|"The flavor is indeed quite different than you would expect from a Darjeeling. It is quite light on the tongue, and sweet, with notes of honey, lychee, and fresh, untoasted hazelnut, with vegetal undertones. "|
In this latest shipment was something really unexpected: a yellow Darjeeling. What sets this limited edition second flush tea apart from the normal Darjeeling is a slower drying time (a different process than Chinese yellow tea), resulting in quite a different character. It is an experimental tea, developed on the Goomtee Tea Estate by the manager, Mr. Sagar Rawat. Rather than a muscatel, it is described at the Thunderbolt website as a light-bodied tea with a flavor combination of the vegetal notes of the Darjeeling green, with the nuttiness of a Darjeeling black. Based on my experience, that sells this tea short.
The dry leaf is on the large side, slightly twisted, and predominantly a medium olive green, with some light furring on the tips. Wet, they open to reveal intact "two leaves and a bud" tips of a lighter green. The dry leaves have a rich, chocolaty aroma, with no floral notes. It's a little fruity with, as the website suggests, as a touch of roasted peanut aroma, as well, something I have not encountered before.
The recommended two and a half minute steep in 8 oz of 208F water produced a medium golden brown liquor with a very sweet, full-bodied aroma composed of the dark chocolate and peanut notes of the dry leaf, and more fruitiness—lychee? Peach?
The flavor is indeed quite different than you would expect from a Darjeeling. It is quite light on the tongue, and sweet, with notes of honey, lychee, and fresh, untoasted hazelnut, with vegetal undertones. It's slightly astringent with light pull, but a rather thin finish that is more scent than flavor, with more vegetal hints and some sweetness. Inhaling as you drink is a particular pleasure; this tea really has a lovely fragrance! The lychee perfume lingers in the nose long after the cup is empty. The flavor is slightly more subtle than a regular Darjeeling; you have to leave your preconceptions at the door with this one. It's a yellow, and as stated above, very different from a black or green and as such may not be for everyone, but if you want to try something unusual and rare, I highly recommend it.
— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Goomtee FTGFOP1 Yellow Tea 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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