240 Tasting Notes
I am not sure what they are referring to with “full leaf”, unless its the bits of twig in the mix; otherwise, it looks like it was run through a “Weed Wacker”. Nonetheless, I was warned by a collegue that this brewed up “bitter”. Guessing that he over brewed, I used 1 tsp, 200 deg water and 2 minutes to good success. The tea is a pale sepia brown with yellow undertones. Even short brewed, it has a mouth cleaning astringency that lends credence to it being easy to oversteep. Otherwise, its a pretty standard Darjeeling… green vegetable taste, not grassy; very dry and tannic…the chardonnay of tea.
3rd cup (2nd Re-steep). Boiling water and 4 minutes again. Its definetly a pale shadow of the first steep, but quite drinkable. I’d say the two resteeps were better than the orginal steep, which makes me think that the first steep was overdone. I also probably got more actual tea in the strainer because the granular format makes for a lot less wasted space in my teaspoon measure.
So, if you’re going for plain tea (no milk & sugar) treat the granulated a little lightly…lesson learned.
“The other Assam”. I had Orthodox Full Leaf Assam yesterday and expected a full bodied, harsh tea. That wasn’t it, but this one is! 1tsp & 195 degree water caused this one to brew fast, 2 minutes maximum. It has what I think of as the classic Assam taste, heavy, dark, full bodied. Reminiscent of dead autum leaves in an October rain. Yah, not a happy-happy, joy-joy invoking brew…not my summer sun tea. Nonetheless, it fills it niche well. Bet it would be good with milk and sugar if you like your tea that way.
Another direct from India tea. For those wondering about the “Orthodox Full Leaf”, it really does say that on the package; probably to differentiate it from the other Assam in the package, which is “granulated”. This tea brewed slowly, full 4 minutes/boiling water, to a clear brown (fruitwood more than walnut). I was expecting a heavy, harsh, tannic tea. Didn’t get that. Its definetly a more full bodied tea than say a Ceylon, but not a bit harsh or tannic. In fact, the notable feature is the lack of notable features. It didn’t have any particular earthy or musty smell/flavor when brewed. The dry tea smells like dry tea (surprise!). Over all, a good every day tea that you could serve to your mother without a worry.
My employer is setting up a new project in India, so we’re getting some tea’s brought back by the people we’re sending there to get things started. This Nilgiri is initially very pale and slow to brew, even with boiling water. Patience and a full 4 minutes resulted in a light “nut” brown brew. it has a faint dried leaf aroma when steaming, but it lasts only as long as the steam. The mouth feel is very light; extremely mild taste. It has a pleasant after taste and mildest lingering tea flavor. In fact, I get more out of the aftertaste than when its actually in your mouth. I think if I drink this too fast, I’ll miss most of the enjoyment.
I was very worried about this tea…its pure Robitussin™ smell when dry in the bag. Luckily the smell doesn’t transfer to the tea (too much). This tea is weird…the tastes don’t make sense to me, but here it is: the brew’s smell is pretty neutral…not much there but the faintest of faint Robitussin. I moved away from the bag on the shelf behind me to see if was affecting me..thats how faint. So, don’t sweat it. The first mouth taste/smell is faintly pine tree and pine sap. yes, really. The mid to finish taste is pine sawdust…like you’ve been out cutting up a pine tree with a chainsaw (yeah, I’ve done that) or your walking through a large lumber warehouse with fresh lumber stacks all around. Just that smell/taste that you get at the roof of the mouth. Completely unexpected. Ultimately the tastes are so faint that they don’t distract you, but they do last awhile.
I think I like it…this will get further study (especially since I have a 100g bag) ;-)
Reordered this one instead of UVA Highlands as part of my January restocking. It’s a smooth, not to tannic brew. I can easily get two good steepings from a 1tsp scoop. It has the nice clear, “picture perfect” look of the tea you’d use for an advertising campaign. taste good too! Adjusting my rating upwards based on the last year’s knowledge gain ;-)
I waited until I had tasted this tea several times. Its OK, but I’m not a fan. It is very fruity and floral, overly so in my opinion. I cannot identify any singular fruit or floral flavor, just that it has a perfume about it. I can see where others might like it, but its not going to make my order list.