Review: Golden Tips Tea Avongrove 2nd Flush 2011

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Golden Tips Tea Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is the way Darjeeling should taste, and the benchmark by which to compare all others."
Dan’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 8.5/10, Geoff gave it 9.2/10
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The Avongrove estate produces certified-organic tea on its nearly 500 acres, spread across two hillsides. I find it amusing that the estate ranges from 2200-5700 feet in elevation, yet they refer to themselves as situated in the "foothills" of the Himalayas. They employ 500 workers, whom all live on the estate with their families. The entire scene soiunds very charming, and makes me yearn for a visit.

The second flush Darjeeling produced by the estate is considered their finest, and touted as "a wonderful example of true Darjeeling flavour", and I could not agree more. Having essentially pickled myself in Darjeeling tea exclusively for the past several months, I must admit this is probably tied for the top spot as best Darjeeling to have hit my palette.

The dried leaf is medium-long, wiry, and peppered with hues of light greys, reddish-browns and powdered mahogany. The leaves emit a spicy-sweet scent on the nose, with hints of cinnamon or nutmeg.

A 4-minute infusion for the first cup yields a very bright cup - golden red in color, and aromatic with an even slighter hints of the spices mentioned earlier. The flavor is rich and full, and very wonderful indeed. Dense muscatel flavor abounds, and I can't help but hearken back to Avongrove's own words, that this is truly a sublime reflection on "true Darjeeling flavor". This is the way Darjeeling should taste, and the benchmark by which to compare all others. There seem to be only a handful of Darjeeling teas that I have sampled which can match this type of quality in flavor, and the rest pale in comparison. Oddly though, a second cup is not quite as satisfactory as expected. Typically a high-quality Darjeeling will produce a second infusion superior to the first, but here I find the opposite. That said, the second cup of this tea is still quite fine.

— To purchase Golden Tips Tea Avongrove 2nd Flush 2011, 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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