Nepali Tea TradersEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
NTT describes this Oolong as: “Bold | Earthy | Complex | Malt | Toasted Pecan | Brown Sugar” and I can partially agree. Definitely bold and complex, but I’m not getting earthiness (thankfully), nor do I get malt or brown sugar. There is a roasted flavor and aroma that is reminiscent of nuts which, I suppose, could be called pecan—but not a strong pecan. Maybe pecan shells. The oxidation is heavy and there in no grassy or buttery or honey flavor to my tongue, but the brew is surely tasty. Second steeping satisfied too. Overall just not exciting to me. I’ll finish off the bag and move on! Nevertheless, I was very happy to be able to try this offering from Nepal, and I have been enjoying a number of other Nepalese teas as well!
My last Nepali tea, squeezed in just before the end of August! This one came from a cupboard sale from Ost, thank you Ost! Prepared gong fu style.
7.5g / 200ml / 185F / 20s|30s|40s|50s|60s
The wet leaf has a strong, pungent aroma of wet hay. The steeped tea smells of bitter melon, hay, and an herbaceous/floral aroma that is reminding me of bee pollen and dandelions. The first steep is spot on with the aroma, leading with a sharp bitter melon note that fades to more of a sweeter cantalope over the sip, and a strong peppery herbaceous/sweet floral quality that tastes of hay, flowers, and pollen. A sweeter rosy floral lingers on the tongue after the sip, as well as a sort of lemony citrus note, which presented much stronger on the subsequent steep. The third steep in particular had a strong lemon/ginger sort of flavor. Was still getting a nice flavor by the time I wrapped up at five steeps, so it probably could’ve been pushed a bit more, but I was very tea-full by that point. I’m always impressed how well very old white tea holds up.
Flavors: Bitter Melon, Cantaloupe, Citrus, Dandelion, Flowers, Ginger, Hay, Herbaceous, Lemon, Pepper, Rose, Spices
Came across this company in my search for more Nepal blacks that aren’t pretending to be Darjeelings.
Definitely got this one for the name. The leaves are nicely rolled into oblong shapes, a dark wiry raisin hue with golden patches. They smell earthy, like an aged tea, with a touch of that classic toasted oolong scent.
Brewed, they smell perturbing. I think “hot wet yeti” is an apt descriptor. If you let it cool down a bit, it starts to smell like a heavily oxidized oolong. First steep has that same forest floor earthiness of raw pu’erh, which is odd, since this is a recent harvest without any signs of aging. Not unpleasant, though! Hints of leaf litter and mild mushrooms.
On the second, longer steep, it tasted more like a full-bodied oolong. A bit tannic, a bit toasty. Some dry stone fruit notes. Probably meant to be steeped longer than what I originally did so those two different flavor palettes run together into a more polished one. Overall, it’s an interesting tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Forest Floor, Mushrooms, Toasty, Wet Earth
Gongfu Sipdown (723)!
Just finished off this session and thought that, for once, I’d try to capture some of my thoughts immediately afterwards instead of waiting a week+ and relying on instagram/my shoddy memory…
I think this is an old sample; I know I’ve had it once before Western style but I thought today I’d finish it off Gongfu. It definitely did not take long at all for these leaves to open up – after one steep they were basically fully unravelled. Mind you, it was a decently long steep because I was filming for instagram – but nonetheless it’s quite different than all the pu’erh and oolongs I’ve been having lately…
Flavourful right off the base – this was a pretty nice medium to full bodied tea all throughout the session, up until the noticeable decline of flavour as the leaves were steeping out/getting closer to being spent. It’s not incredibly nuanced and there’s not a massive evolution of flavour happening. I’d say the notes were consistently a mix of malt, grains/whole wheat bread, pine smoke/wood, and bittersweet baker’s chocolate. What did change over the five good infusions (yes – five; this didn’t have much longevity) was the astringency, which went from none to a pleasant but distinct astringency all over the back of my mouth nice and gradually. I appreciated the natural evolution of it!
