The focus of today’s review is the Zomba Steamed Green Tea from Satemwa Tea Estates, located in the Shire Highlands of Malawi. For more information regarding Satemwa Tea Estates, please visit their website here.
Unfortunately, I got too distracted writing notes to remember to take a photo of the dry leaves, so we will have to do without that part of this review. My only consolation to missing this important photo is the fact that the dry leaves were not very unique in the appearance. Certainly they appeared as good quality and well processed, not to take anything away from these otherwise attractive leaves, but their was nothing notably unique about them compared to some other green teas from other growing regions. Anyway…
Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a pale green to dark green color, with a few very dark (almost black) leaves. The leaves are lightly rolled. All leaves appear to be medium to large fragments. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a very dry, thin, fragile feel. The aroma is very sweet, with scents of light brown sugar, molasses, citrus marmalade, and a very light sweet grass hint.
Nine grams of dry leaves were placed in a 18 ounce (530 ml) cast-iron teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds.
The first infusion had pale yellow color with a jade tint, clear and transparent. The aroma had scents of light grass, white peach or nectarine, and light wood. The body was light, with a lively, almost citrus (lemon or lime) juice texture. The taste had notes of citrus (lime), fresh grass, light mineral (salt), light wood, and very light brown sugar. The aftertaste is sweetly grassy, with a light floral essence being left on the breath.
The second infusion produced a liquor with slightly more jade green than yellow color. The grassy and woody scents dominated the aroma, with the white peach or nectarine scents still present. The body remains light. The taste also was dominated by the grassy and woody notes, with the citrus notes lightening some, and the light salt mineral becoming very light, and the brown sugar almost non-existent. The aftertaste is grassy, with a light floral essence.
The third infusion produced a liquor with the lightest of color among the three infusions, having a light pale jade color with light yellow tint. The aroma and taste have lightened some, but produce the same general notes as the second infusion. One note is the light mineral taste seems to be more of a wet stone taste than a salt taste at this point.
The infused leaves have a light forest green to dark forest green color, with a few leaves being light copper brown. All leaves are small to medium fragments. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a silky, delicate feel. The aroma has scents of wood and fresh cut wet grass.
The Zomba Steamed Green Tea from Satemwa Tea Estates had some rather unique features in the cup, with a lime juice like texture, mineral salt in the taste, and a very sweet and fruity aroma to the dry leaves. This is a tea that I wish I had more leaves in the sample, because I get the impression that some playing around with the quantity of leaf and infusion times may produce a much different liquor. Unfortunately, this sample has been exhausted.
Thanks again to Satemwa Tea Estates for giving me the opportunity to sample this product. I still have a few Satemwa products to review, and as always, I am looking forward to each experience. Cheers!