It’s hot today by San Francisco standards. No air conditioning nor insulation in a 1906 building. I’m on the top floor and am blocking the western sun with curtains closed. I need something bright and refreshing.
I’ve brewed this tea western every time. 2-3 tsp (length and shape makes for difficult measurement), 8oz, 160F. I’ve played around with steeping times, with first steeps ranging from 30-60s. Good for 3 steeps, maybe 4 if you like to push it and like saltiness.
Dry leaf is a nice mix of lightly rolled dark green leaves and buds with a yellow-brown tint. They have the darjeeling pungency with kind of an orange zest quality but not quite. There is a sweetness there, too, like a citrus blossum, hints of green olive and desert earth. Subtle.
The liquor itself is delicate in color, aroma, and taste. It has a very clear, light yellow body, darkening slightly throughout the steeps. The aroma is mostly present when pouring from one glass into another. I pick up light lemon zest, lemon blossom, bright meaty vegetal. I can put a name to the bright, meaty vegetal once I take a few sips of the glassy liquor: fresh castelvetrano olives. The best olives in the world. If you like olives, I suggest you try them but don’t buy them canned. The dominating taste, though, isn’t olives but rather a light lemon/lime sprinkled with a little bit of powdered sugar, some mineral and complementary bitterness of citrus pith (this isn’t a bitter tea by any means). A pleasant sour saltiness persists long after I’ve drank all three steepings and my tongue is dancing and bright. The spent leaves and buds are whole and healthy, well cared for. Everything about this clean and delicate tea makes me happy and feeling refreshed.
Dare I say it’s like drinking soft sunshine?
As I near the end of a 25g envelope of this tea, I realize it has grown on me immensely. What-Cha continues to introduce me to a variety of teas I’d likely never find in stores or even tea shops. This is my first darjeeling green tea and first from the Rohini Tea Estate. I bought this tea with no expectations and I would love to have more.
Side note: I brewed a glass of this for my partner, too. He’s a coffee and Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast drinker during the work-week but on the weekends or when he’s hungover (which was today :P), I brew him various green teas. You know, something light, but I have this ulterior motive to get him off coffee because he turns into a trainwreck in the evenings. After drinking this tea, he said, “Now I know why you’re so into this. The quality is so much better than bagged teas. More please.” His full conversion is coming. Soon.