Overall? Not a remarkable session – but solid enough to be satisfying for a casual Saturday afternoon!
Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.
Another from yesterday!
Made myself a big mug of it before lunch, then realized that I packed a lunch with a drink in it so I left the tea in the lab on a mug warmer to return to after my lunch break. I guess I didn’t turn the mug warmer on though because when I got back it was super cold. Drank it anyway because it smelled nice – but I’m sure drinking it cold gave me a different experience than I would have got hot.
I thought the mouthfeel was really thick and quite syrupy – really coating and lush, and overall very pleasant to sip on. The taste was interesting because it was also very sweet, but it didn’t taste especially fruity – more of a syrupy mix of prune, cane sugar, malt, wood, and really starchy sweet potato/taro kind of vibes!? Tobacco is a weird descriptor for me (it’s what the company uses) because I don’t have high familiarity with it – I did used to smoke when I was a teenager but that was like seven/eight years ago and I mostly associate the smell/taste of cigarettes with harsh, abrasive smoke and chemicals and I think that’s much different than a “tobacco” note!?
Overall I liked this though – I’ll need to try it hot at some point!
Finished off as a Western mug – a really good one, too! The whole time I was drinking it I couldn’t help but think how many of the flavours I was perceiving just reminded me of a really nice, maybe Chinese, black tea though. Very full bodied and round/smooth cup with a lot of sweetness alongside prominent notes of malt, honey, roasted/grilled nuts (the most distinctly “oolong” note in the mug), and red fruits!!
Another Gongfu session from last weekend!
This was a delicious tea, with initial notes of dense, dark red fruits w/ an especially prominent black cherry and raisin combo profile, hints of molasses and cinnamon, black licorice/anise, and honey & malt. As the session progressed the molasses + black licorice eased up and the fruit notes got brighter and juicier!! Such a fantastic way to spend the late afternoon!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC-ZzKx3Hks
This is nice. And since I’ve had a decent amount of straight white teas lately, I can identify that this one seems almost a bit smokier, and there’s an interesting sort of vegetal note that I’m having trouble placing. Maybe a bit squashy? Grassy? A different flavour, though. I actually think it reminds me of pulling weeds – just a kind of fresh vegetation flavour. Anyhow, I like others better, but this was an interesting one to have tried.
This is a fairly tasty white. Heavier on the grassy/hay flavours, and less sweetness, but it has a fair amount of flavour. I can taste that it isn’t as fresh as it once was, and the leaf is a little broken, which is probably influencing the flavour a tad. Still enjoyable, although I’ve had whites I like better.
My brother got me a 3 month subscription to the Amoda tea box, and I just got my first box! This is the only unflavoured tea in the box, and I actually really like it. It’s a dark, roasted oolong so it brews up a warm orange colour and has some lovely toasty aromas and caramel flavours. It reminds me of more of a chinese black/oolong tea than any indian tea I’ve had before, though there is a juicy fruitiness and a slight floral character that does remind me of a 2nd or 3rd flush darjeeling. It’s interesting! I like it.
Flavors: Caramel, Stonefruit
I am drinking a “wild orchid pearl” oolong from Nepali Teas. 10g pearl in 120cc, boiling water. Steeped for about 30s then let it sit and steam for 5 minutes to unroll a bit, and broke it up with my hands the rest of the way. Followed by 10s, 20s, 30s, etc… to chase flavor.
Was bland in the early steeps, turned very sweet after steep 5. Notes like sugarcane, almost no bitterness or harsh notes. Balanced roast, slightly nutty, not very floral. Not very fragrant either. Not incredibly interesting but enjoyable. Died by steep 9 or so.
May Flowers! I had a single serving of this tea, compliments of the last Here’s Hoping Teabox organized by tea-sipper, so thanks to all that contributed to the box and tea-sipper! Since I had just enough leaf for a small cup, I brewed this western-style.
