Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #44 - Okayti
The exact tea Michael Harney lists in his book is Okayti DJ 480 Autumnal FTGFOP, while the tea I was ultimately able to find was simply "Okayti" from Stash Tea. Harney explains that the DJ 480 in the name means this tea is a Darjeeling from the 480th lot to be harvested that year at this particular plantation.
Over the years I've observed all sorts of tea packaging, but this Stash Tea package had an interesting way of opening. If you look at the top right corner of the bag, you'll see a punched out hole with a little "tab" you pull to open it.
Well, the tab actually comes off and leaves a strand of what feels like a strong nylon thread, and then the bag re-closes like a ziploc bag. Now that was a new one on me! And now, on to the tea ...
Category: British Legacy Black Tea
Purveyor: Stash Tea
Dry leaf appearance: Longish tea leaves that were mostly dark brown, but with a few lighter brown leaves mixed in.
Wet leaf appearance: These tea leaves seemed to open to full leaf size pretty quickly.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 190 degrees, 4 minutes.
Scent: As with another recent Darjeeling, this dry tea smelled of a mix of freshly cut wood and freshly painted paint! It's a very fresh, woodsy smell that I really like. Steeped, this smelled like a roasted tea with a pleasantly fruity finish.
Color: Coppery orange brown.
Flavor: At first cup, I thought this was a pretty good cup of tea, with a nice traditional Darjeeling taste but a bit of astringency. Because I happened to be home all day on the particular day I tried this tea, I made another cup, and then another, and then another. To my surprise, the taste just got better up until cup five, when things started to weaken a bit.
Additional notes: Michael Harney shares a tale I've heard before, that Queen Victoria "found teas from this garden enjoyable" and "pronounced that it was indeed 'okay tea.'"
Next week's tea: Kairbetta Frost Nilgiri tea