A refreshing, spring afternoon tea that narrowly escaped being trampled by elephants!
Black tea » Indian » Assam, ★★★★
Nonaipara Estate‘s tea is hearty, fruity, malty and higher in tannin than its sister tea from Dejoo Estate. If the chocolatey taste of Dejoo Estate suits a cold winter morning, then the fruitiness of Nonaipara Estate is best consumed on days that feel like spring.
Characteristic of Assam teas, it’s strong but low in tannin, and only very slightly sweet. It’s a pleasant, high-quality Assam tea but lacks any special, memorable characteristics that might be found in other black teas such as Darjeeling (headiness), Lapsang Souchong (smokiness) or Dejoo Estate (Ferrero Rocher chocolatiness).
I’ve never heard of this tea and there’s very little information about the Nonaipara Estate online so I’m assuming that their production volume is quite low. This could be explained by one article in the Assam Tribune, which tells us that the Nonaipara Estate is frequently plagued by rampaging elephants who forage among the tea bushes (crushing them):
The incident created a furore… frequent trail of death and destruction by the marauding pachyderms, especially in northern Udalguri. The Chief Minister [was]… warned of drastic consequences by the aggrieved people. — Assam Tribune
“Frequent trail of death and destruction by the marauding pachyderms”. We’re lucky to be drinking this tea. ★★★★
Like a shot of melted Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
Black tea » Indian » Assam, ★★★★★
Wow. Hot chocolate tea!
Today, I was lucky enough to receive three single-estate Assam teas, and I’m tasting two of them side-by-side right now. I brewed identical amounts of each in identical shot-glasses with identical volumes of water. My trustworthy iPod was used as a timing device (two-minute brew; nothing added).
The first of these teas, the Dejoo Estate, tastes so good that I’ve finished it after writing just one paragraph! I can taste cocoa nibs and hints of berries in my mouth, and my tongue thinks it can feel the roughness of broken hazelnuts. This tea feels like a shot of melted Ferrero Rocher chocolate. I feel very warmed!
Dejoo Estate is regarded as one of the best in the Assam region. The perfect terroir produces a tea that’s strong without being bitter, and fruity-chocolatey without being woody or astringent. I suggest brewing this tea lightly because it’s quite strong; but you could also get away with a medium-strength brew without bringing out any tannins.
I love single-estate teas because we can find subtle differences in flavour between them. Tea-tasting trains our senses to appreciate subtle beauty in all things around us.
While I drink all my teas naked (by that, I mean without milk or sugar), I’d forgive anyone who wanted to add milk—and thus produce a “milky hot chocolate” out of this tea. Drink Dejoo in winter to feel happy and warm. Let its chocolatey taste surprise and intrigue your guests. ★★★★★