Review: Happy Earth Tea Marybong Spring

Darjeeling Tea, Happy Earth Tea, Organic Tea, Single Estate Tea, Uncategorized Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This affordable, organic black tea makes for a brisk, clean and bright cup with enough complexity to keep seasoned tea drinkers coming back for more. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.4/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 7.4/10
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This single estate, high elevation, first flush Darjeeling promises to be “brisk and sweet with a floral fragrance and a nutty undertone”. Like all of Happy Earth's wares, it is certified organic. The small, somewhat broken leaves display an impressive range of colours, from pale green to rust to espresso brown. Their aroma is a mouth watering mixture of stone fruit, berries and toasted coconut.

These leaves announce themselves to be either really potent or temperamental. Or possibly both. It's rare to come across brewing instructions recommending only a half teaspoonful per cup. The website also emphatically warns against steeping this tea for more than 3 minutes. Who am I to argue? Since no water temperature is listed, just to be safe, I used water heated to 90 degrees Celsius.

I need not have worried. This tea's aroma is very warm and welcoming, combining malt and caramel. The cup bears a lovely crystal clear golden brown hue. Taking a sip, mildly tannic top notes are followed by honeyed red fruit and malt notes. There are some underlying more savoury oak, tobacco and cashew tones as well. These become more prominent as the tea cools, while the sweet finish verges towards a complex smokey caramel flavour. More astringency develops with time as well, but no bitterness though. Very light-bodied and delicate, this is not at all the temperamental heavy I had anticipated.

After 3 and a half minutes, my second infusion is palatable but plain. The delicious sweet finish of the first cup has entirely disappeared. What remains is a mixture of smoke and astringency. While the cup is still relatively smooth in feel, the overall result is rather bland. A longer steep time might bring out more of the other flavours. However, as things stand now, I'm not too tempted to keep experimenting.

This affordable, organic black tea makes for a brisk, clean and bright cup. It's more fruity than floral to my taste. The raspberry and caramel finish is particularly noteworthy. The first infusion has enough complexity to keep seasoned tea drinkers coming back for more.

— To purchase Happy Earth Tea Marybong Spring, 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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