Tis time for my daily-ish tea rambling, looking at What-Cha's Malawi Zomba Steamed Green Tea, a tea whose name will forever make me think of zombies, same with the Zomba Pearls, I am sorry, that is just the way my brain works, same with seeing blooming teas as baby Cthulhu. This tea hails from the Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi, a place that has made several of my favorite teas, but really the artisan teas that come out of Africa I have found to be mind blowing, at first I wondered if it was just the uniqueness factor, but the more drink them I realize that nope, I just really like them. So, how about these leaves? The aroma is surprisingly nutty, like cashews, with a strong green presence, notes of greenbeans, cucumber, a tiny touch of seaweed, and a touch of sweet honey and a zingy note of citrus. Hilariously at the finish is a very distinct note of zucchini, I say hilarious because it comes out of nowhere, like you are sitting sniffing your tea and a zucchini falls from the sky into your leaves, it is quite distinct indeed.
So for brewing I did a somewhat pseudo gongfu session, brewing in my gaiwan but for a longer time more similar to western style. Basically I wanted to play with my gaiwan, like I do. The aroma is no longer a finish of zucchini, the zucchini decided it liked me and wanted to stay at the forefront of things, it is joined by hay, sweetgrass, cut grass, and a bit of flowers and citrus. It oddly reminds me exactly of my Grandparent's garden during summer. The liquid however, is nutty, blending cashews and chestnuts, with lemon leaves and grass.
The tea is really light with an almost buttery mouthfeel, it has a bunch of things going on for such a light tea too. Starting with a gentle sweetness of nuttiness and honey, it pretty immediately moves to gentle sea air, and then to a pile of vegetal notes, bell pepper, zucchini, and a slightly peppery spinach finish. What a fun first steep!
Second steep, the aroma is a blend of sweet nuttiness and green, it is a tea that smells very much so like 'tea' like the distilled essence of what fresh off the bush tea leaves smell like. This time the mouthfeel is more brisk, less buttery, starting with sea air and moving on to zucchini and chestnuts with a very snappy green pepper finish.