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Everest First Flush Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

NepaliTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Nepali Tea Traders

Tea Description:

Our Everest First Flush tea is hand-picked in April from the tender buds of the tea plants that emerge after several months of dormancy as the days turned crisp, sunny, and bright.  This unique, artisan tea is a vibrant expression of the fresh Himalayan spring. Its beautiful, long leaves reflect the subtleties of the season. Upon delivery of the freshly picked leaves to the Sandakphu factory, it is processed initially by hand by gently rolling the leaves, then allowed to wither overnight. The following day, the leaves are mechanically rolled to achieve natural oxidation while preserving the fresh, spring green color. The liquor is pale and pure. The tea’s gentle, aromatic profile features floral and lilac notes. The first sip reveals a smooth, sweet tea, with refreshing spring astringency. This tea finishes with crisp vegetal notes and hints of roasted corn. Like Nepal’s famed peak, this is the pinnacle of our first flush teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

If you gravitate towards Darjeeling Teas I think you might like this Everest First Flush Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders.  At least that is the first thought I had as I sipped on this offering from Nepali Tea Traders.  It’s like a hepped-up version of a Darjeeling Black Tea.

Maybe it’s because it’s a First Flush.  Maybe it’s because of the crisp floral notes.  Perhaps it’s because of the astringency.  Or maybe Everest First Flush Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders reminds me of a Darjeeling because of the look and feel.

The dried loose leaves look similar to Darjeeling – as does the aroma – which is springy and fresh.  The aftertaste was also reminiscent of a popped rice much like you would find in a genmaicha.  Everest First Flush Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders is very unique indeed!

One thing I found after drinking this – twice – I was very hungry afterwards!  I don’t really know what that means – if anything – but I could REALLY go for a 5 coarse meal right now!  Regardless…Everest First Flush Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders…is a tea to appreciate and remember!

 

Goomtee China Classic First Flush Darjeeling from Udyan Tea

GoomteeChinaClassicTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy: Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goomtee is a very well known Darjeeling heritage garden planted with pure china bushes almost a century ago. Picked from special section of the garden called Ghani between 3000-4000 sq.ft. height, this tea is for the strong hearted first flush lovers as it has a strong body with a very slight tinge of muscatel (grape flavour usually associated with second flush Darjeelings). It is a well balanced cup that leaves a stong after taste as well. With repeated steepings, the liquor becomes sweeter and midler. Perfect tea for long winding day with a good book in hand to read.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

First Flush Darjeelings are among my favourite black teas, as I’m sure I’ve intimated several times before. This one – from the Goomtee Estate – is apparently perfect for “strong hearted first flush lovers”. Well, we shall see. The dry leaf is a thing of beauty. There’s a mixture of long and shorter leaves, which have primarily been either rolled or twisted, although there are also some downy silver buds. There’s a variety of colours, from palest white/silver, through creamy green, darker grass green, to the medium brown of tree bark. The scent is fresh and mildly floral. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is golden yellow, the scent reminiscent of rose water with an undertone of freshly shelled peas.

One thing’s for sure, this tea tastes glorious! The initial sip is crisp and fresh-tasting, with a mild floral undertone. It makes me think of dew on rose petals – a clean, sweet freshness. The floral flavour develops in the mid-sip, where it’s more recognisably rose-like, with a strong perfumey aftertaste. There’s a hint of classic muscatel right at the tail end of the sip, richly grapey and a little drying. It’s not exactly astringency at this point, but nearly. I get the impression that this tea may become astringent as it cools, or if oversteeped.

It’s fair to say that I prefer the clean, fresh flavour of the initial sip to the strong, heavily perfume-like aftertaste. I dislike heavily floral tea in general, though, so that’s no surprise to me. I enjoyed my cup immensely for its flavourful nature, and it’s a great example of a first flush Darjeeling. It’s stronger than most I’ve come across, and while I typically appreciate the delicate flavours characteristic of this variety, I also enjoyed the bolder experience here. I’d certainly try another Goomtee Estate Darjeeling if the opportunity arose, and Udyan Tea is now firmly on my radar.

Dayuling Premium High Mountain Oolong from Beautiful Taiwan Tea

dayulingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea

Tea Description:

The premium teas of Taiwan are known for their smoothness, the quality of their soup and their “Chaqi”.   Only grown in the highest areas, theses leaves take their time to grow and soak up all the cool mist and the High Mountain air.  You’ll feel calm and attentive with this Dayuling sourced High Mountain Oolong.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve heard great things about Dayuling Oolong; and I’m very happy to finally get the chance to try one! The high, high altitude at which this tea is grown (greater than 2500 meters) and limited quantity that can be produced because of the geographical location are a giant part of what makes this tea so special. At $20 an ounce, this isn’t the priciest tea in my cupboard but it’s certainly up there – I can’t help but cross my fingers and hope it’s worthy of the price tag.

I have to say, the leaf is very beautiful; dry the rolled up leaf gives off a very large, ‘thick’ appearance and has a weight in my hands. After the first infusion I could see why; the leaves are so giant – some of the biggest I’ve ever had the pleasure to brew up. Almost every single one is a completely full leaf, and I even picked out a stem that had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR completely intact leaves branching off it. Just stunning!

