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Have Your Own Boston Tea Party!

January 6, 2009

Today’s Tea: Bohea Classic from Upton Tea

Saved from being thrown overboard by: goodtea

In the 18th century, the term  “bohea” generally meant black tea, but Bohea tea comes from the Wuyi Mountains of China. Upton markets this Bohea Classic tea as the same kind of tea that was widely enjoyed in the 1700s and also thrown overboard in the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

Part of the joy of drinking tea (for me, anyway) is to imagine all the people who have tasted similar teas throughout history all around the world. This Bohea tea tastes rather different from the typical black tea you see nowadays, so it’s very interesting to think about how this flavor might have been the standard brew a few hundred years ago.

This Bohea Classic has a definite smoky scent dry, vaguely reminiscent of smoked meat, but not nearly as overpowering as the Baker Street Blend from Upton that I didn’t like. I still prefer the burnt leaf scent of Upton’s Russian Caravan over this type of smoked meat aroma, but it’s suprisingly palatable once you give it a try.

The tea needs a bit more than a teaspoon per cup and has to steep for about 5 minutes, but it ends up with a nice light brown color. For some reason, the tea’s flavor seems to unfold best once it’s cooled down just a little bit, but then it has a very smooth, mildly smoky taste. It doesn’t hold up very well for a second steeping, though.

If you have your doubts about this tea, though, I highly recommend pairing it with some milk chocolate. The sweetness of the chocolate and the smoky notes of the tea combine well and leave you with the taste of delicious dark chocolate in your mouth. It’s really, really good–and that’s probably why I can’t stop drinking this tea now.

Conclusion: Worth a try for historical fun even if you don’t really like most smoky teas, but don’t throw this tea overboard into the harbor until you’ve enjoyed it with chocolate!

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