I have recently been drinking a lot of teas from Nepal. It was not intentional but has been a wonderful experience. I met Organic Tea Leaf at the Chicago International Tea Festival, where I was really impressed with both their tea and their compostable tea packaging. A few months later, they reached out again and wanted me to share more about them and their teas, to which I agreed to due to my appreciation of their brand. They sent me 4 different teas, but I did a steeping analysis of each one so I split each tea into their own review. They also have generously provided a code for all of my readers, “TEAANDME10” for 10% off. Today, I am analyzing Everest Gold. Here are my thoughts:
1st Steep: I steeped this tea for 10 seconds at boiling temperature. I wanted to use my gaiwan for this tea, so I am going to highlight what developed with each steep. There was a hint of malty, smokiness in this tea, with a very smooth character around the tea. The smokiness coated my entire mouth with its lovely flavor. I have never used the term malty before, but this tea really embodied it. It was sweet with a little nuttiness but also had just a mature feeling to it.
2nd Steep: The second steep was brewed for around 20 seconds with slightly less than boiled water. It shared a similar appearance to the first steep, with a golden-honey appearance. But already the taste was getting richer and more developed as it cooled. As a side note, avoid eating banana chips while drinking this tea, it is not a good pairing (I was hungry and they were nearby…never again). I was having difficulty tasting what exactly had changed (dang bananas), but it seemed as if the maltiness had become richer and more savory in my mouth.
3rd Steep: As this tea developed, I started tasting a bit of tannin in the tea. It was brewed for 30 seconds with newly boiled water. I am absolutely loving the way this tea is developing (maybe I am pretty good at this gaiwan thing). It became savory but I felt a calming factor in this tea. It reminded me of sitting in front of a fire with a blanket around me.
4th & 5th Steep: The leaves are getting quite beautiful by this steep, expanding more and more to where I can start seeing a full leaf shape. The aroma is almost a bit caramel-like sweetness with a hint of something else, like a woodsy floral note. The appearance of the tea is still pretty honey-like, with the taste getting bolder. I steeped it for 40 seconds and at boiling water for both the 4th and 5th steep. This tea is getting some attitude with it, becoming bolder and having more character to it.
Ingredients: Organic Golden Tips Black Loose Leaf Tea
Altitude: 5100 ft
Production Date: March 2019
Origin: Matribhumi Tea Estate, Morang, Nepal
Won the 1st prize on Black Tea Category of ITCC Peoples Choice Tea Award at Chicago International Tea Festival 2019
The price of this tea is 10 grams for $2.50, 40 grams for $8, and 150 grams for $25. I think this is a fair price for the unique experience that this tea brings to the palate. Also, another good place to mention that using the code “TEAANDME10” will get you 10% off, so it makes it even more affordable and fairly priced. (A small disclaimer that I will be making a small commission on any purchases made with this code, so any support is appreciated.)
The packaging is another factor that makes this brand and tea unique. All packaging elements are biodegradable and compostable. Their packages, labels, printed-ink, and adhesive all are made of compostable materials, which are completely plastic-free, toxic-free, and carbon-free. Label stickers are made from either corn or sugarcane wastes. They really strive to bring quality tea that not only makes the consumer feel good but also helps the environment.
I hope you enjoyed this review. This is the first time that I have split up a larger review and really focused on one tea at a time. Let me know if you like this format or like all of the teas together. Until next time, Happy Brewing!