What-Cha - Nepal First Flush Silver Oolong 2014

Origin: Greenland Organic Farm, East Nepal
Harvest: First Flush

I decided to try What-Cha’s Nepal First Flush Silver Oolong today; Alistair decided to pepper my latest shipment with only one Nepali tea, but numerous Indian ones, I can’t help, but think he is desperately trying to improve my opinion of Indian tea or perhaps cement my feelings on their superior Nepali neighbors. Regardless I am not really fond of white tea, generally they feel a little too expensive for me, even though I wouldn’t bat an eye at spending two or three times the amount on a green tea, and I generally prefer the jasmine scented ones rather than a straight white tea.

Dry Leaves: It has a very nice pungent orange blossom aroma. The leaves look like typical silver needles, perhaps a little greener then some in this price range, but they are a little reminiscent of a Bi Lo Chun. They are very soft and have a nice downy feel.

First Steeping
Temperature: 176oF
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Aroma: Orange blossom and Sage
Flavor: Cane Sugar, Orange and Vegetal
Tasting Notes: I almost wanted to say this has a floral aroma in addition to the orange blossom, but it’s not quite there. I feel this way in my subsequent infusions, it’s almost like there is a ghostly floral present that is simultaneously present and not. Regardless I rather liked this tea, I am not normally one for white teas especially silver needles, but I found this was quite pleasant. It reminded me a lot of those “enhanced teas” with orange blossom oil, but it has a much cleaner taste and scent.

It is a very perfume-y tea, but not overpowering. It reminded me a little of a Darjeeling oolong, but not as rough around the edges. It has that orange taste that is present in many Indian oolongs, but not as blunt as an Indian oolong. This was probably my favorite of the three infusions, although I most note this was a difficult decision to come to; each infusion was stunning, but this had the sharpest taste and I tend to prefer the sharp cutting flavors over mellower ones.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 181 oF
Brewing Time: Three Minutes
Aroma: Orange Blossom and Sage
Flavor: Floral, Cane Sugar and Vegetal
Tasting Notes: The sage aroma is stronger this time and offers a nice contrast to the orange blossom. And there was a Floral taste to it this time, I am not that confident in describing it as violet because the second time I brewed it I was getting orchid. I am a little sad that I don’t have more of this tea.

This was a very nice infusion; the vegetal notes are becoming stronger and are on the verge of becoming the key flavor.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 186 oF
Brewing Time: Four Minutes
Aroma: Orange, Lettuce and Sage
Flavor: Cane Sugar and Vegetal
Tasting Notes: I was surprised at how strong the cane sugar became. I thought the vegetal notes were going to become the key player in the last infusion because the cane sugar was becoming lighter, but it made come back. Otherwise it is very nice, a little simple by now, but there is nothing bad about that.

I was surprised by how much I liked this tea, even though it came from one of my favorite tea stores and from my favorite tea farm in the region.  This tea is definitely worth trying and for $8.63 for 50g it is not that bad of deal. If this was a Darjeeling tea, I imagine it would be sold for a much higher price.


Just a guy who likes tea.