Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Tea Shelf: Billimalai Virgin Green, A Tea Review

I am cooking some Khaman Dhokla the first time from scratch, as I write this it is happily steaming away. After my dinner is complete I will bake something as a dessert, probably something with Matcha, or maybe some other sweet. Getting in practice for being all fancy and domestic when we move soon, I will have a whole house to take care of! It is going to be so awesome, granted I will not do all the cooking, Ben and Fish are actually professional cooks, so I know they will want to hog the kitchen.

Today we are taking another visit to The Tea Shelf, specifically their Billimalai Virgin Green, a beautiful fluffy green tea from Nilgiri. This is one of their Winter Flushes, from the Billimalai Tea Estate, nestled in the Blue Mountains at 6,400ft about sea level. The aroma of the really quite pretty leaves is very green and peppery, blending notes of green beans and cooked spinach with hints of veggie broth and a tiny touch of mushrooms. The finish is a delightful peppery green note that is a blend of just outright pepper and nasturtium, I am such a sucker for peppery notes in teas.

Giving the leaves a steep, my tea area smells like food! Specifically green cooked veggies, a mix of peppery cooked spinach and green beans and a bit of mushrooms and asparagus. It is a very vegetal tea, savory and green. The liquid is very much so vegetable broth, clean and peppery with dominant notes of asparagus and green beans, there is a slight hint of nutmeg at the finish giving the tea an extra bit of depth.

The liquid is delightfully pale, it reminds me of some of the jadeite I worked with as a jeweler. The mouthfeel is light and delicate, with a slight tingling at the back of the tongue. The taste is also very delicate, and quite vegetal, starting with a very delicate floral and lemon note that moves quickly to green beans and a touch of lima beans. The finish is a blend of pepper, smoke, and just a hint of asparagus, with the pepper lingering as the aftertaste. This was a very clean, green tea, not a sweet one, but erring to the savory side...as an aside it was a great accompaniment to a pile of fried eggs and bacon!

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