This week’s tea, Vahdam Teas Dharamsala Mann Kangra Oolong Tea, is composed of mostly dark brown, somewhat light green leaves. While there are some broken pieces, they are generally whole-leaf and uniform in shape. The smell of the leaves is very floral with some fruitiness in the back.
I brewed it Gongfu style using one of my favorite Yixing teapots with about 5 grams of tea. Following a quick rinse, I went for 15 seconds for the first infusion. It cupped out light, golden yellow liquor with good clarity. The aroma is quite floral as well. Although I was expecting much stronger tea judging from the dry tea leaves, the mouthfeel is light and smooth. It’s got very nicely balanced sweetness alongside with a tad bitterness. Both taste and aroma wise, it reminded me good quality first flush Darjeeling teas. I guess this is where terroir comes in! No matter how you process tea leaves, certain features of the region would always dominate the end product.
I brewed it 45 seconds in the second infusion in order to get the much stronger liquid to satisfy my palate’s thirstiness. And it worked quite well, the taste was much deeper and richer. The aftertaste was quite long and persistent leaving a refreshing touch of different flavors in the throat. Overall I made five infusions with second and the third one being the most delightful. I could have gone a few more infusions but it got a bit watery on a day I was longing for the much stronger flavor profile.
In a nutshell, Dharamsala Mann Kangra is a nice, good quality oolong tea from Vahdam Teas. Although it’s still hard to compare Indian oolong teas with Chinese and Taiwanese ones; teas such as this one and another one I tried earlier, Doke Thunder Roll, are quite promising.
Alishan oolongs are among the best examples of greener, sweet and floral oolongs. This week’s tea, Eco Cha Teas Alishan High Mountain Oolong, coming from Ruifeng Village in the Meishan Township of Chiayi County, Taiwan. It’s Qing Xin varietal and made out of leaves that are hand-picked.
Dry tea leaves are tightly rolled and uniform. They’re mostly bright green with some darker tones. The smell of the leaves is just perfect; fresh and floral.
Following a quick rinse, I steeped it around 30 seconds for the first infusion. The liquor was light green with perfect clarity, a sight for sore eyes. The aroma is quite floral alongside with a slight touch of vegetal notes. The aftertaste was long and refreshing. I set the time for a minute for the second infusion and it turned out to be my favorite infusion. It cupped out much deeper green liquor and a stronger taste profile. Alongside with a deeper taste profile, there was also some bitterness but nothing that bothers me. To the contrary I loved it. The aftertaste was much longer and deeper than the first infusion as well.
In total, I made six infusions, the second one being the most delightful. I could have gone a few more infusions but I preferred to leave it before it gets too watery. Overall, It’s another great tea from Eco Cha Teas. Suggested for all tea lovers whether you’re just a beginner or a tea connoisseur.
Earl Grey tea, named after Charles Grey who was the prime minister of United Kingdom in the early 19th century, has become quite popular in the West. The distinctive feature of this tea comes from its fragrance which is derived from bergamot oil. Personally, I’m not a great fan of flavored teas but there are a few, such as Earl Grey and Jasmine Pearls, I like to drink from time to time.
Nelson’s Tea is an Indiana-based tea company which particularly carries wide selection of flavored black teas alongside with other teas. Their Raspberry Earl Grey is one of them and composed of short, broken, dark black tea leaves alongside with pieces of blue cornflower, orange safflower petals. These petals have become quite common ingredients of some blended teas. They don’t only improve the taste but also add a colorful appearance to the tea. It’s got a quite strong, nice, refreshing smell of bergamot which I like most about Earl grey teas.
I used just over three grams of tea for about 150 ml water. It cupped out red, coppery liquor which was slightly cloudy. The aroma was both floral and fruity. Bergamot flavor was dominant but not as much as it’s in the dry leaves. It’s quite sweet (more like honey) with almost no astringency. It felt quite smooth and refreshing in the mouth, cornflower and safflower petals definitely made this tea mellower. Some of the Earl Greys I’ve tried previously bothered me because of the overuse of bergamot oil, but not this one, it was used quite sparingly which helped the tea to develop a subtle taste profile. The aftertaste was quite short, leaving traces of bergamot flavor in the back of my mouth.
Overall it’s a nice tea that you might want to keep in your tea cupboard to quench your thirst whenever you long for a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. Furthermore, use of cornflower and safflower petals definitely add depth to this tea both flavor and appearance wise. It’s suggested particularly for those who are fan of Earl Grey teas.
I’ve recently been falling in love with black teas from Fujian which is well-known among tea lovers for exquisite Rock Oolongs and Anxi Oolongs. I guess this started when White2Tea sent their monthly tea club subscribers a wide range of black teas from Fujian a few months ago. I’ve enjoyed them a lot and still trying to keep them available in my tea cupboard. When I placed my order with Yunnan Sourcing last month, I did not miss the chance to put one of them, Jin Jun Mei, in my cart. Continue reading “Tea Review: Yunnan Sourcing Premium Grade Jin Jun Mei”
I’ve had a great interview with James Grayland at Wan Ling Tea House in the previous post. James was kind enough to send me a few tea samples to review on my blog. Among them was Bei Dou Da Hong Pao which is one of my favorite oolong teas, therefore deciding which one to review was not a tough decision at all.
Da Hong Pao (aka Big Red Robe) is undoubtedly the most famous rock or cliff tea. As you know, Da Hong Pao comes from Wuyi Shan in northern Fujian which is one of the main tea-producing regions of China. Da Hong Pao is among the perfect examples of highly oxidized, strip-style oolongs. Continue reading “Tea Review: Wan Ling Tea House Bei Dou Da Hong Pao”