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My tasting notes: Indonesian rolled black tea

My tasting notes: Indonesian rolled black tea

“How did tea find you?”, that’s how Melanie Halim and I got to know each other, over lunch and multiple steeps of Dan Cong and Dragonwell. We have a lot in common and she considers herself a “tea purist” too! Her father is the owner of Harendong Organic Tea Estate, established in 2006. Their tea plantation is located close to Mount Halimun Salak National Park, in Banten, Java Island, Indonesia.

Before the plantation was established, the area had not been doing well. Illegal deforestation was one of the problems and the nearby villages were struggling. Not only has the plantation had a positive impact on the natural environment but it has made a difference in people's lives. Melanie told me that Harendong employees can now afford higher education for their children. 

Harendong Organic Tea Estate extends over 336 acres of which 1/4 to 1/3 are planted. The tea plants originally come from Taiwan and the tea is hand-picked. This is the first rolled black tea and the first black tea from Indonesia that I’ve tried. Get excited, it has very complex aroma notes and a unique sweetness with no astringency.

Did you know that Indonesia is the seventh major tea producing country in the world? Its proximity to the Equator and its two seasons, the dry season and the rain season, make tea production very consistent throughout the year.

Read on to find out what I'm pairing this tea with !

Harendong Organic Tea Estate, Organic Black Tea, Rolled
Tea Name: Organic Black Tea, rolled
Origin: Banten, Indonesia
Ingredients: black tea
Harvest: 2016
Water Temperature: 195-200 F / 90-93 C
Steep Time: 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water Ratio: 4 grams to 5 oz / 150 ml filtered water

dry leaves: black and dark brown tightly rolled small and medium round and oblong shaped pellets, some stems, with golden hues
wet leaves: dark, deep brown, almost black with red hues, 2' / 5cm long single leaves, one leaf and a bud, two leaves
liquor: orange with yellow hues

dry leaves: savory and nutty
wet leaves: sweet, nutty and mildly toasty
liquor: sweet and aromatic, notes of wild flowers and dried figs, a hint of orange blossom water 

liquor: sweet, floral, aromatic, notes of dried herbs

MOUTHFEEL: silky, not astringent at all, lingering sweet and floral finish

FOOD PAIRING: homemade olive oil challah bread and olive oil passion fruit curd to contrast the sweetness of the tea with savory and tangy notes.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7-8 steeps, very pleasant and complex, extremely sweet. I absolutely love the transparency of this company and their commitment to human and environmental health.

Disclaimer: sample provided for review by Harendong Organic Tea Estate. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Harendong Organic Tea Estate. You can find this tea and more information here.

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