What is the best breakfast tea doesn’t come from India or China? Andean Black, a Colombian black tea from La Cumbre is hand-picked on high altitudes and makes an excellent breakfast tea – light, malty, a bit sweet, but strong enough to handle a drop of milk.
There is no greater joy than trying all those interesting teas from interesting countries. And Colombia is definitely not the first country that comes to your mind when talking about tea.
Name: Andean Black
Tea Vendor: Tea in the City (UK)
Type: Colombian black tea
A Tea from Coffee Kingdom
When coffee crops in Sri Lanka were destroyed by fungus, tea was the replacement that changed Sri Lanka’s agriculture forever. Tea and coffee often go hand in hand, even though many tea drinkers or coffee drinkers refuse to accept that fact. Let’s face it – Colombia is a coffee kingdom. However, countries that produce great coffee, often know how to transfer their skills into producing great black teas as well. Andean Black comes from La Cumbre and it is grown between 1800 and 2500 meters above sea level.
Scent is quite interesting – airy dark smokiness that reminds me of dark places and smoky rooms, with a bit of fruitiness in the background. Leaves are dark grey, matte, medium large, twisted and medium thin, with a greenish hue and some yellowish tips. You can see the strong personality just by looking at it and smelling it, a personality one that would suit a breakfast more than a dessert. 50 grams of this hand-picked tea costs £5.95.
Colombian Black Tea in a Cup
Brewing: 4 grams, 150 ml, 95 degrees, 3, 5, 10 minutes
Heated teapot changes the scent completely. It’s more fruity than smokey, and very very deep. After the first steep they give a mellow humid feeling, almost like there are some silver needle leaves blended in, not quite as black as other black teas. Color is very pretty, intense orange-red. Tea itself is quite light, but with quite a lot of depth. It has a very slight astringency that results in sweetness. This tea is definitely perfect for adding condiments like milk or sugar. It would be perfect with some licorice root as well. There is a tiny bit of smokiness in the first infusion that is gone in the next steep. The second steep gives pretty much the same result, only a bit milder, and the third one is already a bit too weak, but not so much in flavor as in character.
Personally, I think this is quite a nice daily breakfast tea that won’t disappoint. It offers at least 2 good infusions, it’s full-bodied, with light sweetness with light astringency that is actually asking for a bit of milk. It these terms, it definitely won’t disappoint you. It’s actually the best breakfast tea with milk I have ever tried. I believe it would be perfect for making Malaysian Teh Tarik.
Update: Tea in The City is currently closed. It will re-open online doors in 2019.