Review: Happy Earth Tea Puttabong Darjeeling First Flush

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Happy Earth Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Notes of fruit, muscatel, and herbs."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.9/10
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happyearthputtabongdarjMuch like my family, I love every Darjeeling tea, but I love some more than others, and Puttabong is one of the gardens I get really excited about. But when I put in my big, annual first flush order last year, Puttabong wasn't in stock yet, so I'm thrilled Happy Earth Tea gave me the chance to sample this garden's 2014 harvest.

The website recommends you brew one teaspoon per cup at 180° for three minutes. I usually brew Darjeelings at 195°, so I go with that instead. The leaves are small, curled, and a multitude of browns and greens. They smell bright and herbal and brew into a bright amber liquor. The cup smells brilliantly of muscatel and herbs.

On its surface, the flavour is classic Darjeeling: all notes of fruit, muscatel, and herbs, but there are key differences from similar leaves. It doesn't have any bitterness or earthiness to balance the fruity notes, meaning it lacks a great deal of depth, but it also makes the tea more accessible for drinkers who don't appreciate the bitter flavour often found in Darjeeling teas. I find myself missing the bitter note, but I appreciate the cup's lack of bracing, acrid, or otherwise unpleasant flavours.

I infuse a second time for five minutes and am disappointed. It's got enough flavour to be worth the resteep, but it's more watery and bland than I'm used to from teas of this calibre. That doesn't diminish the amazing first steep; however, and overall it's an easy to drink, unique tea that I really enjoyed.

— To purchase Happy Earth Tea Puttabong 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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