Sunday, February 2, 2014

Just Organic Tea: Oothu Black, A Tea Review

If you are anything like me, then you are hiding from the Super Bowl and all of its fanfare someplace far away. Yes, I am not much of an American Football kind of person (I will watch real Football though, that I enjoy) and find this time of year tedious because it is EVERYWHERE, see, it even managed to sneak onto my blog. One thing I do admire is the player's and fan's level of commitment to their passion, because it is supposed to get cold. Speaking of cold, how about some hot tea?

Today's tea is Oothu Black Tea from Just Organic Tea (who also has an awesome Kickstarter running) a black tea from the Oothu Tea Estate in Manimuttar, India. This tea is both Fair Trade and Organic, which is awesome, assuming the tea taste good. The aroma of the tea is quite sweet, blending notes of molasses and baking bread with a slight undertone of roasted peanuts. It is rich and warming, just what one expects from a black tea.

Once the leaves have taken a dip in the steeping Jacuzzi, the aroma becomes bright and oaky with a hint of loam, it fades to caramel sweetness with an end note of roasted peanuts. The liquid is also bright and oaky with a loamy quality and tiny hint of peanuts. Again the aroma is rich and warming, I swear that has nothing to do with being cold!

Time to sip the dark delights in my fancy German teacup (in all honesty I think it is supposed to be a coffee cup.) The taste is surprisingly sweet and creamy, it manages to be fairly smooth while also being brisk and a touch astringent. The taste is a blend between molasses and oak wood, and has a slightly dry mouth feel. Adding a bit of cream and sugar brings out more of the caramelized sugar quality and takes away the tiny bit of astringency, but it also loses its edge. I definitely prefer this one straight.

I was also sent a sample of sugar with my tea samples, and I admit I am no sugar expert, so forgive any lack of nuance that a real connoisseur of sugar might notice. The Organic Sugar is made from evaporated cane juice and it tastes quite pure, only having a faint molasses aftertaste along with the sweetness. Adding it to tea does not alter the taste the way some sweeteners do (for example, honey makes the tea taste like tea with honey and not just sweetened tea) and it does not make it exceptionally sweet.

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