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
This tea comes to us from Nilgiri, India. While most of the teas we have tried have been from Darjeeling, this one is slightly different in that it is from South India. The Nilgiri mountains provide adequate elevation for this tea plant to reach its full potential!
From the smell of the dry leaves, I didn't get quite as much of he chocolaty aroma I was used to. This one was a little bit earthy and more subtle. The leaves were perhaps some of the smallest we’ve seen so far. Some of the other teas I tried had long curly leaves up to about an inch long, but these were much smaller than that. The largest of the curled leaves was only about a centimeter or so. The aroma of the freshly brewed tea was warm and inviting. I couldn’t wait to take the first sip!
As soon as I took the first sip of this tea, I was pulled in by the rich, muscatel flavor. I really can taste the natural spiciness in this tea, that almost makes me think of a cinnamon or a clove. There is a nice pleasant bitterness to this tea that hangs on in the aftertaste, but it is not astringent, at least not to me. I don’t get as much of a mouthwatering taste from this tea compared with some of the others, but it is definitely there. Overall, this tea is very smooth and mild with a slight edge of bitterness towards the end as well as a few muscatel notes.
I am starting to drink this tea early in the morning, so it is really helping me wake up. I think after a few sips of this I’ll be ready to take on the day!
I decided to take this tea for a second steeping. I set the kettle to just below boiling and soaked the wet leaves for about 5 minutes. I usually tend to steep longer because I rarely do a third steeping, and I want to make sure I extract everything from the leaves before I throw them away.
The second steeping produced quite a dark liquor. There was little to no aroma coming off of it, but the taste was delicious. I detected some sweet notes, a mineral earthiness and a mouthwatering astringency. The tea actually didn’t have a whole lot of full-bodied flavor, which is unusual because normally with the second steeping that’s the only thing that is left. I love the second steeping of these black teas, because with almost half of them I actually enjoyed the second steeping better! I think this is one of those teas. The second steeping has a more distinct flavor and more of a lingering finish compared to its counterpart.
The second steeping is definitely making me feel more calm and cozy. It’s the type of tea you would want to curl up with on a cold stormy night. I might have to save some of this tea for the upcoming hurricane!
After tasting how incredible the second steeping was, I decided to revise my list. I don’t remember this tea being better than the amazing one I had from Singbulli yesterday, but I do remember it standing out more than the other I have tried in the last few days. I think the power from the second brewing really helps this tea a lot in my eyes because it almost makes it twice as good! Having a strong second brewing basically means you get 2 cups of tea for the price of one! The Glendale Estate tea will take the number 3 spot on my list, which will bump most of the other teas on my list down. I only have one tea tasting left from this company, and so far the Nepali First Flush is comfortable in the lead with the First Flush Darjeeling from the Singbulli estate as a close second.
#1 Nepali First Flush from the Sakhira Estate
# 2 First Flush Darjeeling from the Singbulli Estate
# 3 First Flush from the Glendale Estate
#4: Second Flush Darjeeling from Marangi Estate
#5: First Flush Darjeeling from Puttabong Estate
#6: Darjeeling Oolong from Castleton Estate
#7: First Flush Darjeeling from Goomtee Estate
#8 First Flush White from Castleton Estate