Friday, January 2, 2015

What-Cha, Darjeeling 2nd Flush 2014 Rohini Clonal Special Tippy Black Tea

What-Cha Description:
A wonderful smooth single estate tea from Darjeeling with a sweet taste and spicy finish.

Price: $7.20/50g (1.76 oz)

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

My Review:
This my second post and first review of 2015. What better way to start the year than with something from What-Cha. A new comer on the scene last year. They have already proven themselves to offer a wide range of affordable and top notch teas.

Today's tea is, I believe, the lowest priced of their black Darjeeling teas. At the price, this might make a good everyday tea, if it passes the audition. Let's check it out.

The 10g sample, is as always, packaged in a resealable aluminum pouch, having a simple and well laid out label with steeping recommendations.

Opening the bag, and breathing in the scent, gives me the immediate impression of Cheerios. It is an oat grain scent with a touch of malt.

I scooped out about 1/3 of the sample for pictures and steeping. This is mainly dark, almost black, twisted leaf with several instances of silvery tips.

I grabbed, and preheated, my $4 Goodwill teapot, added the leaf, and heated water to 203 F. With my Hamilton Beach electric kettle, I set the thermostat to 200 F. When it reaches the temperature it clicks to maintain the temperature. Except if you don't shut it off, it will continue to climb for a few degrees. I waited for 203 and removed the kettle from the base and poured into the teapot. I steeped for 2 1/2 minutes.

The wet leaf has expanded quite a bit to reveal large broken pieces that are green tinted and cinnamon. There also appears to be some stems in the mix.

The liquor is not the normal black tea dark orange color I expected. It has more of a brassy copper color. What was I thinking? This is a Darjeeling after all.

The aroma is fruity and lightly malt.

The taste is likewise a mix of fruit and malt. This is very easy to drink with no bitterness or astringency at the beginning. Late in the sip it picks up a bit of bite that What-Cha calls a spicy finish. I agree. It is not drying and leans toward a subtle sweet side as I have no desire to add sweetener to it.

The first cup went down very easily. I brewed cup two with the same leaf and a 3 minute steep. This cup is darker and more bronze looking. The aroma is very similar to the first cup.

The malt and fruit notes seem reduced in this cup and the definite spice note picks up in intensity. It is not a dramatic spicy but obvious.

This is a good solid everyday tea. I had a sandwich with the second half of the first cup and the tea stood up for itself very well. Personally, I think that is when everyday teas are at their best, when they are paired well with food.

You can find Darjeeling 2nd Flush 2014 Rohini Clonal Special Tippy Black Tea here.

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