While waiting in line at a local upscale grocery, I remembered we were out of black tea. My son started howling and the shop is very small, so I just grabbed the first tea that jumped out at me. I ended up with Kandy from Steven Smith Teamaker. I noticed it was bagged, but the minimalist look to the box intrigued me. Yes, I'm sadly a sucker for packaging, especially when a toddler meltdown is imminent. Anything to distract me from the inbound storm of tears and sobs.
I had seen this brand in a few of the 'fancier' shops native to Brooklyn and made a mental note to give it a try. A little research on the company revealed it is a small retailer based in Portland. The founder has quite a pedigree in popular tea- he helped form Stash as well as Tazo before striking out on his own.
Kandy is named after the city in Sri Lanka. For those that didn't know, Sri Lanka was formerly named Ceylon. I certainly didn't know that before I became interested in black tea. This tea is a combination of three types of Ceylon: Dimbulla, Uva and Nuwara Eliya.
The brew has a sweet honey scent. It smells like a quality Ceylon blend. The taste is rich and full bodied. It reminds me of Cacao nibs and toasted butterscotch. It is very smooth, not a hint of bitterness. The finish is slightly tannic, and citrusy. This tea yields a satisfying cup. It's perfect for a chilly, misty morning, or as an afternoon lift. Or anytime, really. Coffee drinkers would enjoy this one as it is dark and rich. Milk and sugar could certainly be added if desired.
As the tea cools down I start to notice a spicy bite. I've mentioned before that I like my tea nice and warm, but not hot. It always intrigues me when the flavor changes as the tea cools.
This is an expensive box of tea, especially for a bagged product. But it is very enjoyable, and of good quality.