Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tea Review: Nepali 1st Flush (Tazo)

Advent Tea Calendar Day 3

Nepali 1st Flush
Type:  Black
Origin:  Nepal
Product Description:  This tea hails from the tea-growing region in the eastern part of Nepal, bordering on India's Darjeeling region.  The tea from the more famous tea region of Darjeeling has nothing over this complex and floral-scented liquor.  It is thought that the first tea bushes here were grown from seeds given to the Prime Minister of Nepal by the Chinese Emperor.  This Chinese variety of plant stands up well to high elevation and cold temperatures.  The first-flush teas, produced from February to April, are the most prized and feature a light fruity taste and mild astringency.

Temperature:  208° F
Amount:  3 grams
Steeping Time:  3 minutes

The dry leaves have a spicy floral aroma with notes of fragrant wood and camellia oil.

The infusion is light yellow with a savory/sweet floral aroma similar to sweet pea.  The flavor is lightly floral with a hint of fruit similar to peaches and a long, clean finish.

I enjoyed the subtle flavor and aroma of this tea at a 3 minute steeping, but I found it was fantastic at 5 minutes.  The flavor and aroma became lively and robust with very little astringency and no bitterness.  On a personal note, I was surprised to detect an aroma similar to the wooden Japanese hair ornaments in my collection that have been dipped in camellia oil to give them a shine.  

This tea was purchased from the flagship Tazo store in Seattle.  Unfortunately, it has since closed and Tazo no longer appears to offer teas other than their signature boxed blends.  If you do find a tea supplier that carries Nepali tea, it is definitely worth sampling.

This tea was provided as a free sample without guarantee of a review.

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