India Nilgiri First Flush Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Apricot, Drying, Floral, Malt, Oak, Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cedar, Chestnut, Cream, Dried Fruit, Grapes, Grass, Hay, Leather, Mineral, Oats, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Raisins, Red Apple, Rose, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Vanilla, Violet, Fruity
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Loose Leaf
Not available
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 oz / 228 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

From What-Cha

A black tea with an apricot aroma coupled with a smooth taste of light malt and fruity notes.

Sourced direct from Neelamai Organics, a small farm located high in the Nilgiri mountains.

Tasting Notes:
- Apricot aroma
- Smooth taste with fruit notes and light malt

Harvest: First Flush, April 1st 2018

Organic: Yes but not certified

Altitude: 2,000m
Origin: Neelamai Organics, Tamil Nadu, Nilgiris, India
Farmer: The Subramanian family
Sourced: Direct from the farmer
Percentage of price going back to the farmer: 15%+

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/197°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

Company description not available.

4 Tasting Notes

1697 tasting notes

Thank you Alistair for the sample!

I decided that I needed to go through some samples as I went through some of my less oxidised teas. Of course I’m pulverising through my Gaoshan, but I’ve had some variety here and there. I also figured some people on the site are starting to get a little bored with how many times I’m going to use the terms buttery, floral, fruity, honey, or whatever to describe different ranges of pricy to superpricy oolong-or at least I was getting bored.

Anyway, I’ve neglected this one a little too long. I hesitated because I’m really not a big fan of Niligiri or Ceylon type teas since they are really what’s quintessentially tea to the American palette, and lean on the astringent and tannic end-never mind Alistair and What-Cha intentionally pick and market teas that are superior to their everyday counterparts. Seeing the review did change my mind a little, and gave me a little bit of hope.

What-Cha’s description is pretty spot on with the apricot. I brewed up this tea semi western using all of my sample and about 5 oz of 195 F water, going 1.5 min, 2 min, and 3 min respectively. I should have gone with regular western, but I was satisfied with the result. While I personally don’t taste the cascade that eastteaguy wrote about, I do get a healthy dose of oak, apricot, malt, and tamarind. Sometimes, it kinda reminded me of Thai Ice’d tea in the flavor despite having no additives. The first steep was heavier with the oak, but the middle steep had a little bit of honey sneaking through, and the third steep having a little bit of buttery goodness. There’s some dryness, but it’s balances out the sweeter and malty notes of the tea.

I personally don’t love this one and am still particular to Chinese, Taiwanese, and Himalayan teas, I am glad I got to try it. I think I am going to move onto my Japanese teas I’ve got left.

Flavors: Apricot, Drying, Floral, Malt, Oak


I have to admit that Nilgiri teas are some of my favorite types of tea, and your review made me add this to my wishlist. :)

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1048 tasting notes

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, 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

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1710 tasting notes

I have to agree with everything said by derk.

Wonderful easydrinking tea, with fruity notes with little (if some) bitterness.

Flavors: Fruity

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 11 OZ / 330 ML

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1484 tasting notes

Perfect for a refreshing morning/mid-afternoon brew! Bold and bright.

Gone Western. 2 tsp/8oz/200F. 3 steeps at 3/5/8 minutes.

Dry leaf is various shades of dark browns to black, twisty, shiny and hard. Some leaves look slightly powdery. Smells like pure, bright fruit stone fruit and muscatel, lightly pungent.

Over the course of the three steeps, I got mostly baked apricot, muscatel, woodiness, warm spice, light orange- and rosewater. Pleasant astringency. Thinned out nicely. Red-amber liquor turning to gold-amber. Flavors don’t really stick around making for a nice, clean quaff. Did I really just say quaff. Very aromatic.

Spent leaves large, sturdy, quite narrow. Found a few that were longer than my middle finger.

Yum :) Thanks for the sample.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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