Tea of the Week: Elmwood Inn’s Bourbon Black Tea

Lapsang Souchong is one of my favorite teas to cook with, but also one of my least favorite teas to drink. Although I love the idea of a tea fired over pine wood, I often find Lapsang Souchong almost too assertive, better for culinary creations than for everyday drinking. Elmwood Inn’s Bourbon Black Tea is a lighter version of fiery Lapsang Souchong, pleasantly smokey with vanilla and caramel notes for a well-rounded sip.

The tea gets it’s charred bourbon barrel infused taste from blending black tea with just a bit of Lapsang Souchong. The longer you steep this tea, the darker and maltier it will taste. For a cup that’s bold without being brash, I go for a quick 3 minute steep which produces a toasty, cozy cup to warm you up on the chilliest of winter nights.

This robust tea would be delicious with holiday favorites like fruit cakes, panettone, gingerbread, or savory hors d’oeuvres. Rich, decadent bites pair the best with Bourbon Black Tea that’s served straight up, without additions. That being said, if you drink this tea without any tasty bites, milk and sugar will bring out all those luxuriously smooth vanilla and caramel flavors. Single, double, or on the rocks, this refined blend is a treat for both tea and spirit connoisseurs alike!

Tasting Notes for Elmwood Inn’s Bourbon Black Tea:

BREWING TIPS:  Brew with boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Tea brewed for 5 minutes will be distinctively robust and liquor-like.

THE BLEND:  Sunflower and calendula petals mixed with a blend of black teas from India, China, and Sri Lanka.

THE SCENT:  Dark, like charred wood.

THE STEEP:  A brilliant, fiery amber shade of red. This tea is pronounced and bold, like a real bourbon would be. Smooth, smokey, and lightly sweet, with molasses-like flavor.

GET IT:  Online, at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.

FOOD PAIRING:  S’mores, salted caramels, or any sweets with a bit of char on them (like a creme brulée) would be fantastic with this blend, as they will help to bring out the tea’s smokey notes. Christmas favorites like brandy or rum soaked fruit cake will make the rich bourbon flavors shine. For a savory pairing, try the tea with Chinese Roasted Duck Tarts with Plum Sauce or barbecued meats…a unique food pairing, but my favorite way to enjoy this unique blend!