Review of Avaata Supreme Nilgiri Green Tea First Flush (Organic)

9 of 105 of 55 of 593 of 100

This is one of the best green teas I've tried to come out of India, or anywhere outside China and Japan for that matter. It also tasted the most like a top-notch Chinese green tea, of any tea I've tried yet from India.

The dry leaf of this tea is very loosely packed, consisting of whole, intact leaves which are large but look quite thin and delicate. They have a pleasant aroma, a lot like a top-grade of tippy Chinese green tea, with a hint of the aroma of hot cereal or porridge, a sort of sweet grainy quality.

Upon brewing, the cup initially smells a lot like hay or straw, a sort of dirty, barnyard smell of straw.

The flavor is beautifully sweet and lightly bitter at the same time, also with a tangy quality. Upon sipping, a lot of vegetal and herbaceous qualities emerge, suggesting asparagus. There's an unexpected spicy note in the finish, almost like nutmeg. As I drink more of the cup, I notice a chestnut quality in the aroma, a lot like dragon well.

This is the first tea I've tried from India that has really captured the essence of the top-quality Chinese green teas, yet it has a bunch of fascinating aromatic notes I don't normally encounter in Chinese teas.

Easily brews a second cup and third cup. I was surprised how well this tea resteeped. The later cups are a little more herbaceous in character, also more oolong-like. The second cup reminded me a little of Darjeeling teas, and I find that with the second and third steep, it tastes more like an Indian tea and less like Chinese green teas.

Not picky about brewing. Came out fine with boiling water...perhaps slightly edgier in flavor, which I liked, but losing a bit of complexity in the aroma. By default I brewed with water around 180F with good results. I also found that not much leaf (by weight) was necessary to produce a flavorful cup. Keep in mind though that the leaf does take up a huge amount of space relative to its weight, so I'd still use over a tablespoon, to get the amount that would be a teaspoon in most teas.

Overall impression? Excellent, and remarkably reasonable price too, under $10 for 100 grams (which goes VERY far for this tea). I think this is quite a steal, and if you enjoy green teas and order from Golden Tips Tea, I recommend snatching this one up.

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