Nepali Tea TradersEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I am drinking a “wild orchid pearl” oolong from Nepali Teas. 10g pearl in 120cc, boiling water. Steeped for about 30s then let it sit and steam for 5 minutes to unroll a bit, and broke it up with my hands the rest of the way. Followed by 10s, 20s, 30s, etc… to chase flavor.
Was bland in the early steeps, turned very sweet after steep 5. Notes like sugarcane, almost no bitterness or harsh notes. Balanced roast, slightly nutty, not very floral. Not very fragrant either. Not incredibly interesting but enjoyable. Died by steep 9 or so.
May Flowers! I had a single serving of this tea, compliments of the last Here’s Hoping Teabox organized by tea-sipper, so thanks to all that contributed to the box and tea-sipper! Since I had just enough leaf for a small cup, I brewed this western-style.
The steeped cup smelled like warm honey and roasted nuts. The flavor of the tea was familiar somehow… I think it is reminding me of Fusion Tea’s discontinued Lemon Rose Bud tea, just without the lemon citrus notes. But the oolong base tastes very familiar to that tea to me; it has a malty, roasted flavor that is a little earthy, nutty, but has a sweet finish that tastes of burnt sugar, honey, and roses. I also get the same slight citrus orange note from this tea that I remember tasting in the Lemon Rose Bud tea. The one odd thing is that for a tea called “Wild Orchid Pearl Oolong,” I am tasting no orchid at all. A floral rosy taste, yes, but orchid? Perhaps it’s because my tastebuds were so overwhelmed drinking this back-to-back with the Zhushan Natural Oolong, which was orchid-flavor-overload, but I am just not getting a trace of orchid note here.
Despite not getting what is on the label, this is a delicious tea. I was so upset to discover that Lemon Rose Bud tea was discontinued, and now I’m finding this tea has a similar enough taste to scratch that itch for me, so perhaps I’ll make this a replacement.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Honey, Malt, Orange, Roasted nuts, Rose
Drank this one… like a week ago?
This is a beautiful tea, for starters. After I had steeped up my cup I had a very hard time not playing with the tea leaf. Flavour wise, it’s quite Darjeeling like to me. Has a strong, somewhat muscatel body note and undertones of florals/autumn leaves. It’s also quite malty, with a bit of an astringent finish. Overall I liked it a fair bit, and it made for a really interesting morning tea with a strong profile and just enough nuance to keep my attention.
From the Regional Group Buy. These are some of the thinnest and pointiest silver tips I’ve come across – I can definitely see why they’re known as needles now! They actually remind me of pine needles in shape and size, although obviously these are white and downy. Christmas tree needles covered in snow?! Irrelevance, anyway.
I struggle to get much flavour from white teas, so I followed the instructions to the letter this time. I used 2 tsp of leaf (or there abouts – it was hard to measure using a spoon…) and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to 185 degrees.
This one is mostly still sweet water, with a mild hay-like flavour and a touch of dustiness towards the end of the sip. In other words, it’s very similar to 99% of other plain white teas I’ve tried – more delicate than some, perhaps, but broadly the same in flavour terms. I imagine this is a lot more expensive than some whites, and white tea is expensive to begin with. Sure, it’s better than the bagged clipper stuff I started out with (you know, the one that I used to brew like black tea and put milk in. It was an easy mistake to make, though, given that it brewed up to a pretty solid amber colour all by itself.) This tea is in another league entirely, but I can’t really say what, if anything, distinguishes it from most other silver needles offered by other vendors, and that’s a sticking point for me. I understand flavoured white better, I think, because sometimes an airy base is just the thing. Plain? Perhaps I’m just not subtle enough to really appreciate it…
I liked this one a bit more upon second acquaintance. Last time I tried it, I’d been drinking quite a lot of powerful, strongly-flavoured teas at around the same time, and I think that affected my perception of this one quite a bit. It just didn’t stand out much in comparison. Today, I’ve mostly been drinking quieter, more gentle teas; primarily straight whites and oolongs.
