Tea Time in July 2023 Box
Greetings, tea enthusiasts! As we dive into the heart of summer, our July 2023 Tea Time Box promises to transport you on a flavor journey through the aromatic landscapes of India and China. With an exquisite selection of teas, each handpicked for its unique charm, we are thrilled to reveal our offerings. First, we have a timeless classic from the fabled Assam region for our Origins line. Second, our Fruity or Floral line presents an enchanting snail-shaped Jasmine Green tea from China. And last but certainly not least, to challenge your taste buds and awaken your senses, we've included an Indian staple - Masala Chai. So, grab your favorite teacup, sit back, and let's voyage into the captivating world of these Indian and Chinese teas together!
Follow our My Tea Time blog series for an immersive exploration of your monthly tea experiences. Without further ado, let's start our July tea experience!
Get to know your Origins Tea!
Welcome to the "Origins" line, where we introduce you to the unique journey of your favorite teas, right from the leaf to your cup. This month, we strive to bring you closer to the world of tea, unraveling the narratives of different tea types, the regions they originate from, their growers, and the craft of tea making. The Origins series is not just about understanding tea; it's about experiencing it in its most authentic form and appreciating the love, skill, and tradition that goes into creating these delightful brews. Today, we're exploring the bold and malty Assam Black Tea from Teas for Wildlife. Sit back, sip, and enjoy the journey of discovery.
Tea Name: Assam Black Tea
Teamaker: Teas for Wildlife
Origin: Assam, India
Elevation: Low altitude, ranging from sea level to 200 meters (656 feet).
Cultivation: The Assam Black Tea is grown in extensive, picturesque tea gardens that span over 216,200 hectares in the fertile plains of Assam. The climate in Assam is tropical, with heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. The region's rich loamy soil, tropical climate, and abundant rainfall contribute to the unique malty flavor of this black tea.
Harvest Year: 2023
Brewing Instructions: For the perfect cup of Assam Black Tea, use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for every 8 ounces of water. Bring your water to a boil (approximately 212°F or 100°C). Once it's reached the boiling point, pour the water over the tea leaves and let them steep for about 3-5 minutes. This is a robust tea, so adjust the steeping time according to your taste preference. Enjoy it plain, or with milk and sugar to taste.
Tea Aroma and Taste
A steaming cup of tea is more than a mere beverage—it's an invitation to engage all your senses. And when it's Assam Black Tea from Teas for Wildlife, the experience is elevated to an exotic journey. As you hold the warm cup, embrace the beautiful aromas, and savor the rich flavors, let's delve deeper into this unique brew's distinctive appearance, smell, and taste.
Appearance: In its dry form, Assam Black Tea has robust, well-rolled leaves with a vibrant mix of dark brown and black hues, often with golden tips. The visual appeal lies in its rich, bold color, indicative of the strong flavors that it holds. Brewed, it takes on a deep, bright, and enticing burgundy-red color that's almost hypnotic, beckoning you to take a sip.
Smell: The aroma of Assam Black Tea is nothing short of enchanting. As the leaves unfurl in hot water, they release a full-bodied, earthy fragrance, reminiscent of the fertile plains of Assam. It holds a complex bouquet that hints at the freshness of the rain-soaked soil and a slight malty sweetness. The smell is refreshing and will stir your senses, preparing you for the richness that is about to follow in the taste.
Taste: The magic of Assam Black Tea lies in its unique taste. The first sip greets you with a bold, malty flavor with a distinctive robustness that's signature to Assam teas. It is full-bodied and rich, capturing the region's spirit in each drop. The flavor profile is complex, with a smooth, creamy texture that fills the mouth, and a slightly astringent aftertaste, leaving a lasting impression on your palate. Whether enjoyed straight or blended with milk and sugar, it offers an invigorating tea-drinking experience that is hard to match. So next time you brew a cup of Assam Black Tea from Teas for Wildlife, remember, you're not just sipping on a beverage but partaking in a sensory journey through the lush tea gardens of Assam.
About the farm and Farmers!
Assam, the land of rolling plains and thick forests, is a tea lover's paradise. The region's rich, fertile soil and unique climate make it an ideal place for tea cultivation, producing some of the world's most sought-after teas. Here, we would like to introduce you to the dedicated farmers of Teas for Wildlife, the masterminds behind our stunning Assam Black Tea.
Background on the Farmers: The farming team at Teas for Wildlife comprises a group of skilled and passionate individuals who have been nurturing their craft for generations. Many of them come from families that have been farming for centuries, their tea-growing knowledge passed down through generations. The team comprises locals who have grown up in the fields, watching the tea bushes bloom and grow, instilling in them an intrinsic love and respect for the land.
Teas for Wildlife is about more than just producing quality tea. It's about cultivating a sustainable environment where nature and people can thrive. The farm practices organic farming, eliminating harmful pesticides and instead relying on natural methods to nurture the tea bushes. The farming team meticulously cares for the tea plants throughout the year, ensuring the bushes are pruned at the best times and carefully hand-picking the leaves during harvest season to maintain their quality.
