Drink of the Week: Smith Tea 3-Finger Black

smith tea 3 finger black
Portland-based Smith Tea continues the creative experimentation of their Maker’s Series with the release of 3-Finger Black, made in collaboration with renowned banjo player, and 16-time Grammy winner, Béla Fleck. The flavorful blend combines a base of three black teas: Zheng Shan, a whiskey barrel-aged smoked tea, traditional Pu-erh and Keeman, which has notes of leather and spice. For added complexity, the Zheng Shan and Pu-erh were scented with vanilla bean and toasted pecan wood, respectively. The strong base of black tea stands up to added ginger root and cacao nibs (two of Fleck’s preferred flavors), along with rose petals, osmanthus flower and lavender for some floral top notes. The finished 3-Finger Black (named in homage to Fleck’s three-finger banjo technique) is a bold brew that carries the smokey flavors of wood and spice without being overpowering or bitter. Try it iced to highlight the floral notes. $24.99, smithtea.com.