Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: Tea Horse
A beautifully bright fragrant rare tea from the Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim.
Learn more about this tea here.
What a lovely single estate Darjeeling! So crisp and bright tasting; it has a clean, uplifting flavor that is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up … which is just what I need right at this very moment!
The aroma is pleasing with subtle notes of flower and fruit, I also detect notes of wood and gentle spices. This fragrance tells of what the flavor has in store, as I taste layers of flavor. The overall cup is so light and refreshing, it almost seems to sparkle on the tongue. No wonder Darjeeling is often called the “Champagne of Teas.”
This is a tea that benefits from a few moments of cooling off time after the tea has been decanted. When very hot, the flavors seem almost jumbled together, resulting in an overall taste that is crisp and delicious, but it is difficult to discern all the different facets of flavor within the sip. After cooling for about three minutes, though, those layers of flavor really begin to come to life, ready to reveal themselves.
Up front, I notice a lovely flowery note – not a sharp floral tone, its more like a soft, sweet note that melds almost seamlessly with a wood-like tones, evoking thoughts of a tree in bloom. Beneath this flavor I notice a gentle, warm set of ambiguous spices which lends an exotic touch to this cup.
In this Darjeeling, there does not seem to be a strong “muscatel” presence … at least, not at first. Instead, I detect a cleaner, lighter fruit tone, tasting a bit like a finely filtered apple juice, crisp and sweet. It is quite faint, really, as if maybe a drop or two of the juice were added to the cup. However, as I made my way to mid-cup, I began to notice a slight muscatel-esque taste emerging. These fruit notes never really become distinctly pronounced, though. Very soft and clean, in keeping with what seems to be the overall theme of this tea.
Also keeping with the clean taste, the astringency seems to cleanse the palate. The aftertaste is equally as clean, leaving only hints of what was tasted during the sip: whispers of flowers, slightly woody, insinuations of fruit, and a dash of spice.
This is one of those teas that you want to enjoy on a quiet afternoon. It is a contemplative cup that restores you as you explore its many layers of flavor. A truly wonderful experience.