“Where there’s tea there’s hope.”
– Sir Arthur Pinero
This is my absolute favorite tea and that comparison is not just limited to Art of Tea teas, it is my favorite tea.
Monks Blend is fair trade certified. While this does nothing substantial in the flavor of the tea, it does tell you that the quality and standards of life of those that grow and harvest this tea are greater than those who earn below living wage for what they produce. This is neither the time or the place for standing on a soap box… so I will not digress further at this time into the definition of fair trade. There are wonderful explanations on the Art of Tea website and you are more than welcome to go view the videos and learn about what they are doing to ensure a higher quality product.
Please also note that my Keurig is not the recommended way to brew this tea. While it might be the easiest way for me to enjoy tea throughout the day… they recommend steeping 1 teaspoon for 3-5 minutes in 206 degree water. The fill line on my eco-cup is about 2 1/2 teaspoons and I get the best flavor from my 1st and 2nd cup. And yes… I do brew the same leaves all day at I believe is 165 degrees, but I have no setting control for the temperature. Monks Blend is a loose tea. You can order empty teabags from Art of Tea or from Amazon or go to the grocery store and get them there if you do not have a strainer or a eco-cup/my-k-cup.
Those who know me know I love black teas. Usually I prefer my tea with no cream or sugar either. I would like to compare this tea to PJ Tips or Tetley Tea, but only if it has been brewed long enough to achieve a beautiful browned caramel color. Except the Monks Blend comes with a more earthy taste and less of the bitter flavor. It is smooth and incredible. Monks Blend has a lovely malty taste and a crisp aftertaste.
I highly recommend this tea above any other tea if you love black tea. If you prefer a sweeter taste you could always add cream and sugar… but there is no need to gild the lily here.