Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What-Cha Tea: A Global Tea Adventure! A Tea Review

It has been an interesting week since last I wrote. Ben and I found a place to move so no more temporary housing (I am going to miss my lake view, but I am so excited to get back to having a sense of normalcy in my house) it is a bit outside of the city, but I am ok with that.  I truly hope this place I am moving to is perfect and Ben and I stay there until we are ready to buy a small house because I really do not want to move again, 17 times in 33 years is more than enough! Though I am not looking forward to repacking the teaware I unpacked. Today is a What-Cha day! I recently restocked some favorites and had a few samples sent along with my order, and in typical What-Cha style they are from all over the place. One thing I love about What-Cha is their selection of 'off the beaten path' teas. On the little adventure I am going on today, I am looking at a tea from Nepal, one from Georgia, and one from Malawi, so let us dig in!

Nepal Jun Chiyabari 'Winter Special' Oolong Tea

I love tea from Nepal, it always has a wonderfully clean and crisp quality, like it brought the mountains they were grown on with them. This Oolong is a winter flush, and I think that with the intense sweetness of this tea it might be a frost tea, but I am not sure. The aroma is intense, strong notes of walnut and hazelnuts combine with stewed peach and cherry giving the tea a wonderful sweet nutty cobbler aroma. It smelled so good and it made my mouth water, I happily spent way too long just snuffling this tea. I am just going to be honest, I am kinda furious at Alistair for sending me a sample of this because now I want more, this could definitely become a favorite tea staple and I already have too many of those!! The mouthfeel is light and airy, with a refreshing quality, which surprises me because the taste is dense. Like biting into a compote made from cherries, peaches, apricots, and almonds. There are also undertones of flowers, orange blossom and tulips which turn into a very long lasting aftertaste. I loved this tea, I want more of it and need to get some as soon as I can!!

Georgia Davit's 'Phoenix' Black Tea

Ah tea from Georgia, one of my favorite tea producing regions up there with Russia, they are also teas that are kind of a pain in m neck to get a hold of. This tea (and other teas from Georgia) are quite unique, it is unmistakably a black tea, but not like any others I have had. The aroma of the leaves is starchy and malty, with notes of roasted oats, beets, and chocolate with a delicate finish of cumin. Brewed the leaves smell of milk chocolate, oats, and cumin giving it a combination of pastry and earthy aroma that just works so well. The taste the paradox of being both brisk and smooth, tasting of sweet cream and chocolate oat cookies with a nutty long lasting aftertaste, at least that was the first steep. The second steep took me on an adventure to quince and plum with a long lasting dark honey aftertaste, the sweetness was intense, I was really surprised by the length and intensity of the aftertaste. I really like this tea, a definite fantastic example of the quality of Georgian tea!

Malawi 2018 Leafy Ripe Dark Tea

I have had the Malawi Dark Tea before, years ago on another harvest, at the time I really liked it, so I was excited to try the 2018 version. The aroma is very dark, earthy notes of wet leaves, beet roots, and that fantastic forest floor after a summer rain smell that makes my heart happy with dark teas. After a rinse the leaves take on a really fun strong lactic note, like sweet cream and chocolate with a strong pine sap finish. The cloudy liquid tastes so much like dark chocolate it is a little mind boggling, not one of those 80% cocoa bars, more like 60% leaving a bit of that sweet milk creaminess with the bitterness of cocoa. I am not sure why, but I love when certain dark teas have a milky undertone, I also get those notes in Lao Cha Tuo Shou, my other favorite type of dark. This is the perfect dark tea for people who want to content with longer steeps and not have it turn into a bitter bomb, want a dark tea that is not so earthy, or like them sweet. Also you get the novelty of drinking a dark tea from Malawi, something that a lot of tea drinkers don't get the chance to do.

Tea sent as samples with an order

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