Today’s review will focus on the Rohini Esquire 1st Flush 2014 Black Tea from Rohini Tea Estate. Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates were two of the first estates in the Darjeeling area to generously send me samples of their products to try. If you have not tried a Wonder Tea from Gopaldhara, look for it, because they are amazing teas. However, I do not recall seeing this Esquire product in last year’s catalog, so I was excited to see it in the package of samples from Lochan Tea.
Rohini Tea Estate is located in the Kurseong South Valley of the Darjeeling district of India. To learn more about the Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates, visit the website here.
The sample packet has been opened, and the rolled leaves appear quite different than other first flush Darjeeling teas. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have the typical first flush Darjeeling tea colors of light to dark green, reddish-brown to dark brown, and black. The leaves are lightly rolled, but the rolled leaves are certainly larger than other first flush Darjeeling teas. These leaves appear to be medium and large fragments, and there is a good chance that there are a few whole leaves in the mix. There are a few silver tips, and very few bare stems. The aroma is very attractive, with scents of brown sugar, molasses, sweet wood, spice, and light flowers.
Nine grams of dry leaves were placed in an eighteen ounce (530 ml) cast-iron teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for two minutes thirty seconds, with an additional thirty seconds being added to subsequent infusion.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright golden-yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of fresh spring flowers, wood, light honey, and very light grape. The body is medium-full, with a smooth, velvety texture. The taste is very fresh, and has dominant notes of hyacinth and wood, with a lighter note of honey. The aftertaste and essence are both flowery, and there is a honey-like feel left in the mouth.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a lighter shade of golden-yellow color. The aroma has lightened, but retains the floral dominance, and a light honey scent. The body and texture have thinned. The taste has also lightened, and retains the floral character, although significantly less intense. This second infusion had enough taste to be enjoyable, but a third infusion will not be attempted.
The infused leaves varied in color from light to dark forest green, and light brown to reddish-brown. There are some medium sized fragments, but most of the leaves are large fragments, and there are a few whole leaves. There are more tips than expected. There are few bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture, and tear rather easily. The aroma has scents of wet spring flowers, wood, and a light spice.
This Rohini Esquire was unique in it’s appearance, and the presence of larger leaf fragments than some other Darjeeling teas, but other than that it was a fairly typical Darjeeling tea with regard to the general characteristics of the tea. By no means is that a negative comment on the tea, just to clarify. The aroma and taste were very fresh and floral. The honey-like feel that this tea left in the mouth was also unique. The color of the first infusion was very bright and attractive. The aroma of the liquor filled the room with a very pleasant scent. This was a very nice product, which I have come to expect from the Rohini Tea Estate.
Cheers to Lochan Tea Limited, as always, for their generosity in providing this sample.