This was another recent sipdown of mine. I polished off the ridiculous 100g pouch at the start of last week. Going back through all of my tasting notes, I was surprised to discover that this was going to wind up as being the first tea from the Sakhira Estate to receive a review from me. I had long been aware that Sakhira was considered one of the better and more reliable Nepalese tea producers, but for whatever reason, I had just never bothered to explore any of their offerings. That being said, I probably should not have started with this one. It was not a bad tea, but it was kind of standard issue in many ways. I have definitely had better Nepalese black teas.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 185 F water for 5 minutes. I did not rinse the leaf material prior to infusion, and I did not attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material produced aromas of pine, hay, straw, basil, anise, and green bell pepper. After infusion, I picked up aromas of apricot, plum, malt, orange zest, baked bread, and almond. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of pine, hay, straw, basil, grass, green bell pepper, watermelon rind, cream, butter, baked bread, malt, apricot, plum, sour cherry, orange zest, lemon rind, almond, green apple, and white grape with occasional hints of anise and a little pear in the aftertaste.

Overall, this was a pretty decent Nepalese first flush black tea. It definitely was not among the best I have ever had, but it was serviceable. I felt that its liquor was a little too pungent and prickly in the mouth for it to be easily enjoyed. It did, however, display solid depth and complexity, and that counts for something with me. Really, this tea was something of a mixed bag, but there was more good than bad. I certainly do not regret trying it.

Flavors: Almond, Anise, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Cherry, Cream, Grass, Green Apple, Green Bell Peppers, Hay, Herbaceous, Lemon, Malt, Melon, Orange Zest, Pear, Pine, Plums, Straw, White Grapes

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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