I have been seeing Vahdam Tea in the news lately and thought a spicy cup of chai would settle me right in for the night.
This isn’t your traditional black tea boiled with water and milk and heavily sugared. This is a fine darjeeling green with cardamom (YUM!), cinnamon, and clove. When I pour the dry leaves out to investigate them, it LOOKS like black tea, but don’t be fooled. Darjeeling tastes best to me prepared with slightly lower temperature water and a short steep to keep astringency low. If you like very brisk tea, increase your temp and time.
The green darjeeling is a tad brisk. The long boiling time of traditional chai makes the tea strong and bitter or astringent, and that is why milk and sugar are added, and a good dollop of milk, too! I am not adding anything to this, though, and it is enjoyable just as it is. The spices are at a great level for me. I have never been a fan of chai made with tons of black peppercorns, and I really feel that the cardamom and cinnamon lead the spices in this one. The scent of the dry leaves and the steeped tea is scrumptious.
And it is working! The strong flavors of the tea are keeping my cravings at bay and I don’t feel deprived at all.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Vahdam Teas
A superior green tea blend with the finest, aromatic Indian spices for a unique Chai experience!
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black Darjeeling Tea
Where to Buy: Vahdam Teas
A certified organic fresh summer black from Okayti. The well manufactured leaves offer a delightful appearance with golden tips sprinkled all over. The tea is elegantly rich and bodied supported by aromas of fruits and berries. Discover zesty notes of chocolate with hints of muscat grapes in every sip. The aftertaste lingers on to a sweet floral finish.
Learn more about this tea here.
I will start by explaining that Vahdam Teas is a new name for an older company, formally known as Golden Tips Teas. This tea was a free sample from my previous order with them; of which I am thankful to try.
Darjeeling to me is perfect for the summer months and today has been a little dull but warm and dry non the less, ideal to review this sample. This tea is certified organic and is graded as: SFTGFOP1 which stands for (Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1). The packaging label also shows the ‘Date of Picking’ which is a bonus and very nice to see. My sample was picked 15th May 2015, so it’s just over a year old. This crop is still available for sale on their website.
As I open the packet and spread a selection of the leaves in my palm I can note: small/medium dark brown leaves, thinly rolled with some curl and a few golden tips scattered about. They have a dry and sour scent with elements of musk and wood.
Steeping Parameters: 3-4g of leaf into a 320ml vessel with boiling water for 3 minutes.
The result is an amber coloured tea liquid that bares the same muscatel, wooden scent as it’s raw form.
Flavour is slightly sour with mild leather and malt flavours with dryness in the after taste. There is also some sweetness which cuts through the sourness a little. The musk is also present but it smells stronger than it tastes. As it cools the sourness tones down slightly but the malt and dry leaf flavour remains dominant and fills my mouth. The dryness increases but remains at a manageable level.
After the steep the used tea leaves are mostly whole and now fully opened, baring a brown colour with a red hue. They have no discolouration or holes/marks and I can see no stems other than those that have broken off from the leaves.
There are a few reasons that I tend to prefer 2nd flush Darjeeling and the main reason is the muscatel flavour/scent. It is unique to Darjeeling and that makes it special, and also a favourite of mine. This is a nice example of a 2nd flush Darjeeling, though the musk is not as strong with this one as it can be. Still, overall it tasted and smelled wonderful which is all I can ask for. And it’s aided me on this warm day beautifully.
Until next time, Happy Steeping!