Ana’s Green Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

Ana_s_greenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

Looking for a flavourful green tea? This signature green tea of Nepali Tea Traders starts from tea bushes high in chlorophyll content, making the tea steeping in your cup a pleasing vibrant green (and an extra healthy brew!). This is a great example of a premium tea grown at high altitude. It’s smooth to sip and tastes fresh, lightly vegetal and sweet to finish. 

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea – Ana’s Green Tea from Nepali Tea Traders – is the last tea left for me to try from Amoda Tea’s box for May.  And I must say I’m really pleased with this tea!  It’s quite lovely!

The flavor is light and refreshing.  There is a delicate vegetal/grassy note reminiscent of lightly buttered green beans.  It’s sweet but not overly so.  It has a smooth character with a slightly tangy astringency toward the tail.

It’s a very invigorating cup of tea – I feel like I can feel the tension of the day melt away each time I take a sip and I start to feel my energy renew and I have an overall sense of calm as I continue to drink this tea.

And it’s good for a couple of infusions too!  I steeped this tea three times and enjoyed each infusion to the last drop!  I found that the later infusions were stronger in flavor than the first and there was a bit more astringency to the second cup compared to the first – but it was still quite enjoyable.

This is the kind of tea that you want to drink when you just want to sit back and forget about the stresses of the day and enjoy a delightfully good tea.

Everest Earl Grey from Nepali Tea Traders

Everest_Earl_GreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This is perfect Spring afternoon Earl Grey. The black tea is light and works to create an elegant blend. With the added sweet orange peel, fragrant bergamot and a touch of Bourbon vanilla bean from Madagascar, this is delicious with or without milk or sugar.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  Earl Grey!  I was so happy to find this Everest Earl Grey from Nepali Tea Traders in this month’s box from Amoda Tea because it’s a tea that I’ve wanted to try for a while now.  I mean, hey, if it’s Earl Grey – you know I want to try it!

To steep this tea, I used my Kati Tumbler.  At first, I was going to use my Breville One-Touch and use the entire contents of the sampler package that Amoda Tea sends in their monthly box, but, I decided that I wanted to have two separate occasions where I could enjoy this tea so I used my Kati Tumbler, measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the basket and poured 12 ounces of boiling water into the tumbler.  Then I let it steep for 3 minutes.

One tip about this tea:  let it cool a bit.  I find that the flavors emerge when the tea has cooled a little – the tea isn’t cold, not even what I’d call lukewarm, but it’s not piping hot.  It’s somewhere between the lukewarm and piping hot.  Not quite “hot” … it’s a pleasantly drinkable temperature.

The first sip or two was a little less than what I wanted in terms of flavor, to be honest.  Then I let it cool a bit.  (Check out the previous paragraph!)  Once the temperature dropped to the “pleasantly drinkable temperature” the flavors came forward.

The black tea is the strongest flavor I taste here – but it’s not a really powerful or aggressive tasting black tea.  It’s on the mellow side.  Smooth, rich but not overly robust.  As the description above suggests, it makes a nice afternoon cuppa.

Then I taste orange and vanilla notes.  Not bergamot orange, but orange.  It’s bright and a really refreshing orange taste.  The vanilla is soft and not quite as creamy as I expected it to be.  It’s more like a sweet accent rather than the creamy accent that I usually experience from an “Earl Grey Creme” type of tea.

I pick up on the bergamot by mid-sip.  It’s not quite as tangy as I normally experience from a bergamot flavored tea.  At least, not until the aftertaste.  In the aftertaste, I get that bergamot tangy note.  During the sip, I notice a sweet, flavorful citrus-y note with a distinct “bergamot-y” type of flavor.

While the bergamot is ‘distinct’ – it’s not as profound a bergamot flavor as I have experienced with other Earl Grey teas.  This is the Earl Grey tea for someone who typically finds a strong bergamot presence to be a bit too much for them, because this bergamot is rather subdued.   Distinct but subtle in it’s approach.

Overall, this is a really tasty tea.  Is it my favorite Earl Grey tea?  No, not by a long shot and if I were rating it according to my Earl Grey standards, it would probably end up with one or two stars on a five star rating scale.  But, I think that the tea itself is worthy of at least a couple stars on it’s own.  This isn’t a tea that would be part of my Earl Grey collection – but I would definitely enjoy having it as part of my overall tea collection.

Himalayan Golden Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

Himalayan_GoldenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This award-winning tea is incredible and unique! Its distinct flavour begins with the soil this tea bush is grown in. In Sandakphu, the soil is golden red and absorbs up the monsoon rains. A mild and silky smooth black tea with flavours of stone fruits and honey.There’s an interesting balance here that is reminiscent of both a Chinese Yunnan and a fine Indian Darjeeling. A Must Try!

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

I was really excited when I learned that Amoda Tea would be profiling Nepali Tea Traders with their May subscription box.  And I’m thrilled to be trying this Himalayan Gold Tea!

As I’m sure that most of you are aware, in April of this year, Nepal was devastated by a major earthquake and a second major earthquake hit them again this month.  Nepali Tea has created a ‘restoration fund’ to aid in the earthquake relief efforts and so I’m very pleased at the timeliness of this box!  This is a tremendous opportunity for you to get some fantastic teas and also help out with the restoration efforts!

And I’ve always been pretty impressed with the teas that I’ve tried that were produced in Nepal.  I can’t think of any teas from Nepal that I’ve not enjoyed, and Nepali Tea Traders are some of the best of the best that Nepal has to offer!

