Changoiwala is the director of India's Gopaldhara Tea Company,
who also owns the Avongrove and Rohini Estates in Darjeeling,
India. Those who have witnessed Changoiwala's tasting methodologies
of Second Flush Darjeelings find them quite refreshing. On
one such occasion he began by spreading out about an ounce
of tea on a large, white card from each invoice sampled. This
was to evaluate the quality of the picking and sorting of
the leaves. The variance between sequentially numerated invoices
was surprisingly noticeable. Some invoices were carefully
picked, others less so.
used 2.5 grams of tea in a 4-ounce taster cup and steeped
it for 5 minutes. The resulting liquor was very strong, much
stronger than the American palate is used to. Milk is often
added to Darjeeling tea in India but that is not the only
reason-it is just as often drunk this strong.
aspect of the tea seemed to have been magnified. The aroma
became more intense, the color rich and clear, and the liquor
strong and complex. This is very similar to the way the Chinese
drink, or rather test, oolongs: the practice of using comparatively
large amounts of leaves, freshly boiled water and a longer
steeping time to try and push out all possible characteristics.
Slurping loudly (as is the custom) after sipping aerates the
hot tea and allows you to taste more completely. This is the
same practice that one follows in a wine tasting.
line-up of eight cups represented eight separate invoices,
or production lots, of tea. Each one was a "separate,"
distinct tea. They all had similar characteristics as they
were produced during the second flush. They all had differences
related to the exact area the tea was plucked in, the elevation,
the garden and the weather when the tea was processed. By
tasting them side-by-side one is able to compare and decide
which teas to select.
More information at www.gopaldhara.com.
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Pursuit of Tea, Inc.