Argentina is unlikely to be the first country you think of for black tea production, yet they were the 9th largest black tea producer as of 2005. I managed to get my hands on a 4g sample of What-Cha Argentina Misiones black tea to review.
First, a little Argentina black tea knowledge. Almost all the black tea grown in Argentina is from the North-Eastern regions of Misiones and Corrientes, and nearly all the tea harvested is blended with other teas to make iced tea concoctions for America. This explains why finding artisan single-origin Argentinian black tea is nearly impossible!
Argentina Misiones Black Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea, harvested 2019 from the Misiones region of Argentina
- Flavour: A light, soothing black tea with a silky texture, complex flavour notes, and sweetness
A pleasant and interesting black tea. Although it was quite light-bodied with a lingering bitterness, it had some rich, complex undertones and date-like sweetness that was very inviting.
Full Review - Argentinian Tea
- Type: whole loose leaf
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: Misiones, Argentina
- Flavour Notes: Light, slightly bitter, rich complexity, soothing, dates, sweetness
- Aroma: Black tea, smoke, sultanas, charred, rich, grilled balsamic glaze
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
Opening the mini packet (sealed airtight) there was only a light waft of aroma. Typical black tea tannin notes combined with a hint of sultanas, and a rich bitter yet sweet note. The sweet sultanas combined with the bitterness plus the very dark, almost charred look and aroma of the leaves left me thinking of a sweet yet savoury balsamic glaze left bubbling on the grill. It’s pleasant and complex.
While it doesn’t smell smoky or burnt, it has that same dry characteristic.
It brews into a clear and bright red amber-gold colour with a richer and darker aroma. It’s bolder now, smelling more like a hearty black tea with a hint of sweetness.
The flavour is complex and rich too, but unlike the aroma it’s quite light and I found it hard to pick out individual flavour notes. There’s a slight bitterness that suits the tea – it’s not unpleasant – and the overall sensation it provokes is a soothing one.
I loved the texture of the tea: very silky and smooth over your tongue. It doesn’t catch in your throat and there’s a rich, warm sweetness in the aftertaste that’s like dates, figs or sultanas.
It was certainly enjoyable however it felt somewhat incomplete. It didn’t wow me and I didn’t find myself wishing I could have another cup in the weeks that followed.
Dark, rich and malty Assam teas are a favourite of mine and I couldn’t help but compare What-Cha’s Argentina Misiones to their Assam offerings. It falls short.
How to Brew What-Cha Argentina Misiones Tea
Instructions on the mini sample packet are 95°C water, 1 to 2 teaspoons of tea, 2 to 3 minutes brew time.
I brewed my 4g of leaf in my small, 1-person glass teapot which makes approximately a teacup and a half, for 3 full minutes. If I had the chance again, I’d probably leave it for up to 5 minutes to try and develop the rich and complex flavours more.
Early afternoon would be about the right time to drink this tea. It’s not sweet enough to be a dessert tea and far from strong enough to be a breakfast tea. An early afternoon tea break is perfect. Sticky dried fruits, maybe berries, would be a good food pairing.
If you want to travel the world tasting tea without leaving your own home, you should head to What-Cha. This sample arrived in a larger order with a handwritten note from Alistair (the owner of What-Cha) explaining how he’d picked this tea up on his travels through Argentina.
Finding single-origin, loose-leaf, non-blended black tea from Argentina is a mission in itself – if you managed to snag one of these samples from What-Cha earlier this year you are very lucky!
The quality is always excellent and the array of teas on offer is superb. From Australia to Vietnam, there are some quirky teas to discover.
So far, my only experience with What-Cha has been black teas (3 Assams, 1 Chinese, and 1 Argentinian) but I’ve had no problems whatsoever.
Summary – What-Cha Argentina Misiones
It was a pleasant, high-quality tea that, although very nice, wasn’t outstanding. I’d recommend trying single origin black tea from Argentina if you get the chance, purely because it’s so hard to come across.
Armed with a deep passion for tea and a growing collection of teaware, I’ve set out to review as many teas as possible at the Izzy’s Corner blog. This offering from What-Cha is just one of the many I’ve tried this year. If South American tea culture is of interest to you, make sure you read my review of the latest Teapro subscription box Yerba Mates!