Review: Thunderbolt Tea Arya Clonal Exclusive 2009 Autumn Flush

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Thunderbolt Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The aroma was smoky sweet like a Ghiradelli bonfire."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8/10
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For the longest time, I didn't know what "clonal" meant when referring to teas. Visions of a dreary laboratory on a stormy night - with plants in test tubes - came to mind. And, for some reason, the mad scientist kinda looked like Christopher Lloyd with a bizarro goatee. I have no idea why. This delusion was put to rest by a member of the "tealite" who informed me that with clonal teas, a stem is taken and a duplicate plant is "cloned".

So...I was close.


The leafy presentation for this offering was less multicolored than lighter Darjeelings. No shades of green or yellow, just brown. I attributed this to it being a later-season crop. Autumn Flushes are supposed to be darker, after all. One'll occasionally hear about people comparing a tea to chocolate in scent; "chocolate, nutmeg and shades of 'blank'." Sometimes that's the only way to convey the aroma properly. Well, this batch smelled like chocolate. Mall outlet chocolate, to be precise - like passing by a See's Candy, taking a whiff, and drooling.

I brewed water to just under a boil, 16oz for 2 tsp of tea, infused for two minutes. The cup infused to a beer-ish bronze. The aroma was smoky sweet like a Ghiradelli bonfire. On tastedown, there's no getting around the forefront of malt that invades the tongue followed by a slight astringency, but it settles on the palate to a nice blanket of mild spice. The second steep, while equally strong in presentation, was slightly lacking in the subtle nuances - like a decaf tea, which technically it was at that point - but still drinkable and more crisp than the first.

— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Arya Clonal Exclusive 2009 Autumn 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.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff Reviewer
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