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Tea Tasting: Red/Black Teas from China & Nepal


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Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, has contributed samples of two interesting red/black teas for this Tea Tasting & Discussion. The first is a Nepal Chiyabari Estate Black, and the second is a Yunnan Golden Tips.

Sets of the samples will go to up to three eG members active in the forums: if you have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past 12 months, or if you have at least 10 posts in the Coffee & Tea Forum, and are interested in receiving the free samples and participating in this TT&D, please read on (this post and the three following soon) and then PM me.

These teas may be brewed 1) "western style" using a small teapot or infuser cup, 2) in a gaiwan, or 3) in a Yixing. Please, avoid tea balls like the plague.

The free 10 g samples are available to members who 1) will do at least one brewing session with each of the two teas, and 2) will report on their experience within one week of receiving the sample and participate actively in the discussion.

Preference will be given to eGullet Society members who have never received tea samples and participated in a Tea Tasting & Discussion, and who have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past year or 10 in the Coffee & Tea Forum. This preference will last one week, until midnight June 3, 2011 (US Eastern). If that sounds like you, please PM me ASAP.

As always, everyone who does not receive a sample is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion.

As I have mentioned in other topics, I have known Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, for some time now, having bought tea from his shop for many years, at least 10 years I believe it is. For the past five years or so Kyle has been instrumental to my tea education through the T-Bar Club at The Cultured Cup. And I have reciprocated by doing presentations on Yixing tea pots and on Japanese Wabi-Sabi style teaware for the T-Bar Club.

Kyle completed his three years of training with the Speciality Tea Institute in 2009 to become the first Certified Tea Specialist in Texas and one of a few in the world. I have had many pleasant times with Kyle and his staff, trading teas and sharing new tea discoveries. More than just a tea merchant I happen to buy tea from, Kyle is a culinary friend as well as a tea friend - the wonderful tea pairings at Sharon Hage's former York Street restaurant and a shared interest in Asian food.

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The preference period for members who have never received free teas for a TT&D ends tomorrow night at midnight. There's also a "waiting list" for those who have participated in the past. If interested, please review the first post and PM me.

And remember, tea newbies welcome!

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Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, has contributed samples of two interesting red/black teas for this Tea Tasting & Discussion. The first is a Nepal Chiyabari Estate Black, and the second is a Yunnan Golden Tips.

Sets of the samples will go to up to three eG members active in the forums: if you have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past 12 months, or if you have at least 10 posts in the Coffee & Tea Forum, and are interested in receiving the free samples and participating in this TT&D, please read on (this post and the three following soon) and then PM me.

These teas may be brewed 1) "western style" using a small teapot or infuser cup, 2) in a gaiwan, or 3) in a Yixing. Please, avoid tea balls like the plague.

The free 10 g samples are available to members who 1) will do at least one brewing session with each of the two teas, and 2) will report on their experience within one week of receiving the sample and participate actively in the discussion.

Preference will be given to eGullet Society members who have never received tea samples and participated in a Tea Tasting & Discussion, and who have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past year or 10 in the Coffee & Tea Forum. This preference will last one week, until midnight June 3, 2011 (US Eastern). If that sounds like you, please PM me ASAP.

As always, everyone who does not receive a sample is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion.

As I have mentioned in other topics, I have known Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, for some time now, having bought tea from his shop for many years, at least 10 years I believe it is. For the past five years or so Kyle has been instrumental to my tea education through the T-Bar Club at The Cultured Cup. And I have reciprocated by doing presentations on Yixing tea pots and on Japanese Wabi-Sabi style teaware for the T-Bar Club.

Kyle completed his three years of training with the Speciality Tea Institute in 2009 to become the first Certified Tea Specialist in Texas and one of a few in the world. I have had many pleasant times with Kyle and his staff, trading teas and sharing new tea discoveries. More than just a tea merchant I happen to buy tea from, Kyle is a culinary friend as well as a tea friend - the wonderful tea pairings at Sharon Hage's former York Street restaurant and a shared interest in Asian food.

Tick Tock. Midnight tomorrow.

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The clock's still running. After midnight tonight (Eastern US time), the remaining free samples will be available to all Society members (see first post for details).

As of now, we have one first-timer signed up. And on the waiting list, one frequent TT&D participant.

PM me ASAP if you are an interested tea newbie or an experienced tea sipper.

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Only ONE set of the free Nepalese and Chinese black/red teas left! If you are interested and have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums OR 10 posts in this Coffee & Tea Forum, please review the first post and send me a PM.

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Tic, tock.

Only one free set of red/black teas left: a Nepal Chiyabari Estate Black and a Yunnan Golden Tips. Available until midnight tonight (US Eastern time).

PM me ASAP if you are interested.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have done a first brew of the Nepal tea and find it fascinating. 2g to 300ml of water off the boil for 3.5 minutes. Dry leaves have a fruity papery darjeeling nose and appearance. Wet the leaves gain a malty note, though look very darj style, with a melange of green and brown spots. The flavor is an interesting cross between the malty assam style and the dryer fruitier darj style. Very interesting. More later after another couple of brews.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Getting ready to give the Yunnana brew now. The dry aroma rich and spicy with a little bit of a cocoa undertone. 2g to 300ml of water off the boil results in a rich malty aroma from the leaves, which are much more uniformly brown, rather than patchy like the Nepal tea. 3.5 minutes of steeping yields a continuing rich malty aroma and a heavy bodied brew. Flavor starts out with a vegetal edge that quickly mellows into a malty-sweetness. That is followed by a long rich aftertaste that I'm having trouble describing at the moment... (sourness from a recent glass of kefir is clinging to my palate and making picking out the tea's flavors difficult right now).

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to Chris (cdh) for his detailed and informative tasting notes, and to Kyle Stewart at The Cultured Cup (TCC) for providing the free tea samples for this TT&D.

I first discovered the Chiyabari Estate Black Tea at a T-Bar Club at TCC a couple of years ago and it has been part of my regular black tea rotation for some time now.

Please feel free to continue discussing these two teas, whether or not you received the free samples.

And stay tuned for a new Tea Tasting & Discussion soon. If you subscribe to the Coffee & Tea Forum you will be among the first to know.

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The weather here has really not been conducive to drinking hot tea lately, but there is more to be said about these two teas... so I've decided to try them out iced.

I went with the Nepal first... 3g of tea, 300ml water off the boil, 4 minutes, then poured into a pint glass filled with ice. This style changes the profile in interesting ways. The bitter astringency comes forward, presenting in a way a lot like walnut skins feel on the tongue. The fruity/malty balance then shifts very much toward the fruity side... the bitterness is a little too dominant in the cold presentation here... perhaps a bit less time in the next brew to see if that can be contained.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Interesting, Chris. I have not tried either iced. But I do sympathize - it's heading for four weeks of triple digits here, with the highest in my area being 109f. I keep a glass of iced water handy when drinking hot tea several times a day, not that I haven't had my share of plain iced tea.

I'll be interested to see what else you come up with for these teas iced.

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