Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: Junpgana Second Flush 2018 from Lochan Tea


When you spend time with legendary Tea Man Rajiv Lochan at World Tea Expo, you're sure to be entertained and educated. This 'Ambassador of Tea' sells and grows tea, and is more than happy to talk tea. Rajiv has many years of tea knowledge and his passion for tea comes through loud and clear. If he hands you a sample of tea at World Tea Expo, you know you're in for a treat.

The sample I received is an organic black tea from the Jungpana estate in Darjeeling. This is a 2nd flush tea, picked in late May or early June. The tea was packed on June 6th (World Tea Expo was June 12th-14th), making it extremely fresh. Everyone talks about First Flush Darjeelings, how they are so delicate and lovely. But honestly, give me a 2nd flush (or later in the year), and I'm very happy. I enjoy a more robust tea, and this tea from Jungpana is exactly that.

The dry leaves smell super sweet, fruity, and soft. I love the fuzzy silver buds strewn among the hues of brown. The brewed tea has a very pleasant thickness, and is quite fruity. This combination reminds me of a velvety fruit nectar. It is also a bit floral, with whispers of that 1st flush green-ness. The brew is not nearly as sweet as the dry leaves promised, but still quite enjoyable.

You do need to watch your steeping time with this tea. I used a gaiwan so I could get a real feel for the flavors, but I needed to pay more attention to the steep length. The first time I made it, I got distracted and let the leaves brew for about 30 seconds too long (way too long), and I ended up with a very astringent cup that masked all of the other flavors. Stick with a shorter brewing time and you'll be gifted with a smooth, nuanced cup.

For the catalogue of Lochan teas, you can visit the website here. Thank you for the sample, Rajiv! I look forward to our future conversations.

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