Nepali Tea TradersEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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, Stonefruits
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
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…
I liked this one a bit more upon second acquaintance. Last time I tried it, I’d been drinking quite a lot of powerful, strongly-flavoured teas at around the same time, and I think that affected my perception of this one quite a bit. It just didn’t stand out much in comparison. Today, I’ve mostly been drinking quieter, more gentle teas; primarily straight whites and oolongs.
In comparison, this green has a bit more about it. It still reminds me very much of white tea, and it is more subtle than other greens I’ve tried. The artichoke flavour is really distinctive, however, and pleasingly unusual. I love artichokes, but I feel like it’s a flavour I rarely encounter in tea. The buttery, smooth green bean flavour that ends the sip is equally pleasant, if more familiar.
I quite enjoy how this one sits somewhere between a white and a green, with the sweet water, hay, and honey leading the way into the vegetal flavours. It’s something I haven’t come across many (maybe any?) times before, and so I’m going to appreciate this one for its differences instead of complaining about its lack of similarity.
Guess what? It’s another from the Regional Group Buy! This one’s a pretty unusual-looking green tea, with a high proportion of downy white buds. It reminds me a lot more of a silver tip white than a green. It brews up very pale, as you might expect, and the flavour is similarly light. It’s interesting, at this point, because the beginning of the sip is very much akin to a white tea – sweet water and hay, with a touch of creaminess. The mid-sip is where the green tea flavours are lurking, although they’re fairly straightforward – just green bean with a hint of artichoke.
This isn’t a strong or overly vegetal green – in fact, the word I’d use to describe it is delicate. It walks an interesting line between a green and a white, but it’s really very subtle and not particularly memorable or engaging. There’s a place for a quiet tea, but I think on the whole I prefer them with a bit more oomph. Worth a try, though.
A sample from LP’s Regional Group Buy, which (like most things…) has been in my cupboard for a while. I’ve tried a couple of similar style teas before, but not from Nepal as far as I can remember.
This one is malty and sweet, with some decent baked bread notes. It seemed a little thin initially, but the flavour deepens considerably from the mid sip. I want to say “molasses”, and that’s kind of correct in terms of texture, but not flavour. The flavour is less sweet than that would imply, and more grain-like. Hopefully that makes sense.
I’m struggling a little with this one today, I think because I probably have the beginnings of a cold. I’ve enough left to try this one again when I’m feeling a little better, though, so hopefully clarity with return before too long! It’s great tea, but I don’t feel I’m doing it justice.
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #44
I haven’t had this sort of white tea in a while. Wow. I remember the fuzzies on this sort of white tea would have ruined the tea for me in the past, but not anymore (or possibly not with this tea)? I don’t know if it is because I have matured as a tea drinker or if this is just a very high quality tea (possibly both.) The tea is very sweet and light. But I love to balance the sweetness and light out with having a darker tea throughout the day also.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
LP Group Buy (Oolong Group Buy?)/Sipdown
I had this tea twice, on two separate occasions today. I started the first session right as soon as I rolled out of bed at 6 AM, and the other about two hours ago. I stopped and made notes on the second session, though.
1st Steep (10s/post-rinse): Very dark in color (liquor), sweet, floral, and slightly “brisk.”
2nd Steep (30s): I noted, "If I closed my eyes and you gave me this tea and asked me to tell you what type it was, I’d say, “Aged, rose scented white tea.”"
3rd Steep (2 mins): More roses, more boldness, & slightly mouth drying.
4th Steep (3 mins): Starting to lose it’s color & flavor, but there’re still floral notes remaining.
5th/Final Steep (5 mins): Rose petals, nearly reminds me of a white/black tea mixed. Mildly malty/nutty, but no bitterness whatsoever in the flavor.
Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Rose
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #3
Another gem from the teabox. The looks of these leaves are deceiving. Though I only used a teaspoon, this doesn’t taste like oolong at all! More like a very light black tea like a darjeeling? (but still more astringent than those usually are.) But the leaves definitely LOOK like a conventional oolong. Usually I don’t find an astringent oolong, so this is odd. It isn’t even like a roasted oolong. I was really looking forward to this one too, as I LOVE the oolongs that have that hint of orchid. The brew here results in a medium brown color. The leaves look like a light oolong but taste like a black tea! The Steepster picture actually doesn’t even look the same as the leaves I tried — the leaves there actually do look like a light black tea. Never had that happen before. I don’t think the steep time would have made a difference. The third steep the next day was much weaker.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 6 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // couple min after boiling // 3 minute steep
I got this through LiquidProust’s regional oolong buy. The big notes that I am getting from this is a large amount of honey and orchid flavor. The sent on this tea smells delicious and actually smells like some of the medium roasted teas that I have tried despite it not being roasted.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Honey, Orchid, Peach