Review: JING Tea Okayti Darjeeling First Flush

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, JING Tea Add comments
Troy’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Thoroughly recommendable, especially to Black tea junkies looking to dip their toes into the realm of slightly less oxidized tea, Green tea junkies wanting something with a little more pucker, and of course Darjeeling tea lovers themselves. "
Troy’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 8.5/10, Chelsy gave it 8.7/10, CJ gave it 9.5/10, Dave gave it 8.5/10
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The history of tea is one of the greatest stories in the history of mankind, right up there with the histories of beer, wine, cheese, the wheel, agriculture, and telecommunications. Most of the world was subjugated just to ensure that the Han Chinese and British monarchies could enjoy a nice cuppa with determined regularity. India, as a single subcontinent and Himalaya spanning nation, only exists as a byproduct of the British East India Company, one of the most powerful corporations, and unregulated monopolies, in the history of our species.

The East India company (EIC) eventually came to absorb most (although not all) of the holdings of the Dutch, Danish, French, Swiss, and Portuguese companies, having its own armies, its own fleet, and effectively ruling what would become modern India as its own private nation-state. Thus we have the modern state of India, in which Darjeeling and Assam jut out the eastern side like an odd growth, all because that's as far a swath as the EIC could cut into the Himalayas.

I told you that story so I could tell you this story. Jing's David touches on the current political disputes over these boarders in a travelogue in which he introduces the Okayti (pronounced Okay Tea, yes really, go read it here) estate to us, and the great Gorkhas who work there. Its a nice post on their part, and lets you snob-off to your friends about your fancy single estate tea with some sense of knowledge.

Enough nonsense, on with the review. The leaves are very curly in appearance, little broken bits of tightly twisted green and black leaf predominate, and unfurl nicely into shredded brown and light brown sheets in the cup. The smell is mild, with a little bit of artichoke, and a little bit of Pinot Grigio if you really get your nose in there (if the tip of your nose isn't dripping, your lack of dedication disgusts me). The flavor is neatly in that green/white/oolong category that only first flush Darjeeling can inhabit simultaneously, Schrodinger's tea that it is.

This Darjeeling has muted roasted notes, and strong vegetable tastes lacking in overt bitterness, but with a pleasant mouth puckering effect. I wouldn't really compare it to the flavors of Brut Champagne, but it definitely has a pleasantly strong leaning towards "green" white wines. The "green" flavor being a disaster in white wine would seem to be a boon in Darjeeling. Thoroughly recommendable, especially to Black tea junkies looking to dip their toes into the realm of slightly less oxidized tea, Green tea junkies wanting something with a little more pucker, and of course Darjeeling tea lovers themselves.

— To purchase JING Tea Okayti Darjeeling First 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.

Teaviews Member: Troy Troy
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