Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tasting: Kanchanjangha Noir from Nepal Tea

The tea in my new favorite cup
Have you tried teas from Nepal? The terroir there produces unique flavor profiles that can't be found in other areas. There are sometimes whispers of Darjeeling-esqe notes as well, depending on the processing. The culture and tea production in Nepal is quite rich, with so much to learn and experience. It's not easy finding information on tea growing in Nepal, but this is happily changing. I wish I could attend World Tea Expo this year to check out a focused tasting all about Nepalese teas. Alas, I can't be there in person this year, so I expect all of my tea friends to share their Expo experience with me.

I was so excited to try it that I didn't get a picture of the unopened packet!

Since I have Nepal on the brain, I remembered I still had a few samples from Nepal Tea to try. I couldn't decide which to select for this tasting, so marketing won the day. I love the elephant on the label for the Kanchanjangha Noir, so that's what I selected for this tasting. Hey, sometimes you just need to go with the prettiest packaging.

Nepal Tea describes this black tea as:
The high elevation of the tea bushes results in a fresh fruity/ flowery aroma with hints of caramel. The malty flavors and taste notes such as raisins and dark chocolate is prominent in all flushes of KTE black tea.
The dry leaves are extremely sweet, fruity and chocolatey with a slight floral something lingering in the leaves. The infusion smells sweet, of fruit and chocolate. The taste delivers on the sweet fruity flavor, with something reminding me of the muscatel found in Darjeeling black teas, along with raisins, cooked sweet potato, and a little bit of malt. This tea has the comfort of a warm kitchen after roasting root vegetables on a chilly winter evening. Inviting and cozy.

There is also a quiet murmur of something floral in this brew. If I knew more about plants I could tell you what type, but it remains a mystery I hope to unlock some day. I love that there is no astringency whatsoever in this tea. It's round and smooth with a full body. Slightly dry, but just slightly so. After all of the flavors start to dissipate, there is a lingering chocolate note that sticks around. Quite a nuanced, enjoyable sip.

This is a delicious tea that I found myself craving the next day. Looks like I'll have to replenish my supply! Thank you to Nepal Tea for this sample.

If you are attending the World Tea Expo this year, I hope you're able to attend the Nepalese tea tasting. If you do, please enjoy and let me know all about it.

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