Indonesia Toba Wangi 'Needle' Green Tea

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea Leaves
Flavors
Artichoke, Cherry, Chestnut, Grapefruit, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Lemon, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Nutty, Pine, Plums, Seaweed, Spinach, Straw, Walnut
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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  • “I’m getting to this one later than anticipated. What’s new, right? A couple months ago, I developed a plan to do a shootout of Toba Wangi teas, but I never got around to it and that bothered me. As...” Read full tasting note
    90

From What-Cha

A smooth sweet green tea with fruity lemon notes coupled with a gentle bitter finish.

Produced by Toba Wangi who have recently established two tea estates (one assamica and the other sinensis) in West Java.

Toba Wangi are run by Galung Atri who has introduced new ideas to the Indonesian tea industry having learnt from tea producers in Wuyi and Japan.

Tasting Notes:
- Brilliant fruity aroma
- Smooth texture
- Sweet with fruity lemon notes
- Very gentle bitter finish

Harvest: Spring 2016

Origin: Pengalengan, West Java, Indonesia
Organic: Non-certified organic
Altitude: 1,300m

Variety: Assamica
Cultivar: Gambung 7
Propagation: Seeds
Age: Planted 2011 onwards

Sourced: Direct from the farmer Galung Atri
Percentage of price going back to the farmer: 15%+

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 80°C/176°F
- Use 1-2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 1-2 minutes

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1 Tasting Note

90
888 tasting notes

I’m getting to this one later than anticipated. What’s new, right? A couple months ago, I developed a plan to do a shootout of Toba Wangi teas, but I never got around to it and that bothered me. As tea producers go, Toba Wangi absolutely fascinates me. A newer producer, they have established two estates in West Java, one producing cultivars of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and one producing cultivars of Camellia sinensis var. assamica. While Indonesia is mostly known in the West for producing commercial black teas, Toba Wangi produces a range of high quality teas and is becoming increasingly known for their green teas and oolongs. Since I still had samples of a number of their teas, I decided to revive my Toba Wangi shootout idea last week. I then decided to limit myself to two teas and ended up selecting this tea (produced from the Gambung 7 cultivar of Camellia sinensis var. assamica) and a green tea made from a cultivar of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, for which I will hopefully be posting a review very shortly. What was the verdict? Both were winners.

I prepared this tea in my familiar, personalized version of gongfu style. I often do not rinse green teas, but opted to here. After a true flash rinse (literally water on, water off), I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves offered unique aromas of lemon, grass, and something of a restrained sheng-like funk. The rinsed leaves offered stronger lemon and grass aromas coupled with emerging scents of nuts, malt, and hay. A hint of grapefruit was just barely detectable, and of course, the previously mentioned sheng-like funkiness was still present. The first infusion brought out a hint of wood on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor expressed mild notes of lemon, nuts, malt, hay, grass, and a slight funk. Subsequent infusions brought out the grapefruit on the palate as well as notes of straw, spinach, seaweed, herbs, and pine. Clearly defined notes of chestnut, walnut, and beechnut appeared, and I also caught some interesting impressions of tart cherry, sour plum, lettuce, minerals, sorghum, and artichoke lurking around the fringes. The later infusions saw a pronounced increase in mineral presence. Rather faint impressions of nuts, malt, grass, lettuce, seaweed, and spinach were there too, as was something of a subtle funk.

I tend to like green teas produced from assamica cultivars and I also tend to like quite a few non-Chinese green teas. With the previously expressed tendencies in mind, it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed this tea as much as I did. It displayed considerable depth and complexity on the nose and in the mouth, yet it was never overwhelming or unapproachable. I find teas like this to be as fun and engaging as they are challenging and would have no issue recommending this tea to fans of traditional Yunnan green teas or green tea drinkers looking for something a little exotic.

Flavors: Artichoke, Cherry, Chestnut, Grapefruit, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Lemon, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Nutty, Pine, Plums, Seaweed, Spinach, Straw, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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