black, white and oolong teas, as well as teaware and tea-related accessories, be sure to visit Art of Tea.

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