Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Golden Tips Tea: Avaata Supreme Nilgiri Green Tea First Flush, A Tea Review

Taking a very brief break from painting today, which makes me a sad Scourge, but I am still really shaky and loopy from my breathing treatment yesterday. Oh man, I have always hated those things, it has been several years since I was on a respirator, but I remember the side effects lasted for a couple days. Same reason I wait till I am desperate before I do my inhaler, because the side effects are unbelievably unpleasant. I am immersing myself in research, I expected my allergy tests to give me answers, not more questions, so I am doing my thing and taking to the internet in hopes that I can get some information on my supposed chronic sinus infection (and why my sense of smell is so acute if I do have one), why I can't breathe though I show no signs of asthma activity at the moment, can my allergy tests be a false negative, and if so what to do about it. Luckily I have some medical training so I can read WebMD without thinking I am dying! SO MANY QUESTIONS!!

Ok, enough of the quirks of my body, it is time for tea! Specifically we are taking a trip to India courtesy of Golden Tips Tea! Avaata Supreme Nilgiri Green Tea First Flush (organic) is from a region of India which sadly I do not have much experience with (seriously, I think I have had two teas from Nilgiri, and that is tragic) so trying a green tea from that region is extra exciting. Avaata Estate is a Rain Forest Alliance Certified tea estate, dedicated to conserving vaata, which is Sanskrit for fresh, with this tea being grown above 1,900 feet, all of these things are pretty cool. The aroma of the rather large, pale, leaves is a bit light at first, but some good snuffling brings out the notes of fresh cut vegetation, baking bread, lima beans and green beans. This is another one of those teas that makes me hungry while sniffing it again.

I decided to go for a psuedo gongfu style steeping with this tea, any excuse to use my gaiwan! The aroma of the now soggy leaves is sharply vegetal, blending lima beans and green beans with a bit of kale and baking bread. There is also a faint, distant note of flowers. The liquid is very light, like super faint, with delicate notes of growing things and slightly vegetal.

The taste is unique, like a blend of a first flush Darjeeling and a green tea. It starts buttery and peppery with floral notes and distinct vegetal. There are notes of green beans, lima beans, and a finish of yeasty baking bread. This tea is fairly light, so if you were expecting a super intense tea you might be a bit disappointed.

I decided to go for a second steep to see if it becomes a bit more robust. The aroma of the brewed tea is still really light, not as light as the first, but it does not have a major presence. There are notes of growing things and lima beans along with the tiniest hint of flowers. The taste is more vegetal and less floral, the peppery note is mostly gone, but there are lovely notes of lima beans and green beans, a finish of fresh kale and baking break, the yeasty tones linger. This steep got a bit bitter as it cooled, which is incentive to chug it quickly!

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