Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekend Dim Sum & 2 Indian Teas

Going to a dim sum usually means a time out with the family, lots of dumplings, chicken feet (love 'em!), and light conversation over many cups of tea. Whenever we do that, I prefer to bring my own tea leaves from home to be brewed in lieu of the restaurant's, which is more often than not lower in quality (passable, but...).

This morning, I brought along 2 tea samples that I received from The Simple Leaf (thanks Nikhil!). One is a single estate green tea from Darjeeling that is sold under the code name "Chloe". The other is called "Black Frost", a black tea from the Nilgiri Mountains in the Tamil Nadu state, South India.

I simply asked a waiter to bring two pots of hot water. Pre-rinsing the leaves, however, was a challenge without a lidded bowl, so I skipped that part and just tossed a handful of leaves straight into the pots. Now and then, I asked for more hot water to be added into the half-full teapots when I saw that the teas were getting too concentrated and starting to taste bitter.

Chloe, the green tea, is a rather different and interesting sort of Darjeeling for me. As far as I can remember, it's the first green tea I've had from Darjeeling. It’s subtle with spicy, minty qualities. An introverted sort, if you must, for one who has a sexy French name. The Black Frost, which I am partial of, is smooth and slightly malty with a bit of natural sweetness. In contrast, Black Frost is the extroverted masculine type. Of the two, I thought Black Frost was the more versatile one with the foods today.

(click to enlarge pictures)

In fairness, 1st and 2nd flushes Darjeeling teas do have pleasant acidity that makes them great companions of foods, especially spicy ones. Chloe, being a green Darjeeling, however, has completely different characteristics than its 1st and 2nd-flush relatives.

Reviewing the restaurant bill at home, I wonder why they still charged me $3.20 for my own teas!


Steven Dodd said...

$3.20 for a corking fee? :)

~ Phyll said...

More like hot water fee :)