Rohini Emerald Green First Flush Darjeeling from Udyan Tea

Rohini Emerald GreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Rohini has been planted with special green tea clones which have very less *tannin content in them. The teas made from these bushes taste smooth and sweet, with pronounced vegetable flavour. They aren’t bitter unlike their counterparts from the district. Rohini Emerald Green Tea is made from single leaf and a bud.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rohini Emerald Green is a First Flush Darjeeling tea, a variety I’m particularly fond of. I’m intrigued by this one, though (more so than usual!) because the leaf is different from any I’ve seen before. It’s a fairly uniform mid-green in colour, with one or two lighter leaves and some yellow mottling. What’s surprising is that the leaves are large and curly, partially rolled but not tightly. I’ve never seen a first flush Darjeeling that looks quite like this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow-green, the scent reminiscent of a green tea. After an initial hit of orchid-like floral, there’s a distinctive vegetal scent. The leaves, once unfurled, remind me a little of oak tree leaves.

To taste, this tea is also unlike any Darjeeling I’ve tried before. In some ways, it’s far more like a green tea or an oolong than anything else. The initial flavour is lightly floral, in the sweet, heady way of orchids. It’s not an intensely perfumey floral, but rather like crushing the petals of an orchid or lily flower in your hand and then translating the scent into a taste. It’s difficult to describe, because it’s like the wrong sense is being used, but that’s as close as I can get to identifying the kind of sensation the floral produces. There’s a mild “green” flavour lurking underneath the floral, but it’s more chlorophyll than vegetal – not a flavour I’ve come across very often, but it works well here, continuing the floral theme. The texture reminds me a lot of an unflavoured milk oolong, in that it’s buttery and mildly creamy. It’s not thick tasting, exactly, but it has a sort of dairy cream feel to it that’s pleasant and unusual – almost a little “flat” tasting, but with a richness at the same time. The aftertaste is a little mineral, again reminding me of a green oolong. It’s a little like wet rock; a tiny bit metallic, but also fresh and clean.

This one was an experience for me, and I really savoured every sip. I’ve not come across a Darjeeling like this before, either in terms of taste or appearance, so it really made me think about, and question, my expectations. I enjoyed the flavour, even though floral teas aren’t usually my thing. Clearly I can still surprise myself on occasion! I’d happily recommend this one to most people, whether they’re fans of Darjeeling, green, oolong or floral teas. This tea certainly offers a unique experience, and its placed Udyan Tea more firmly on my personal radar.

Goomtee China Classic First Flush Darjeeling from Udyan Tea

GoomteeChinaClassicTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy: Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goomtee is a very well known Darjeeling heritage garden planted with pure china bushes almost a century ago. Picked from special section of the garden called Ghani between 3000-4000 sq.ft. height, this tea is for the strong hearted first flush lovers as it has a strong body with a very slight tinge of muscatel (grape flavour usually associated with second flush Darjeelings). It is a well balanced cup that leaves a stong after taste as well. With repeated steepings, the liquor becomes sweeter and midler. Perfect tea for long winding day with a good book in hand to read.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

First Flush Darjeelings are among my favourite black teas, as I’m sure I’ve intimated several times before. This one – from the Goomtee Estate – is apparently perfect for “strong hearted first flush lovers”. Well, we shall see. The dry leaf is a thing of beauty. There’s a mixture of long and shorter leaves, which have primarily been either rolled or twisted, although there are also some downy silver buds. There’s a variety of colours, from palest white/silver, through creamy green, darker grass green, to the medium brown of tree bark. The scent is fresh and mildly floral. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is golden yellow, the scent reminiscent of rose water with an undertone of freshly shelled peas.

One thing’s for sure, this tea tastes glorious! The initial sip is crisp and fresh-tasting, with a mild floral undertone. It makes me think of dew on rose petals – a clean, sweet freshness. The floral flavour develops in the mid-sip, where it’s more recognisably rose-like, with a strong perfumey aftertaste. There’s a hint of classic muscatel right at the tail end of the sip, richly grapey and a little drying. It’s not exactly astringency at this point, but nearly. I get the impression that this tea may become astringent as it cools, or if oversteeped.

It’s fair to say that I prefer the clean, fresh flavour of the initial sip to the strong, heavily perfume-like aftertaste. I dislike heavily floral tea in general, though, so that’s no surprise to me. I enjoyed my cup immensely for its flavourful nature, and it’s a great example of a first flush Darjeeling. It’s stronger than most I’ve come across, and while I typically appreciate the delicate flavours characteristic of this variety, I also enjoyed the bolder experience here. I’d certainly try another Goomtee Estate Darjeeling if the opportunity arose, and Udyan Tea is now firmly on my radar.

Gopaldhara Spring Special Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Gopaldhara Spring SpecialTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goapldhara is one of the highest tea estates of Darjeeling and is located in the Mirik valley. The garden is planted with high quality clonal bushes and produces exquisite teas. Gopaldhara First Flush Darjeeling Tea has a floral aroma and a sweet & mellow taste. A great tea to relax and refresh your mind.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh. My.  Goodness!  What a lovely Darjeeling!

I steeped this Gopaldhara Spring Special Black Tea from Udyan Tea in my Breville One-Touch, and I was a little surprised when the tea maker finished it’s cycle – the tea is not black.  It’s not even coppery.  It’s yellow!  Like the color of melted butter that had been slightly browned – but only ever so slightly – still more yellow than brown.

Parameters:  I measured 2 bamboo scoops of tea in the basket of my Breville and added 500ml of freshly filtered water to the jug.   Then I set the temperature for 195°F and the timer for 2 1/2 minutes.

But don’t let this rather unusual color for a ‘black’ tea freak you out – this is some seriously good stuff!  Think of it as liquid gold.

Mmm!

Really smooth – much smoother than I’m used to from a Darjeeling.  There is some dry astringency toward the tail – but not a lot.  No bitterness.  Now, I can’t say that you wouldn’t experience those things if you brewed it at a different temperature (I find that with Darjeeling, it’s important to keep the temperature below boiling because the boil is a tad too hot for Darjeeling tea) and a different steep time (2 1/2 minutes is my sweet spot when it comes to Darjeeling tea).

This is sweet and floral.  No overt sharpness from the floral notes, it’s very soft and beautiful.  There are some delicate fruit notes to this – more like a citrus note than a grape-y note like you might experience from other Darjeeling teas.  Imagine a splash of a fruity/grape-y wine added to your orange juice and you would have the fruit-like notes I’m experiencing.

But mostly, what I taste is a delightful medley of flower.

It’s soft and pleasant – a lovely afternoon tea.  This is the kind of tea you want to serve to people you want to impress.  They’ll be impressed!

Truly a remarkable tea – beautiful!