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Darjeeling Gopaldhara Sencha Tea Tasting (Curious Tea)

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It has been a while since I’ve done a session with a green tea. That is why I wanted to brew some Darjeeling Gopaldhara Sencha green tea from Curious Tea. I still have a lot of samples but this one caught my eye because of its smoky flavour profile. Most green teas I drink have grassy or nutty flavours but this one is supposed to be completely different.

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Darjeeling Gopaldhara Sencha

As you can tell from its name, Darjeeling Gopaldhara Sencha comes from Darjeeling in India at an altitude between 1700 and 2100m. This tea closely resembles Japanese green teas, both in looks and origins. I’ll talk about the looks a bit further in this article but it’s interesting to briefly mention the cultivar of this tea. I don’t have a specific name of the cultivar but it is referred to as ‘Japanese clones’. This is also visible when looking at the shape and colour of the leaves. The batch I’m drinking today is from the Spring 2018 harvest, which makes it quite old for a green tea. It’s a shame I didn’t drink it sooner but it is what it is.

The leaves clearly resemble the leaves of a typical Japanese sencha. It’s mostly flat, needle-shaped leaves that come in all sizes. The colour is a darker green that is more or less uniform. The aroma is a pleasant smokiness.

Once the leaves are wet, it’s clear that they have all shapes and sizes. The colour is a bit lighter but it’s still more or less the same green for all the leaves. The aroma is slightly different as I’m also getting some light tobacco now.

Tea Tasting

  • Water 80°C
  • 8g of tea for a 200ml Tokoname Kyusu
  • 6 infusions

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Infusions

1st Infusion (15 sec): this infusion has an intense (not too intense) smokiness to it. It’s unlike any other green tea I have tasted before. The aftertaste is subtle tobacco.

2nd Infusion (20 sec): the colour of this infusion is a bit darker yellow. The smokiness is not as prominent and the tobacco has moved to the front. The finish also consists of tobacco and the aftertaste is slightly tannic.

3rd infusion (25 sec): this infusion has a beautiful golden colour. Softer tobacco and smokiness and some very subtle fruity notes coming through halfway and go on into the finish.

4th infusion (30 sec): colour is a bit less yellow. I’m getting a soft tobacco flavour and light smoky notes. Nothing noteworthy in the aftertaste except that there is a light astringency.

5th infusion (35 sec): the golden tints seem to have greatly diminished and the liquor is very clear now with a soft yellow colour. Mainly subtle tobacco and smoky flavours at the start and some light smokiness in the aftertaste. As was the case during the previous infusion, there is also some light astringency with this one.

6th infusion (40 sec): soft yellow colour and very light smokiness and tobacco at the start. These flavours fade quickly.

Do you want to know what the difference is between brewing tea in porcelain and brewing the same tea in clay? I had a session in which I compared the two. You can read it over here.

Conclusion

This tea was something new for me and I experienced some pretty unusual flavours. The flavours did not change much during the session and were mostly focused around smokiness and tobacco. There were supposed to be some fruity notes as well but unfortunately, I only got some during the third infusion. However, it’s possible that this is because I’ve had this tea for a while and it’s over 1 year old. Maybe if I drank this tea immediately when I got it, the fruity notes might have been more prominent.  In general, this was a pleasant tea to drink once in a while but I wouldn’t drink it every day as the flavours were intense, especially during the earlier infusions. The flavours were good but I’m not a big fan of tobacco flavours in tea. If you, however, like this kind of flavour, you should definitely try this one!

Interested in buying this smoky tea? Visit Curious Tea’s store.

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