I'm always curious to know which tea will be the first tea that I review of the year. The tea doesn't necessarily have to be absolutely amazing but it obviously has to be good enough to inspire me to write about it on my blog so this year a tea gifted to me by a friend (by the way, my friends are always giving me free tea, it’s the best!) by the name of Black Orchid by Mariage Frères, is the very first tea that I am reviewing this year. And it's delicious.
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To an inexperienced tea sipper black tea may all look the same. I think you have to really love tea to gaze into black teas enough to notice the varying hues of amber and caramel. Red teas and black teas look totally different to me! By the way, a red tea is basically a black tea; the only difference is that in the orient the description “red” is used while in, for example the Western World, the description black is used to describe a highly oxidized tea.
One of the most fun things about sipping tea is pouring hot water over your leaves to await the scent that gently flows up into your nostrils shortly after. Black Orchid takes no time to escape the teapot to enter your nostrils and permeate the space around you.
Unless I'm making chai tea (the only tea that my husband really likes) my husband usually just ignores my tea shenanigans but Black Orchid’s scent lured my husband in and captivated his interest. He even wanted to taste. He said it was pretty good. And that's the sum of any type of tea review you're going to get from him.
Without 2 teaspoons of honey, Black Orchid is a crisp and clean red tea that is also flat in which all of the tea notes, or tastes, remain on the palate. In the case of floral teas, they tend to aerate on the palate, enter the nostrils and play around on the taste buds. But Black Orchid does no such playing. One could say it's a very serious tea keeping its calm, cool, and elegance.
With 2 teaspoons of honey, Black Orchid becomes a bit more playful. Although it remains calm there's a little bit more excitement and movement on the palate. The sugars in the honey attach themselves to the crisp clean red tea taste, the flavorful caramel, and the creamy vanilla creating a silky-smooth dessert-like beverage that actually would pair very well with your favorite sweet treat.
SIDE NOTE: I tried Black Orchid tea without and with honey and both were delicious in their own right. However, when I added honey and cream, I realized that I had a match made in heaven so I really think that from now on this is how I will sip Black Orchid tea: with 2 teaspoons of honey and a little cream.
I hope you enjoyed this Tea review on Black Orchid tea by Mariage Frères. Isn't it also sort of exciting that it's the first Tea Review of 2019? Purely based on deliciousness, it is also a formidable contender for the Top Ten Teas list of 2019. Speaking of the Top Ten Teas list, don't forget that you can pre-order your Top Ten Teas of 2018 Box right now. There's only a limited supply of these exciting tea boxes so make sure you get yours before they're all gone!
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What was the first tea that you sipped in 2019?