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Recent Tasting Notes
This is my first tea review and I’m glad to start with this great black tea from Lochan Tea. They are located in India and they are already very well known for their high quality teas. Dry tea leaves are mostly yellow and somewhat black which is reminiscent of Yunnan black teas. Truthfully, had I not known it’s from India I’d have easily mistaken it for Yunnan red teas.
It’s very smooth, naturally sweet, no astringency whatsoever. Therefore you do not need sugar or milk. It’s true that only low quality tea requires sugar or milk! Furthermore; it’s got a nice, surprising hint of chocolate flavor.
(I Hope I am logging this one right…)
Thanks to The Purrfect Cup for this one, too! Wooooo!
Is anyone else’s dashboard lagging BAD – today??? eeeeek!
On to the tea notes, eh!?
This is a hearty assam! Malty, rich, strong, dark, astringent but in a good way! Leaves a lingering taste of ‘fall’ in your mouth…like toasty or roasty…leaves, even! But in an appetizing way, that is!
I got something I had a hard time putting a name to in the nose… Something fruity, somewhat sour, and a wee bit floral. Chrysanthemum, perhaps?
But the flavour, oh the flavour! Butter and corn make perfect sense here. The aftertaste in sweet and lingering – something I really value in a good tea. The flavour is quite off-track from what I’d consider classic first-flush Darjeeling, so it may not be for everyone, but I think I’m in love! It isn’t quite smooth but it isn’t harsh. It’s got some bite and leaves my mouth feeling somewhat dry. Hint of bitterness just for a moment after I swallow each sip. I’m definitely starting to think chrysanthemum was the right choice. An incredible depth of flavour and aroma.
Bottom line: Different, but good. I thought at first that getting the Lochan sampler would save me some money because I could try some first flush without having to sink money into large amounts of any of them. I was wrong. Might have to get the husband to hide the credit card.
The leaves of my sample are a gorgeous dark green which wonderfully sets of the fair amount of golden tips. Mainly consisting of whole leaves which are thin, wiry and gently curled, there are a few broken leaves with a bit of dust in the bottom of the sample. The aroma reminds me of stone fruits with a slight malty overtone.
I set up my tea-maker using sixteen grams of leaves and a brew temp of 200 degrees. (The recommended temp was 194 but I didn’t have that option.) I used a steep time of three and a half minutes.
The resulting liquor is a warm golden brown with an aroma that almost perfect matches the scent given off by the dry leaves. This is a rather light Assam with just a touch of dryness that teases the edges of your tongue. There is a natural sweetness to it and a taste that reminds me of stone fruit. One sip and I swear that I am reminded of peaches and the next sip is one of plums.
Most Assams are too heavy for me to enjoy without a good dose of rock sugar and half-n-half to smooth out the sharpness. This one however is just perfect for sipping with just a dab of sweetening. I think that I am in love.
Opening up my sample I am greeted by leaves that are dark green in color with several lighter green tips. The leaves are all tightly curled and in good condition with no broken pieces. The aroma is grassy. It reminds me of fresh cut alfalfa, very sharp and fresh.
I set up my tea-maker to brew using a rounded tablespoon, 190 degree water and a steep time of four minutes. The resulting liquor is golden in coloring similar to what I expect from an oolong. The aroma now is hard to describe, almost buttery.
This tea is sharp to the tongue with a dryness that adds a real kick. The mouthfeel is creamy with that slight oiliness that one usually only finds with a good oolong. The taste itself is slightly vegetal with a buttery overtone.
I can’t say that this is a tea what I would purchase for myself as the astringency is rather distracting for me. It was hard to put it aside to be able to concentrate the taste.
I am rather new to Darjeeling teas and this is the 1st Flush that I have tried. However I have always thought of Darjeeling teas as a black tea. This tea surprised me in how green it looked. The tea leaves range in color from light spring green to a darker evergreen in color. Looking at the shape of the leaves though reminded me more of a black tea in that they are thin and wiry.
There wasn’t much aroma to the dry leaves, just a slight tinge of a vegetal aroma. Once brewed the liquor is a pale gold in color that is just a bit darker then a white tea. Again I am having my preconceptions thrown out the window. The aroma now has a slight muskiness that reminds me of the leaves on the ground in an old growth forest.
This is a simple easy drinking tea. I kept looking for nuances in the flavor that just wasn’t there. It has a slight sweetness that offset the muskiness that plays along the edges of your tongue. I can easily see myself drinking this tea when I am busy with other things as it doesn’t demand any concentration.