|"Floral and slightly woodsy, this is a decent easy sipping tea for everyday use, although not a top notch example of the “champagne of teas”."|
Perhaps my sample was scraping the bottom of the barrel or got damaged in transport but there are an inordinate amount of crushed and powered leaves present. The bigger pieces range from khaki to chocolate to ebony-coloured leaves. They smell only faintly of spices and honey. I brewed my first cup following the instructions from the website (one teaspoon of leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water and a 5 minute steep). However I found the resulting cup undrinkable due to its bitter assault.
Starting over with a steep time of 3 minutes and only half a teaspoon of leaves, the infusion is an inviting golden brown colour. It is slightly cloudy from the powdered bits that have escaped my infuser. The odour of the brew is reminiscent of caramel, with some muted muscatel notes thrown in. Floral and slightly woodsy, this is an easy sipping tea. It has pleasant buttery, grainy middle notes combined with a sweet and sour muscatel finish. Noticeably paler and more savoury tasting, a second 3 minute infusion proves to be still palatable, with coriander and nori notes supporting the grape-flavoured finish. Experimenting with a 3 minute steep and one teaspoonful of leaves again produces a strongly astringent cup. Those who do not like that dry mouth feeling may want to pass on this tea. These brewing parameters did not do justice to the subtler flavours present in the leaves. This tea is obviously potent and needs a light hand when brewing.
It's not the most amazing Darjeeling I've tried before but being reasonably priced and a certified organic product wins some points in my book. Once one's preferred brewing parameters are found, this tea can make a cup decent enough for everyday use. However a top notch example of the “champagne of teas”, it is not.
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