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There are two reasons i decided to get a bag of this tea. 1. I am out of straight black teas and have never had a Nilgiri or at least one that’s not flavoured or found in a teabag. 2. it looks funky. :) Actually, I would think the latter is the main reason. It literally looks like someone dumped some green tea into the mix, but really this tea is made entirely from one estate and they process it in a way that during the oxidation process, bits of leaf will fall off first leaving behind green tea like flakes. Anyways.. it is best explained in the blog post under the description.

Colour brews to a nice golden colour, lighter than a typical black. I’ve read that most Nilgiri teas are of the ctc variety and of lower quality but I highly doubt that’s the case here! It is very smooth/sweet and mildly fruity. It doesn’t quite convince me to believe that the green leaves steep well in boiling water as i do get a slightly noticeable “green tea bitter” at the first sip. This would do great as a breakfast tea, but it’s longevity is somewhat weak. After the first infusion, the second one is rather weak but drinkable. I think I could get away with a shorter first infusion to get a stronger brew the next time around, but I think I like it as it is.

The spent leaves are pretty to look at, the green and brown leaves mixed together look great together, and I’ve mostly enjoyed the brew. Camellia Sinensis is one of the better known tea stores in Montreal and they are pretty serious about their tea. Usually fairly pricey, this one was pretty fair.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Dorothy

Did it say to use boiling on the package? Mine listed 90, and their website lists 95. haha

politicalmachine

My bag is listed at 95, I guess it would depend on the whoever was working that day they packed your order. I got mine in-store from Kevin, the guy who wrote that blog post. But honestly i have no idea when brewing instructions say 90 or 95. I guess I will try it after leaving the kettle after boiling for a min or two

Payton

I don’t know CS’s Nilgiri specifically (I’ll have to try it next time I’m up there!), but I’d suggest trying 90 for just under 2 minutes and try not to squeeze the leaves too much. Nilgiris should, hypothetically, be lighter and sweeter than lower-elevation Assamica leaf. Another option (suggested by a Czech friend) would be 80 degrees for 2 or 2.5 minutes, and then boiling for the second infusion, as this often preserves some of the flavor.

politicalmachine

sounds good! I’ll try the shorter steep next time.

Kashyap

Nilgiri is processed very similar to Darjeelings, but are produced in the south west instead of the north east portion of India. As such they are also generally Camellia Sinesis Assamica opposed to the unusual nature of most Darjeelings which are transplanted Chinese Camellia Sinesis Sinesis (which are sweeter, less spicy, and more floral than the Assamica). Nilgiri teas are generally spicy and lightly fruity with brisk, astrigent profiles and are usually cheap. They are medium to fine chopped and so extract quickly and shorter steep times and slightly coolor water temps (like those for green teas 170-185 degrees) work best. They are great additives to make spicy iced teas and dynamic blends. Bear in mind with pricing, you will get drastically different prices from similiar teas if the source is a direct importer, 2nd or 3rd party vendor, and if tea is thier primary business or their secondary line. I get many of my teas from Staufs Coffee Roasters in Columbus, OH just because they offer a wide diversity with a low bottom line, because tea is a side business and not their primary one – meaning even as a 2nd party vendor and not a direct importer they can offer a great value at quality and cost. Places like this are hard to find, but worth looking for. I say this only as I note that your reviews are balanced between cup and cost…

politicalmachine

What you say certainly makes sense with the tea varieties, if i were to say this Nilgiri is much to the same level as a Darjeeling. The cultivar of tea is definitely of a chinese plant. Camellia Sinensis is indeed a direct importer but will use a fairly high markup, the tradeoff I would guess would be the guarantee of quality coming from a tea specialty store like such. Recently, I have been focusing most of my purchases from importers or even small scale buyers who get the product directly at the source or happen to be the producer themselves. I find that quality-wise tends to be much higher, yet is found at around the same price as a tea from company who sources their tea through wholesalers.

