Review: Nudo Darjeeling First Flush

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Nudo Darjeeling Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's a cool company and concept; I definitely recommend you head over to their website to learn more and maybe give it a try."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.2/10
Other Teaviews: Samantha gave it 7.3/10
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NudodarjeelingYou can't really talk about this tea without first talking about the company that sells it. If you're already aware of the way they work, feel free to skip ahead. So basically the way it works is you 'adopt' a Darjeeling tea garden. You pay a fee every quarter (the first time is slightly more expensive, but every season after is less money), and they send you a packet of the seasonal harvest from that garden. It's actually pretty affordable, since with shipping, it still works out to less than $10/ounce, a reasonable fee for quality, farmer-fresh Darjeeling. So it's a very specific, and very cool, tea of the season club, and I don't know the numbers, but I assume it's proper fair trade, too, allowing a good chunk of your coin to make it to the producers themselves.

I don't know what garden this sample is from, which isn't something I find troubling. The leaves are surprisingly brown for a first flush Darjeeling, but there are still ample splashes of green. They're small and choppy, as Darj teas often are. This tasting suffers from the fact that this year's first flush harvest is already starting to come in, so this leaf is probably about a year old, but I assume if you get it through the program, it'll be much fresher.

I brew with my usual Darj parameters, one teaspoon per cup at 195° for three minutes. The scent I'd surprisingly earthy with a touch of puerh-like fishiness. The flavour is likewise very unique for a first flush Darjeeling, earthy and malty with just the tiniest hint of muscatel fruitiness underneath, a feature I think I only noticed because I was looking for it. It's mellow enough that I doubt it will stand up to second steep, but it pulls through nicely and gives a great second cup.

I prefer brighter, crisper FF Darjeelings, so I'm not in love with this leaf, but it's a good cup. And who knows, it being fresher might be enough to brighten up the flavour. Either way, I wouldn't jump to adopt whatever garden this is, though if you enjoy more robust and autumnal harvests, this may be more your style. It's a cool company and concept, though, and if you're at all intrigued, I definitely recommend you head over to their website to learn more and maybe give it a try.

— To purchase Nudo 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.

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