Beyond their dedication to tea, the farmers at Teas for Wildlife are committed to preserving their local wildlife. The farm allocates a portion of its profits to support local conservation efforts, working closely with wildlife organizations to protect and rehabilitate endangered species in the region.
Every sip of the Assam Black Tea from Teas for Wildlife is a testament to the farmers' dedication, hard work, and love for their craft. The rich, robust flavors and aroma reflect the efforts of the farmers who tirelessly work the land, preserving traditional farming methods while embracing sustainable practices. Through every cup, they offer a part of their culture, tradition, and their commitment to nature and its preservation.
Tea and pastry pairings can create a harmonious symphony of flavors when thoughtfully matched, and our Assam Black Tea paired with Shortbread Orange Cookies and Gluten-free Lemon Cookies is no exception. Here's how these pairings blend to provide a unique and satisfying sensory experience:
Shortbread Orange Cookies (Mexico)
The rich, full-bodied, and malty flavor of Assam Black Tea presents the perfect counterbalance to the sweet, citrusy flavor of the Shortbread Orange Cookies. Assam's boldness and astringency help cleanse the palate after each bite of the cookie, preparing your taste buds for the next mouthful of sweet and tangy orange.
The cookie's crumbly texture and the robustness of the tea create a complementary contrast. This balance prevents either the tea or cookie from overwhelming the other, allowing you to enjoy the distinct characteristics of both. The orange flavor in the cookie also complements the natural fruity undertones found in Assam tea, enhancing the overall tasting experience.
Gluten-free Lemon Cookies (USA)
When paired with Gluten-free Lemon Cookies, the Assam Black Tea again plays a balancing act. The tea's malty flavor provides a robust background to the cookie's light, zesty lemon flavor. As the tea cleanses your palate, the citrusy freshness of the lemon cookie cuts through the tea's intensity, offering a refreshing respite.
The light, crispy texture of the cookie contrasts well with the bold, full-bodied quality of the tea. This contrast adds another layer of complexity to the tasting experience, as you'll be able to appreciate the smoothness of the tea against the cookie's crispiness. Furthermore, the lemon flavor in the cookies echoes the subtle citrusy notes in the tea, enhancing the flavors and creating a harmonious blend.
In both pairings, the tea and pastries enhance each other's strengths without overpowering one another. The robustness of the Assam Black Tea and the citrusy notes in both pastries create a delightful dance of flavors, offering a gourmet experience you'll surely relish.
Palate Cleanser (for taste testing): Saltine crackers are provided in our tea box to clean the taste of your mouth, including spicy, bitter, or sweet.
Fruity or Floral
Start your delightful journey through the fragrant tea gardens of China with our Snail Jasmine Green Tea. A tea as elegant and profound as the culture from which it originates, this exceptional green tea offers a tranquil and refreshing escape from the everyday. Expertly cultivated in the lofty heights of Simao County's Nanling Tea Garden, this tea embodies the perfect harmony between the subtle freshness of green tea leaves and the intoxicating aroma of the finest jasmine flowers. Whether you're a seasoned tea connoisseur or a curious novice, the Snail Jasmine Green Tea, with its rich, mellow taste and mesmerizing jasmine scent, promises an unforgettable tea-drinking experience that will enchant your senses sip after delicious sip.
Tea Name: Snail Jasmine Green Tea
Processing: This tea undergoes a meticulous process. After the green tea leaves are harvested, they are carefully curled into a shape resembling a snail. The tea is then scented five times with fresh jasmine flowers to infuse the leaves with their sweet aroma. Additionally, a final scenting process known as Yi Ti or Ti Hua is done with first-grade jasmine flowers to enhance the jasmine's intensity even further. The leaves are mixed with the flowers one last time for this final scenting but aren't dried further.
Caffeine Content: Low caffeine
Brewing Instructions: For a perfect brew, steep 1 teaspoon of Snail Jasmine Green Tea in 8 ounces of water heated to about 80-85°C (176-185°F). Allow the tea to infuse for 2-3 minutes. The tea leaves can be infused multiple times, each revealing a new layer of the tea's complex taste profile.
Tea Aroma and Taste
Snail Jasmine Green Tea brings you a delicate balance between the refined character of green tea and the captivating perfume of jasmine flowers. This tea offers an invitation to savor the delightful dance of scents and tastes that celebrate the skill of Chinese tea craftsmanship.
Appearance: Our Snail Jasmine Green Tea lives up to its evocative name, with the green tea leaves tightly curled into the shape of tiny snails. This unique form, a testament to the tea master's artistry, is beautifully adorned with abundant white hair, indicating its high quality. When steeped, these leaves unfurl gracefully in the water, enhancing the tea's visual appeal with its dance. The resulting brew showcases a brilliant, clear yellow hue, reflecting its delicate yet vibrant nature.
Smell: The first encounter with this tea will charm you with a profound yet refreshing jasmine fragrance. This scent, skillfully infused through five rounds of scenting and one additional round with richer fragrance flowers, is harmonious and inviting. It's a smell that captivates, drawing you into the warm embrace of a jasmine-filled garden, while hinting at the exquisite flavor experience to come.
