Happy Diwali! It’s a festival of light, and I’m hoping this India Nilgiri Winter Frost Black Tea is just that! I need some black tea to kick me into high gear for a day of studying, and I want it to bring me some light on a dull, dark day. What-Cha describes the tea as “A light crisp tea with honey notes”, which sounds perfect! I love fall, and the trees are beautiful right now, but a little sunshine wouldn’t hurt. Let’s hope there’s sun in this cup.
The tea was harvested in February (2015) in Parkside Tea Estate, Nilgiri, India. I appreciate that What-Cha puts that on the label. I open the packet to find little crispy flakes in brown and green. The tea is surprisingly light in colour, with lots of gold and green bits. It smells metallic at first, but then as I wait and savour the aroma, I smell rich plummy notes and soft hay. Now it reminds me of toasted whole wheat bread, which is making me hungry for breakfast!
I steep a heaping teaspoon in boiling water for 2 minutes. The tea is not very dark at all. I normally do a first steeping for 30 seconds, but this is so pale, I want to leave it longer. I finally pour it when it’s a lovely, light peachy rose colour. It looks like rose gold… luxurious… and it smells sweet like plums, apricots, and hay.
The first sip is light, clean, crisp, and fresh. The flavour in the mouth is velvety smooth and a bit like plums. But it also has a nice light tea flavour which is very satisfying. The end notes are of tea and honey… a little bit sweet… but not too much. The overall flavour is a really nice light black tea with no bitterness. Today is so dark and dull, I couldn’t handle the earthiness of a dark black tea. It would weigh me down too much. This one is so light, it’s more uplifting.
A second cup, steeped for 90 seconds, is much lighter in colour… a pale rose-gold. The flavour is lighter too. It’s a light tea taste, with a gentle, sweet hay aftertaste. There is absolutely no bitterness, but maybe a tiny little hint of astringency at the end. This is a very satisfying black tea for a dark morning. It has enough tea flavour to feel like a black tea, but also enough light to keep you from being sucked down into the earth… always a danger on a dull day!
Happy Diwali! Happy Fall! Happy light in a teacup to you all today! And to me… Happy homework!