I received quite a few number of emails saying that the dry tea leaves of our Darjeeling teas doesn’t have that high aromatic character. I was quite surprised to know this, but realized that its because of the air proof pouches where the tea resides. Most of the air is sucked out while it is being packed and the there is no air inside with the help of which the aroma normally glides. Everything seems to be in a resting position as you open the tea pouch, but with the entry of air, the aroma slowly builds up and if you want this to happen instantly, shake the pouch gently in ‘up and downward’ direction so that the tea leaves are in jumping motion – this gets you the aroma instantly. Sniff close to the container as you are transferring the tea leaves from the pouch to your air tight container, you will get the aroma. Well these are simple things which you may have already discovered, but thought it would help. I am here referring to teas particular packed by us.
Now for a tea tasting session and in order to inspect the characteristics of the dry tea leaves – appearance (also often referred to as texture) and aromatic properties are important. The appearance indicates different aspects of its manufacture and discerns its quality. Leaf appearance can be a complicating character to learn about when Darjeeling tea gardens are constantly improvising their teas, for example, Arya’s Ruby. Our Ruby from First Flush 2011, the ‘honey toned chocolate tea‘ as we would like to call it, is without any green tea leaves when it should have comprised of, pertaining to the classic description of First Flush Darjeeling Teas. Non of the Arya Ruby teas from any of the tea season are known to have green tea leaves – just a few can occur in the Autumnal, but that too is rare. Seems I am deviating from the topic – so that was little I touched on the appearance characteristics of Darjeelings. Now for the aroma – different tea seasons contribute their attributes like for instance, the Second Flush is known for the muscatels. The aroma can also tell a lot about the tea for instance an overfired tea can have a burnt aroma.
Well the aim is to detect the aroma as this topic is. Take a little bit of tea in your palm or place it on your tea tasting card. Make it in the shape of a hill – now with a single finger create a cavity kind of an empty space pressing and circulating from the top of the hill shape you made . It may seem like a short height volcano, but with no lava in it Its not necessary for you to exactly portray a volcano, it may be a plateau with a hole in the middle haha! Make sure your palm is odor free and give it a gentle hot air blow from your mouth in the empty space you created and smell it, viola! You got your aroma. All the aroma from the walls gets formed in the cavity and you can do short sniffs to get the aroma. Keep in mind the hot air blow or your breath is free from previously had food aroma otherwise, the tea will smell the same as it absorbs smell very fast. This I would call it as “Re-firing on palm”. But please note that this action can cause the tea to absorb moisture from your mouth and the quality can deteriorate faster. For steeping (tea tasting) it is recommended that you use another set of dry tea leaves.
There is another way as well to get the real aroma of dry tea leaves, but this action involves moisturizing the tea. If you have an aroma cup (you can use any china cup), put the dry tea leaves, add just 3-4 drops of hot water and shake the cup a little with its lid closed, now smell it – this gives a marvelous aroma which you may not have experienced before. Some people may ask that this is the same as preparing an infusion – yes it may seem so but I would call it testing the dry tea leaves more profoundly as when the leaf is fully infused, its characteristics are shared with water after a certain period of stipulated steeping time. With this you are smelling instantly and not waiting for the tea leaves to steep and there is actually no steeping interval involved. Friends try it yourself and you will know the difference. The fully infused leaves can have a totally different nose.
Well these are the few things I wanted to share with my tea friends, nothing special, but just basic and worth trying for you to fully enjoy your cup of tea. Don’t ask me deep rooted scientific equations for the phenomenon – its just some simple tips got from experience! Enjoy your cup!
Our First Flush 2011 Darjeeling Teas:
Yes, please do hurry if you haven’t purchased our First Flush 2011 teas – some of the teas are already running low for instance, Arya Pearl, Arya Ruby, Giddapahar Classic Delight and Singbulli Clonal Classic Super Fine. We have some Castleton Moonlight left, but is way low than we anticipated. Its one list of good teas we have for you and we hope you guys like it. We don’t want you to miss out on any. We will refund your full money back if you don’t like it and guess what you don’t have to return the tea either First Flush 2011 page
Thanks to all our tea loving friends who have ordered from us. Enjoy the teas!
–> And not to forget the ongoing 40% discount on our Second Flush 2010 teas – still good in quality and very delicious – otherwise money back guarantee Our tea club members are receiving 60… Second Flush 2010 offer page
Happy Tea Sipping!