Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea From Lumbini Tea Valley

Today, I will be reviewing a jasmine scented green tea from Sri Lanka. This is the Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea from Giri, one of the brands produced by Lumbini Tea Valley.

Check out my company spotlight post on Lumbini Tea Valley, which has been updated with more information on the details of the estate, cultivars grown there, as well as some beautiful photos. The photos made me appreciate these products even more.

My six year old son is with me at my office, and this boy loves jasmine green tea, although usually the type sold at his favorite Thai restaurant that is served in a can and has sugar. But, he can enjoy it without sugar, if the mood catches him. That was my inspiration for opening this sample packet today. Once I started checking the leaves out, observing the jasmine blossoms, and feeling the aroma, I decided to give it a little extra attention. This has a very high quality look and aroma to it.

This style of green tea is said to be grown in the higher altitude regions of Sri Lanka. If this is true, then I believe these tea leaves were not necessarily grown at a Lumbini Tea Valley estates, but brought in from perhaps the Nuwara Eliya area, or somewhere near there.

Let’s get to the review…

20180329_100435
Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea – Dry Leaves

The dry tea leaves have a almost uniform color, with some slight variation in the pale forest green tone. The jasmine flowers have a pale yellow-white color, and are whole flowers, not just petal fragments. Some of the tea leaves do show oxidation spots, as is common with this style of green tea from Sri Lanka. The leaves are quite large, again common, and there are no bare stems or buds in the mix. The leaves are loosely rolled, and quite fluffy. These Sri Lankan green teas can unfurl into some of the largest tea leaves one will ever find in their pot. Although larger leaves are considered of lower quality than fresh, young, smaller leaves, nonetheless they are interesting to observe. The aroma is obviously dominated by potent scents of fresh jasmine flowers, but there are also scents of mineral and a touch of wood smoke from the green tea leaves that are not difficult to feel. The jasmine scent is very clean and natural. I do not get the feeling that it is too perfumey, exaggerated, or fake. This is a very pleasant scent of jasmine.

Seven grams of dry leaves were placed in an eighteen ounce (530 mL) cast-iron tetsubin teapot, and infused with 175°F (80°C) water for 2:00 minutes.

20180329_101342
Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea – Liquid

The tea liquid has a clean, pale, light yellow color, clear and transparent, with no oily residues or other signs of additives. The aroma is dominated beautifully with scents of fresh, pure jasmine flowers, and a touch of wet stones and minerals. The body is medium, with a silky, light texture, and a crisp, refreshing energy. There is no bitterness of astringency. The taste is also dominated by notes of fresh, pure jasmine flowers, and notes of wet stones and minerals. The aftertaste carries the fresh, sweet jasmine character, which pleasantly and lightly lingers on the breath.

20180329_125243
Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea – Infused Leaves

The infused leaves are mostly a uniform dark forest green color, with some reddish spots of oxidation. Some of the leaves also show signs of the pan firing process, having some small holes and light char marks. The jasmine flowers are a pale, yellow-white color, and all are whole flowers. The tea leaves are mostly large fragments, some unbroken leaves, and all are individually plucked. There are no buds or bare stems. The leaves are fairly mature, and some are very large. The leaves have a thin, wet leathery feel. The aroma carries the scents of fresh jasmine flowers and minerals.

20180329_125354
Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea – Large Leaf

In fact, as you can see in the photo above, I found exactly what I mentioned above of what can happen with these Sri Lankan green teas, the largest leaf I have ever found in my teapot, and it is not even complete and unbroken. This fragment, which is about 85% of the whole leaf, measured over 4 inches (100 mm) long, and 2.5 inches (62 mm) wide. The whole leaf would have measured around the 5 inch range. This leaf got paraded around the office. For some reason, no one else seemed to share my excitement for this treasure.

No exaggeration on this statement, this Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea is in my top two jasmine scented tea products. It may even be in the number one spot. The jasmine aroma and taste are so clean, so pure, and so fresh, that I really could not get enough of it, and neither could my six year old son. So many other jasmine scented products smell and taste so fake, it honestly makes me not feel well. This tea, on the other hand, was simply a pleasure to experience. Just a perfect blend of sweet jasmine and mineral notes to make a unique, refreshing, uplifting tea. Of course, the visual observation of the tea leaves and flowers was also an excellent part of this review. Quality theories aside, observing these huge, mature leaves is fun for me. This is a top-notch jasmine scented tea, in my opinion.

Many thanks to the management at Lumbini Tea Valley for providing this sample of Jasmine Ceylon Leafy Green Tea! Cheers!

Advertisements

Look at These Leaves From the Radella Young Hyson Ceylon Green Tea!

How many green teas do you find that have leaves measuring four inches (100 mm) long by two inches (50 mm) wide? If I am to be conservative on the average length or the tea leaves that you will find in the Radella Young Hyson Ceylon Green Tea from The Tea Journeyman Shop, I would say the average length is two and a half to three inches (63 to 76 mm). I challenge my tea friends to post a picture with green tea leaves that are larger!

Radella Young Hyson Ceylon Green Tea - Large Leaves
Radella Young Hyson Ceylon Green Tea – Large Leaves

These leaves give the tea a strong mineral note, and can easily produce four or more infusions of great smelling and tasting tea! This tea is much different than any other green tea that I have ever experienced, and that is why I decided to offer it on my webstore. Experience this unique tea for yourself by visiting The Tea Journeyman Shop!

For the full review of the Radella Young Hyson Ceylon Green Tea, click here.

Young Hyson Green Tea from Radella Factory, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

UPDATE: The Radella Ceylon Young Hyson Green Tea is now available for purchase at The Tea Journeyman Shop! Click Here to view and purchase this unique green tea from Nuwara Eliya district, Sri Lanka.

Here is a Young Hyson Green Tea sample that I received from a source in the Uva District of Sri Lanka. This tea is from the Radella Factory, located near the town of Nuwara Eliya. One thing that is great about the tea industry is the great people that you interact with along the way. The man who provided these samples, Eranga, is one of those people. He has introduced me to many interesting Sri Lankan teas, and several of these Young Hyson green teas have been very unique. Eranga has become a friend of mine, as well as a great resource in the industry. Thank you very much, Eranga, for your generosity and assistance along the way.

I originally opened this sample packet to use during a tea tasting event with some friends, when I noticed how large and impressive the infused leaves were. This tea was in the top three favorite teas among that group of ten people. For the past two weeks, I have been excited to get around to doing this review.

Let the journey begin…

The dry leaves have a light green to dark green color. The leaves are quite large, and most appear to be unbroken, rolled leaves. There are few bare stems in the mix. The aroma has scents of dry grass, sea mist, and forest floor.

Radella Young Hyson Dry Leaves
Radella Young Hyson Dry Leaves

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds.

Radella Young Hyson 1st Infusion
Radella Young Hyson 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright, pale yellow color and a light green tint, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of fresh kelp and sea mist. The body is light, with a soft, clean, refreshing feel. The taste has notes of kelp, sea mist, and mineral (wet stone). The aftertaste is soft and floral, and a mineral (metallic) feel is left on the tongue. Drinking this tea gives me the sensation of taking sips of water from a fresh, clean spring. It is incredibly refreshing and uplifting, despite a fairly brief list of tastes.

Radella Young Hyson 2nd Infusion
Radella Young Hyson 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a deeper shade of pale yellow and light green tint. The aroma retains the grass, kelp, and sea mist scents. The body and feel have thickened slightly, to a light brothy state. The taste has strengthened slightly on the grassy kelp taste, but the sea mist and mineral tastes remain, as well. Although I did like the first infusion better than the second, I think the third and fourth (if possible) may balance out to resemble the first infusion. This second infusion was quite tasteful, but not as clean and smooth as the first infusion.

Radella Young Hyson 3rd Infusion
Radella Young Hyson 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor with a color that is quite similar to the first infusion. The aroma retains the kelp, grass, and sea mist scents. The body has lightened, and is more similar to the first infusion. The taste has balanced very nicely, with the grassy/kelp notes lightening and the mineral notes holding even. The metallic feel on the tongue also returned in the third infusion. This infusion was overall better than the second infusion.

The fourth infusion lost very little strength in all aspects. If I had time to keep infusing these leaves, I would have loved to see how many infusions they could provide.

Radella Young Hyson Infused Leaves
Radella Young Hyson Infused Leaves

 

Radella Young Hyson Infused Leaves (2)
Radella Young Hyson Infused Leaves (2)

The infused leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color. Many of the leaves are whole and unbroken. Some of the leaves measure over two inches (>50 mm) in length. The leaves still have a leathery feel, and some appear to be more mature leaves. The leaves have a fresh grass, hay, and wet forest floor aroma. There is a very light sweetness in the aroma, but it was too light to identify.

This is an intriguing green tea. The large, seemingly mature leaves, and the clean, refreshing feel of this tea puts it high on my list of preferred green teas. This tea would be a perfect beverage to enjoy on a brisk spring or fall morning while in the woods. The energy of this tea calls me to nature. Unfortunately, my bamboo plant in the vase full of river rocks and spring water is the closest I can come to that calling right now.

Thank you again, Eranga, for providing such an amazing green tea. Cheers!

Pan Roasted Green Tea from Amba Estate (Plucky Teas), Sri Lanka

Today, I am going back in to my package of samples from the Ambadandegama (Amba) Estate, in the Uva province of Sri Lanka. After the high praise that the OP1 black tea from Amba earned from me in a previous review, I have been excited to get back to this box of samples.

Although the vast majority of tea production in Sri Lanka is in the form of black tea, there are certainly some high quality green teas produced on the island nation, as well. Amba Estate uses a fine pluck on all of their teas, picking only the bud and first leaf. The teas are hand-crafted, and truly artisanal in quality. Look for reviews of some of their other artisanal teas in the near future.

For more information on the Amba Estate, please visit their website at http://www.ambaestate.com.

In my ongoing attempt to be able to publish more reviews in an increasingly time-efficient manner, I will be shortening the second and third infusion descriptions. Essentially, I will provide the photos of the infusions, and simply note any significant differences from infusion to infusion. I am also cutting down the verbiage related to the brewing method. I will find better outlets for my more interesting written pieces. 🙂

Now, let the journey begin…

Amba Green Tea Dry Leaves
Amba Green Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves of this green tea have a wide range of colors, from dark green to brownish-green to black, and even some silver tips mixed in. It is obvious that this tea is pan-fired. The leaves vary in size and shape, and are rather tightly rolled. There appears to be fully intact leaves, as well as fragments, but very little crumbs or bare stems. Some leaves show the fine pluck quite well. The aroma has scents of toasted seeds, sweet hay, and sweet wood. The aroma is certainly unique, sparking my interest in how it will translate in the cup.

Five grams of dry leaves were placed in the 8.5 ounce (240 ml) Kyusu teapot. Leaves were infused in 175°F (80°C) purified water for one minute.

Amba Green Tea 1st Infusion
Amba Green Tea 1st Infusion

The liquor has a golden-yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma has layers of sweetness, from ripe tropical fruit to brown sugar to sweet hay. Scents of toasted seeds are also present. The body is medium, with a mouth filling feel. The taste has notes of toasted seeds, sweet hay, and a slight fruitiness. There is moderate level of astringency through the aftertaste, with a slight floral note. The floral essence resonates in the sinuses for a nice duration.

Amba Green Tea 2nd Infusion
Amba Green Tea 2nd Infusion

The second infusion has lightened considerably, balancing out the flavor and lightening the astringency some. Same general aroma and taste notes.

Amba Green Tea 3rd Infusion
Amba Green Tea 3rd Infusion

Third infusion again lightened considerably. Lighter taste and aroma. Astringency remains moderate.

Amba Green Tea Infused Leaves
Amba Green Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves range in color from fresh green to light brown. The fine pluck method is evident in many of the leaves. There are some fully intact leaves with buds, and some fragments. There are no bare stems. The leaves carry the aroma of toasted seeds, almost toasted grains, wet hay, and a slight woodiness. The leaves feel strong enough to produce an additional infusion, although I suspect the taste would be quite light.

This Pan Roasted Green Tea is certainly one of a kind. Every aspect of this experience, from the look to the aroma to the taste were evidence of the pan roasting that this tea had been through. The aroma of the first infusion was sweeter than I expected it to be. The astringency was also stronger than I expected, but perhaps I am somehow responsible for that. I am still getting used to the kyusu, and finding the appropriate amount of tea to put in it. I am always excited to try something new, and although I am not as big of a fan of this green tea as the OP1 black tea from Amba, this is definitely a tea worth experiencing. Many thanks to Amba for sending this sample to me, and I look forward to the next review.

Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea from Uva Halpewatte Exports

Nothing is more exciting to a tea enthusiast than receiving a package of fresh samples from their favorite estates. Recently, I have received two packages from two estates in the Uva region of Sri Lanka. If any of you have read my blog somewhat consistently, you already realize that Sri Lanka is my favorite black tea producing country. The bright color of the tea liquor, the brisk yet citrusy scents and tastes, and the sweet, fruity smells of the dry tea leaves truly make me happy.

These packages, however, are giving me an opportunity to explore two sides of the Sri Lankan tea industry that I am less familiar with: green teas and artisanal teas. Before receiving these packages, I only had an opportunity to taste one Sri Lankan green tea from the Idulgashinna Estates. I was quite happy with that green tea, and have been looking forward to trying out more green teas from other estates. Well, that opportunity has finally arrived. These two packages include eight different varieties of Sri Lankan green tea!

Today’s review focuses on an OPA#2 that was sent from the Glassngh factory, courtesy of a good man, Eranga, at UHE. A pleasant surprise has struck me as the sample pack is opened, a smoky aroma! Eranga seems to have read my mind, as I have been looking for a smoky and earthy green tea to use as a base for a new Moroccan Mint blend. Well done, Eranga. Let the journey begin…

Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea Dry Leaves
Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves of this OPA#2 Green Tea range in color from light to dark green, as well as some light to dark brown leaves. The leaves appear to be lightly rolled. There is much variation in the size and shape of the leaves. There appears to be both fully intact leaves and fragments, as well as some mostly bare stems. The aroma is smoky and earthy.

The standard method of preparation was used for this sample. Purified water was heated to 175°F (80°C). Nine grams of dry leaves were placed in a twenty ounce (570 ml) cast-iron tetsubin. The leaves were infused for one minute and thirty seconds.

Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea 1st Infusion
Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a golden-yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma was smoky (burnt wood) and earthy. The liquor has a medium body, with a smooth, light feel. The taste is smoky (burnt wood), earthy (wet stones), mineral, even a light sweetness, and a very mild astringency. The finish and aftertaste are floral and lingering. Has some similarities to a sheng pu’er. This tea has nice layers of taste, and great balance.

Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea 2nd Infusion
Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a shade lighter of golden-yellow color. The aroma and taste leveled out slightly, creating an improved balance of all of the tastes. The aftertaste remains floral. Taste and aroma wise, this infusion was just as good of a quality as the first.

Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea 3rd Infusion
Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea 3rd Infusion

The third infusion had the exact same shade of golden-yellow as the second infusion. The aroma, body, and taste barely lightened at all. This tea lost very little character between the second and third infusions, leading me to believe that a fourth infusion, and maybe a fifth, will produce an acceptable flavor. Very impressive for a green tea to hold it’s character over three infusions.

Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea Infused Leaves
Ceylon OPA#2 Green Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves of this tea are mostly a fresh, fleshy green color. There are brown spots on some leaves, and a few of the leaves are completely brown. There are some fully intact leaves, but most are large fragments, and a few bare stems. There is significant variation in the size and shape of the leaves. The leaves have an earthy (wet forest) scent, with a touch of burnt wood. The leaves are not delicate, and actually have an unexpected level of integrity to them, suggesting that additional infusions are certainly possible.

Although the photo is not posted, I did have some time left in the work day, and decided to prepare a fourth infusion. Although it lightened quite a bit, I still found the fourth infusion tasteful enough to appreciate. I am very impressed by the consistency of the liquors from infusion to infusion. For a green tea to maintain such consistency is noteworthy. I really enjoyed the smoky, earthy, and mineral tastes and aromas of this tea. I think this will make a nice base tea for a Moroccan Mint, and it certainly is perfectly tasteful all on it’s own. I look forward to using the remainder of this sample and experimenting with various mint leaves.

As I mentioned before, I noticed some similarities between this tea and a sheng pu’er that is in my collection. Obviously this tea was missing the refined qualities of the pu’er, but the layers of earth, specifically the wet stones taste, and the mineral tastes were very similar, as well as the consistency of the flavor over four infusions. I can honestly say that I could see this tea becoming a staple in my personal collection, as well as a preferred green tea to other tea drinkers who like a more complex and tasteful green tea.

A big thanks to Eranga for acquiring this sample, and those yet to be reviewed, for me. I look forward to progressing through the remainder of the samples from UHE.