I certainly wasn’t going to squander this sample by Steeping it Western Style; so I enjoyed a lovely evening Gong Fu session. Sometimes I feel I can get a little stuck in my head when I’m drinking tea or doing Gong Fu in particular and I focus too much on the technical side of things while trying to pick apart flavour – and I didn’t want to do that with this tea so I just kept doing infusions without really taking physical notes; and I just kind of let the tea ‘speak to me’ while I drank it. It’s so delicate and fragile with very lovely, complex nuances! Teas grown at higher altitude tend to be more complex because, due to the altitude, they grow at a slower pace – and that comes through here for sure.

It’s quite a floral tea, that’s for sure – while the infusions I did blend together I remember the first couple had really lovely, pronounced floral notes of orchid, lily, and a bit of violet as well. Incredibly well balanced though; not ‘perfumey’, forced or over the top in the slightest. Other things I noticed were this very cool, crisp freshness. I kind of instinctively want to call that flavor ‘the smell before it rains’ but I don’t know if there’s a technical word for that. I know petrichor is defined as the smell of rainfall on dry soil/earth (and that’s my all time favourite smell) but this wasn’t quite that: it’s the smell of rain before any has actually fallen. No earthiness.

This was such a pleasant, relaxing tea though! I’m not sure how many infusions I got in total but it certainly lasted quite a while and made my evening magical. Probably well worth the price tag just to say I’d tried a Dayuling, but all in all a very delicious, serene taste experience too. I definitely felt a little tea drunk’buzzed afterwards.

Castleton Muscatel 2nd Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Castleton Muscatel 2nd Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers
Castleton Muscatel 2nd Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

CASTLETON MUSCATEL is one of the finest muscatel teas that we have come across this season. This tea has been made from selective leaves that come from PURE CHINA BUSHES at an altitude of 6200 ft above sea level which is ideal for the MUSCAT FLAVOUR.

When this tea is steeped for 3 mins it gives a very SMOOTH MEDIUM GOLDEN LIQUOR which has a rich fruity aroma. With every sip, you get a very rich fruity flavour and it leaves a ‘twang’ of mint in the pallets. A perfect cup to make your mornings delightful.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The moment I removed my brew basket from my cup I could smell the distinct muscatel aroma in this Castleton Muscatel 2nd Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers. My mouth watered in eager anticipation for that first sip. Even though this is not the freshest Darjeeling, since I got it as a sample from one of my SororiTea Sisters, and have had it tucked away for awhile now, it is still delicious! The muscatel flavor is simply divine.

As my SororiTea Sister LiberTeas said it has such a crisp flavor almost a snappish like flavor to it. Like biting into a fresh juicy grape with a thick skin, you get that POP like flavor in the mouth! Perfection! The taste is lightly sweet which I prefer to refer to as naturally sweet, just as nature intended fresh fruit to taste, this tea exemplifies that perfectly! I can’t believe I have not made any of my own purchases from Darjeeling Tea Lovers, but I need to sometime soon.

After looking at their website, I am seeing some of my favorite Darjeeling and some I have yet to try, all in one place, it is like a smorgasbord of Darjeeling, my eyes widened in excitement just browsing the site! Seriously I am having to hold myself back from placing an order until I sip down some of the teas I already have in my stash, plus saving for college for my daughter in the Fall is a bit more pressing right now.

Regardless, if a tea from Darjeeling Tea Lovers from their 2012 harvest, which has been haphazardly stored this long tastes this good, I can’t wait to try some of the fresher and better stored teas!

As for this tea, well this tea, and me, will be spending some precious time alone with a good book, in the sunshine, while it lasts, both the sunshine and the tea.

Almond Cookies from Georgia Tea Company

Almond Cookies from Georgia Tea Company
Almond Cookies from Georgia Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Georgie Tea Company

Tea Description:

A delicious green tea with a smooth coconut flavor backed up by roasted almond undertones.

Ingredients: green tea China Sencha, coconut rasps, almond flakes, flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Holy Almond Cookie! Almond Cookies from Georgia Tea Company has really made me fall in love! Georgia Tea Company – be put on notice, I will be making an order with you again soon!

I have never ordered from Georgia Tea Company before but considering this tea, which is amazing, and their more than fair prices, I am holding myself back from ordering more now!

Now I do adore almond cookies, when I get one served to me at an Asian restaurant I squeal. I always seek out a better almond cookie in stores, and I am always looking for the perfect almond cookie tea. I have found mostly tisanes that make me happy when it comes to this flavor. Yet now, this beautiful green tea, with the sweet yummy goodness of almond! You know, as for the coconut, I don’t really get it as coconut like I do in other teas. However it must play some form of a good supporting role to the other elements in this tea because this is one of the best almond cookies I have ever had! Err, umm, I mean almond cookie teas!

I can taste the almond, obviously, the green tea gives a wonderful flavor and a healthy base, and yet I swear I can taste the crispy crumbly cookie in here too! You know how good almond cookies have that buttery, crispy, crumbly texture? That is this tea! And if I had to describe this tea any other way I would go with vanilla cake batter.

I think that the green base is affording the tea some of that buttery quality. You know quite honestly, I don’t want to explain this tea anymore. Call me selfish but I just want to sip on this all day, in bliss, and I think I am going to go order more, I mean its so inexpensive its crazy!

IN LOVE with this tea!