2021 Nilgiri Handmade Black Tea
Indian estates have been redefining the boundaries of traditional black tea and taking it more and more away from the classic red tea or hong cha which once was the only dimention for black teas. This one even further blurs the line between black and whites, a minimally processed black tea, with a limited oxidation and delicate handling done completely by hand, we can honestly get away with calling it a white tea. With black teas here, the aim of the first harvest season of the year is to preserve the fresh growth juices and yet make it shine through the processing method we understand the most, orthodox black tea processing. The leaves develop all these intense and fresh winter/spring notes only after it is left to oxidise post rolling, that is when the tea is undergoing the controlled oxidation process and the leaf juices interact with each other resulting in these interesting flavours.
This particular tea though, goes through a bunch of unique steps. The withering is done using cold air instead of hot air. The temperature increase also happens by hot water opposed to flames. This adds a stability to the temperature and helps with preserving the leaf character. Also, the tea is hand rolled on a purpose built Sri Lankan wooden board and we have seen the big difference it makes, in India as well as in Sri Lanka tea estates we visted a few years back.
The dry leaf has a soothing flowery aroma with notes of rose dominating it. When placed on the heated ware, the same flowery aroma shines with a significant honey aroma. In the liquor, the first few drops taste like saffron and then you can feel the notes of yellow flowers coming to the front. The mouthfeel has just a touch of dryness with speckles of mint notes. The wet leaves smell slightly nutty and has notes of rosewood, which make their way into the liquor during the later steeps or when it cools down if brewed western style. The tea has musky notes, a part of the yellow flower character/notes. There is a fruity note resembling apricots and oranges on the finish.
We hope you enjoy this carefully crafted tea to the fullest!
Appearance : Yellow
Taste : Rose, honey, apricot, orange, mint, rosewood, saffron
Steeping Time : 4 minutes western style, 20 seconds gongfu style adding 5 seconds every subsequent steep
Leaf Quantity : 4 grams per 120 ml for gongfu and 4 grams for 400 ml western style
Recommended Steeping Temperature : 80°C
Recommended Steeping Method : All brewing styles works great with this