A blog about tea. 

Tropical Treasures Ltd #1

Tropical treasures green tea

A few weeks ago, I received several samples from Tropical Treasures Ltd (Specialty Tea Kilimanjaro on Instagram), which is a tea company from Tanzania. Having only tried Kenyan tea from the African continent, I was really eager to get my hands on some samples. I got 6 in total but I will only try 2 of them today, as I have some other teas I want to taste today. For today’s session, I went with the Black tea and the Usambara Green tea. I did not get any information about the harvest or cultivar being used so that makes it very interesting to taste.

I did not really focus on the flavours during this session but I was more interested in the general feelings and impressions I got while drinking this tea. I also bought a porcelain gaiwan so I got to use it right away during this session.

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

Kilimanjaro Black Tea

Usambara Green Tea

Kilimanjaro Black Tea

Dry leaves

Dark (almost black) twisted leaves. The size of the leaves is rather large.

Wet leaves

Once the leaves are spent, you can truly see their size! Massive and complete leaves that have a brownish colour.

Smell dry leaves

It’s difficult to describe the smell as it is not that prominent. It’s a soft smell that is typical of oxidised teas. It just has a ‘dark’ smell. There are some really light notes of smokiness as well.

Brewing details

  • 1.5g of leaves for a 80 ml porcelain gaiwan
  • 99°C water
  • 3 steeps (5 min + 1 min)

Steeping

Steep 1 (5 min): while steeping, the leaves start to open up completely. WOW! I’m definitely not a black tea drinker but this one immediately gets down to business. The liquor is really smooth and pleasant to drink. Once you drink the tea, it seems as if you will be overwhelmed by an intense bitterness but this is only slightly noticeable. The bitterness quickly fades away without leaving any traces in the aftertaste. It’s the typical flavour of a black tea but it’s not as intense, which is what I like! Usually, black teas are too intense for me but this one seems to be perfect. I really enjoyed this steep.

Steep 2 (6 min): the thing that got my attention during this steep is the fact that there is no aftertaste. You get some intense flavours at the start but this intensity quickly fades and disappears completely. It’s fascinating to see that in a matter of milliseconds, the flavours are completely gone and you are already craving the next steep. I’m getting a pleasant and very relaxed feeling throughout my body, it’s weird to describe but this tea has a relaxing effect. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t as good today, otherwise this tea would be perfect to enjoy outside under a tree while the birds are signing.

Steep 3 (7 min): this is definitely the better steep of the three. Do not get me wrong, the two previous ones were already perfect but this one is even better. The intensity at the start is gone and it’s just soft and smooth flavours. Again, very relaxed while drinking this steep.

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

1st steep

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

2nd steep

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

3rd steep

Conclusion

Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of black teas because of the intensity of flavours you get. I was really surprised when I drank this tea because I did not expect it to be like this. You get some intense flavours at the start but these fade away quickly. This has to be one of the best black teas I have ever tasted. Not too intense and not too soft. More importantly is the fact that I felt very relaxed after drinking this tea. It felt as if my whole body was reacting to the tea, in a good way of course! If you are looking for a black tea to try, I can strongly recommend this one. I’m happy I still have some leaves left from the sample I got.

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

Usambara Green Tea

Dry leaves

Just like the leaves of the black tea, the green tea has rather large leaves. They have a dark green colour and a twisted shape.

Wet leaves

The leaves have a beautiful dark green colour. They have opened up a bit but they seem to be still a bit twisted after infusing them.

Smell dry leaves

The smell is amazing. I’m getting an intense nutty aroma and some light green smells as well. The nuttiness is definitely the prominent aroma here.

Brewing details

  • 1.5g of leaves for a 80 ml porcelain gaiwan
  • 80°C water
  • 3 steeps (5 min + 1 min)

Steeping

Steep 1 (5 min): getting a light nuttiness in the beginning. Just as with the black tea, it’s really smooth and pleasant to drink. It’s definitely not your average green tea but not in a bad way. It feels as if a weight drops from your shoulders when you drink the liquor. After swallowing, it’s not really astringent but it’s more of a chalky mouthfeel. I’m more used to drinking green tea but this green can definitely compete with some Chinese green teas.

Steep 2 (6 min): still some nuttiness but not as prominent. The chalky mouthfeel is still the same. Pleasant steep to drink.

Steep 3 (7 min): the nuttiness is almost gone, as is the chalky mouthfeel. Soft flavours and perfect to end this session with. I did not take a picture of this steep but the colour was a bit lighter than steep 2.

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

1st steep

Tea Adventures Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea Tropical Treasures Tea

2nd steep

Conclusion

Pleasantly surprised by this green tea. I usually drink Chinese green teas and this one was at least as good as some of the ones I have tasted before. Pleasant flavours with a relaxing effect. One of my favourite flavours in tea is nuttiness and this was definitely present in this one. I did not expect this tea to taste the way it did so I also recommend this one if you are looking to try some unusual green teas!

Interested in buying one of these teas? Contact Tropical Tea Ltd via Instagram and they can help you further!

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