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My tasting notes: Gold tea from Nepal

My tasting notes: Gold tea from Nepal

This is a very experimental tea brewing and tasting session with a black tea from Nepal. Instead of Western style, I brewed it in a gaiwan (but I have to specify, not gongfu cha style) to push it to the edge of flavor and aroma, to get a more concentrated brew. It was a series of trial and error and adjustments to the brewing parameters, but I’m happy with the results. 
Before I leave you to the detailed tasting notes, have you seen my new tea ware? The fairness pitcher (which I think is meant to be a milk/creamer jug) comes from a beautiful Japanese store in Venice, Los Angeles. It feels so good to hold it in my hand and pour from it. The cups are very special. They are a gift from my mother-in-law and they are from the “Vienna Porcelain Manufactory Augarten”, one of the oldest and most renowned in Europe. I believe they are espresso cups, but their small size makes them perfect tea tasting cups. I’m in love with them, they are so delightfully art deco! By the way, how cool is the mix of different cultural influences here? 

Black tea from Nepal, Kumari Gold

Kumari Gold, Nepal Tea LLC

Tea Name: Kumari Gold
Origin: Kanchanjangha Tea Estate, Nepal
Ingredients: black tea
Harvest: June / July 2017
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water Ratio: 4 gr to 5 oz / 150 ml filtered tap water
Water Temperature: 200 F /  93 C
Steep Time: quick rinse, 1 minute and 30 seconds at 200 F (93 C), 1 minute at 193 F (89 C) to minimize astringency, 1 minute at 200 F, 4 minutes at 208 F (97 C) Western style in a regular-sized mug

dry leaves: wiry, slightly twisted lengthwise (1 ½ inch / 3 cm long), dark grey, almost black with a few golden buds
wet leaves: dark brown with rusty, reddish hues, buds, leaves and leaf fragments
Liquor: deep dark orange with rusty hues

dry leaves: sweet, dry hay
wet leaves: sweet, dried fruit
liquor: sweet, fruity and chocolatey

liquor: floral notes (orchid), notes of red berries, the first steep (1 minute and 30 seconds at 200 F) was astringent like a dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. When I dialed back temperature and steep time it was less astringent, with pronounced berry and cacao notes.

Black tea from Nepal

MOUTHFEEL: astringent like a good quality dark chocolate, floral sweetness lingers. When I dialed back temperature and steep time, it almost had the creamy mouthfeel of chocolate.

FOOD PAIRING: dark chocolate!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: If Golden Monkey black tea from Fujian province, China, and Sun Moon Lake from Taiwan had a baby, it would be this tea!

Disclaimer: Tea sample provided for review by Nepal Tea LLC. I was not paid to review or mention it. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Nepal Tea LLC nor with the manufacturer of this product. You can get this tea here.

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The Tea Squirrel visits The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

The Tea Squirrel visits The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents