Do you have a favorite tea?
Aaack, I reply!!
Are we talking iced or hot? For guests or just myself? Tea or tisane?
For gulping while running-out-the-door-late-as-usual or for savoring?
Green or black or oolong or white? Classic or aroma? Traditional or unexpected?
And then there’s the weather!!! Gotta match tea to weather!
This is just asking too much of me!
And I am tempted to just go with “Earl Grey.”
But wait, maybe—
there are several teas that I keep reaching for, and TeaHaus’ Hong Cha Java is definitely one of them.
Java is a long, slender island situated between Asia and Australia. Mountains and volcanoes, supporting rainforests and bamboo woods, run along its spine.
In the Sukabumi Province in western Java, a small, private tea plantation grows at an elevation of around 4,000 feet. In the dry season, the tea leaves are plucked and then processed with traditional Chinese methods.
The orthodox black tea, Hong Cha Java, boasts of long, very dark brown leaves that beautifully unfurl during brewing.
And if you’ve ever wondered why black tea is called red tea in China, consider hong cha. Its name means red tea, and it yields a gorgeous, vibrant coppery red cup!
This tea is expressive and complex, with earthy and fruity notes.
I usually make a really large mug of this tea and then end up drinking the last half of it cold—and I really can’t say whether I prefer it hot or cold because the flavor is rich and pronounced either way.
If you want a tea that makes a statement and yet is not overpowering, this tea is for you. In fact, I think that coffee drinkers will particularly like this tea for its earthy complexity. Plus, this tea is never bitter.
And it definitely ranks as one of my black classic faves.
For these photos, I brewed one heaping teaspoon of Hong Cha Java, available at TeaHaus, with 8 oz of boiling water for 4 minutes.