Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

A Rose In Winter

January 23, 2010 By: ctan Category: Tea Musings, Tea Reviews

The time has come for me to either restock the Ten Ren black rose tea I’ve just run out of, or to replace it with something else.

Being an adventurous sort (not to mention a tea blogger…) I’m open to trying some other brands, flavors, and formulations of rose, but a quick look over just my favorite sites, much less the plethora of rose teas reviewed at Steepster (up to 532 from just 519 teas yesterday!!), reveals more choice than my currently overtaxed brain can handle.

So I solicit your suggestions, here, on Steepster, on Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else you may cross my path.

Ten Ren Black Rose Tea: So, the tea I am now out of is sold from huge canisters at the Ten Ren shops all around the world. I bought this batch at the shop in Chinatown NYC and had no idea it was going to become one of my “staple” teas — i.e. a tea I brew at least once a week. (I typically brew 2-3 varieties per day, every day.) As I mention in my tasting note on this tea on Steepster, “This is a reliably delicious tea that holds up to at least 4 steepings, still giving beautiful color and excellent flavor, though milder by the 3rd and 4th time through. It doesn’t hit you over the head with the rose too much, doesn’t muck it up with any other flavors.”

The first thing, of course, is that the black tea itself must be of good quality. Crummy tea hidden by a shot of rose oil is not what I’m looking for, obviously, but I am a big believer in the fact that the most expensive tea isn’t necessarily the best.

I’ve seen one tasting note for the Tealuxe Victorian Rose Tea, and given that I live less than a mile from a Tealuxe location, I might just have to drop in there and see if they have it in store.

I’ve had and enjoyed plenty of green teas with rose elements, but I’m really after a black here. I’m happy to hear suggestions on green and white varieties, too, though, for future consumption. No such thing as too much rose if it’s done well.

Oh, and today I also finished off the last of the black mango tea I extolled the virtues of recently. So that leaves only the Dragon Eyes Black of my top three flavored black teas on my shelf! Can you tell it’s been one of the coldest winters in years? The colder it is, the blacker I want my tea, it seems. (And the hotter I want to make the water, perhaps.)

I’ve been known to sometimes take some of my stash of plain Siberian rosebuds (purchased from Vital T-Leaf) and toss them into the pot with other leaves to “rose up” some other teas, as well.

Ahhh. I’m on the fourth steeping of this last measure from Ten Ren. It’s nearly two in the morning as I type this and so the caffeine has long since been leached from this batch. But it’s still just as delicious as the first steep I did at high noon. There’s almost a honey aftertaste from this one; as the rose flavor has faded, an inherent sweetness still lingers.

0 Comments to “A Rose In Winter”

  1. I’ve enjoyed Golden Moon’s Rose tea which has a very pleasant taste and is not excessively perfumed. May I send you some? I think Steve has your address.

  2. That would be very kind! Can I send you something back? I think I have your address too, if it’s on the package of books…


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