Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #45 - Kairbetta Frost Nilgiri Tea

It's funny how the strangest things can trigger a memory! When I first opened this tea, I noticed the small bits of leaf and it reminded me of some of those coffee-ground-looking teas I've had before. Once the water hit it, though, this tea reminded me of flakes of fish food. I've never eaten fish food, but I can attest that this tea is a good one!

Category: British Legacy Black Tea

Purveyor: Upton Tea Imports

Dry leaf appearance: Very fine particles of tea leaf.

Wet leaf appearance: Fish food!

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 212 degrees, 5 minutes.

Scent: The dry tea smelled like bark, but the steeped tea had a much more complex scent with an almost fruity/floral topnote. Almost the faintest whiff of gardenia.

Color: Golden honey! I wouldn't have thought of this comparison had I not had a jar of honey out on the counter behind the teapot.

Flavor: This is perhaps a strange word to use to describe a taste, but the first one that came to mind was "bright." And then, "clean," which is not to say the other teas I've been tasting were dirty. Maybe it's just that the weather outside is bright and sunny and fresh and autumnal, and that's rather how this tea tastes! Had a good bit of astringency, though, so I may try this one again and adjust the amount of tea and/or brewing time.

Additional notes: According to the Harney book, frost tea is made during the cold months from December to February in the Nilgiri mountains of southern India. "The cold weather also allows the factories to wither and oxidize the teas more slowly as well, further developing the aroma compounds to draw out their attractive fruit, floral and spice notes."

Next week's tea: Golden Tip Assam


  1. Thanks for the review. Sounds like a nice tea. The description of it being picked during the frost reminds me of Ice Wine.

  2. Bright and clean sounds like a tea I'd like to drink. I'd like "clarity" as well.


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