Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Great Mississippi Tea Company Black Tea

Country of Origin: United States of America
Leaf Appearance: dark, long and wiry
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: glass infuser mug
Liquor: dark amber

I first made the acquaintance of the folks at The Great Mississippi Tea Company when I attended World Tea Expo 2015. It was super exciting to hear about the possibilities of tea becoming a viable crop here in the U.S. and I've eagerly followed their progress since then. Fast forward a few years and their first harvest was sent out to those who participated in their "Adopt a Tea Tree" campaign. I had meant to jump on board at the time but somehow never got around to it.

Reports started rolling in and I expressed my disappointment in missing out on Reddit thread. Much to my amazement and glee, Erin of Caravan Tea offered to share some of her stash with me. How cool is that? Her generosity is a great example of why I love our little tea community. I'll try my best to pay it forward to others.

The dry leaf of this tea was impressively long and spindly. If I didn't know better, I'd guess that it was a Chinese oolong like Dan Cong. While beautiful leaves don't necessarily equate to good taste, they certainly help the experience and I've got to give them props for that. Some green was visible after the first infusion but otherwise, the oxidation was pretty uniform.

The taste was mellow and sweet with hardly any astringency. Floral notes faded into a refreshing and fruity finish. The flavor profile was complex but it was also fairly mild as far as black teas go, reminding me a bit of the Japanese black teas that I've tried in the past. It held up well to multiple infusions so I'd really love to gongfu-ing it a try.

The Great Mississippi Tea Company's teas are exclusively sold at The Cultured Cup in Dallas. Production is still small and it sells out quickly so make sure you sign up for their newsletter if you'd like to give this tea try. It will hard to come by otherwise.

For some reason, the pictures that I took came out looking extra blue. Color correcting it made the background a bit pink but it is a lot closer to what the leaf looked like in person. The many joys and frustrations of photographing tea!

You can find out more about The Great Mississippi Tea Company here.