Leaf Type: Black Darjeeling Tea
Where to Buy: Vahdam Teas
A certified organic fresh summer black from Okayti. The well manufactured leaves offer a delightful appearance with golden tips sprinkled all over. The tea is elegantly rich and bodied supported by aromas of fruits and berries. Discover zesty notes of chocolate with hints of muscat grapes in every sip. The aftertaste lingers on to a sweet floral finish.
Learn more about this tea here.
I will start by explaining that Vahdam Teas is a new name for an older company, formally known as Golden Tips Teas. This tea was a free sample from my previous order with them; of which I am thankful to try.
Darjeeling to me is perfect for the summer months and today has been a little dull but warm and dry non the less, ideal to review this sample. This tea is certified organic and is graded as: SFTGFOP1 which stands for (Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1). The packaging label also shows the ‘Date of Picking’ which is a bonus and very nice to see. My sample was picked 15th May 2015, so it’s just over a year old. This crop is still available for sale on their website.
As I open the packet and spread a selection of the leaves in my palm I can note: small/medium dark brown leaves, thinly rolled with some curl and a few golden tips scattered about. They have a dry and sour scent with elements of musk and wood.
Steeping Parameters: 3-4g of leaf into a 320ml vessel with boiling water for 3 minutes.
The result is an amber coloured tea liquid that bares the same muscatel, wooden scent as it’s raw form.
Flavour is slightly sour with mild leather and malt flavours with dryness in the after taste. There is also some sweetness which cuts through the sourness a little. The musk is also present but it smells stronger than it tastes. As it cools the sourness tones down slightly but the malt and dry leaf flavour remains dominant and fills my mouth. The dryness increases but remains at a manageable level.
After the steep the used tea leaves are mostly whole and now fully opened, baring a brown colour with a red hue. They have no discolouration or holes/marks and I can see no stems other than those that have broken off from the leaves.
There are a few reasons that I tend to prefer 2nd flush Darjeeling and the main reason is the muscatel flavour/scent. It is unique to Darjeeling and that makes it special, and also a favourite of mine. This is a nice example of a 2nd flush Darjeeling, though the musk is not as strong with this one as it can be. Still, overall it tasted and smelled wonderful which is all I can ask for. And it’s aided me on this warm day beautifully.
Until next time, Happy Steeping!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Golden Tips Tea
Our maiden autumnal offering from the bio-organic and fair-trade Makaibari plantations. Floral, zesty and and stimulating, the tea is a classic pre-winter Darjeeling. The coruscating liquor shimmers your tea experience and brings in scintillating fruity aromas. Characteristic of a typical combination of black-brown and light green leaves, the flavor is an alluring melody of accentuated briskness and sharp astringent notes which make for a unique delightful cuppa. An excellent tea for all Autumn tea lovers.
Learn more about this tea here.
I like to know everything I can about my tea. Where it was grown? When was it picked and processed? What did it do in its free time? All important questions.
So when I see the exact estate/region and date of picking, it just makes me feel better knowing. I think that influences my tea purchases greatly. So, on the sample package of Makaibari’s Autumn Flush Darjeeling, seeing basic details is a comfort. Golden Tips even goes so far as to put the exact day when the tea was plucked. (November 28th, 2014 to be exact.)
Opening the package, I see the usually tricolor leaves; dark brown, sliver-tipped, and the occasional green. The leaves give off little to no aroma, very light bread and fruity notes.
I steeped my tea loose in my elephant teapot, letting the tea evolve on it’s own in the pot. The first couple steeps were light and had prominent bread and malt qualities. The more I got down into the pot, the more fruity and acidic the tea became. It was a very good experience, even down to the last sips. The astringency never got too much to handle, and the muscatel notes were very nice and noticeable thought the body of the liquor. An excellent and simple Darjeeling, great for when I want a black tea, but still crave something on the lighter side of the genre!
Where To Buy:
Golden Tips Tea