Review: SerendipiTea Darjeeling Second Flush Seeyok Estate

Darjeeling Tea, SerendipiTea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The taste of the tea is surprising to me - it's dark and sort of nutty and even a little bit chocolate-y. I am reminded of the taste of a bold, dark oolong like a Big Red Robe."
Jamie’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7.5/10, Shaiha gave it 5.7/10, Geoff gave it 7/10, Lynn gave it 8/10, Katie gave it 8.0/10
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serendipiteadarjeelingseeyokThe Seeyok Estate, where this second flush Darjeeling offering from Serendipitea is sourced, is an award winning biodynamic tea estate near the Nepalese border, according to the website. The dry leaf is very dark, nearly black, with medium length leaves shot through with dark chocolate, olive and small golden leaves. The smell of the leaf is pleasant and intriguing, sweet like dried fruit with plenty of warm apricot scent.

According to instructions, I steeped 1.5 teaspoons of leaf in a twelve ounce infuser pot for three minutes using water brought to a boil and allowed to cool slightly. The taste of the tea is surprising to me - it's dark and sort of nutty and even a little bit chocolate-y. The fruit I detected in the scent of the dry leaf is hard to find in the cup. I am reminded of the taste of a bold, dark oolong like a Big Red Robe. I didn't find the tea too green in flavor. The body of the tea, however, despite the strong initial flavor, is lacking in staying power and substance. The flavor fades fast and there's not enough fullness to really make this a tea that I find really savory.

I found the flavors in the tea intriguing enough to try a stronger infusion to see if I could extend the body a bit and better suit my tastes. I used a teaspoon and a half of leaf to eight ounces this time, using the same brewing parameters otherwise. This yielded a fuller and more flavorful first and second infusion, neither of which became bitter or too astringent. The darker brew has more flavor and what astringency comes through is a little feisty but not unpleasant. There's a certain sweet maltiness that brings me back to the sweet and mellow sugary quality of dried fruit that I smelled in the dry leaf.

Still and all, I feel like the stronger ratio of tea to water masks some of the good flavors that peeked out in the recommended steeping parameters. This isn't a tea I'd seek out in terms of second flush darjeelings. It seems a little hard to work with as the best flavors, to me, were just hinted at with recommended leaf to water ratio (they faded too quickly) and are somewhat muddled when increasing the ratio. I couldn't find a balance I really loved with this tea.

— To purchase SerendipiTea Darjeeling Second Flush Seeyok Estate, 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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