Is it possible to combine different characters of steamed and pan-fired green teas in one? Zomba green steamed tea from Satemwa Tea Estate could be the perfect answer. This tea makes it possible to explore all characters of the worlds finest teas in one. Zomba Green steamed tea is a unique green tea from Malawi, Satemwa Tea Estate.
Long time ago (well, maybe some 2 years ago, but after tasting thousands of teas, it seems long), I had a chance to try Malawi Zomba Pearl white tea from Satemwa Tea Estate. I was very intrigued and really wanted to try the rest of Malawi teas, especially greens and oolongs. Now I finally got the chance to do so, and I have to thank Satemwa Tea Estate for all those wonderful samples that I have received a week ago.
I really want to write more about Satemwa Tea Estate, but will keep this for another article, as there are so many things to be said. Let’s keep focus on Zomba Green steamed tea.
Name: Zomba Green Steamed Tea TSFOP
Producer: Satemwa Tea Estate (Malawi)
Tea Type: Malawi green tea
Zomba Green Steamed Tea – Close-Up
There is something intriguing and beautiful in very big tea leaves. I don’t hide love for big determined leaves, fluffy leaves and small curly immaculate leaves. I find this tea to be very surprising for a steamed tea. At the first deep inhale it looks like a sencha wrapped in a lightly roasted chestnuts, elegant and deep. Leave an impression of a mature tea, not a youngster that still doesn’t know where his place is. Leaves are olive green, some very long, rolled, with stems. Some are long up to 3 cm.
Bipolar and Determined Tea
Brewing 1: 4 grams, 150 ml of water, 85 degrees, 2 minutes
Brewing 2: 4 grams, 150ml of water, 65-70 degrees, 3 minutes
Here is where things get very very interesting. If you did this with any other steamed tea, you would ruin it. So, how is it possible that one steamed tea is so versatile? It tea can be bipolar, Zomba Green steamed tea is the most bipolar of all I have ever tasted. And I mean this in a very good way. Basically, what you get with Zomba Green steamed tea is two teas in one. So let’s start. First, brewing with a bit hotter water will definitely not reveal its steamed character in a way one would expect. Color is light yellowish green, very clean, and leaves have a deep intense, chestnuttty scent with a delicate tiny flowery note.
If one wouldn’t know what type of green tea this was, it wouldn’t be that easy to recognize it if you are still a tea newbie. First cup has a bit light end, no intense green notes, just pure lightness and freshness. It would be perfect as an everyday autumn or summer tea. There is no bitterness at all, which could also be surprising as the leaves look quite dark, quite Yunnanese green like, but more determined, bigger, lighter and wilder. After the first steeping, leaves get more green vegetables scent, fresh and without that chestnutty note.
Brewed in this way, Zomba Green steamed tea looks like green Yunnan (dry leaves, liquor color) but feels delicate like Zhejiang green (taste, scent, feeling). It doesn’t shock with its aftertaste, it’s completely shy and reserved, but you can feel it in your mouth long time after drinking.
And here is the other surprise. Cooler water and longer steeping time will result in a mix of gyokuro and sencha, but again with African personality. It’s almost amazing how this tea changes and reacts to water temperatures. All other steamed teas would get bitter, or too weak without that umami feeling. Color is greener and fuller. Flavor is completely different. It was a bit tingling sourly feeling, a combination of a little bit of umami, a bit of steamed vegetables and some fresh sea air around it. Again, no bitterness at all, just more full and creamier. And feeling and flavor last for three infusions. Zomba Green steamed tea leaves can be used three times in both cases.
And, to finish this long text… Word Zomba might confuse some people, especially if the first Satemwa Tea Estate tea they have encountered was Zomba white pearls and Malawi was until then just a some far-away unfamiliar country. And no, it’s not Zombi, and it has nothing to do with the unique shape of tea leaves. Zomba is the name of the city, district and mountain in Malawi.
You can buy Zomba Green steamed tea from many tea vendors. Check the list here.