Today’s review will focus on the Hyson grade Green Tea from Craigmore Plantations, located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. I covered the Craigmore Plantation in good detail on my previous review of the FOP Supreme Grade Black Tea. Click here to see that review and to read more about Craigmore Plantation.
All of the green teas produced at Craigmore Plantations are manufactured at the Pascoe Woodlands Factory. All of the green teas produced at this factory are pan-fired, not steamed. The tea bushes that are harvested to produce these green teas are considered High Grown, with average elevations of 5,500 feet (1,675 meters) above sea level.
The labeling of this product as “Hyson” may cause frustration with some people, but we will let them voice their opinions on their time. The manufacturer has labeled this product as “Hyson”, thus I am using that name. The sample packet has been opened, and an earthy aroma is being detected. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves range in color from dull forest green to very dark green, almost black. The leaves are all large fragments, with the possibility of a few whole leaves. There are a few stems in the mix. The leaves are tightly rolled (machine), causing some to curl significantly. The color of the leaves is evidence of the pan-firing technique. The size of the dry leaves indicates that larger, more mature leaves are being harvested to produce this tea. There are no tips in the mix. The aroma has scents of forest floor, animal hide, light molasses, and dry grass.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for 3:00 minutes.
My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 175°F (75°C). Infuse the leaves for 1:30 to 2:00, maximum. Expect to get three quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a pale yellow-jade green color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of earth (forest floor), mineral, grass, and light flowers. The body is medium, with a gentle, velvety, clean texture. The taste has notes of grass, mineral (wet stones), and light flowers. There is a medium strength astringency. The aftertaste continues the grass and mineral taste, and a light flowery essence can be felt on the breath.
The infused leaves have a uniform forest green color, with a few spots of light brown. The leaves are all medium to large fragments. There are some stems in the mix, including the one pictured, which measured nearly four inches (100 mm) long. The fragments come from rather large, mature leaves, similar to those that I have found in Hyson/Young Hyson green teas from Sri Lanka. The leaves have a very smooth, thin rubbery texture. The aroma has scents of wet grass, forest floor, and wet stones.
Overall, the Hyson Green Tea from Craigmore Plantations is an interesting detour from the more well known and recognized green teas of China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Again, it has some similarities to my favorite green tea from Sri Lanka, but this product was missing some of the liveliness, consistency from infusion to infusion, and taste components that make the Ceylon Big Leaf Green Tea from Radella Tea Estate my preference. This green tea from Craigmore does has a clean texture that I found pleasant, and overall the aroma and taste were enjoyable. The aroma of the dry leaves was unique, but some may find it off-putting. Again, if you have been drinking plenty of Japanese or Korean green teas, and want a drastically different profile in a green tea, then the Craigmore Hyson Green Tea will satisfy that desire.
Thank you to the management of Craigmore Plantations for providing this sample of Hyson Green Tea. It was a great experience! Cheers!