That said and done, one tea company has yet to disappoint me. After innumerable visits and online ordering, The Tao of Tea reigns supreme in my pantheon of tea providers. Several of my favorite teas have been "unavailable" from them over the last tea season, and at first I was bummed, until a conversation with them informed me that the reason for the lack of availability was that the tea itself was not up to quality. They could've provided the tea, but it would've been crap like the other company. I respect such integrity, especially when it comes to tea.
What inspired me to pen this ode to Tao? A lovely pot of Bohea Black.
More focused on whites and pu-ers, I purchased this tea after a tasting at Tao. It is an amazing tasting beverage, so complex, not something I would want every day, but this morning it is the perfect cup. From the literature:
Origin: Wuyishan, China
Plucking Season: Harvested from young leaves, in mid summer.
Introduction: Bohea is from a 400 year old tea garden in Tong Mu Guan of Xing Village, located in the heart of a pristine Wuyi mountains nature reserve, in Fujian, China.
Flavor Profile: Complex, sweet, citrus, and cocoa aromas are complemented by a subtle smoky character.
Ingredients: Ingredients: 100% Organic pure leaf black tea leaves.
If you are unfamiliar with Wuyi, click here. What a stunning place.
This tea hints at the smokiness of a Lapsang, but the smoke is part of the complexity, rather than at the forefront. Delicious, and highly recommended.