The steeped cup smelled like warm honey and roasted nuts. The flavor of the tea was familiar somehow… I think it is reminding me of Fusion Tea’s discontinued Lemon Rose Bud tea, just without the lemon citrus notes. But the oolong base tastes very familiar to that tea to me; it has a malty, roasted flavor that is a little earthy, nutty, but has a sweet finish that tastes of burnt sugar, honey, and roses. I also get the same slight citrus orange note from this tea that I remember tasting in the Lemon Rose Bud tea. The one odd thing is that for a tea called “Wild Orchid Pearl Oolong,” I am tasting no orchid at all. A floral rosy taste, yes, but orchid? Perhaps it’s because my tastebuds were so overwhelmed drinking this back-to-back with the Zhushan Natural Oolong, which was orchid-flavor-overload, but I am just not getting a trace of orchid note here.
Despite not getting what is on the label, this is a delicious tea. I was so upset to discover that Lemon Rose Bud tea was discontinued, and now I’m finding this tea has a similar enough taste to scratch that itch for me, so perhaps I’ll make this a replacement.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Honey, Malt, Orange, Roasted Nuts, Rose
Finally finished off this sample today – had intended to do so in February, but I guess this was pretty close to the beginning of March so I did pretty good all in all. It was sweet and floral, with fresh garden pea notes. Ultimately ended up being a pretty interesting and enjoyable tea in my stash, and in a future where I own less tea I would welcome something similar to it back into my stash!
Do I keep forgetting that I’m trying to be finishing off this sample? Yes. Do I keep enjoying each cup that I make, despite that? Also yes.
The main issue is actually that the sample bag is just very small. So, mixed in with all the other sample bags near my kettle and the mugs in the same area, it very easily gets covered up by other things and not seen. Need to be more conscious of that.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Garden Peas, Malt, Peas, Sweet
This is the next random straight black tea sample that I’ve decided to finish off. It’s from a very old Amoda Tea order, and possibly one of the oldest samples in my stash at this moment…
Despite the age, it still tastes super fresh and delicious! Notes of Spring tea florals with an underlying snow pea sweetness – really complex, and nuanced with such delicate flavour notes. My heart practically melted with the first sip because it was like the crunch of your first bite of a snow pea straight from the garden mixed with these peony notes that were so unexpected.
Finishing this sample off? Gonna be a cake walk if each cup is this good!
Drank this one… like a week ago?
This is a beautiful tea, for starters. After I had steeped up my cup I had a very hard time not playing with the tea leaf. Flavour wise, it’s quite Darjeeling like to me. Has a strong, somewhat muscatel body note and undertones of florals/autumn leaves. It’s also quite malty, with a bit of an astringent finish. Overall I liked it a fair bit, and it made for a really interesting morning tea with a strong profile and just enough nuance to keep my attention.
From the Regional Group Buy. These are some of the thinnest and pointiest silver tips I’ve come across – I can definitely see why they’re known as needles now! They actually remind me of pine needles in shape and size, although obviously these are white and downy. Christmas tree needles covered in snow?! Irrelevance, anyway.
I struggle to get much flavour from white teas, so I followed the instructions to the letter this time. I used 2 tsp of leaf (or there abouts – it was hard to measure using a spoon…) and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to 185 degrees.
This one is mostly still sweet water, with a mild hay-like flavour and a touch of dustiness towards the end of the sip. In other words, it’s very similar to 99% of other plain white teas I’ve tried – more delicate than some, perhaps, but broadly the same in flavour terms. I imagine this is a lot more expensive than some whites, and white tea is expensive to begin with. Sure, it’s better than the bagged clipper stuff I started out with (you know, the one that I used to brew like black tea and put milk in. It was an easy mistake to make, though, given that it brewed up to a pretty solid amber colour all by itself.) This tea is in another league entirely, but I can’t really say what, if anything, distinguishes it from most other silver needles offered by other vendors, and that’s a sticking point for me. I understand flavoured white better, I think, because sometimes an airy base is just the thing. Plain? Perhaps I’m just not subtle enough to really appreciate it…