Review: Golden Tips Tea Queen of Hills Premium Darjeeling Tea

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Golden Tips Tea Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A provocative tea to keep you at attention - and a tasty one at that."
Dan’s Teaview: 8.8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7.8/10, Shaiha gave it 7.3/10, Shaiha gave it 7.3/10, Rebecca gave it 7.5/10, CJ gave it 10/10
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Golden Tips provides a great variety of Darjeeling teas (amongst others) and the selection can be somewhat daunting. Most of them are packaged exquisitely in fancy boxes or velvet bags. But recently they have added "value packs" to their offerings, which highlights a selection of some of the (presumably) more popular teas, including Queen of Hills. As perhaps evident by its moniker, this tea features a blend of teas harvested from a variety of Estates perched high in the Himilayas. It seems to be one of the more affordable (or at least mid-priced) Darjeelings offered by Golden Tips.

I've been trying to put my finger on the pulse of this tea for about a week now, ingesting some each day and coming up with different nuances with each cup. It's unique teas like this, the ones that make you think rather than an obvious slap in the face, that intrigue me. They don't always make for the best or most enjoyable or immediately likeable teas. But I like a little mystery, a little weirdness, a bit of a puzzle. And for whatever reason, this tea gives me that vibe.

The dried leaf is premium enough in its appearance alone - tippy, medium-to-long leaves, tightly rolled, with a nice blend of hues including deep forest greens, milk chocolate browns, yellow-grey whites, and rich mahogany. The aroma of the dried leaf is perhaps most intriguing to me. A distinct musky scent is certainly present, but also a hint of dried strawberries and/or rose petals - a light sweetness, perhaps.

A four minute steep was kept for each of the dozen-plus cups I've brewed so far. The liquor brews up to a medium golden-amber-tinged copper. The flavor is strong, decidedly Darjeeling, and of high quality. There are times when it is not quite as fine on my palette, and thus comes the intriguing part mentioned earlier. Each cup seems to be unique, despite coming from the same batch of tea. As of the morning of this writing, I am drinking perhaps the best cup I've had all week. But why? Inconsistency in a tea may sound off-putting, but it keeps me coming back for more, wondering what's next. A second infusion stands up well here - even when oversteeped by a few minutes. But again, it seemingly depends from cup to cup, as I have also had second-infusion-cups of this tea that were more "meh" than "wow", but this morning, this tea really has me on the latter end of that spectrum. Confusing to be sure, but a provocative tea to keep you at attention - and a tasty one at that.

— To purchase Golden Tips Tea Queen of Hills Premium Darjeeling 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.

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