I was very excited to receive teas to review from the UK-based company Teasup. They sent me three black teas to review: A Malawian First Flush and Malawian Smoked Guava from the Satemwa Tea Estate, and a Ceylon High-Grown Seasonal from the Aislaby Tea Estate.

When my treasures arrived by post, I also found enclosed a personalized missive with tea tasting notes. I did find it interesting that the instructions indicating how much tea to use, what temperature of water, and how long to steep occasionally differed slightly on some of the packets of tea from those in the tasting notes. I decided to follow the tasting notes.

Also, since I’m presently staying with my parents while in the process of moving, I decided to raid my mother’s china hutch. Thus, some of the photos in this post will feature my great-grandmother’s teacups. 

Left: Malawian First Flush; Middle: Ceylon; Right: Malawian Smoked Guava

Both of the Malawian teas from the Satemwa Tea Estate had nice, long, beautiful-looking leaves. The Aislaby Ceylon leaves were smaller.

Left: Malawian First Flush; Middle-back: Ceylon; Middle-front: Ceylon with a drop of cream; Right: Malawian Smoked Guava

All three of the liquors had a lovely color, though I especially enjoyed the deep-red tone of the Ceylon.

Malawian First Flush: I found it to have a nice, mellow, comfortable flavor which was earthy and fresh. I found it very easy to drink and can see myself sipping it on a leisurely afternoon.

Ceylon High-Grown Seasonal: This Ceylon has a bold, full-bodied, and slightly astringent flavor. It had a pleasant depth and mustiness when straight which was sadly minimized with a drop of cream. However, adding cream did give an extra texture and richness. I have enjoyed it a few mornings now with a touch of cream as my morning cuppa.

Malawian Smoked Guava: Hands down the most intriguing of the three, I found the smell alone to be delightful. It’s smoky, incredibly smooth, and warm. Whereas other smoky teas such as lapsang have that deep, acidic, piney flavor; the guava wood smoke imbued this tea with a lighter, sweeter smokiness. This has been a new go-to for a late-afternoon/early-evening pick-me-up between meals.

Teasup is an independent tea company which carries a variety of teas sourced from all over the world, run by a husband and wife team. They consider environmental responsibility a priority, and are committed to improving the environmental methods in which business is done. This includes the use of biodegradable and compostable packaging for their tea.

Teasup is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) which is a not-for-profit organization which convenes tea companies, development agencies, governmental, and non­-governmental organizations to improve the lives of communities within the tea sector. Find out more at www.ethicalteapartnership.org.

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