Sunday, May 13, 2018

Chai Chun: Goomtee Royal Classic First Flush 2018, A Tea Review

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! My mom and grandmother are too blastedly far away, and my cats have once again forgotten me on this holiday, so my mother's day is a bit sad. I will probably be drowning my sorrows at Costco later today, I have a fierce need for crackers and printer ink, and to graze on samples like one does. Anyway, that is all I have to say so onto tea, the real reason you all are here.

Looking at Chai Chun's Royal Classic First Flush 2018 White Tea from Goomtee Tea Estate. I thought at first that this was a particularly green first flush black (and let us be honest, first flush Darjeeling black teas are only kinda black teas) but no, it is a fluffy very green in color white tea! It is a very pretty tea, with all different shades of mottled green and a touch of white trichome fuzz on some of the sizable leaves, it makes for a good showing. The aroma of the leaves is potent, very fresh and very aromatic, with surprisingly green notes of sage, cucumber, lettuce, celery, fresh hay, and radish sprouts, this tea smells much more savory than sweet.

That pretty abruptly changes once the leaves have had a dance in the water, once I poured off the tea and removed the lid to smell the leaves I was flattened by a stampede of sweetness. Honey and sweet green grapes mix with intense floral (hyacinth specifically) notes with undertones of celery and sage. It smells pretty mouthwatering! The aroma of the tea itself was pretty light compared to the leaves, but it is still sweet and refreshing.

I have been nursing this tea all day, it goes the distance with resteeps, as of steep four it still is giving out a strong and very pleasant flavor. The first two steeps are immensely sweet and thick, like warm honey and flower nectar mixed with white grape juice and wildflower pollen. There are undertones of celery and lettuce with a hint of sugar cane juice at the finish that becomes stronger at the aftertaste and lingers for a while. Then the third steep comes out of nowhere and threw me for loop, instead of the expected intense nectar sweetness I chilies. Specifically it reminds me of one of my favorite breakfast foods, these frozen Khaman Dhokla cakes covered in green chilies and with a really delicious cilantro chutney sandwiched between them. I have no idea why the tea suddenly tastes like breakfast but I have no complaints, it is deliciously refreshing and crisp, the finish is a bit of sweetness and green bell peppers with lettuce and linger on the subtle sugar cane sweetness. The fourth steep is a bit like the first two and the third, combining sweet and vegetal, but man...that third steep was an adventure! I keep being really impressed by Chai Chun's offerings and need to go on a shopping spree before too long.

Tea sent for review.

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