Yesterday and today I’ve brewed back-to-back sessions of two What-Cha Georgian teas — this one and Tamaz’s Tiny Tea Factory black tea. I could repeat for this tea nearly everything I wrote about the Tamaz’s, and will do so, while describing the slight differences I noticed:
The four What-Cha Georgian blacks that I’ve tasted demand nothing, yet offer plenty of subtlety to reward a closer look. I find this to be a delightful combination that continues to draw me to What-Cha’s Georgian teas.
Smooth. Gentle. No astringency or bitterness. A brightness, a nutty flavor, a bit of roastiness — and such balance that no one note is dominant; rather, awareness and observation reveal each.
Searching for the unique character of each of the Georgian teas is an enjoyable challenge for me, since I’ve found far more commonalities than differences. What I notice today is a fruitiness in this tea that I did not notice in the Tamaz’s, and a brightness that, while a characteristic of both, in the Natela’s I could describe as a lemon-like flavor without the slightest acidity. There’s some sweetness there too, but again, so well balanced that it calls no attention to itself.
Originally I started with a 3 min steep time (a minute shorter than the 4 min recommended) since black teas at full strength can be too harsh for me. But there is nothing harsh about this tea. It is flavorful (even at 3 min) without punching me in the face. I’ve also tried very long steeps, for a last steep of the session: even an hour or more! — still to great results.
Natela’s gives and gives – I’ve probably gone at least 7 in each of my two most recent sessions, keeping the time at 4 min per steep.