Friday, December 21, 2007

Tsar's Blend Review

Type: Black
Origin: China
Price: ½ oz. Sample - $2, ¼ lb - $8.25, ½ lb - $15.70, 1 lb - $29.80
Vendor: Dragon Water Tea Company
Brewing Method: 1 tsp of loose leaves, 8 oz. of filtered water, heated to 212°F, in "Kat" teapot, for 3 minutes
Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5

The tea has an extremely sweet, smooth taste to it. I never thought about mixing black and white tea. However, this makes sense because the white tea is not as strong as the black. Since it was steeped for only 3 minutes, this allowed the black tea to have strength but the white tea is not steeped long enough to have any bitterness to it. Thus, an overwhelming sweetness is present.

I am normally skeptical when teas are described as “sweet,” but this tea seriously tastes like there has been a teaspoon of sugar added. If some sugar were to be added, I think it would be too sweet. Could white tea be used as a natural sweetener for other teas?

There is no astringency at all. Even when I drink this hot, my mouth still feels refreshed instead of dry like other teas leave it. With that being said, I think this tea would make an excellence iced tea.

Looking at the picture, you can see that the color is a dark reddish brown. As a matter of fact, I got this sample when I ordered the green cup that the liquor is in.

Before brewing: This tea consists of black leaves in tiny bits with a few silver needles here and there. Like my smiley face? Heh heh. I counted about 10 silver needle leaves in my ½ oz. package of this blend. So, you can see that there is not that much white tea in it, but it still makes a big difference.

After brewing: Both the black and white leaves are still the same size, roughly. The black leaves have opened up a little, but the chopped up bits aren’t that attractive.
I will definitely order more of this tea. Before I drank this tea, my favorite black tea was Ceylon Sonata from Adagio. However, I think this black tea just took the number one spot on my chart.

The one thing I would like to mention is that this tea was sent to me in a closable bag/pouch. The thing is, the pouch is clear on one side so you can see the tea (or whatever the contents is) that is inside the pouch. If I remember right, isn’t light and air the two biggest enemies of tea? If that is true, why would you put tea in a clear pouch? Even though it is only clear on one side, I still think it is bad packaging.

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