|"Like oolong, this tea took on a totally different personality in the second infusion. "|
According to the Thunderbolt website, Darjeelings suffered a tough season and the crop was almost lost to a drought. Fortunately, the rains showed up just in time to save them. My sample package is forest green in nature and a has a number of light tips disbursed throughout it. I have seen green teas that are blacker in nature than this black tea. Just an interesting observation. The aroma coming from the sample package is very fresh smelling in nature and I do like fresh tea :). A more sophisticated and experienced tea drinker might pick up on some of the following characteristics as noted on Thunderbolt's website: "As is every Darjeeling First Flush tea, the dry leaves bear a greenish appearance with some amount of silver tips. Has a sweet, buttery and honey fragrance which is in turn nutty and flowery in nature."
I prepared my cup in water that had been brought to a full boiling and allowed to cool for close to 2 min. I then infused the leaves for 3 min so as to avoid additional astringency. The cup brewed up to a very light color for a black tea. The first thing that I noticed when I began to taste my tea is that this is very floral in nature. As the cup cooled I was also able to detect some nuttiness and some mild honey notes. This is a very mild tea that would not likely appeal to fans of my hearty brews like breakfast teas or Assams. Thunderbolt's website notes that this is buttery and almond-y in nature, but those notes were lost on my palate. The astringency found with this preparation is mild at best.
Due to Steven's raving about the 2nd infusion of this tea being its sweet spot, I felt compelled to make the subsequent infusion. The floral component is all but missing in the second infusion and it is much more nutty and, yes, buttery even. Like oolong, this tea took on a totally different personality in the second infusion. The overall profile of the tea is even more mild in the second infusion. I don't know that I liked the second infusion better, but I did enjoy the cup.
I am the owner of some pretty expensive first flush Darjeeling from a different estate and from last year's crop. To be honest, this is not in the same league as that Darjeeling, but they are also at very different price points too. Overall, this still produced a good cup, but not one that would make me rave about it like that one did. I would probably spring for the expensive stuff again. However, this is not a bad choice overall and for those not wanting to get all crazy with their bankcard.
— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Arya SFTGFOP1 2009 First Flush, 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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