In comparison, this green has a bit more about it. It still reminds me very much of white tea, and it is more subtle than other greens I’ve tried. The artichoke flavour is really distinctive, however, and pleasingly unusual. I love artichokes, but I feel like it’s a flavour I rarely encounter in tea. The buttery, smooth green bean flavour that ends the sip is equally pleasant, if more familiar.
I quite enjoy how this one sits somewhere between a white and a green, with the sweet water, hay, and honey leading the way into the vegetal flavours. It’s something I haven’t come across many (maybe any?) times before, and so I’m going to appreciate this one for its differences instead of complaining about its lack of similarity.
Guess what? It’s another from the Regional Group Buy! This one’s a pretty unusual-looking green tea, with a high proportion of downy white buds. It reminds me a lot more of a silver tip white than a green. It brews up very pale, as you might expect, and the flavour is similarly light. It’s interesting, at this point, because the beginning of the sip is very much akin to a white tea – sweet water and hay, with a touch of creaminess. The mid-sip is where the green tea flavours are lurking, although they’re fairly straightforward – just green bean with a hint of artichoke.
This isn’t a strong or overly vegetal green – in fact, the word I’d use to describe it is delicate. It walks an interesting line between a green and a white, but it’s really very subtle and not particularly memorable or engaging. There’s a place for a quiet tea, but I think on the whole I prefer them with a bit more oomph. Worth a try, though.
A sample from LP’s Regional Group Buy, which (like most things…) has been in my cupboard for a while. I’ve tried a couple of similar style teas before, but not from Nepal as far as I can remember.
This one is malty and sweet, with some decent baked bread notes. It seemed a little thin initially, but the flavour deepens considerably from the mid sip. I want to say “molasses”, and that’s kind of correct in terms of texture, but not flavour. The flavour is less sweet than that would imply, and more grain-like. Hopefully that makes sense.
I’m struggling a little with this one today, I think because I probably have the beginnings of a cold. I’ve enough left to try this one again when I’m feeling a little better, though, so hopefully clarity with return before too long! It’s great tea, but I don’t feel I’m doing it justice.
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #44
I haven’t had this sort of white tea in a while. Wow. I remember the fuzzies on this sort of white tea would have ruined the tea for me in the past, but not anymore (or possibly not with this tea)? I don’t know if it is because I have matured as a tea drinker or if this is just a very high quality tea (possibly both.) The tea is very sweet and light. But I love to balance the sweetness and light out with having a darker tea throughout the day also.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
LP Group Buy (Oolong Group Buy?)/Sipdown
I had this tea twice, on two separate occasions today. I started the first session right as soon as I rolled out of bed at 6 AM, and the other about two hours ago. I stopped and made notes on the second session, though.
1st Steep (10s/post-rinse): Very dark in color (liquor), sweet, floral, and slightly “brisk.”
2nd Steep (30s): I noted, "If I closed my eyes and you gave me this tea and asked me to tell you what type it was, I’d say, “Aged, rose scented white tea.”"
3rd Steep (2 mins): More roses, more boldness, & slightly mouth drying.
4th Steep (3 mins): Starting to lose it’s color & flavor, but there’re still floral notes remaining.
5th/Final Steep (5 mins): Rose petals, nearly reminds me of a white/black tea mixed. Mildly malty/nutty, but no bitterness whatsoever in the flavor.
Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Rose
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #3
Another gem from the teabox. The looks of these leaves are deceiving. Though I only used a teaspoon, this doesn’t taste like oolong at all! More like a very light black tea like a darjeeling? (but still more astringent than those usually are.) But the leaves definitely LOOK like a conventional oolong. Usually I don’t find an astringent oolong, so this is odd. It isn’t even like a roasted oolong. I was really looking forward to this one too, as I LOVE the oolongs that have that hint of orchid. The brew here results in a medium brown color. The leaves look like a light oolong but taste like a black tea! The Steepster picture actually doesn’t even look the same as the leaves I tried — the leaves there actually do look like a light black tea. Never had that happen before. I don’t think the steep time would have made a difference. The third steep the next day was much weaker.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 6 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // couple min after boiling // 3 minute steep
I got this through LiquidProust’s regional oolong buy. The big notes that I am getting from this is a large amount of honey and orchid flavor. The sent on this tea smells delicious and actually smells like some of the medium roasted teas that I have tried despite it not being roasted.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Honey, Orchid, Peach
Two interesting points on this tea:
1. Follow their recommended brewing parameters, which is Western-style with low temps. (185F recommended)
2. If you go rogue and try gong-fu style, you will encounter flavors not unlike Parmesan cheese. No joke. Salty, creamy, savory. Weird.
