Today, we’re launching a pair of organic smoky teas here at The Tea Spot, with great excitement, as these are extraordinary large leaf handcrafted tea blends, which surely live up to our values of quality and innovation. Both of these new loose leaf teas also come with a legacy of tradition, and even sentimentality.
I grew up drinking black tea every day (usually in the evening, after dinner!). We would make loose leaf tea in a pot – no infusers needed – and then pour the tea into cups through a strainer when the tea was ready. Being from New York, the water was considerably hotter than it is here in Boulder, Colorado. I remember waiting quite a while to take that first sip of tea from the cup, all the while, enjoying the aroma, anticipation, and conversation – all memories surely as strong as those I have of the actual tea. There were several different types of teas we’d drink – either an Indian (Indar?) Assam, or a lovely Keemun from Grace Teas, Earl Grey from Twinnings, or a Russian Caravan from GH Ford Tea Company. The images are so strong in my visual and aromatic memories… I could sketch images of all those tea tins still today.
My family also always had dogs. I don’t think I’ve lived a day in my life without a dog at home. Fortunately, they tend to have good, long lives – spoiled as some of them may be. (You really haven’t experienced spoiled until you’ve met dogs of Russians who’ve lived through the siege of Leningrad…)
My brother and his wife just lost one of those legacy family dog-members (although my brother’s dogs are different in that they’re totally disciplined!). ‘Smoky’ lived to be almost 17 years old, and he’s the last dog we had who still knew our parents. At some point or other, Smoke had bit all of us – he was the sheriff around town – and made sure that everything went right (that being HIS way…). So our magnificent smoky teas that we share with you today are in honor of ‘Smoky’, with the Russian Caravan being a tea that my brother has been requesting we blend up for years now (I’ve been making him his own stash as Christmas presents up until now).
I’m sure that Alex will agree with me that The Tea Spot’s new Russian Caravan tea is a big step up from my ‘home brew’. Thanks to our Sales Director and Tea Specialist, Bo Olson, his research on the origins of the blend and his palate, we can all truly jump on the 5000-mile long Camel Caravan experience with this Smoky full leaf handcrafted tea. It’s strong, smooth, and complex.
Smokejumper Ginger Tea is truly a leap into the daring unknown. I love the spicy, smoky bite – it’s like a salsa or wasabi of teas – but at the same time soothing on your throat, and surely an eye-opener.
Both new teas owe their smoky character to Lapsang Souchong, a long-time favorite organic tea here at The Tea Spot. Lapsang is infused with pinewood smoke, and you can smell a pot of it brewing from half a city block away!
So Smoky, today we raise our teacups to you, old friend!