Tea: Himalayan-Imperial Black

A Black Tea from Octavia Tea - O Organic

Picture of Himalayan-Imperial Black
Brand:Octavia Tea
Style:Black Tea
# Ratings:1 View All
Product page:Himalayan-Imperial Black

Review of Himalayan-Imperial Black

9 of 105 of 54 of 587 of 100
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A mellow, mild, yet fascinatingly novel tea.

This tea tastes a lot more like an oolong than a black tea. The leaf is huge, unusual for teas grown in the Himalayan region. I found it very complex and very enjoyable, but I could see it disappointing if I were expecting a black tea. Most lighter black teas from Nepal (including others I've tried from Jun Chiyabari estate, the garden this tea is grown in) have tasted more-or-less like Darjeelings to me, but this one is completely different. This tea is mellower even than a Darjeeling first flush.

Brews up a relatively light-colored cup with a mild flavor. Aroma is slightly roasty, almost floral, with woody accents. Flavor is mild, with only a light bitterness and light sweetness, very little sourness and very low astringency. (This separates it from Darjeeling first flush and other Nepal first flush teas I've tried, including ones from this same garden.)

Leaves are slow to infuse, and even after a 3 minute first steeping, the cup is less strong than I'd expect for a black tea. Resteeps very well, but requires long steepings.

I tend to think that Octavia is overzealous on the recommendation of the amount of leaf to use, for most of their black teas, but this is an exception. I think you really need a tablespoon of leaf to get the full flavor, in part because the leaf is so big and crinkly, and takes up so much space relative to its weight, but also because the tea itself is subtle, and I think stronger brewing is necessary to draw out its true colors.

I recommend this one if you want to try a black tea that tastes completely new and different. Don't dismiss it just because you've tried other Nepalese teas from Jun Chiyabari; I've tried a number from this garden, and this one is unlike any of the others I've tried.

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