OK, so after my Parmesan cheese encounter and after having decided to maybe just follow the instructions CLEARLY PRINTED on the packet, my verdict is that the tea is OK.
The caramel notes are tasty, and the orchid/floral/fruity thing is good, but really, I prefer more prominent flavors. The lack of a strong aftertaste was a bit annoying. It’s a very soft tea for sure.
Dry leaf: musty red currant, dried apricot, coriander, floral (orchid, I guess!), hints of orange-chocolate. In preheated vessel – oily roasted almond nuttiness appears.
Smell – roast almond, orange, apricot, some salty/savory/creamy notes present
Taste – salted caramel, toffee, almond, coriander, orange blossom (or orchid, who knows). Aftertaste is almost non-existent; very light floral/citrus.
This is much like a scented/flavored tea. It’s less about the flavor of the tea leaf itself and more about the quality of the added scent/flavor. The base tea is good, but fairly understated. It cannot compete with the overt smoke flavors that are there.
So, with that in mind, I would say that if you are after a smoky, savory tea experience, this tea does fairly well. The smoke flavor is rich and savory – not ashy or burnt. Notes of smoked meat and campfire log, with some notes of maple and brown sugar like you would find in smoked meat. Honestly, if you’ve ever had Cracker Barrel sausage patties (a Midwest classic), or even just hickory-smoked bacon, then you know what this tea tastes like.
All that said, it is tasty, if the flavors above are what you are after. Try drinking it outside too – the smoky richness really opens up in the fresh air.
Not at all something I would drink all the time, but it is a quality product.
Dry leaf: hickory smoked bacon, campfire logs. In preheated vessel – hickory smoke, smoked sausage, hints of maple syrup and brown sugar.
Smell: hickory smoke, smoked sausage (less overt than dry leaf), woody, some red fruit notes, hint of dried apricot, black tea blend
Taste: hickory smoked sausage with some maple notes, roasted almonds. Aftertaste is light and smoky.
I’m a definite fan. Orchid aroma and taste throughout with some malt, roast and honey in the after taste. It actually reminded me of eating a chocolate orchid-the literal flower. This reminded me of black Darjeelings in the way I like them: floral, muscatel, a little dry, and bitter sweet.The darker amber color also reminded me of some Darjeelings. I got several cups gong fu-like 8 or 9. I need to try this western, but know if I am looking for a Darjeeling substitute, this would be a go to for me.
I received this tea from the regional oolong group buy, and upon opening was struck by the lovely floral and honey scent of the dry leaves. I brewed it in a kyusu 30 seconds at a time and it had a lovely floral aroma that did indeed smell like orchids (one in particular I had smelled at the Denver botanical gardens but cannot remember the name of)
The liquor has the color of a very clear piece of amber, and has a nectar like consistency and taste. Heavy on the sugarcane and flowers. Throughout two liters of water the tea held a good taste that mostly remained the same trading off viscosity for minerality in later steeps and finally quitting after steeping with boiling water for 15 or so minutes.
This tea actually put Nepali Tea Traders on my list of companies I would like to order more tea from.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Floral, Grass, Honey, Orchid, Sugarcane
I had a bunch of this for some reason, so I decided to brew some up and see why.
The leaves are light, large, and smell of dried flowers with grassy high tones. I placed a fair amount in my kyusu and brewed away. The taste is very sweet but thin. I get the prominent green bean note along with some light florals. This was a nice tea, and it was easy to relax with; however, the brew is much to thin.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Green, Green Beans, Sweet
Way old backlog.
