Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What-Cha, Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea

Nepal Golden Tips
What-Cha Description:
An incredible black tea made entirely of young buds, the smoothest black tea we have tried with a refined malty taste and no bitterness or astringency. 

We are proud to source all our Nepal teas direct from Greenland Organic Farm, who are very much at the forefront of a burgeoning Nepali tea industry dedicated to producing high quality artisanal teas. Greenland Organic Farm are completely pesticide and chemical free farm dedicated to producing tea in an ethical and fair manner. Greenland Organic Farm is located in East Nepal in the shadows of Mt. Kancghenjunga at an altitude of 3,000m.

Sample provided by What-Cha.

My Review:
I love tea. That's kind of obvious. I have to admit, I have a tendency to like almost everything that hits my cup. What I don't love, I try to be objective about it and determine if it is really not a good tea or if it is simply not to my personal tastes. I assure you it was not even a question on this tea.

Beautiful Golden Tips
When I opened the resealable pouch I fell head over heels in love. This may well be the single most malt smelling leaf I have yet encountered. Maybe there were others. They escape me at the moment. Love does that.

Then I scooped out the leaf. It is magnificent. This is from Nepal? My picture barely does this justice. It is a little less orange and more tan than Teavivre's Yunnan Golden Tips but it is every bit as beautiful.

I used 1/3 of the 10 g sample in my clear glass press with 10 oz of water heated to 185 F. I let it steep for 2 minutes. The water immediately began to turn as it hit the leaf. I suspected it would result in a very dark brew. When it was first poured it was orange. As it briefly cooled it took on a ruby tint before settling in at dark caramel. When hot it was slightly cloudy but cleared up very quickly with a bright shine.

Liquid Malt
I gave the honors of the first sip to my wife who was passing through. Her reaction? "Whoa! It's got a strength that hits you immediately, but I can't figure out what it is..." I asked, "Malted Milk Balls?" "Exactly!" So there you have my wife's full review.

I pried the cup out of her hands and shewed her away. Not really. She reacts badly to caffeine and never takes more than a sip. Fortunately for me, I don't have issues with large amounts of tea.

This really does taste like the insides of a malted milk ball. Because it is so obvious, I keep imagining I taste the milk chocolate coating around the outside. I don't think it is really there but the image is nearly impossible to shake.

Knowing I didn't really want to add sweetener, I did it anyway. I am trying to decide if I really am catching milk chocolate or imagining it. Sweetener only made it sweet. D'oh. So I really can't firmly deny or confirm this, but my heart says I really am tasting the coating along with the definite malt core.

Spikey Wet Leaf
There is zero bitterness and zero astringency in this as prepared. This is exceptionally smooth. Can you tell I like it?

The wet leaf contains a lot of spikey buds and some twigs. I find the wet leaf almost as impressive as the dry leaf on this one.

This tea is from the same plantation that produced the 1st Flush Clonal Black Tea. It was a very solid black, representative of what I expected. This is so different it is hard to imagine they come from the same place.

After finishing the first mug, I immediately steeped a second. This time I steeped for three minutes.  This mug is much less malt and has a slight edge. Still very flavorful but different. There is a touch of mineral and a fruitiness that comes forth in the aftertaste. My thought here is to steep the first cup at one minute and try and save some of the malt for cup two.

If I did not have 50 pounds of tea piled up around my den - an exaggeration, but only barely, this would have a permanent place in my collection. I do keep a mental list for when I finally get my collection under control. This is on it. The first cup is just WOW!

You can find Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea here.


  1. get your collection under control? hahaha. good luck with that.

    1. lol Yeah, I know. Why even make such an unattainable statement?