Cask Aged Ghorka AF

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Geoffrey Norman
Average preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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From O5 Tea

Varietal(s) China bushes
Picking Standard: N/A
Age of Trees: N/A
Handcrafting Method: Withering under cool autumn skies, hand-rolled on brass tables, drying on charcoal-fired burners


Leaf (per cup): 3g
Water: 240ml @ 95˚C / 8oz @ 203˚F
Time: 90"
#Infusions: 3
Blanching? No
Grower: —
Earth: Kanchenjunga Region, Nepal, 26.9˚N 88.1˚E alt. 1951m
Harvest Date: October 2011

About O5 Tea View company

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3 Tasting Notes

348 tasting notes

Prologue: It took me for bloody ever to update Steepster with his tea. Ten minutes! That’s ten minutes that could’ve been spent sipping tea. Grrrr….


I originally was saving this for a special occasion, or for when I accomplished something magnificent – like curing cancer of the butt or something. I figured, however, that surviving the work week was just like surviving butt cancer, so, I whipped it out on my day off.

I’ve only heard of (and had) two other teas that were cask-aged. Those were from Smith Tea. I was glad to see that others were taking up this trend. This autumn flush Nepalese was cask-aged in Cab-Franc and Merlo barrels for…I-dunno-how-long.

The result was a tea that smelled vaguely of wine, but mostly of Himalayan black, which was fine. On the taste, it was really hard to tell the difference between the natural muscatel notes of the leaves and the wine-scenting from the barrels. If I were a betting man, I would say they showed up in the aftertaste the most. More Cab-Franc than Merlot (thankfully).

If I were to impart a suggestion on further experiments, I would say to use a wetter barrel when beginning the casking process. Otherwise, this was awesomeness in my mornin’ cup.

Edit: Would you believe this tea was somewhat instrumental in saving my trip to World Tea Expo? Well, it was.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

“surviving the work week was just like surviving butt cancer”. I laughed so hard at that.

Geoffrey Norman

Ah good, the desired effect. Didn’t know if that’d offend or not.


oh lord what kind of work are you doing to feel like this kind of survivor ? :D

Geoffrey Norman

Hotel housekeeping. ’Nuff said. ;-P


I’m suspecting that a wetter barrel would promote mold in the tea. The barrel surface would be acidic but the leaves would still pick up moisture so mold could grow. Wet barrels can be rank. I’ve worked in the barrel room and they smell overwhelming sometimes before they’re scraped, burned out or used as vinegar barrels (what is done with unused wine from the tasting room at many winerys). Maybe a spicier wine would be nice, Sangiovese or Zinfandel (I like mine from Paso Robles where it’s hot!),Carignan or Carbono from Fortino’s (where I worked). If I was still in that area, I’d B-Line to Gino and ask to try aging tea in one of the used wine barrels after the hot son dried it a bit! You should do your own!!!

Geoffrey Norman

All fair points. I know nothing about the process other than how it is used to cask-age beers. I assumed the same was the case for tea leaves. I dunno, I need to research it more.

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278 tasting notes

Leaving a note just so I remember what I did wrong.

The first time I made this, I used very short steeps. The tea was weak and flavorless. So then I tried a 3 minute steep. And it was insanely bitter.

If I can get another sample, I’ll try a lower temp and maybe a 2 min steep. sigh I was really looking forward to this one. :(


Is this a puerh?


No, it’s listed as a black tea.

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425 tasting notes

Brewing this, it smelt strongly Darjeeling. I wish I still had a plane Nepal tea on hand to sniff in comparison, but I finished that up a while ago. I remember it having a more Ceylon smell.

The taste is definitely more Ceylon. Bright and lightly astringent with definite honey tones. The astringency doesn’t hit right at first, but does build up with sips; it’s not sweet, more of a dry tea. Definitely not as sharp and muscatel as a Darjeeling, that seems to have just been the scent.

I don’t think I’m getting much from the wine barrel it was stored in, but that might also just be the afore-mentioned burnt tongue. Definitely not as astringent as the Nepal teas I’m used to though, so I think I’ll enjoy the rest of this.

Edit: This actually steeped up a pretty nice second cup at five minutes.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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