Thursday, August 2, 2007

Kishanganj Snow Bud White

Doke Organic Farm Kishanganj Snow Bud White

This is the second part of T Ching's current only tea tasting event.

The Doke farm from which this tea comes lies about 100 miles south of the Darjeeling region of India, close to the Ganges river in the state of West Bengal. This is a plain that lies below the Himalayan footlands, just a couple hundred feet above sea level. (Gotta love Google Earth!)

The dry tea is pristine, and looks like a high grade white tea with plenty of little hairs. Is this where they got the name "snow bud"? The leaves smell very fresh--sweet and not grassy.

I will follow T Ching's guidelines to brew this: "We recommend using 175 F / 80 C hot water or slightly lower. Use about 1.5 heaped teaspoons (about 6 grams) per 8 fluid oz of water for 3 minutes."

After a quick rinse, the aroma of the leaves reminds me of a sandy beach or the mild odor of a seafood restaurant. The pleasant smell of mild fish with lemon squeezed on it.

The resulting drink is peach in color. It tastes slightly sweet and fruity, like apricots. It is a mild taste, light and ephemeral. The chaqi is strong however, I feel a slight head rush and euphoric mellowness. It packs a mild bitter bite, which is not sour/astringent.

The second infusion, made with slightly hotter, steaming-hot water and brewed for 2 1/2 minutes, yields an even darker color liquor. But it produces a quite bland, flat taste, with a more viscous mouthfeel.

I have quite an energetic tea high!

I liked this, for a white tea. But white teas are not exactly my cup, since their flavor nuances are so subtle. Perhaps this is more suited for a gaiwan, with a higher leaf/water ratio, to make a stronger brew. Has anyone tried it this way?

The verdict: 6.5/10. Pretty good stuff! If not for the subtle flavor, for the strong theine buzz!

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