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.