Review: Stash Namring Estate Darjeeling

Darjeeling Tea, Stash Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The complexities of this Darjeeling are subtle, but all the more intriguing for it. A nice tea for any time of day that you are looking for a slight pick-me-up and a smooth, gentle, flavorful cup."
Dan’s Teaview: 7.3/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 6.5/10, Katie gave it 5.6/10
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stashnamringdarjeelingThe Namring Estate was apparently started by the British, when they planted the first (Chinese) tea bushes there in 1855. It has since become one of the largest and most productive estates in all of India, according to Stash's website. So this tea seems to absorb the holy trinity of tea-producing nations, culling history from India, China and Britain.

There appear to be a number of companies that offer first and second flush Darjeelings from this estate. I'm unsure if any others would be superior to the Stash brand, but this one does quite fine in its own right.

In experimenting with temperatures and times, I brewed the first cup at about 4 minutes, at 208-degrees. My second cupping was brewed at about 190 degrees for 3 minutes (seemingly the magic numbers for other strains of Darjeeling I have thoroughly enjoyed). As I have found previously with other Darjeelings, the cooler temp and shorter brew time were much to the tea's advantage. The tea also becomes more delicious as it cools in the cup.

A good mix of green and brown tips, this appears to be a quality first-flush (spring) Darjeeling offering. The scent of the dried leaves has a nice oaky/earthy aroma with gentle vanilla undertones. Once brewed, the aroma transforms to a seemingly-average blend. The liquor is a coppery golden color. The flavors are quite nice: with the first cupping, I encountered a subtle taste at the onset, and a lingering floral finish with mild astringency, yet also playfully sweet at the same time. For the second (preferred) cupping, the initial flavor was sweeter (but still very subtle), and possessed a longer delay on the astringency.

The complexities of this Darjeeling (and others) are subtle, but all the more intriguing for it. I can't say I have entirely wrapped my head/palette around all of Darjeeling's nuances, but I'm not sure I see the advantage of the first flush in this tea. I've had better, and I've had worse. This seems near the top of the pack, though. This would make a great tea at any time of day that you are looking for a slight pick-me-up and a smooth, gentle, flavorful cup.

— To purchase Stash Namring Estate Darjeeling, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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