Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
From Darjeeling in West-Bengal, India, comes this rare exquisite Darjeeling Black tea, prized over all other black teas for its rich amber color, fine floral hints, and fruity muscatel flavor. Cultivated at about 7000ft in the Himalayas, this second flush tea is biodynamically grown at the renowned Makaibari Estate, the oldest (est. 1859) and most respected tea estate in the world. This outstanding afternoon tea is a richly flavored yet light-bodied tea that is best when tastes alone, but can also goes well with milk and sugar.
This is an excellent Darjeeling.
It has the qualities I’ve come to expect from a good Darjeeling: it is light-bodied and crisp, with a pleasant fruit and floral taste and a musky undertone. But something is a little different with this particular Darjeeling. Something a little unexpected. It has a richer – I almost want to say “thicker” – flavor to it. Like a sort of velvet-y like smoothness to the flavor and texture that is not usually experienced in a Darjeeling. It’s almost as if Darjeeling met Assam, fell in love and this Darjeeling is their love child.
That is not to say that this tea possesses strong Assam qualities because this is absolutely, positively a Darjeeling tea. This “love child” favors the Darjeeling side. And as I continue to sip, I notice more qualities that make it so. The muscatel really shines through by mid-cup. But that smooth, almost creamy thickness to it is almost malty… it offers hints that are very Assam-like. This is a very wonderful, complex cup that is as interesting to write about as it is to sip.
A very pleasant surprise, this Darjeeling from Shanti Tea. And I have enjoyed every last drop of it!