Tasting Notes: Upon savoring your first sip of Snail Jasmine Green Tea, you will be met with a rich jasmine flavor that effortlessly intertwines with the green tea's natural sweetness. The floral notes, potent yet balanced, are ever-present but never overpowering, providing a smooth, soothing taste that's both refreshing and comforting. There's also an undercurrent of mellow and subtle chestnut hints that round out the tea's complex flavor profile. With a pleasant, lingering aftertaste, this tea invites you to slow down, indulge, and fully appreciate the beauty of each sip.
In this month’s Fruity or Floral paring, we're showcasing our fragrant Snail Jasmine Green Tea, as it harmoniously unites with two unique cookie varieties - the vibrant and tangy Lemon Cookies, straight from the USA, and the captivating Vanilla Lemon Chocolate Flavor Cookies, hailing from China. Let's set sail on this voyage, and our palates are promised a delightful dance of diverse flavors.
Lemon Cookies (USA)
The Lemon Cookies from the USA are a delightful combination of bright, zesty flavors, promising sunshine and joy in each thin, crispy bite. With a base of real cold-pressed Meyer Lemon oil, a hint of lemon zest, and a dash of pure cane sugar, they strike a perfect balance of sweet and tart. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or synthetic colors, as per the baker's promise, ensuring that you're snacking on quality treats. Originating from a hometown bakery in Winston-Salem, NC, these cookies have a legacy dating back to 1930, demonstrating a commitment to traditional baking techniques and flavor profiles.
When paired with the Snail Jasmine Green Tea, the lemon cookies' zesty character compliments the rich, floral notes of the tea. The sweetness of the cookies brings out the natural sweetness of the tea, while the tartness provides a refreshing contrast, enhancing the overall tasting experience. The thin, crisp texture of the cookies also pairs well with the smooth, soothing mouthfeel of the tea, offering a balanced and harmonious tea-time treat.
Vanilla Lemon Chocolate Flavor Cookies (China)
We have the Vanilla Lemon Chocolate Flavor Cookies from China - a delicate blend of lemon zest in a butter cookie, sandwiching a layer of lemon chocolate. It’s an innovative fusion of flavors without which your afternoon tea time would be incomplete. The cookies use high-quality ingredients, including premium flour, eggs, and cocoa powder, with each biscuit thin and filled with a smooth, rich chocolate cream. Despite their Italian-sounding name, the Franzzi brand is Chinese, offering individually sealed, fresh, and delicious cookies. Allergy warning: The cookies contain wheat, egg, and milk.
When enjoyed with the Snail Jasmine Green Tea, these cookies bring out an exciting play of flavors. The lemon's tartness and the chocolate's richness echo the tea's floral and slightly nutty notes, creating a multi-dimensional flavor experience. The cookies' crunch and the smooth chocolate cream introduce a textural contrast that complements the smooth, mellow mouthfeel of the tea, adding an additional layer of indulgence to your tea time.
Explorer Tea: Something New
Today, we introduce a spicy new voyage for your senses - the Indian Masala Chai from Teas for Wildlife. This tea brings an exotic bouquet of spices and a compelling story of love, compassion, and dedication towards wildlife conservation. As we delve into the tasting notes, we'll also unfold the remarkable journey of the two owners behind this unique blend: Ili and Amit.
Tea Name: Indian Masala Chai from Teas for Wildlife
Caffeine Content: Moderate
Harvesting: Traditional Handpicking
Processing: Mix of Orthodox and CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) along with spices
Brewing Instructions: Boil water to a rolling boil; add one teaspoon of Indian Masala Chai per cup. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain and serve with or without milk and sweetener, as per preference.
Health Benefits: This tea also offers numerous health benefits. The combination of spices aids digestion, boosts immunity, and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Moreover, black tea is known for its antioxidants that can lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Tea Aroma and Taste
Appearance: Indian Masala Chai is a rich and hearty blend that mirrors the diversity of India's land itself. The blend is a cornucopia of traditional Indian spices such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and fennel. It also contains fragrant clove, bay leaf, rose petals, robust black tea, and a hint of nutmeg. When you look at this tea, you see a vibrant medley of ingredients, each contributing to its distinct character.
Smell: The aroma of this Masala Chai is intoxicating. As you take a whiff, the warm scent of cinnamon and cardamom mingles with the sharp notes of black pepper and ginger. The sweetness of fennel and nutmeg softens these bold spices, while the rose petals lend a subtle floral fragrance. As you inhale the steam from the freshly brewed tea, the black tea leaves' robustness is undeniable, forming the backbone of this fragrant blend.
Tasting Notes: Indian Masala Chai is a symphony of flavors. Each sip starts with a strong, full-bodied black tea taste, followed by a symphony of spices that dances on your tongue. The sharpness of ginger and black pepper tickles your taste buds, followed by the sweet, aromatic notes of cinnamon and cardamom. The unexpected floral sweetness from the rose petals and the rich, warm taste of nutmeg and cloves round off the experience. It's an invigorating and comforting blend, perfect for any time of the day.
Are you interested in previous Subscription Boxes from previous months? Check out Last Month’s box (June Tea Time in A Box).