Sunday, April 17, 2016

More Nepalese tea please!

At last night’s tea tasting event at Infuse Café, the group and I sampled a trio of teas from Nepal. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Nepalese tea, so I was really looking forward to this. I gotta say, I’ve got a whole new list of favourites!



Is it white or oolong tea?



We started off with an oolong  called White Forest that was classified as a white tea. A Spring 2014 tea from the Panchthar region, this tea was just beautiful. The dry leaves smelled fresh and sweet. We sampled a BKON brew as well as a traditional brew. I found both versions fresh, sweet, and smooth, with a slight saltiness at the end. I liked both versions but favoured the traditional brew as it was less astringent.



Re-hydrated. 

Next, we moved on to a tea called Moonshine. A label on the package literally had the following note: “White? Green? Oolong? Not sure. You decide. Signed Nepal”. Hmmm… I guess it was all up to the drinker to figure it out. The dry leaves had a grassy aroma with a hint of mint. The liquor of both the BKON brew and the traditional brew had a caramel scent. Again, I liked both samples but still preferred the traditional brew because it was less astringent.


All together now.

The final Nepalese tea we tried was a black tea called Amber Red. It’s a 2nd flush, 2015, 11:00 am harvest. Yup, they got it down to the exact time as well! The traditional brew won everyone over. It was sweet with notes of caramelized yams. We consumed four tastings of this tea with each infusion becoming weaker and blander. Just a couple of infusions suffice. The BKON brew was just way too bitter and gave a dry palate.


Red alert!

In between our tastings of Nepalese teas, the group enjoyed a couple of Indian teas to see and discuss the similarities to Nepalese teas. We had a lovely Assam to start things off. It was perfect all on its own. Later in the evening, we had a very astringent Darjeeling which was disappointing. It really needed milk and sugar to cut the bitterness.

To end the evening, Infuse Café gave us samples of an ice-creamed coffee. Basically, it is BKON brewed coffee which is then mixed with two ice-cream sandwiches. It was coffee coolness in a cup! Now all they need to do is make a tea version of it.

I really enjoyed this tea tasting session. I met a few new people who attended for the first time. They were a great bunch to discuss tea and many other topics with. Also, I definitely want to try more teas from Nepal. They were such a pleasant surprise.




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