And of the teas that I’ve tried from Nepali Tea Traders, I think that this Himalayan Gold stands out.  The above description suggests that it’s a mild tea, but I don’t know if I agree with that assessment.  I do agree that it’s similar to a Yunnan.  I get those spice notes that I might experience in a Yunnan, although I think that the spice notes here are even more profound than in the average Yunnan black tea.

This isn’t very similar to a Darjeeling in my opinion though, mostly because when I think of “Darjeeling” I think of a lighter, crisper type of black tea that is sometimes more similar to a green tea than a black tea.  I think of the muscatel notes of a second flush when I think Darjeeling.  This might be similar to a first flush Darjeeling, perhaps from the estate of Arya.  It has a more pronounced flavor, with notes of raisin and stone fruit.  I am even picking up on some faint notes of smoke in the distance.

This is more robust than mild, in my opinion.  It’s not as robust as say, a sturdy Assam tea, although I am noticing some similarities to an Assam and this Himalayan Gold.  For example, I taste hints of malty undertones and a slight caramel-y note that I’d enjoy with a good Assam.

Overall, I taste a lot of similar notes to many different teas from different regions – all in this one very delightful tea from Nepal.  I like that I’m getting so many things to enjoy with one tea.  This one deserves high praise – it’s a really, really good tea.

Choco Shou Pu-erh Tea from Camellia Sinensis

Choco_ShouTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

f you’re new to pu-erh, this is a great introductory tea. If you’re not new, you’ll still enjoy its vanilla chocolate goodness. This is slightly earthy and woody, as you might expect from an aged tea. The taste is smooth, rich (there’s mini chocolate chips in this afterall) with a lingering sweetness. Go ahead and try this hot with milk or even as an iced latte.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said on several occasions, I’m usually hesitant when it comes to sampling pu-erh.  I actually have enjoyed most of the pu-erh that I’ve tasted over the years but if I had to choose between pu-erh and most other tea types, I’d probably go with something else.  I’m not a big fan of the earthiness that seems to go along with most pu-erh and especially with shou pu-erh.  And as the name of the tea indicates, shou pu-erh is the base tea used for this Choco Shou Pu-erh Tea from Camellia Sinensis which is the last of the four teas that I’m sampling from this month’s Amoda Box.

And while I don’t usually like that earthy flavor of pu-erh, it works with this particular blend.  The earthiness actually enhances the flavor of the chocolate and gives it a deeper, richer flavor.  So while I may not be all excited about a shou pu-erh, I do get excited about a tea that complements the flavor of chocolate.

Yay chocolate!

So, yes, this is earthy.  But not so much that it knocks me upside the head with a flavor that makes me think that I steeped soil instead of tea.  This tastes much better than I would assume the steeped soil would taste – I’m going to go with that assumption because I’m not going to steep soil and drink it.  Just not gonna do it.

The chocolate flavor here tastes dark and decadent, like an expensive chocolate bar that says 70% cacao on it.  If you prefer your expensive chocolate bar to say “milk chocolate” on it, add a splash of milk to make a latte because this tea tastes amazing as a latte!

To steep:  I used my Kati Tumbler rather than my gaiwan to steep this tea because of the little chocolate chips in the blend.  I felt like the Kati was the better way to go.  I did rinse the tea for 15 seconds before infusing though – you’ll want to do this with any shou to help wash away some of those stronger earthy notes.  After the rinse, I infused the first cup for 2 1/2 minutes in 190°F.  I added 30 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.

I resteeped twice – creating three very flavorful cups of tea – with the first two much more chocolate-y than the third.  The third was still quite nice, just not as much chocolate flavor.

So smooth!  No bitterness (not even from the chocolate!) and no astringency.  Just a deep, mellow, luxuriously chocolate flavor that I would happily drink on a regular basis.  As I said before:  the chocolate flavor lasts through a couple of steeps – I got two very chocolate-y steeps out of the tea before the chocolate notes began to wane.

This tea gets a thumbs up from me.  Quite good!

Nilgiri Coonoor Black Tea from Camellia Sinensis

Nilgir_CoonoorTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

Grown in the hills of the Nilgiris district of Southern India, this is a highly aromatic and light black tea that is characteristic of the region. On the nose, you’ll smell stone fruits and flowers as this steeps. On the palate, you will taste a ton of character: it’s smooth, a little malty, fruity, spicy, floral and slightly green. 

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I fell in love at first sight with these leaves!  Oh my, they’re gorgeous!  Beautiful, whole leaves that have been rolled into long, curly, chocolate-y brown wires.  You can really see the quality of this Nilgiri Coonoor Black Tea from Camellia Sinensis – these leaves are exquisite!

And the flavor is just as exquisite as the leaves!

Nilgiri is one of my favorite black teas because it has some of that malty character that I love in an Assam tea but a Nilgiri is smoother.  There’s no bitterness and it’s not as astringent as an Assam can be.  It’s a little lighter in body/texture than a hearty Assam, but this is still a delightfully robust cuppa.

It’s smooth.  It’s fruity (I taste notes of stone fruit and raisin!)  There are some floral notes that offer a pleasant contrast to the sweet, fruity tastes.  I also taste a honeyed undertone that plays well to the floral notes.

The description above suggests a “green” taste to it and I get that too, it’s like a hint of vegetation to the background.  Nothing strong or intrusive to the ‘black’ flavors of this cup.  It’s more of another layer of flavor rather than something that distracts the palate.

About mid-cup, I start to notice a spice note to this as well.  Slightly peppery, evocative of a Yunnan.  Interesting!

Overall, a stunning Nilgiri, one of the most interesting Nilgiri teas I’ve yet to try.  All you black tea fans out there, this is one you should put on your must try list!