Tasting Report: Nepal Jun Chiyabari J-215 Autumnal Organic
If like me you have experienced the fun and excitement felt when receiving a Christmas card from your grandmother in the mail, you will easily understand my enthusiasm for a small envelope left on the counter at Camellia Sinensis recently … A mysterious package containing precious samples sent by our producers! On this "gift under the tree," a single clue: "From: Nepal Jun Chiyabari garden / To: Kevin Gascoyne".
I waited so eagerly for this package because Jun Chiyabari is a garden unlike any other ... It has a veritable "Dream Team" for the production of tea: producers whose know-how comes from both Darjeeling and Taiwan, the exploration of the terroirs of the Himalayas with varied cultivars (Indian and Chinese) and benefiting from state-of-the-art Taiwanese equipment! While most gardens in Darjeeling consider the autumn harvest simply as an opportunity to offer teas at a more affordable price and preferentially focus on the quality of the first spring harvests, this Nepalese garden is shaking up tradition and building its reputation on a sophisticated autumn production!
Without further ado, I prepare a first infusion in a Gaiwan following the method of use proposed by the team and take the opportunity to observe and smell the leaves in the dry state: An invigorating minty and pepperry aroma (remember Christmas Candy Canes?) greets me and invites the first sip ...
The liquor is clear and bright in warm orange tones, evoking the color of caramel, candied fruit, and even the crust of a pie baked to perfection (... Nostalgia for Christmas, I’m telling you!) .
The bouquet gives my nostrils warm notes of spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon) and cooked vegetables (carrots, parsnips), enhanced with refreshing fruity accents (muscat, orange, cranberries). Bring these ingredients together and you have an interesting recipe for cranberry stew!
In the mouth, I discovered a complex tea, with many facets and very "rhythmic" in the sense that the perception of aromas involves three distinct phases:
1. The fruity, tangy top notes (apples, orange zest, muscatel) gently indicate their presence.
2. The woody and spicy notes of the body make their entry in rapid crescendo, creating a warm plateau for a few seconds until swallowing;
3. The tail notes offer a surprising gourmet finish of honey, caramelized sugar and chocolate which persist thanks to the phenomenon of retro-olfaction.
The next day, still amazed by this experience of tasting, I feel the need to talk with my colleague John, the quiet master of the tea inventory in the boutique and a really big fan of Darjeeling and Nepal tea. After a few minutes of discussion, he closes his sentence with two words that still resonate in my head:
«It reminds me of a great Darjeeling Samabeong 2006… It was like a CHRISTMAS CAKE !».
In the space of two words, John and I were "on the same page," with the strange feeling of sharing a meal of the holiday season in mid-February.
(Belated Merry Christmas!)
Jean-François, manager of the latin Quarter boutique
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