Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Silver Tips Tea
The prize crop of Darjeeling, the champagne of teas! This is first flush at its best – slightly astringent, a green hue to the leaf and a pleasant floral tone to the cup. Enjoy the spirit of the Himalayas – Organic, Biodynamic & Fair Trade.
As I’ve said many times before, I love Darjeeling. So, I’m always happy to try new Darjeeling teas. This Darjeeling I received as part of the Steepster Select monthly subscription. This new program from Steepster is really great. For just $19 per month, I receive three packages of tea (an ounce of each tea, I think?) I love receiving tea in the mail, and I was all giddy (like a kid on Christmas morning) when this package arrived last week.
But… let’s get on with the review, shall we?
This First Flush Darjeeling from the Makaibari estate is very pleasant. It has that clean, crisp flavor and lightness that I have come to expect from a first flush Darjeeling. The muscatel of this tea really stands out. It is deliciously fruity with a very wine-like finish.
About mid-sip, I notice a sharp bitterness. It isn’t an unpleasant bitter tone, but it does seem to shift the flavor focus from sweet to bitter. However, just as quickly as the bitterness displaces the sweetness, the astringency seems to cut out the bitterness. It is a very smooth transition from sweet fruit notes to sharp bitterness to tangy astringency. The aftertaste is mildly sweet with an almost wood-like flavor in the distance.
I generally do not drink Darjeeling teas as iced tea, but I found this one to be exceptionally tasty when it cools. The bitterness becomes more of an afterthought, and the astringency nearly disappears as well. It becomes less focused – somewhat like a blurry photograph – but, even without the hot tea’s complexity this is still incredibly flavorful.
I really like this. I’m glad it was part of the Steepster Select box this month!