I am having so much fun with my new camera, it was a grand investment, especially since I have caught some amazing droplet and pour photos. So splashy! I have noticed one hilarious quirk though, see I am very used to my old camera after using it for five years, I knew what angle to be at and such to get the shots I wanted. I have to figure a new angle because I keep casting shadows on my photos, shadows of my MASSIVE lens. It cracks me up to see this looming lens shadowing over my tea desk. The camera is performing wonderfully, the user has a bit more practice needed.
Time to take a trip back in time to February of 2015 for the time of the first flush, because that is when today's tea from What-Cha was harvested. India Darjeeling 1st Flush Rohini 'Jethi Kupi' Black Tea, as you can tell from the name comes from the Rohini Tea Estate, but what the name doesn't tell us is that it was grown at 330m, is the Bannockburn 157 cultivar, and is grown by Shiv Saria and his son Hrishikesh Saria, yay for extra details! I did a little extra digging around and found out that Jethi Kupi is from the Manipuri dialect and means Jasmine flower, or it is from the Nepalese dialect where Jethi means eldest daughter and Kupi means cone/funnel, and this references it being a first flush. Now that that is all settled, aroma time! Why hello there muscatel notes of scuppernongs, muscadines, sultanas, and grape jelly, you are a sweet tea! This is not all just muscatel notes though, there is also a gentle spice and a slight note of gentle roasted peanuts, it has a richness in all its sweetness...and making me crave grape jelly laden toast something fierce.
In my steeping apparatus, the leaves are so gorgeous, I almost oversteeped it because I was entranced by the vibrancy of the leaves. Once I escaped its hypnotic unfurling in the water, the aroma of the leaves is like a small explosion of flowers and grapes, blending scuppernongs and orange blossoms, spicebush and sultanas, it is so grape heavy, I love it! Certain types of grapes may or may not be my favorite fruit ever (yeah, scuppernongs are the best thing, and teas that have those notes make me go all squishy because I grew up gorging on them.) The liquid is creamy and sweet with fruity notes of apricot and grapes, a touch of rich sultanas as well. There is also a tiny note of orange blossoms at the finish.
The taste of this golden brew starts our with a touch of flowery and peppery nasturtium flowers, this moves pretty abruptly to apricots and gentle spicebush. Then the taste goes on to roasted peanuts, scuppernongs, golden raisins, and muscadines. The aftertaste is a blend of orange blossoms and honey, and it lingers. The start is very much so a familiar first flush notes, but towards the end it gets a hint of what later flushes will taste like, which I find fascinating.