It is called Honey Orchid Black, and the smell alone of the long dry tea leaves is intoxicating. There is a sweet smell like Summer going into Fall. I imagine that the sweetness is the honey, except that there is no flavor added to the tea leaves. These are pure teas, unadulterated, unadorned with berries, flavors, or anything that would add to the taste. Good tea can stand on it’s own, without masking or adding to the original product. Not that I don’t like flavored teas. I love Jasmine green teas and Coconut Oolongs, and several herbal teas. I just appreciate that this tea stays the same from leaf to pot. It’s that good.
Once brewed, the tea takes on a rich, caramel color, and that honey smell pervades. The taste matches the smell, with sweetness and a background taste of nuttiness, to counter the sweet.
Who knew that black tea could be so subtle?
Honey Orchid Black comes from the Hunan Province in China, in the south-central section of the country. The province has been producing tea for centuries, and is one of the largest areas in China to produce tea.
You can buy it and other fine teas online at Snow Lotus Teas, a local to Seattle tea purveyor, and participant of the annual NW Tea Festival.