REVIEW: What-Cha – A trio of Nepalese second flush green teas

What-Cha - Nepal teas1-001

Today I’m reviewing three second flush green teas from Nepal that are available for purchase at What-Cha. Over the past couple of months, I’ve tried a couple oolong Nepalese teas that really impressed me because of their unique flavours and high quality, but these are the first green Nepalese teas I’ve ever tried. All of them come from the same tea estate in East Nepal, but my initial reaction to seeing the differences in dry leaf appearance and the aroma of the dry leaf gives me great optimism that this going to be an interesting tasting experience. Read on to see what I make of these teas.

Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea
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Tea and origin: Green tea from Greenland Organic Farm, East Nepal
Link to Cannon Ball Green Tea

Tasting notes:

Dry leaf: It is a beautiful dry leaf made up of large, dark green balls. The dry leaf has a strong florally and sweet aroma

Infused tea: The tea cups out a pale green liquor with a prominent citrus aroma. It is a medium-bodied tea with a moderate amount of astringency. The tea is crisp, with citrusy (lemon-like) flavours and a dry finish

Infusion tips: Infuse four to five balls for two minutes with 75C water. Increase infusion time by 30 seconds with each infusion. You will get three infusions out of this tea. It is very important that the water temperature is right with this tea. It is a bit fussy and if the water is too hot it releases strong tannins

Conclusions: The citrusy, crispy and dry profile of this tea really threw me at first. From the appearance and aroma of the dry leaf, I expected a sweeter tea that has classic green tea characteristics. Instead, this tea reminds me very much of a dry, crisp first flush Darjeeling tea. I recently tried a first flush Phoobsering Darjeeling that has many of the same characteristics

Retail price: 10 grams for £1.93 / 50 grams for £7.00 / 100 grams for £13.13

Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Dew Drops Green Tea
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Tea and origin: Green tea from Green tea from Greenland Organic Farm, East Nepal
Link to Dew Drops

Tasting notes:

Dry leaf: The dry leaf consists of small rolled balls that resemble gunpowder green tea. It has a prominent sweet and vegetal aroma

Infused tea: The tea cups out a pale green liquor with a light vegetal and lemony aroma. The liquor is light to medium-bodied with a moderate amount of astringency. It has a nice complexity of grassy and lemony flavours. With the first infusion, there was a light undertone of sweetness, but this was not present in subsequent infusions

Infusion tips: Infuse this tea with 75C water for two minutes. You will get three infusions out of this tea

Conclusions: I enjoy the way the flavour of this tea develops from the first to the second infusion. The first infusion has grassy and sweet flavours, whilst the second is more grassy and lemony

Retail price: 10 grams for £1.93 / 50 grams for £7.00 / 100 grams for £13.13

Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Sencha Green Tea

IMG_1824
Tea and origin: Green tea from Greenland Organic Farm, East Nepal
Link to Sencha

Tasting notes:

Dry leaf: The dry leaf consist of full, needle-like leaves. It has a strong fresh-cut grass aroma

Infused tea: The tea cups out a pale green liquor that has a light grassy aroma. It is a medium-bodied tea that has complex combination of grassy, salty and seaweed-like flavours

Infusion tips: Infuse for one minute with 75C water. Increase infuse time 30 seconds for each steeping thereafter. You will get three infusions out of this tea

Conclusions: After trying numerous sencha teas from China that were awful, I developed the attitude that sencha tea should be exclusively left to the Japanese. This Nepalese sencha is making me re-think my position. I’ve found that non-Japanese senchas lack the grassy flavours and complexity of Japanese senchas. This Nepalese sencha has a nice grassy touch too it, as well as some salty and seaweed flavours. It isn’t as vegetal as many Japanese senchas, but has a tasty zip of umami

Retail price: 10 grams for £1.24 / 50 grams for £4.50 / 100 grams for £8.44

Conclusions

My Nepalese green tea experience has been great. I love the flavour diversity amongst the teas. All three teas have distinct flavour profiles that range from citrusy and dry to grassy and salty. While I would recommend all these teas, I personally enjoyed the sencha the most, followed by Dew Drops. I never thought I would like a non-Japanese sencha – so, today, I eat crow for all the bad things I’ve said about non-Japanese senchas. I put Dew Drops second because I like how it went from grassy and sweet in the first infusion to more citrusy and dry in subsequent infusions. I hate to say that Cannon Ball is my least favourite because it is a very good tea. It isn’t an everyday green tea for me, but I definitely value its citrus flavours for an occasional change

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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