I wanted to start by thanking Yatra Tea Company for the amazing opportunity to try all of these great teas. They specialize in South Asian teas, predominantly from India but also from Nepal.
If you would like to try some of their teas, they have a great offer called the “Yatra 2018 Sampler” where you can try 9 of their best teas at once. This is great if you aren’t quite sure what type of tea is your favorite. https://www.yatrateacompany.com/shop/yatra-2018-sampler
These leaves had a very strong fragrance to them that was both floral and earthy. Even though the leaves were much darker in color, I noticed plenty of fresh buds with the little white hairs, which was sure to add some complexity to the tea. I knew I could expect a bold full-bodied flavor from them.
Sure enough, the first sip blew me away. The tea was quite powerful and the complex fruity flavors were delicious. This tea definitely produced one of the strongest flavors of the ones I have tried, and it is probably one of the second most complex teas I have tried, after the Nepali tea.
What I think really sets this tea apart is it’s mouthwatering aftertaste. This aftertaste is crisp and delicious and lingers in your mouth for up to a minute, making you crave the next sip. I’m actually getting a bit concerned about what I am going to do once I run out of this!
The beautiful amber liquor is light for a black tea, but it produces a ton of flavor nonetheless. Even though the flavor is bold and full-bodied, I would still characterize this tea as having a lot of sweetness to it. It also has a nice muscatel spiciness to it, although it is a bit hard to pick up on. This tea is almost as complex as the Nepali tea but it lacks the breezy fresh flavor in the aftertaste.
I’m drinking this towards the middle of the day and to be honest, I’m losing a little bit of steam. As soon as I started drinking this tea, I became full of energy! This is one of the more energizing cups of tea I’ve had, and it definitely helped improve my opinion of it.
The first steeping of this tea was really good. It is on track to becoming my second favorite after the Nepali. The only thing left to do was to try the second steeping. I set the kettle to boil and steeped the leaves for another 5 minutes or so. I know that the steeping time is supposed to be around 2-3 minutes, but I have gotten better results from adding a few extra minutes. Plus a rarely do a third steeping of a tea and to not add those extra minutes is almost wasteful!
The second steeping is definitely still bold and full-bodied, although it has lost a little bit of it’s bite after the first steeping. I would characterize the second brewing as lighter, but also more fruity. Normally with a second brewing, you lose some of the complexity of the tea, but with this one I feel like it is almost the opposite. Without the bold, bitter flavors around, you can begin to notice the subtleties a lot more. There is more of a floral taste, more of a fruity taste, even more of a spicy muscatel to this steeping as well. It does lose a little bit of the body, and therefore it is lighter both in color and in taste.
\Like I said before, I really enjoyed this tea. Even when compared to the others it is a very good tea. I think this tea will makes its way into second on my list. The Nepali tea is still slightly better in my opinion because of the unique complexity, but this one is a close second. What really won me over was the raw power of the tea, as well as how strong the second steeping was. Here are my rankings:
#1 Nepali First Flush from the Sakhira Estate
#2 First Flush Darjeeling from the Singbulli Estate
#3: Second Flush Darjeeling from Marangi Estate
#4: First Flush Darjeeling from Puttabong Estate
#5: Darjeeling Oolong from Castleton Estate
#6: First Flush Darjeeling from Goomtee Estate
#7 First Flush White from Castleton Estate