Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
|"Tastewise, this is a very complex tea which requires some concentration; this tea is probably best suited to an alert and focused drinker. Flavors of fruit, flowers, butter, nuts, mint, and grass/earth were all present. However the problem with this tea was that it was extremely bitter, as in bitter enough to negate many of the positive attributes. "|
Thunderbolt Tea is a company that offers strictly Darjeeling teas, and from my past experiences, the teas from Thunderbolt are authentic and fresh. Puttabong SFTGFOP1 09 is a real mouthful, both in its name as well as its flavor. This tea is a first flush Darjeeling, and appropriately bears many indications of its first flush status. The dry leaves are an attractive array of green, brown, and black hues with a very refreshing clean aroma. Interestingly, the leaves have just the slightest hint of a mint element to the aroma, and I actually picked up a subtle mintiness in the aftertaste as well. I brewed this tea exactly as recommended on the Thunderbolt website, being careful not to use overboiled water or to infuse for too long. The tea is light greenish-brown in color with a fairly strong vegetal fragrance. Tastewise, this is a very complex tea which requires some concentration; this tea does not lend itself to laidback, mindless sipping, but is probably best suited to an alert and focused drinker. I detected a variety of flavors that seemed to come and go, with the impression of the tea seemingly changing with every sip. Flavors of fruit, flowers, butter, nuts, mint, and grass/earth were all present; I noticed that these various flavor elements varied in their presence and intensity depending on the temperature of the tea; my first few sips when the tea was very hot were dominated by grassy notes so much that the tea tasted very close to a green tea. As the tea cooled, the buttery and nutty flavors were more apparent. Normally, a tea with this much pizazz would really impress me, however the problem with this tea was that it was extremely bitter, as in bitter enough to negate many of the positive attributes. The bitterness was present regardless of the tea's temperature (as I was hoping it would be more subdued when the tea cooled to room temperature), and unfortunately was too strong to ignore. I know some people may actually like that bitter kick, but I am not one of those people. This tea is the epitome of freshness and authenticity, and clearly has a complex flavor profile which deserves recognition. My relatively low rating of this tea is simply a personal reaction to the bitterness, a case of my tastebuds and the tea's bitterness agreeing to disagree. So while I don't see myself drinking more of this tea, I do think it has its merits and would gladly recommend it to Darjeeling lovers and those who enjoy a complex tea. On a final note, at the time of this review, Thunderbolt is offering free shipping until their stock is depleted, making this a great way to acquire tea direct from the source.
— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Puttabong SFTGFOP1 2009, 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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