This was a solid white silver needle-esque white tea that is incredibly floral and herby. If I brewed it longer or with more leaves, this had a sweet potatoe malt against its overall wheat and hay like dryness. Its dryness is what threw me a curve ball especially if it got astringent, but if I brewed with a bit more delicately with 2-3 grams of leaves, it was a good balance with the dryer qualities with a hint of the softer profiles popping out. There was some melon notes here in there, but melon is one of those weird ass notes to start with anyway.
My criticism is that this tea was dryer and herby than the usual white. I am so glad to have tried it, but I think I’ll stick to Kenya and Fujian until I have another Himalayan or Nepali tea that wows me-which I know will probably happen. This is also more for a tea snob who knows what they are looking for, or for someone expanding their palette.
From the Regional Group Buy. I brewed it with cooled hot water from work (just feeling it, no temperature gauge), loose leaf tea bag, and a coffee mug.
A nice grassy light green tea. Very smooth and not bitter at all.
Flavors: Cut grass, Grass, Straw
Finished this one off on the bus ride/walk home.
I agree with my first tasting note that the main flavour of this one seems to be green bean. However, I think these was also a bit of a buttery/artichoke flavour too which I don’t see as something I noted during my first tasting of it. The finish is still nutty, kind of like a Dragonwell. I don’t taste the smoke note I observed last time.
It’s interesting how there are some consistencies, but not across the board.
From the Regional Buy!
Drank this one Western because I’m not typically a fan of Gong Fu brewing greens; generally don’t like ‘em so why would I want an extended session with one? This one wasn’t horrible though! I found it leaned a lot more towards what I’d associate with a Chinese green rather than a Japanese one: strong notes of green beans and peas, and then a finish that was a little smoky and nutty. Mostly green beans though.
From the Regional Group Buy.
Tried this with Western brewing first and failed – I under-leafed despite following the directions. I had a better time with a gongfu session, using a ceramic gaiwan. Steeping times: 10 seconds, 15, 20, 30, 45; 1 minute, 2, etc.
The dry leaf smells lightly vegetal and hay-like. The wet leaf aroma is stronger, smelling vegetal and buttery, with notes of soybean and edamame. The liquor is clear and very pale, barely green. Having a medium body, it feels bright and clean. The taste didn’t undergo any evolution throughout the session. The flavors were consistent: beans, edamame and buttery asparagus. Texture is slightly thick. The sweet, vegetal aftertaste lingers for minutes.
Emerald Spring reminds me of Mao Feng. Good quality. I enjoyed this, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase more. It tastes nice though it didn’t wow me.
Gong Fu Sipdown (626)!
This was my third session of the day – honestly I think I overleafed this one too. I was using the same 50ml Gaiwan that I used for me last session (rinsed in between) but I had a weird amount of leaf left. If I had split it up into two sessions it would have been far too weak/underleafed, but for one session is was strong. At least as far as white teas go.
About a dozen steeps in total; but the last few were pushed for a really long time to coax flavour out. Like, closer to Western brewing in terms of timing. I should have cut this off earlier, but I had been really enjoying it and didn’t want to let it go yet. Session started off a little choppy and astringent (from the overleafing) but quickly settled into sweet and creamy with strong timothy hay notes and a bit of a VERY MILD herby rosemary quality underneath the initial sweet cream/malt top notes. Maybe the best version of this tea that I’ve had since acquiring it; which is the best way to finish off a tea anyway!
My mom and I had a nice moment last evening where we each had a mug of tea, and were both relaxing listening to an album we’re both fans of while comparing notes/thoughts on the music; it was really nice!
She wasn’t actually drinking this tea though; she doesn’t seem to appreciate the delicate nuances of white teas all that much so I’ve stopped sharing them – why waste the tea on someone who wont appreciate it?
This was great though; like other times, I observed some soft hay notes, cooling almost cucumber like vegetal notes and a sweeter honey finish. Additionally, I also felt like I got hints of some herbaceous notes in both the very tippy top of the sip and then also in the finish: sort of a rosemary sort of thing. It was kind of weird; not that I haven’t experienced it with other white teas, just not as much this particular white tea. Still pleasant though: I’ve got a few other cups left, so I’ll definitely need to look for it in the future.