Wednesday, August 1, 2007

T Ching's Kashanganj Snow Bud and Meghma Nepalese Oolong


Earlier this week I recieved my samples from T Ching for their online community tea tasting. They sent 25 g each, well worth the $3 paid for shipping. This is my first time to be involved, and I was looking forward to it. Thanks Mary for the heads up.

Tea: Kashanganj Snow Bud
Origin: Kashanganj, India
Year: 2007 (?)
Vendor: T Ching
Price: $14.50/50 g

The dry leaves are very attractive, clearly hand picked. I have a special affection for white tea, so I played around with this one quite a bit. I started with 3 g/8 0z/185 F/5 min., then I upped it to 4 g, then 3 g for 6 min. The first brew was a little weak, but it had a very nice finish, just a touch of astringency that left a tingly sensation. The second brew was bolder, perhaps just a tad strong. Very similar to bai mu dan. The third was more mellow but still made a statement. The last cup I brewed to T Chings brewing instructions, 6 g/8 oz/175 F/3 min. This yielded the best results. The over all flavor was the same, but it was the smoothest.

I have tried an Indian white before and was not impressed. I think Fujian whites are superior by far, but this tea left me with a good impression. I still prefer Fujian bai hao yin zhen, but this is a close second. I give it a 4.

Tea: Meghma Nepalese Oolong
Origin: Nepal, Meghma Estate
Year: 2007 (?)
Vendor: T Ching
Price: $7/50 g
Certified Organic

I'm a sucker for knowing exactly where my tea comes from--please, show me pictures of the people who picked my tea, so my interest in this tea grew when I found an interview with the owner of the family-run Meghma Estate, Madan Tamang. This guy makes a good oolong, completely hand-rolled and follows a production process similar to what you would find in Taiwan.

My first attempts at gong fu-ing this...well, the results sucked. So I followed the tasting instructions more or less, 5 g/150 ml/195-200 F/5 s. for the first infusion/ and it was much, much better.

The dry leaves are aesthetically pleasant, and so is the liquor, which progresses from a buttery yellow to a rich, honey orange. The taste is very smooth with a natural amber sweetness that reminds me very much of the Golden Needle from Yunnan, yet the familiar fruitiness of a Darjeeling is still present. It's a wonderful combination.

I like this tea, and I didn't think I would to be honest. It's got a great price, tastes good, and its enviromentally and socially friendly; I'll probably buy this tea again. I give it a 4.5.

7 comments:

MarshalN said...

Why did the result suck for the oolong?

I'm going to make that tomorrow. Just seeing what you might've done...

Space Samurai said...

I steeped my first infusion for 45 seconds and it came out very strong and bitter.

~ Phyll said...

SS: 45 secs with lots of leaves (gongfu) on the 1st? That's probably toxic. :)

MarshalN said...

Not if it's a Wuyi tea :)

But yeah, with an oolong like that... it's probably pretty nasty

~ Phyll said...

Marshaln: I thought you do an in-and-out pour for your 1st infusion of Wuyi (with 1/2 or 3/4 gaiwan-full of leaves).

Ankit Lochan said...

hello!

something on the meghma oolong for you:

the meghma oolong tea project is promoted by mr. madan tamang, the guiding spirit behind the creation of meghma agro industries without profit being its primary objective.

meghma oolong is a semifermented tea, which gives a pale brew with a refreshing honey flavour. the taste is reminiscent of spring vegetation and differs from occidental varieties having a goldenbrew and a unique flavor.

it is cultivated in the highlands of the himalayas above 7500 ft around darjeeling. it is the highest plantation in and around this region. the factory is however at an altitude of 9500ft. the tea garden lies pristine in pure and natural enviroment , away from traffic, free from pollution and use of chemicals.

this tea is manufactured by the traditional hand method. the health benefits of this tea are innumerable - some of them are : this tea helps in reducing the cholestrol level thus it goes very well with heavy meals. it also reduces blood pressure and prevents atherosclerotic diseases.

i thought this information may be intresting to youy so i shared it.

thank you for all the efforts.

regards
ankit lochan
www.xanga.com/lochantea

Anonymous said...

hi, AS YOU SAY THAT YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHERE YOUR TEA COMES FROM, I AM SENDING YOU A LINK TO MY WEB PAGE WITH MANY PICTURES FROM JOGMAI TEA ESTATE (MEGHMA). I HAVE VISITED THE GARDEN IN 2007 WITH MY FRIEND SANYOG TAMANG. HOPE YOU WILL LIKE IT. GOOD LUCK. MARTIN FROM PRAGUE
http://www.teamountain.cz/gallery.php?spgmGal=NEPAL/MEGHMA