Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Taylors of Harrogate, Ntingwe Kwazulu
Although tea is very popular in South Africa, very little is exported. We first discovered the Ntingwe tea estate, deep in the wooded hills of Kwazulu Natal, during the 1990’s and have been supporters of this small estate ever since. This tea has a fresh, brisk flavour and a bright liquor.
Use a warmed teapot and add one teaspoon of tea per person and an extra ‘one for the pot’. Add freshly boiled water and infuse for 4-5 minutes. Serve with or without milk to taste.
This tea came my way when a Steepster member was reducing her inventory. Lucky me! My sample came in a clear plastic baggie. The leaf is dark chocolate in color. The most notable thing about it is how finely cut is the leaf. It is tiny, tiny. I'm pretty sure this would go through the mesh on my press. This is a job for a Finum Basket. I used one tsp of tea powder and boiling water. My steep time was two minutes. I am definitely not a 4-5 minute black tea steeper anymore.
The brew is dark. The aroma has kind of a cinnamon clove thing going on, even though this is a straight black tea. The taste is really good. It is similar to an Assam without the bite. It is drying. Not as much as an Assam but its there. This is not at all bitter but then I only steeped half the recommended time. This has some fruity notes.
It is possible since this was stored in a baggie that it has picked up some stray flavors. I am tasting very light notes of cinnamon and clove. None of the other teas that came in the envelope were cinnamon clove teas, so I am not sure. They are very light and I actually hope it is part of this tea, because it is awesome.
A really good black tea - just get a Finum basket or some tea bags to brew it in.