|"The first flush definitely had some of the same traits as its later kin, but it's overall character was more quintessentially Darjeeling."|
The menagerie in the bag was most welcoming. Greens, browns, and beiges dotted the canvas like a microcosmic forest. The aroma was sweet, lightly spicy, and all-around wildernessy. It had a lot in common with the second flush, but a little younger-seeming and untamed. It also didn't have the downy fur presence like the second flush did.
Brewing instructions on the Canton site called for "2 tsp per cup (200ml); water temperature 90°C (194°F). Infuse 2-3 mins and reinfuse the same leaves 2-3 times." I did a tablespoon in 12oz. of 200F water for two minutes. I guess I could've done it gongfu - like I did with the second flush - but I was at work and didn't have that kind of time.
The liquor brewed up a dainty bronze. If...bronze can be considered dainty. It had a very young appearance to it on palette. The aroma was also equally as fresh and "green" (but not in the literal sense). Sweetness crept up to the nostril like some kind of welcomed feather - a very oolong trait. The initial sip yielded a spicy grape front, typical of most first flush Darjeelings. However, something different appeared in the middle. Hard to say what, but it was a different form of fruity profile - vaguely citrus with a honey texture. Again, very oolong-y - Bai Hao-ish also. The finish simply trailed off pleasantly with a floral farewell.
The first flush definitely had some of the same traits as its later kin, but it's overall character was more quintessentially Darjeeling. While the second flush simply WAS an oolong through-and-through, a case could be made for the first being a regular OP. What makes the issue dicey, however, is the same fruit-sweet/honey trail of both. No normal Darj possesses that. All said, I enjoyed this very much. Not quite as perfect as the second flush, but still worth your valuable sip.
— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Castleton Moonlight First Flush Darjeeling, 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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