I’ve been looking forward to trying What-Cha’s Nepal Monsoon Flush 2014 Pearl Oolong Tea since it was added to the site. The dry leaves are rather large even compared to the already large Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea and the smaller Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Dew Drops Green Tea. Like the Dew Drops and Cannon Ball, this tea has a rather strange shape and is wonderful to watch as it slowly opens up. I am not sure if I would describe this tea as Lovecraftian, but if Cthulhu drank tea I wouldn’t have trouble imagining him drinking this particular one. As this tea opens up it transform from large tea pearl to embryo-like monstrosity insect emerging from a cocoon.
I began with a short ten second rinse with boiling water, then for my first infusion I brewed at 176°F for thirty seconds. Their was a peppery aroma and hints of a very dry wine. It had a very light apricot taste, that seems to be common in many teas from Nepal, as well as cherries.
For the second infusion I brewed at 185°F for forty five seconds. The aroma changed slightly this time, while pepper and sweet dry wine was still there, the wine scent became more prominent and the pepper scent became murky. This time I tasted a strong muscatel, and sweeter apricot.
In subsequent infusions I added five degrees and ten seconds each time, while the liquor became considerably darker around the five infusion, the aroma disappeared in the third. This tea kept getting sweeter and sweeter as I went on. Because I was so fond of this tea, I almost immediately (okay three hours later) brewed it again. I brewed it at 176°F for four minutes and was meet with slightly different results.
This time the liquor was a beautiful dirty golden color. While it still had an apricot taste, it was riper and generally more enjoyable. It also had a slight tart cherry undertone and a completely new hay taste. The aroma was a little hard to recognized, there was a little murky white wine smell to it, as well as a something similar to wet stone.
I rather enjoyed this tea, I think I prefer longer steeps on this tea while not as complex as either the Cannon Ball or Dew Drops it certainly warrants trying. I still have a large amount of What-cha teas to look at.
(Want to see my amazing photography skills? http://rah-tea.blogspot.com/2014/09/what-chas-nepal-monsoon-flush-2014.html)