Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Mhaidiva
Mhaidiva is pure quality tea. In general the following applies: the higher the tea is cultivated, the better the quality. Mhaidiva comes straight from the plateaus of Sri Lanka, the Nuwara-Eliya district, known as the ‘champagne area’ of Sri Lanka.
99% of the Mhaidiva tea is picked by women at the tea plantations, the women control the picking of the tea leaves with the fingertips in perfection. Mhaidiva is made by 100% Orthodox picked tea, qualitative the best way of picking.
Of the various types of black tea on the market, Darjeeling is one of the more temperamental teas. Proper brewing is essential to achieve a pleasing flavor. But while it is a little different from the typical black tea brewing process, it is not more difficult and it is definitely worth the little extra attention.
With this Darjeeling, some of the work is done for you because it is a bagged tea (well, actually, it’s a pyramid sachet). No measuring, no mess, no fuss. I like that. Pull the kettle just before it begins to boil. The water should be almost boiling but if it achieves a boil it is too hot for these Darjeeling leaves. Allow it to steep for just 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Don’t over-steep. By following these simple steps, you’ll be rewarded with a very delicious, luxurious cup of Darjeeling – the Champagne of Tea!
The flavor is crisp and light. It is a much lighter body than you might expect from a black tea. There is a beautiful fruit note that tastes a bit like currants in the background. This currant-y flavor lends itself well to the wine-like character of the muscatel note.
When brewed properly, I am finding a pleasant complexity to this tea. My first attempt with this tea was not quite as pleasant, because it was over-steeped. If the water is too hot or the tea is steeped too long, it will become bitter. But when brewed according to the suggestions above, I am finding this to be quite lovely. It seems to be a little less astringent than some Darjeeling teas I’ve encountered. It is lightly sweet and very enjoyable.
Another delicious offering from Mhaidiva! Very nice!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Mhaidiva
Mhaidiva, the Lady of Tea, is the personification of everything that makes life worth living. She is the muse giving everyone who drinks her tea the gift of beauty, health, peace, harmony and creative thinking. She speaks to you in haiku, seventeen syllable poems written in three lines of 5-7-5. She shares philosophy, or lessons of life, expressed in one breath. She uses images of tea, evoking a mysterious solitude and meditative presence with romantic images of austere beauty.
The aroma of this Sencha is quite grassy, like the air just after the lawn has been cut. It smells fresh and green. And this fragrance tells of the flavor of the cup – this is one of the grassier-tasting Sencha teas that I’ve tasted.
But that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, this tea – to me – epitomizes the very base of green tea flavor. It is light. It is sweet. It is crisp. It is vegetative. And it is good. The sip starts with an introduction of the vegetal notes with a pleasant undertone of sweetness, and ends with a lightly drying astringency.
This Sencha is one of those teas that works well as either a hot or iced tea. Hot – it needs nothing added. It is pleasantly sweet and flavorful. Iced – try adding a thin slice of your favorite citrus fruit. It is quite refreshing without anything added, of course, but I found that the citrus fruit helps to bring out some of the distant fruit tones that are inherent in this tea.
This is one I’d recommend to the green tea enthusiasts out there who are looking for something pure and clean tasting, but with the convenience of a teabag. This tea is a perfect departure from the typical “office teabag” while keeping things simple and convenient. It’s a good one.