Ok, tea friends and readers, I admit here I do not understand what is going on right now with this tea aside from the fact that it is 10 ounces of total deliciousness from a BAG and weirdly, barely steeped! It got SO dark, so quick that I pulled the bag out after only one minute. Looks like coffee, has a pleasant almost tobacco scent dry in the sachet. As you all know I prefer my tea loose, hand-rolled, in 3 ounces of water with 3 grams of tea and never bagged. (I am however not so much of a purist or a liar to not admit to you, as I have done in a prior article that I do use a Keurig and drink 20 ounces of Earl Grey, yes, those evil PODS, every morning. My excuse? It's 6 am and I have to drive my kid to school without killing us both.)
SO! Let me now state. To hell with Keurig pods, I am........wait for it, here it comes, in love with this Cameronian black tea and am buying it post haste. Yes, BAGS!
(IF my reader subscription base falls I will be crushed so relax , take a chill pill and try this tea for yourself.)
I don't even know what the heck it IS, aside from black tea from Malaysia. Let us proceed to learn a thing or two, shall we?
I read this from BOH regarding this tea... "Only the tender shoots of the Manipuri and Rajghur jats are picked to ensure excellence of quality."
Manipuri? Rajghar? JATS?? I have never heard these words before and frankly, I am getting chills because of that! New words! NEW experiences! Ok, moving on I next read, "This is an exquisitely balanced blend bursting with a rich aroma for a delightfully smooth and heart-warming cup, anytime."
This last bit is totally true. It is indeed balanced and rich and smooth and very heart-warming.
And now ten minutes later, I decide to either erase everything I just wrote above, or 'come clean' with the story that literally just unfolded two minutes ago thanks to my husband.
I was drinking this amazing brew, marveling at it, and husband passed by and I said "Smell this! Doesn't this have a deep coffee color and almost a coffee taste? Isn't this amazing?" to which he replied, "Um, I just had a Keurig pod of Trader Joe's Columbian and I might have forgotten to take the pod out of the machine after I made my coffee?"
DAMMIT! Laughing and cursing and feeling like an idiot! That aside, it was a really good 10 ounces of a blend of second hand coffee from Trader Joe's and a little of the Boh tea.
And now for something completely different but equally true!
This is a lovely black tea, and it is indeed more smooth and balanced tahn a LOT of black teas I have made for myself, albeit always loose and gone fu cha style aside from my Earl Grey pod habit.
I won't even say "for a bagged tea made of fannings this is surprisingly good." I will simply state that it is REALLY delicious and far beyond anything I had expected. And yes, even though I now understand it is not the drink I initially thought it was, I am STILL considering buying tea-bags of the Cameronian Gold to carry with me in my purse, for it is far more worthy than any tea bag tea I could have hoped for, and I AM getting out of the house more these days now that the weather has become gorgeous fall.
Check out Boh's other offerings! I have tried the Peppermint and found it superior to others, and helped my tummy-ache a few night ago, I felt blessed to have it in my purse after a heavy meal out.
OK, happy and embarrassed at my idiocy ends right.......NOW!
A tricky proposition with varied and sometimes shocking results? Of what do I speak? Doing Darjeeling Gong Fu Cha style!
Ok, easy now. I can feel you all getting edgy thinking I am on on a fools errand and to forget it. Darjeeling done badly, can be bad. However, my peeps, done well, after three days of trying various grams of tea, amounts of water, types of water, temperatures and steeping time can indeed yield something fabulous.
SO! Do I tell you about all the unfortunate wastes of tea while I tried to figure it out or tell you the secrets of my success?
Well, firstly the tea has to be superior. Get a pen and write this down, tea-heads. Yatra Tea Company,
First flush Darjeeling, Thurbo Estate, 2017 harvested April. Start simple, kids. How about three grams, measured properly and perfectly in a gaiwan holding 12ml with water temperature at 205f?
Try it and write me and tell me if YOU had the success I did! Need some tea? I've enough to share to share a 3 gram sample of this delicious tea to my top 10 readers.
"Thurbo has flourished in the idyllic Mirik Valley in Darjeeling since 1872. The combination of premium China and Assam hybrids, strewn across the almost 450 hectares of growing area, with the indigenous varietal, results in a remarkable tea with unique character. Coupled with the typical climate of a hilly area - cooler temperature and diffused sunlight - the result is truly unparalleled."
Have I had a green tea from India? With all the Indian teas I've had, one would think so but in my memory I have not. Certainly not like this one from my new favorite tea company Yatra Tea.
So, to begin. Yes, this is an Indian tea so why am I brewing it Gong Fu style, you ask? Because that is how I roll, my dudes. I am sure the tea would have been a delight even had I followed the instructions Yatra was so good to put on the bag which was 2.5 grams for 6 ounces of water at a steep time of 3 minutes at 185f.
But yeah. Not happening. The best way to delve deeply and quickly into what a tea's basic qualities are is Gong Fu. So I measured out a 'whopping' 3.5 grams, and used a 100ml/3 ounce gaiwan.
I did follow the temperature advice for the first two steeps. I did not flash-brew but I most certainly didn't wait three minutes either. I would say all three steeps were approximately 40 seconds with perhaps the third closer to 60.
The smell in the bag is not surprising, fresh and grassy and sweet. Here I am heating the gaiwan as the tea awaits a dry steam-bath to get it ready for brewing. Put the dry tea in the empty heated gaiwan, let it sit covered a moment and then slipped my nose in there under the gaiwan's lid. Scent was delicious.
First steep at 185f was light but hinted at something very subtle and reminiscent of something else, some other kind of tea, something I adored but couldn't quite place. But I pushed that thought aside for an immediate second brew, same parameters. Color really came out and this time I began to feel more like I was tasting a green oolong, perhaps even something like an Oriental Beauty?! Third steep I kicked up the temp to 195f and let it steep almost 1 minute. Not a hint of bitterness, just pure joyful flavor. And yes, very reminiscent of my favorite tea, an unroasted Oriental Beauty oolong! Very cool!
This is highly worthy of your time, fellow tea-heads and constant readers, check it out and let me know what you think!
Origin, Kangra, india
Season, First Flush 2017
Harvest month, April 2017
Very refreshing and by refreshing I mean my spirits, my soul, my gut, 'everyone' is happy right now as I write this!