Review: Thunderbolt Tea Jungpana FTGFOP1 China 09

Darjeeling Tea, Thunderbolt Tea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I liked that even as a new drinker of first flush teas, I came away from each cup feeling like I understood what I was drinking and could clearly identify many of the points that first flush darjeelings are noted for."
Jamie’s Teaview: 7/10
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thunderboltchina09It's been an interesting experience getting to sample a few different first flush darjeelings this spring (and early summer). Thunderbolt's Jungpana FTGFOP1 is my fourth sampling of such offerings and I'm again surprised at how much variety can exist in a single season's offerings. It's a little mind boggling to consider the variables at play. Elevation, temperature, the tea plants themselves, the various tea gardens and their differing growing philosophies, pickers, etc are only a few of the things contributing to the finished leafy product I'm sampling. I'm hardly even a very experienced novice in the field of Darjeelings, but I've greatly enjoyed my opportunities to dabble!

Here are my observations of this tea. First, it's a nice, smooth even keeled offering. A couple of the first flush offerings I tried were all over the board in terms of taste and fragrance. This one is very stable. I enjoy this aspect of the tea.

The dry leaf is medium in length, dark green and brown in color. Scent wise, it's what I'm coming to expect of first flush (and possibly other?) darjeelings. The scent is fresh and spring like. Locally, the city mowers have been out and about cutting down the grass and other vegetation along roadsides which has grown to towering heights due to an extraordinarily wet spring here in the northeast. This afternoon on our walk, I smelled the recently cut down vegetation and was reminded of darjeeling. The scent is fresh and sweet, overwhelmingly vegetal and a little earthy, but with floral components.

I brewed this using water temperatures ranging from 195 to boiling water, steeping three minutes in all cases. I found I liked the slightly cooler temperatures a bit more - I seemed to catch more floral notes and a sweetness that was really something to savor. The color of the cup was a warm honey gold with a sweet, floral scent very prominent. This is a nice aromatic cup with a flavor that holds very steady, even into the second infusion (though in all my cups of this tea, the second infusions were of lesser taste quality than the first infusions...not always the case with other types of teas I've enjoyed). I found the body of the tea to be quite mild. If I had another sample of this tea around, I think I would actually experiment with using a bit more than the recommended leaf for each steeping. A gentle astringency is notable, leaving a fresh clean taste in the mouth but otherwise being subdued.

This was a solid and very enjoyable offering. It made a lot of sense to me as a new drinker, being straightforward and even a little "no nonsense." It was aromatic, floral and sweet and made a fresh and enjoyable start to several of my mornings this week. I liked that even as a new drinker of first flush teas, I came away from each cup feeling like I understood what I was drinking and could clearly identify many of the points that first flush darjeelings are noted for. Because of this quality, I could easily and confidently recommend this tea to those new to darjeelings - first flush or otherwise. I did feel that the body was a little milder than I would have best liked. I found the second infusions to be very flat taste wise. I would recommend a water temperature of around 190 to 195 degrees for this tea rather than using boiling water.

— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Jungpana FTGFOP1 China 09, 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.

Teaviews Member: Jamie Jamie
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