Review: Arbor Teas Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea

Arbor Teas, Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Fair Trade Tea, Organic Tea, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Chelsy’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Top Notch 1st Flush Darjeeling with a bright outlook of citrusy hints and well played astringency."
Chelsy’s Teaview: 7.2/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 9.5/10, Melanie gave it 6.9/10, Sophie gave it 9/10, Katie gave it 7.9/10, Bryan gave it 6/10
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This wonderful little number is from the oldest estate, Makaibari, in Darjeeling, began in 1859, and is organic and fair trade certified, as per the website. 1st Flush Darjeelings are from India (as all Darjeelings are) and are picked in late February to early April, depending on the estate and region. The website says that it has "punchy astringency" and makes a "lemony infusion." All correct and well related. The last note on the site, which is understated but correctly stated is the need for a shorter brew time than for the typical black tea. If you miss this little note, your first cup could punch a hole through your mouth with surprise. My favourite go-to tea experts say that 1st Flush Darjeelings have an optimal brew time between 2 and 2.5 minutes. This Darjeeling is a rather great exception to this rule.

Since I like my black teas pungent, I brewed first at 2 minutes. (This is what I was warning about, because 2 minutes kicked my mouth and got me good). 1.5 minutes was toned down quite a bit from the first brew, but it was still brisk and bouncy enough for me to desire a 1 minute run at this Darjeeling. The 1.5 and the 1 minute brews were great, and allowed me to vary the amount of astringency without handicapping the other aspects of the tea. Had I been able to obtain specific brewing time instructions, this tea would have achieved more points, so the rating, in truth, is a technicality, not a flaw of the tea. However, such a issue cannot go unheeded. There was a zesty lemon-grapefruit flavouring that rounded the tea out to be a perky upper for anytime of day, but not so outrageous that it cannot be a night time treat. This estate produced a wonderfully different 1st Flush Darjeeling while maintaining loyalty to the heritage of the tea. Its nice to mix it up in a while, and Makaibari adds a bit more surprise and pizazz to this cup.

— To purchase Arbor Teas Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea, 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: Chelsy Chelsy Reviewer
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