|"The first sip is sweet and dry, fruity in a primarily citrusy sort of way and with (here is the unique and hard to describe part) a lilt of flavor at the rear of the sip, as though you are nearly done with your sip but suddenly find yourself tasting a second round of all the flavors you tasted to start! This is delicious! "|
The smell of the thick, medium length dark leaves is sweet and vaguely tobacco-esque. I used a level teaspoon of tea leaf per 8 ounces of freshly boiled water and steeped for a precise 3 minutes, not being one to take any chances with losing out on what any Darjeeling potentially has to offer. The tea liquor is a darker coppery orange and has a sweet, somehow dry fragrance. I find the taste to be extremely interesting, and quite unique. I'll try and explain the sensation but some imagination may be required on the part of the reader. The first sip, still quite hot, is sweet and dry, fruity in a primarily citrusy sort of way and with (here is the unique part) a lilt of flavor at the rear of the sip, as though you are nearly done with your sip but suddenly find yourself tasting a second round of all the flavors you tasted to start! This is delicious!
There is a nice, elegant astringency permeating the brew, leaving things feeling fresh in taste without ever seeming bitter or sour. There are fine citrusy notes that are very enjoyable and a bit of a flavor that is somewhat woody and also a bit malty, perhaps owing to a sense of dryness that the tea has. The taste is exemplary, especially the dry finish.
I'm going to share also that a second infusion is highly recommended, and curiously can handle a goodly amount of time for steeping. It may be anathema, I don't know, but I preferred about 10 minutes on the second steep. Without any shame at all, I'll tell you that my first handling of the tea, after rhapsodizing in contentment over the first infusion, I forgot to take the leaves out of my steeping second infusion and ran off to do some chores. When I came home, I realized that the tea had steeped for a personal record breaking 2 hours. I poured out a very dark cup of tea and expected some bitterness or simply a ruined cup. What I found is that this is a very forgiving tea, at least in terms of second infusions (I wouldn't dare try this on a first infusion, though). The second infusion surprised me by being delicious. Sturdy and solid and without the fruity notes of the first infusion, but with tasty malty, dry and woody aspects and a wonderful smoothness with very very vague smoky hints.
If I could, I would order enough of this tea to ensure a cup to savor every day of the year. I so enjoyed the good flavor. It made me stop what I was doing and just really think and enjoy the flavor. This tea is well worth a taste. I think it would appeal to a darjeeling lover, certainly, but I would also recommend this tea to lovers of assams as a likely hit. I enjoyed this tea completely unadorned but expect it would handle both sweetener and/or the milk of your choosing handily. I would still recommend trying a cup, particularly the more playful and lilting fruity first infusion au natural, as it has much of interest to offer.
This one is notably delicious and a real treat. I highly recommend getting a bit to savor. This is the best black tea in general and Darjeeling in particular that I've tried in a very long time. This is definitely the best Indian origin tea I've tried, as well. Wonderful!!
— To purchase Golden Tips of Darjeeling Sungma Tea, Fly, Second Flush 2010, 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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