|"This tea was dull in flavor, which was quite unexpected for me to find in a second flush darjeeling."|
I brewed my first sampling of the tea using freshly boiled, filtered water and steeping for three minutes using a ratio of one teaspoon of leaf per 8 ounces of water. I was stunned at how flat the taste was without sweetener, particularly given that the leaf was fairly (though not phenomenally) fragrant even in its dry state. I tried a four minute steeping next and found that this was helpful in drawing a bit more strength of flavor from the leaf. Happily, no bitterness resulted from the extended steep (usually I am exceedingly cautious to keep my darjeeling steeps to 3 minutes maximum). Less happily, not much extra flavor could be coaxed from this leaf regardless of my steeping parameters.
My cup after four minutes was medium coppery-orange in color. The tea has a slight dryness as a component; it is clean tasting with a vague natural sweetness but no real standout flavors and not much going on in terms of interest in the blended flavor, which also was rather flat in aspect. This tea was dull in flavor, which was quite unexpected for me to find in a second flush darjeeling.
A little bit of sweetener does interesting things. It gives the tea more body and seems to bring out very slight citrusy/fruity elements that are enjoyable. The tea seems like it would make a pretty good mild afternoon cup of tea. Sweetened, it's light to medium in body with a classic, albeit weaker than I prefer and am used to, Darjeeling flavor. This offering takes very well to sweetener and I don't really recommend it without it.
— To purchase Golden Tips of Darjeeling Upper Fagu Tea, 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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