Once again, your fave teapot is sending you a cheery “TOOOT!” from the land of Myanmar (formerly Burma), with another wonderful tea from Shan Valley Tea Company. They are located here in the U.S. but have strong ties with tea growers from their home country. Always a good thing as far as I and my humans are concerned.
This tea simply named “Shan Black” is better than the Kyaukme Black Tea we tried a few days ago. The dry tea has a more pleasant aroma that is similar to teas from Assam and also Kenya (they grow cultivars from the Camellia assamica varietal and tend not to be as bitter as the teas from Assam). This aroma portended great things to come in the cup! So Plummy volunteered for front line steeping duty with yours truly as his backup. As with the Kyaukme, we used boiling water and steeped for 3 minutes. This time the tea has a pleasant, Assam-like aroma, and a flavor that was free of bitterness, delivering that malty Assam quality. My humans like it as is but also tried some with milk and sweetener and were doubly pleased. The tea had a strong enough flavor to not be overwhelmed.
Again, this is a CTC style tea, fully oxidized. But something is different… possibly the cultivar. It is definitely the better of the two teas as far as I, my Tea Gang, and our human caretakers are concerned.
Being the experimental types, my humans, once the official tasting was done, blended equal amounts of both teas together and steeped a potful. The result was even better than the Shan Black by itself! They think the vendor might try marketing this blend to see how it goes. TOOOT!
© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text