drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
114 tasting notes

Backlog 3/25/14: This morning, courtesy of Natalie & DAVIDsTEA, I brewed Nepal Black Western style: 8 oz / 1.25 tsp (2.3g) / 205*F / 4-6 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

I was truly looking forward to reviewing this year’s Nepal Black as I was very impressed with last year’s crop.

Note: The brewing instructions have changed since 4/10/13 when I last reviewed this tea: 1.5 tsp. / 208*F / 4-5 min.

Leaf: Both fine & thick, twisted, dark chocolate brown with some amber, mostly short, with several as long as 3.5 mm
Fragrance: Mild notes of pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear medium copper
Aroma: Mild earthy
Flavor: Malty

4-min.: Moderately full-bodied, I then let it steep an additional min.
5-min.: A rich, smooth, full-bodied malty tea with a hint of cocoa and a mild sweetness. Unfortunately, the obvious honey aroma & flavor of last year’s crop is not apparent this year. There was no hint of bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
6-min: Not yet full-bodied.
7-min: Same
8-min: Same
9-min: Same
10-min: Same – Did not re-steep well – light to medium bodied at best.

Compared to last year’s crop:
“*Re-steep*: 5-min: Truly as good as the first cup – Excellent!
2nd Re-steep – 6-min: Nearly as good & still enjoyable! After three cups, there is a wonderful delicate natural sweetness that lingers long on the tongue. Well done!”

Today, 4/1/14, I brewed another cup – 8 oz / 1.5 tsp (3g) / 205*F / 5 min.:
The increased leaf (same as recommended last year) produced a more rounded full-bodied enjoyable cup. However, the honey flavor is still not present and the increased leaf did not significantly improve the re-steep flavor/body.

Impression: This year’s Nepal Black is not the equal of last year’s crop.

Thanks to Natalie & DAVIDsTEA for their gracious sample of this very fine Nepal Black.
Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
looseTman

4/1/14 updated added.

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looseTman

4/1/14 updated added.

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Bio

I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an annual winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

Location

Mid-Atlantic, USA

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