Nepal, Mist Valley Estate

Tea type
Black Tea
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Almond, Chestnut, Cream, Herbs, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Oak wood, Toast
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Simpson & Vail

Located in South Asia, and bordered by China and India, Nepal is home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest which is the highest point anywhere on Earth. Although Nepal is comprised of 75 districts, tea gardens are mostly found in the eastern part of the country (dubbed the "Tea Zone), which borders the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India, and enjoys the same soil and climatic conditions as Darjeeling. The five districts that make up the “Tea Zone” are Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar, Tehrathum and Dhankuta. The Mist Valley Tea gardens are located in Jitpur in the Ilam district. Ilam is located in the Mechi Zone in the easternmost part of Nepal. Jitpur is a small hilly village with pristine landscapes of sloped tea gardens, thick natural forests, and a unique culture that is still relatively untouched by the modern world. Until quite recently, Jitpur was primarily a farming community however today tea is now grown in addition to rice and vegetables.

In Nepal, there are only a handful of tea producers that own and operate their own tea gardens and processing facilities, and Mist Valley Tea is one of those few. Located at an altitude of 1300 meters (approximately 4,200 feet) above the sea-level, this garden produces delightful and distinctive teas. This beautiful uniformly styled, long-leafed, tippy, black tea brews to a light amber cup with a slight vegetal aroma. The taste tends more towards a traditional Darjeeling with nutmeg overtones.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

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7 Tasting Notes

1700 tasting notes

Got this one from Nicole. Her opinion was it is nice but I wouldn’t get it again. My opinion is WOW this is really great.

The wet leaf smell is like green beans and cooked broccoli, followed by fruity Darjeeling like notes. If that isn’t enough it ends with cocoa notes.

The sip is at first cocoa and malt followed by the fruity Darjeeling qualities. No bitterness. Just enough astringency to add a kiss of dryness.

I steeped it three times – it was so very good all three times. I like Darjeeling tea. I love Yunnan teas. This is kind of a marriage of both styles. It is medium bodied. It is not an in your face cup but not so subtle you have to concentrate to detect the flavors. I Love it!

Fun note – I steeped the first cup yesterday. As it was cooling, mom and dad called to say they were bored and wanted to play cards. So after a few sips I had to put the remainder of the tea in a travel mug. I ooh and ahhed my way through the cup. Then mom hands me a glass of iced decaf Lipton…. Uhmmm, I normally can drink it and enjoy it because it has always been part of all family stuff. This time it was really hard to drink and even harder not to complain. Silently I kept wishing I had picked up my press as I went out the door. It’s all good as it made today’s steeps even better.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I’m soooo glad you like this one! I think maybe I didn’t steep it quite right or maybe my taster was off that day. It sounds great when you describe it. :)


Nicole, thanks for sharing this one. What impresses me most about is this is familiar and unique at the same time. Just yum!

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767 tasting notes

This does taste like a darjeeling. Less dryness and maybe a bit more fruit in the background.

Not bad at all. Nothing I’ll get again, but I’m pleased to have tried this.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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2238 tasting notes

Thank you Nicole for sending this one to sample! The only other Simpson & Vail I’ve tried is their Chocolate Brownie, but it’s a good one! This one is tough to describe but so so so good. I steeped for 3-4 minutes. It’s malty but it doesn’t have that deeper flavor. It’s a medium bodied tea. Maybe a tiny hint of tobacco. And I swear I keep smelling cherry cough drops, and there is nothing in here like that, so it might be this tea. And maybe a bit like rose petals. So recap: malty, tobacco, cherry, rose petals. Such an odd combination but good! This tea is almost haunting… because the list of flavors is almost like lingers of things a ghost might leave behind. But my cat has not wanted to come in this room at ALL for a few days, so maybe it’s just the ghost. ;D

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265 tasting notes

Here is another sipdown to log. I only had one ounce of this left and finished it up over the course of the last three days. This tea was a roller coaster experience for me. The first couple cups I made were good, but the last five or six were very bland. I don’t think that was the tea’s fault though. A weird thing happens to my nose and mouth whenever I drink Darjeelings or anything remotely similar-my palate just seems to go numb. If I drink a full cup, I will be able to smell and taste it fully, but if I have more than one cup over the course of a session, anything after that first cup just ends up smelling and tasting like hot mineral water. Also, the longer I spend working on a tea of this type, the more quickly my nose and palate shut down. With all of this in mind, it was a given that I would not be able to pick up much in the last couple of sessions. I think this phenomenon probably has something to do with my seasonal allergies and the constant sinus issues they cause.

I prepared this tea using the one step Western infusion process I favor for many non-Chinese black teas and black tea blends. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 3 minutes. At other times, I have tried longer infusions of around 4-5 minutes, but all of the infusions that I could actually smell and taste were pretty consistent across the board. This review will exclusively deal with the 3 minute infusion.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaves produced a mild, musty aroma with hints of herbs, nutmeg, and Muscat grapes. After infusion, the bright golden liquor produced a delicate aroma of roasted almonds, nutmeg, lemon balm, bee balm, and Muscat grape. In the mouth, I detected notes of toast, malt, cream, nutmeg, chestnut, and roasted almonds accompanied by impressions of Muscat grape, lemon balm, and bee balm, as well as hints of oak and minerality on the finish.

I could definitely see the comparison to orthodox Darjeelings with this tea. It particularly reminded me of some of the grassier and more herbal first flush Darjeelings I have tried in the past. Still, the pronounced herbal character and the strong nutmeg and roasted almond aromas and flavors reminded me that I was drinking a Nepalese tea (I seem to frequently pick up those aromas and flavors in Nepalese black teas). While I enjoyed this tea overall, one thing that I found a little difficult to get past was how dry it became for me in the mouth. Though this tea did not express itself as being particularly astringent, it got to a point where it kept completely drying my mouth out with each sip. Just for that, I have lowered my rating for this tea somewhat.

Flavors: Almond, Chestnut, Cream, Herbs, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Oak wood, Toast

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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