Review: DarjeelingTeaXpress Special Himalayan Second Flush Black Tea

Black Tea, DarjeelingTeaXPress, Nepalese Tea, Orange Pekoe Tea, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Quite strong was the white grape presence that I actually had the urge to sip some wine while writing."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.4/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10
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I was a little downtrodden that I could find next-to-no information on the Ilam Chiya Bari tea estate. I found their listing in two online Nepalese phone books, and plenty of information on a Jun Chiya Bari estate, but nothing on Ilam. All I had to go on was the basic information provided by DarjeelingTeaXpress. This was a second flush FTGFOP1, meaning a top-quality orange pekoe. To date, I have had two Nepalese blacks - a first flush and a second. The latter met with resounding palate applause.

The leaves for this looked and smelled quite a bit like a Darjeeling on first impression. The leaves didn't have any green in the mix like with some Darjeeling second flushes, but the requisite spicy smell was alive and kicking. I was surprised at the presence of some downy/fuzzy-tipped buds in the mix. Some golden tips could be discerned in the fray as well, somewhat exciting me to the possibility of a nectary cup.

Brewing instructions called for a 90C water temperature and a three-and-a-half-minute steep. 90C roughly translated to 194F in "stupid American" degrees. Best bet I've found with OPs from Darjeeling or Nepal was to guesstimate a little. For this, I brought water to just below a boil and steeped for three minutes; 1 tsp in 8oz worth.

The liquor brewed up in a way that was no surprise - to a light gold-to-amber infusion with a muscatel nose. Quite strong was the white grape presence that I actually had the urge to sip some wine while writing. The initial sip was incredibly smooth; no bite to it whatsoever, very close to a first flush impression. The body of the flavor held on to the grape note in a lingering fashion. The aftertaste could only be described as mildly apple-sweet. While definitely not a run-of-the-mill black, it didn't quite "WOW!" me. However, it was still quite wonderful to slurp. No bitterness.

— To purchase DarjeelingTeaXpress Special Himalayan Second Flush Black Tea, 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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2 Responses to “Review: DarjeelingTeaXpress Special Himalayan Second Flush Black Tea”

  1. Bachan Gyawali Says:

    Hi Geoff,

    Ilam Chiyabari is a new tea company that is less than a year old! It is a sister concern of Jun Chiyabari, which is now in it’s 9th year of production.

    We will be building up Ilam Chiyabari’s profile slowly in the coming days and I will be very happy to provide any further information should you be interested!

    Warm regards,

    Bachan Gyawali
    Founder / Owner
    Ilam Chiyabari
    Aitabare, Fikkal

  2. Geoff Says:

    Thank you for the response, Bachan! That clears it up tremendously. Good luck on the new venture. You’re off to a good start with the new company.

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