Backlog 3/25/14: This morning, courtesy of Natalie & DAVIDsTEA, I brewed Nepal Black Western style: 8 oz / 1.25 tsp (2.3g) / 205*F / 4-6 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
I was truly looking forward to reviewing this year’s Nepal Black as I was very impressed with last year’s crop.
Note: The brewing instructions have changed since 4/10/13 when I last reviewed this tea: 1.5 tsp. / 208*F / 4-5 min.
Leaf: Both fine & thick, twisted, dark chocolate brown with some amber, mostly short, with several as long as 3.5 mm
Fragrance: Mild notes of pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear medium copper
Aroma: Mild earthy
4-min.: Moderately full-bodied, I then let it steep an additional min.
5-min.: A rich, smooth, full-bodied malty tea with a hint of cocoa and a mild sweetness. Unfortunately, the obvious honey aroma & flavor of last year’s crop is not apparent this year. There was no hint of bitterness or astringency.
6-min: Not yet full-bodied.
10-min: Same – Did not re-steep well – light to medium bodied at best.
Compared to last year’s crop:
“*Re-steep*: 5-min: Truly as good as the first cup – Excellent!
2nd Re-steep – 6-min: Nearly as good & still enjoyable! After three cups, there is a wonderful delicate natural sweetness that lingers long on the tongue. Well done!”
Today, 4/1/14, I brewed another cup – 8 oz / 1.5 tsp (3g) / 205*F / 5 min.:
The increased leaf (same as recommended last year) produced a more rounded full-bodied enjoyable cup. However, the honey flavor is still not present and the increased leaf did not significantly improve the re-steep flavor/body.
Impression: This year’s Nepal Black is not the equal of last year’s crop.
Thanks to Natalie & DAVIDsTEA for their gracious sample of this very fine Nepal Black.
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.