Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Shan Valley
This tea hails from Pyin Long within Northern Shan, Myanmar. This is also a first flush tea and is an everyday drinking tea. This tea is a reddish color.
Learn more about this tea here.
Although I drink a lot more green tea than I used to, I still consider myself a learner when it comes to my familiarity with different types. This green tea looks like none I’ve seen before. For a start, the leaves are pretty much a uniform dark brown, almost black. They’re also wider than I’m used to seeing, kind of rounded or bowl shaped at the tip, tapering in to a narrow, short stalk. Intriguing! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Udyan Tea
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.
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.
Where To Buy: Shanti Tea
Matcha tea is kind of like a super-powered green tea—since you’re ingesting the whole leaf instead of just the brewed beverage, you get up to ten times the antioxidant effect and nutritional value of your standard green. Matcha’s rich in antioxidants, as well as chlorophyll and fiber, and has been found to have natural mood enhancing effects. All in all, matcha’s got no match when it comes to healthy teas.
Acai Matcha from Shanti Tea is a deep, dark olive green color when you add the liquid to it. In this initial attempt I just did it plain with water specifically to taste the natural green flavors without additives. It smells like leafy green tea when dry and a different sort of a veggie aroma after adding the liquid – almost buttered.
This is much more smooth than I thought it would be and pretty darn good. Many Acai flavored drinks I have had in the past have been either bitter or tart and not smooth or sometimes just plan hard to handle and not very tasty. But not this! This is tasty. Acai Matcha from Shanti is more of a strong green than most flavored matchas I have had and the acai is very much in the back ground and I like that in this Matcha. I like that the Acai is NOT overbearing. This is bold and strong and brothy and I like it.