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When three tea experts made their way to Kanchanjangha Tea Estate in June 2022, they discovered Nikesh Gurung, the tea maker’s latest venture- Reserve Rose Label #157. These leaves caught Gurung’s attention for its unique shape and rare characteristics. Ever the observant tea maker, the tea leaves Nikesh was playing with was actually a mother bush- Bannockburn mother bush to be specific. Confirmed and encouraged by the tea experts visiting the garden, we were able to make only precious 8 pounds of this delicately floral tea in our collection.
Inherent Rose Characters
Dating back to nearly half a century ago, the Rose Label #157 tea comes from the rare Bannockburn Motherbush. This tea takes you right in the middle of a roseate bloom. You open up the pack and the air is redolent of a rose garden fondly worked on and curated just for you. Breathe that aroma in and invite a pleasant moment into your life.
Adore the bright red-orange color. It is more than a hue. It is an invitation to warmth itself. Open the gates to the nursery waiting for you at the beginning of this sip. Welcome the bright raisin with a slight floral pop. Every swig gives the sip a smooth caramel finish. Have a conversation with this tea reserved especially for you.
Finish off your brew with a muscatel sweetness and a slight astringency and come back for more!
Tea manufacturing consultant, Darjeeling
I am so glad Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Center took up my advice and guidance to produce this rarity and share it with the world. The tea that Nikesh had produced is nothing short of rose gardens in your cup. The palate he’s brought to you is so memorable that it stays with you for hours after your very last sip.
My very first sip of this tea reinvigorated me.
My soul filled up with joy, happiness and satisfaction. I highly recommend you to drink this tea and feel happy, energetic and active.
This tea filled with the passion of the people who make it opens up a beautiful bouquet of floral rose that infuses the entire experience. Nepal is an origin whose terroir challenges tea producers, but has the potential to forge a unique place amongst within the industry.
The dry leaves of Rose Label #157 appears brown and black in the first glance. Its first interaction with the water and the appearance changes to reddish with only soft touches of brown. The aroma that one immediately notices is of a bright rose with a slight hint of raisin and plum and only a touch of malted caramel. The liquor that you’ll get will be bright and a vibrant red-orange and leave you with a sweet and light astringency. My tasting notes for this brilliant tea is below.
Tea Development Lead at Starbucks, New York
Appearance - Brown and black leaf
Aroma - Bright Rose Floral with a muscatel sweetness; touch of floral and caramel
Feel - Slightly spongy, not too brittle
Appearance - Reddish with touch of brown Aroma - Bright rose with raisin and plum with a touch of malted caramel
Color - Bright red-orange
Aroma - Malt with a touch of caramel, slight dampness
Taste - Bright Raisin with floral rose pop malted caramel, mid palate that falls off the palate with muscatel sweetness and light astringency
As you open the packet, you meet the tea for the first time. It’s a love at first fragrance – a garden of roses that slowly develops and matures into vanilla like soft sweetness.
The same distinct sweet rose aroma translates perfectly into the cup. When you smell the wet leaves, the aroma just develops further into sweet honey and vanilla while canopying everything with sweet fruity rose. You are transported into wander into the lushes of rose gardens.
This translation of the dry fragrance into the wet aroma is a mark of true craftsmanship and the unparalleled precision in the technique with which the tea was made. The liquor is a bright vibrant amber color that fills the entire room with rose, honey and fruity aroma. As you take the first sip, the whole tongue is engulfed by this full-bodied sweet and subtly fruity liquor that just lingers for quite a while. You can’t wait to take another sip and just see the liquor blossom and completely cover your taste palette with its complex yet very simple and nice roses characteristics. Fruity muscat grape notes along with some plumbly sweetness is super prominent on the mid palate and the vanilla like sweetness just lingers in the back pallette for quite a long time.
Do not let the price of the tea influence your tasting. With a price like this, think more about supporting Mr. Gurung and how incredibly special it is that he shares this gift with the world.
For this tasting I am steeping 2.5 grams. Exactly. Never done that before. Water at 185F. Timer set for 3 minutes of infusion. The difficulty with tasting expensive things is not in how the taste actually is but based on how the dollar amount shapes your perspective. Oftentimes product marketers will say a product is worth more than it truly is to see how differently people react with it. Try your best to taste like you do with all te
Dry aroma: Woody. Slight floral, rose. But is that the suggestion in the name speaking?
Dry appearance: Golden buds and dark chocolate leaf. Tightly twisted.
Wet Leaf appearance: Mostly chocolate brown but a few are olive green.
Wet leaf. Slight rose aroma. But not your general rose, more specific. Like walking though a flower garden and smelling each one.
Flavor. The first sip had some roasted vegetal notes. An undertone of decaying wood. Honey and rose notes.
Mouthfeel: Silky. A bit of astringency to finish but not an offensive drying sensation.
Liquor aroma: A bit bready. Not quite as bready as other Nepal teas I've had.
The second steep is coming out quite a bit more floral. Perhaps it was also the longer steep? Slightly more astringent but still in a good way.
The Rose Label # 157 that hails from the Bannockburn #157 cultivar is a pleasure to drink - I brew it at a bit stronger ratio than recommended and infuse for shorter time, almost gongfu but not quite - i find this tea to be easy to like - it is fragrant, both in aroma and taste, it brews strong but not bitter and the soup is silky.
Good tea if pricey.