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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: TeaGschwendner’s South India White Oothu Tea

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The Subject: South India White Oothu from TeaGschwendner.


Water temperature: see comments
Steeping time: 2 minutes

Tea type: White
Scents, flavorings, etc.: N/A
Aroma, dry: Fresh, planty, mild
Aroma in the cup, plain: Fresh, planty, mild
Taste, plain: Mild, slightly nutty, no aftertaste
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A

2nd Infusion: About equal to 1st

Chilled: Grassy, nutty

This is one of the teas we purchased during our visit to the TeaGschwendner store in Raleigh, NC. It was a bit of a drive for us, so we wanted to make the most of the trip by bringing home some high-quality teas. This is the first one we’ve tried so far. If it is any indication of the quality of the rest, we did well.

Ever true to the tea principles of the Little Yellow Teapot, we followed the label directions when preparing the hot version of this tea:

3g tea (2 heaping teaspoons) per 8oz. cup of filtered water, boiled and cooled to 70˚C/158˚F. Allow to brew 2 min.
Since this is a full leaf tea, multiple infusions were possible, so we did two. (You could probably do at least a couple more with little degradation in flavor and aroma).

The tea leaves dry:

The tea leaves after two infusions:

Both infusions had a mild, slightly nutty flavor with no aftertaste. The liquid had a light, yellowy color. It’s a tea we can drink anytime and enjoy with foods that have light flavors.

The chilled version was grassy, nutty, and good with or without sweetener. We preferred without. Overall, this is a good light chilled tea.

Our congratulations to Ryan Hinson, Store Manager, and his staff, Richard and Griffin, on an excellent tea.

We had only one issue: organic. This is a very worrisome trend in agriculture that results in greatly reduced acreage yields and higher prices. In tea, this word on the label also means that the tea growers in India and elsewhere have had to jump through some ridiculous and often senseless hoops. Many of these tea growers already use growing methods that do not involve adding a lot of manufactured fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to their crop. Also, despite the perception to the contrary, labeling something “organic” does not assure higher quality. Often, it is the reverse. When will we learn?

By the way, this is a special measuring spoon we got at the store, too. TeaGschwendner labels their teas with steeping instructions that include how many teaspoons of tea to use. As hubby and I were told at the store, this means their measuring spoon size.
Disclaimer: We bought this tea during our visit to the store. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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