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Comments

Dorothy

Did it say to use boiling on the package? Mine listed 90, and their website lists 95. haha

politicalmachine

My bag is listed at 95, I guess it would depend on the whoever was working that day they packed your order. I got mine in-store from Kevin, the guy who wrote that blog post. But honestly i have no idea when brewing instructions say 90 or 95. I guess I will try it after leaving the kettle after boiling for a min or two

Payton

I don’t know CS’s Nilgiri specifically (I’ll have to try it next time I’m up there!), but I’d suggest trying 90 for just under 2 minutes and try not to squeeze the leaves too much. Nilgiris should, hypothetically, be lighter and sweeter than lower-elevation Assamica leaf. Another option (suggested by a Czech friend) would be 80 degrees for 2 or 2.5 minutes, and then boiling for the second infusion, as this often preserves some of the flavor.

politicalmachine

sounds good! I’ll try the shorter steep next time.

Kashyap

Nilgiri is processed very similar to Darjeelings, but are produced in the south west instead of the north east portion of India. As such they are also generally Camellia Sinesis Assamica opposed to the unusual nature of most Darjeelings which are transplanted Chinese Camellia Sinesis Sinesis (which are sweeter, less spicy, and more floral than the Assamica). Nilgiri teas are generally spicy and lightly fruity with brisk, astrigent profiles and are usually cheap. They are medium to fine chopped and so extract quickly and shorter steep times and slightly coolor water temps (like those for green teas 170-185 degrees) work best. They are great additives to make spicy iced teas and dynamic blends. Bear in mind with pricing, you will get drastically different prices from similiar teas if the source is a direct importer, 2nd or 3rd party vendor, and if tea is thier primary business or their secondary line. I get many of my teas from Staufs Coffee Roasters in Columbus, OH just because they offer a wide diversity with a low bottom line, because tea is a side business and not their primary one – meaning even as a 2nd party vendor and not a direct importer they can offer a great value at quality and cost. Places like this are hard to find, but worth looking for. I say this only as I note that your reviews are balanced between cup and cost…

politicalmachine

What you say certainly makes sense with the tea varieties, if i were to say this Nilgiri is much to the same level as a Darjeeling. The cultivar of tea is definitely of a chinese plant. Camellia Sinensis is indeed a direct importer but will use a fairly high markup, the tradeoff I would guess would be the guarantee of quality coming from a tea specialty store like such. Recently, I have been focusing most of my purchases from importers or even small scale buyers who get the product directly at the source or happen to be the producer themselves. I find that quality-wise tends to be much higher, yet is found at around the same price as a tea from company who sources their tea through wholesalers.

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Bio

Stopped drinking water, switched to tea. =)
(ok, this is a lie but still :) )

How I rate teas is pretty simple, different teas have different expectations based on quality and price. I’ll rate a tea based on how good it is for its category/price point. I think i rate pretty fairly, I’m not afraid to give a bad score to a bad tea, and it’s relatively hard to get perfect score (partially because i believe there are only so many that can attain such a title)

I like oolong/green teas the most
black, white, tisanes to a lesser part.

I re-steep EVERYTHING, as that’s how I’ve learned from my parents. Blacks teas normally to a max of two times.

I like it when the tea actually looks of quality (eg. whole unbruised leaves). I hate it when i get a tea, and half of it is cut up stems of the plant… give me leaves!

I drink all my teas black and occasionally with sweetener. I do drink coffee too, and love espressos and cappuccinos. Yup, I do my coffee black too. Guess, it is to say I like strong flavours.
My current way of steeping tea, is my french press which i just got a month ago. I love it (well maybe not my cheapy one; looking to get a bodum one day). I used to just dump leaves at the bottom of my cup..

Ok. Rating meanings…

0-49: Various degrees of suck. Either terrible value or just not good.
50-59: It’s drinkable. I’ll finish my cup.
60-69: Not bad… but not good.
70-79: okay to drink, nothing too special, will not be a re-buy.
80-89: Enjoyable cups.
90-99: Worth holding on to.
100: Um.. I’ll tell you when I get here.

About me?

University student, photographer, bartender..

Location

Montreal

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