Today seems to be a Tea In The City day, I got my package of Rosebay Willowherb from them in the mail, decided to make my first tea their Ruby Black, and so decided that I would review one of their teas to keep the theme. Georgian Black Tea, from the city of Ozurgeti, near the Black Sea, I cannot recommend reading the website for this tea enough, it touches on the history of tea in this region and the history of Georgia in general, and learning history is always recommended. I have been fascinated by the country since I was a kid (living in the other Georgia) where I was assigned it as a country to do a report on, and of course, me being me, I ended up doing a ton of research and having to abridge my research when I turned it in. I don't remember if tea was mentioned in my report or research, but I was 8 and not really tuned into that yet. The aroma of this tea is wonderful, it is a very aromatic tea, from the first instance of opening its pouch I was greeted with notes of plums, papaya, coconut milk, and a woody quality. It is very sweet and fruity while having a creamy aspect as well as a bit of freshly baked sugar cookies, in short, it smells delicious.
I agonized on how to brew this tea, having brewed past teas I had from Georgia western style, I really wanted to try this one in the gaiwan. The aroma of the wet leaves is very sweet and woody, notes of stewed plums and coconut milk with cocoa shells and a touch of ripe persimmons, very fruity with just a hint of tannin. The liquid is very sweet, notes of plums and persimmons with a touch of cocoa and woodiness, the slightly tannic note of oak wood balances out the sweetness keeping it from being a straight dessert tea.
Oh, this tea is delicious! It starts strong with a smooth mouthfeel and no dryness at all, I was half expecting it to have a touch of briskness with the woody aroma, but nope, all smooth all the time. The taste is wonderful, strong notes of chocolate and sugar cookies with papaya, plums, and persimmons with a surprisingly peaches drizzled in honey finish. This is one of the fruitiest black teas I have come across, with a long lingering aftertaste of cocoa and honey. One complaint about this tea is it lacks in longevity, even when I tried brewing the rest of my sample Western style you only get a solid single steep. Brewing gongfu I got a few more steeps, but they were very weak in taste, however, they were immensely sweet, so I kept refilling the gaiwan until that was totally gone getting me a couple more steeps. I think, if I was in a situation where I only had time in the morning for a single steep of a fantastic tea, this would be my choice, I love teas that are naturally very sweet and this tea is that!
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.