|"Not exactly what one would look for in a darjeeling. Something makes this one special."|
I chose to steep 1 tsp of tea in 8 ounces of 198ºF water for 3 minutes.
The dry leaves had an amazing range of colors from bright green to rust to charcoal and everything in between. The leaves themselves are tightly curled, full, leaves and twigs. The aroma is deliciously fresh and clean, delicate and light but powerful. Not exactly what one would look for in a darjeeling. Something makes this one special.
The liquor was crystal clear. Honey colored, with no haze on the surface and just a little dust in the bottom of the cup. Matching the honey color, the aroma was filled with honey notes and florals. Upon tasting, the first noticed quality was the ending astringency. Slightly bitter and drying but relenting to the palate. There were no fruity notes at all. The tea, comprised of black tea, had a very strong green flavor. Almost unripe. Very basic in terms of darjeelings.
The wet infusion opened fully, turned an olive color, and had a fruity aroma. The fruity aroma was interesting because there was no hint of fruity-ness in the liquor.
As the liquor cooled, it developed a more balanced flavor. The subtle notes began to round out and come full strength. The medium body presented a strong minerality and the honey notes intensified.
From a sommelier standpoint, I would pair this with cheese courses. Possibly a semi-hard cheese, sheep's or cow's milk. Intermezzo courses could use this tea to their advantage to help wipe the palate. Also wonderful on its own.
— To purchase DarjeelingTeaXpress Darjeeling 2012 Giddapahar First Flush SFTGFOP1, 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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