|"Bright flowery sweetness rushes forward, followed by a strong muscatel aroma and taste."|
The Golden Tips website is somewhat sparse in the descriptions it offers on specific teas, and here is what they have to say about Pride of Darjeeling: "A unique tea with a pronounced rare muscatel flavour. High grown amidst the misty Mountains and sheltered by snow capped Himalayas, this is one of the best offerings from the world's most famous tea growing region. Aptly named Pride of Darjeeling it is specially packed for the connoisseurs in a new value pack."
My sample contained medium length leaves ranging in color from coal black and dark chocolate to tan and offered up a spicy aromatic scent in the dry form. I prepared this tea both sweetened and unsweetened and followed a simple set of brewing parameters: 1 tsp. of leaf to 8 ounces of just off the boil water and a steep time of three minutes.
This treatment yields a liquor the color of toasted almond skins and the scent is fresh and green with floral and muscatel notes. Without sweetener, which is how I typically take a Darjeeling owing to the myriad of dancing flavors, the infusion is quite cidery. Warm spicy notes and muscatel breath in and out of each sip and there's a pleasant dryness to the sips that remind me of a dry hard cider. Engaging, fresh and delicious. The spiciness of the tea made me think of autumn.
Sweetened, the flavors come alive even more. Bright flowery sweetness rushes forward, followed by a strong muscatel aroma and taste and that same fresh taste as the unsweetened cup. Green notes are very subdued in the cup. It's more a cup of hard to believe floral magic. Delicious.
However I enjoyed this tea (and I would almost say that I preferred the sweetened cup for the decadently floral notes) there was a very interesting and notable freshness to the brewed tea. I was reminded in a sense of drinking delicious thirst quenching water from a clean, quality source. While the tea itself obviously tasted nothing like water, it had a wonderful quenching and satisfying freshness to the flavor that was quite unique in my Darjeeling drinking experience.
This is a special tea worth trying if you have the chance. It's one of those teas that makes you sit up and pay attention. A second infusion is smooth and reliable.
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