97

I’m still trying to get back into the swing of posting reviews more regularly. Time has not been on my side as of late, and I fear that it is going to be a couple months before my schedule starts to normalize. On the occasions that I do get to be active on Steepster, I will continue to primarily focus on cleaning out the rest of my backlogged reviews. This was one of my sipdowns from last month. I had meant to get to this tea much sooner (like July or August), but things got in the way, so it became one of my September sipdowns. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this tea. Nilgiri teas are not usually among my favorite things in the world, but this one was great. I could easily see myself coming back to it in the future.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 197 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves presented aromas of apricot, pine, prune, and tobacco. After the rinse, I noted the emergence of new malt, butter, roasted peanut, baked bread, sugarcane, and raisin aromas. The first infusion introduced something of a red grape scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of apricot, hay, pine, prune, tobacco, raisin, malt, and sugarcane that were balanced by hints of roasted peanut, butter, cream, and oats. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cream, vanilla, hay, oats, violet, rose, and red apple. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of butter, cream, and roasted peanut appeared in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, red grape, grass, cedar, orange zest, rose, violet, red pear, red apple, and roasted chestnut. I also picked up some hints of leather, sweet potato, and brown sugar. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, malt, roasted peanut, roasted chestnut, cedar, hay, orange zest, and sugarcane notes that were complimented by amplified leather impressions and hints of raisin, sweet potato, baked bread, oats, red pear, red apple, pine, and tobacco.

This was a tremendously aromatic, flavorful tea that was also approachable, drinkable, beautifully textured, lively, and superbly balanced. It also proved to be durable and highly adaptable; I brewed some of what I had in the Western style and got great results out of it. This tea was a winner. It forced me to consider Nilgiri teas in a new light because it displayed none of the negative characteristics I tend to associate with such teas. Definitely consider giving it a try if you are looking for a Nilgiri tea with a lot to offer.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cedar, Chestnut, Cream, Dried Fruit, Grapes, Grass, Hay, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Raisins, Red Apple, Rose, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Vanilla, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

Location

KY

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