This week I was craving another Assamica black tea and I wanted to explore a new producing country. This tea fits both!
Description: “Its strong, full-bodied liquor boasts malt and vegetal notes (tobacco, sweet pepper) typical of the assamica cultivars.”
Instructions: 1 tsp | 250 ml | 95°C | 3-4 min
Review: When I originally saw this tea on the Camellia Sinensis’ website, I was intrigued because I didn’t know much about teas from Rwanda. I rarely heard about it as a producing country, nor could I remember the last time I had tea specially from the country.
Thankfully, Jane Pettigrew’s World of Tea: Discovering Producing Regions and their Teas book came in a pinch because it had a two-page spread on Rwanda. The book mentioned that Rwanda has two growing areas: in drained marshlands (Valley Tea) or on mountain slopes (Hill Tea). This black tea was produced at 1,600 metres in the mountains. The book also had a note about black orthodox teas from Rukeri Tea Estate specifically: “tippy, quite brisk, round, sweet, nutty, with hints of caramel and spice”[.]
The dark ash brown dry leaves had a rolled cylindrical-like shape and was medium in length. It smelled like baked bread, malt, fresh flowers, and apples. After brewing for 3 to 4 minutes, the liquor was a dark brown reddish hue.
While the smell and the sip of the liquor started like classic Assamica black tea, with sweet fruity, malt, woody, and spiced notes, it had an underpinning mineral and seashore smell and taste. It was unexpected as minerality isn’t normally what I associate with mountain tops, but could be the terroir or the humidity of the environment. The liquor was mildly drying on the tongue. Lastly, the wet leaves were mostly steams with some broken leaves and had a damp earth, malt, and woody smell.
Overall, this was a fascinating tea because I got to taste a piece of Rwanda and learn about a new tea production area! I would like to try more teas from Rwanda, specifically Valley Tea and taste the difference (3/5 rating).
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: Rwanda
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Black tea
- Company: Camellia Sinensis
The question of the post: Have you had tea from Rwanda before?