Thursday, 21 August 2008

Georgian Old Gentleman

This black tea was grown in Georgia, sold in the UK, sent over to the USA where it was put in a sample tin before being sent back to me in the UK. This is a well traveled tea. Perhaps we should send a cake of sheng around the world leaving it out to air for a few week in each location to ensure the most well rounded pu-erh yet seen.


On hearing I had some Georgian tea on the way I realised I would probably be in difficultly if asked to point to it on a map, near Russia? Before getting around to googling it the world press ensured I was as up to date as possible with all things Georgian. Strange the way these things happen and I hope all is well for Iuri, who makes this tea, and his one blue eye, one brown eye dog who keeps him company.

The blurb from the supplier:

Our Old Gentleman tea is made by Iuri in the tiny village Nasakirali. His tea has all the freshness of a springtime meadow. Old Gentleman tea is very well twisted and even; it is blacker than our Old Lady tea made by Natela, though hers shows more golden tip. In the cup Iuri's Old Gentleman tea is slightly more robust and complex and is a darker brew, while Natela's is lighter and sweeter, as befits a lady.

Note for animal lovers - Iuri has an unusual black and white dog with one brown eye and one blue eye! His tea is just as unusual!

The photo above is from from my last day with this tea. It was meant to be my second last day with the tea but it'd grown on me so much I needed a refill of the gaiwan and another hour or two of drinking.

The leaf is absolutely gorgeous for a black tea, if I didn't know what I was looking at and was holding my nose I would have assumed this to be oolong from the Wuyi mountains or maybe something of a dan congish nature.

On my first venture with this tea I was not at all impressed at what ended up in my cup. The more I drink, the more I come to love it. A few days have passed since the last of the tea has made it's way to the compost bin and I'm feeling the need for more. The profile shared many similarities with ceylon and qimen but included a fruity hint I've not came across in the others. The tea has such good strength and robustness even my father, a hardened espresso drinker, commented that this was such good solid tea it wouldn't even require milk or sugar. This is not a tea for the lotus white tea drinkers of the world but more of an english breakfast for the more adventurous or a nice black for those who have exhausted the usual suspects.

It's not often I'm impressed with UK tea suppliers, a notable exception was a visit to Tea Smith
a few weeks ago, but I'm keen to place an order with Nothing But Tea who supplied this tea. The only concern I have is that there are no harvest dates listed for any of the teas but I'm hoping an email will resolve this issue.