Monday, August 18, 2008

Georgian Old Gentleman

Class: Black
Origin: Nasakirali, Georgia
Year: N/A
Vendor: Nothing But Tea Ltd. (Product page)
Price: £4.65 [$8.67 as I write this post] (100g)

Sorry for the lack of posts lately; I've been working on med school applications and moving into my new place. I have been allotted a small cupboard for my tea stuff, and I have room on my desk for a modest setup.

New tea setup
The first tea I've concentrated on since arriving is this Georgian (the country) black tea, courtesy of Mary R. I am not usually a fan of black teas, but this one was a big surprise. As you can see, I have chosen to use a gaiwan for this session. I filled the vessel about 3/4 - 7/8 full, as the leaf is very loosely packed, and started brewing with a 15 second infusion (which may have been a little short) using boiling water.

Georgian black tea leaf
The dry leaf is long, thin, and twisty. There are some white and golden tips, but for the most part this tea is very dark. The dry leaf aroma is similar to yancha— chocolate and berries— but also smells a bit like Oriental Beauty / bai hao.

Georgian black liquor
The liquor tastes like a more full-bodied bai hao or Darjeeling to me, though with more sweetness and less of the woodsiness than I typically associate with bai hao and Darjeeling. I generally don't like black teas, especially when brewed gong fu style, but this is lovely! I believe Mary and others have commented on how oolong-like this tea performs, and I have to agree. The tea leaves a slight drying sensation on the tongue. Best of all, I do not get the headache that normally comes from Darjeelings!

Notes
Mmm, tea. Thank you Mary!

10 comments:

Wes Crosswhite said...

How many steeps did you get that way?

Brent said...

I got three good steeps before I got too tired and went to bed, but I'm sure I could have squeezed out a few more.

Brent

Stephen said...

I've come across a few Georgian tea companies have also been pleased with the results.

Mary R said...

Oooh! Thank you for the lovely review! I might just snag one of those photos for a desktop wallpaper...

Brent said...

Mary, you're welcome! Let me know if you want a bigger version of one of these pics; I think they are only 800px wide.

Brent

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could try an organic Darjeeling. Your headache may be from pesticides or other chemical. Do you get headaches from any other teas or from wine? It's possibly a chemical sensitivity.

Brent said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for the thought, but organic Darjeeling still gives me headaches. The headache only comes from Darjeelings too; one of those minor medical mysteries, I guess.

Thanks anyway!

Brent

Bill said...

Man, after reading your post and Marshaln's I suddenly have a hunkering for a some black cha!

Brent said...

Bill,

I know, weird huh? I never want black tea, but after this one I'm not so sure...

Brent

vl. said...

One hears weird things about Georgian tea, I can't remember if I ever got to taste it's wonderful qualities though. One may very much doubt whether it is sold in Russia now... But this sounds quite different, I noticed it a few years ago on their site, but never tried, looks like it's quite nice!

-vl.

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