|"The taste is indicative of the fragrance and delivers the sweet muscat that I look for in a good Darjeeling. I did find this to be a bit more earthy and rich than most Darjeeling leaves that I have tasted."|
While a good Yunnan reigns supreme in my house, my second choice is generally a good Darjeeling. I have one that lives in my personal tea stash that is no slouch and has the price tag to prove it. However, as I allude to now and then, when I reach for a plain tea, I want the good stuff! Since American Tea Room seems to stock a lot of offerings that are top notch, I was excited to try this one out. This offering comes from the Puttabong garden and they are known for offering some Darjeelings that are a bit more earthy and rich than some of the others on the market, which tend to be more floral and fruity. The leaves are tippy in nature and look from shades of wood to that of white and even green.
One thing about this tea is that this one requires careful attention when steeping or else you will end up with a bitter cup (though this is true of most tea). I prepared this using water beginning to steam and infused for 3 min on the cup that I enjoyed best. While it is fun to drink a first flush leaf sometimes, I actually tend to prefer the second flush, which this one is. The first infusion brews up a coppery amber color and the aroma is definitely hints that the cup is muscatel in nature. The taste is indicative of the fragrance and delivers the sweet muscat that I look for in a good Darjeeling. I did find this to be a bit more earthy and rich than most Darjeeling leaves that I have tasted. I also found that it tasted a little nutty to me, but the clove and nutmeg alluded to in the description were not obvious to me as stand alone spices. However, I did sense a hint of spice in the cup. The cup itself somewhat astringent and, yes, a tad bitter. This is also fairly smooth and that quality in and of itself reminds you constantly that you are drinking a quality leaf. A second infusion was equally enjoyable, but somewhat less muscatel. Since I happen to love some nice bold muscat, I will call the first infusion my favorite.
I think that lovers of the Puttabong garden will be most impressed with this offering. You can tell that it is a quality second flush leaf. While this one commands a price tag that might put it out of reach for some folks, I will tell you that it is actually less than the one that lives in my personal collection. If you are looking for a rich yet sweet second flush offering, then this one is definitely worth consideration.
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