Review: Tea District Organic Fair Trade Darjeeling Second Flush

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Fair Trade Tea, Organic Tea, Tea District Add comments
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Bold, but not overbearing. Possesses an unusual, pine-like astringency."
CJ’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Dan gave it 8.6/10
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When I first tried this tea, it was a clear, brisk morning, 9 days before Christmas.  I was expecting a heartier than usual cup of Darjeeling,  since Tea District describes the product like this:

"The “2nd Flush” or second harvest of Darjeeling’s crop year provides semi-brisk teas with big fruity flavors and floral aromas that are distinctive and reminiscent of Muscat Wine."

I love Muscat wine.  Its flavor is thick,  rich, and syrupy. I have never encountered a Darjeeling with those qualities. It certainly never reminds me of my favorite dessert wine. Still, Darjeeling teas are wonderful, and this brew from Tea District is among my favorites.

Like the description said, it is "semi brisk" and "floral," but I didn't taste anything fruity. I did, however, pick up some oak-like  nuances, as if the tea were fermented in a wine barrel.  Plus, I detected an unusual hint of pine!   My first sip of this tea transported me to a Christmas tree lot, and filled my head with notes of Blue Spruce and Douglas Fir. If  it wasn't December, I probably would have thought of a pine forest. Call me crazy, but this tea's astringency was decidedly of a pine-tree variety!

As I looked at the leaves in the package, I felt a bit vindicated.  Along with the broken leaves, I saw bits of what looked like bark in the mix, along with some little white bits that had a faint spiciness. I picked through the brewed leaves and didn't see  bark or white bits, but I did find stems. Perhaps it was they that gave this tea its pine-like nuances.  No matter. Although this tea's first impression was pine-esque, pine was not the dominant flavor.  It's overall mood was malty and just-bold-enough.  Those who like a lighter cuppa might use fewer leaves to achieve a more traditional, Darjeeling flavor. This is good stuff!  I rate it an 8.5.

— To purchase Tea District Organic Fair Trade Darjeeling Second Flush, 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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