Rohini Supreme Breakfast First Flush Tea from Darjeeling Tea Lovers

ROHINI SUPREMETea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

This Breakfast Tea comes from ROHINI – The Youngest Tea Garden of Darjeeling. This is the only estate which claims to be 100% Clonal.

This tea has a woodsy kind of flavour to it which can be felt in the dry leaves also. The liquor along with woodsy flavour has prominent floral tone which becomes more prominent as the tea cools. The tea has a pleasant mouth feel and the flavour is uplifting.

Learn more about Darjeeling Tea Lovers here.

Taster’s Review:

This Rohini Supreme Breakfast First Flush Tea isn’t yet available this year from Darjeeling Tea Lovers.  I was privileged enough to get some from last year’s harvest.  I had written this review some months ago, when this tea was still available on the Darjeeling Tea Lovers website, but my review was somehow misplaced.  Hopefully this tea will be available again this year and perhaps my review of last year’s harvest will convince you that you should try this year’s harvest!

My apologies to Darjeeling Tea Lovers for the delay in getting this review posted!

When I opened the pouch of this “Breakfast Tea,” I noticed the green leaves.  This is not uncommon with a Darjeeling “black” as Darjeeling teas generally undergo less oxidation than other black tea leaves.

I brewed this tea in my Breville One-Touch, measuring 2 bamboo scoops of the tea into the basket and adding 500ml of freshly filtered water into the kettle.  Then I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and the temperature for 195°F.

The tea brewed up to a very light amber-coppery color.  It has a pleasant fragrance that is somewhat floral with hints of fruit.

The flavor is LOVELY.  While the tea is still quite hot, I picked up on very light floral notes with prominent woodsy notes and notes of fruit.  As the tea cooled, the floral notes began to develop.  Usually with a Darjeeling, I notice grape-like flavors.  This is particularly true of a second flush Darjeeling.  This is a first flush so I wasn’t expecting a strong grape-y presence, but, I was a little surprised when the fruit I was tasting was more like melon.  This flavor morphs into more of a grape-like flavor as I continue to sip, but those first few sips were quite honeydew-ish!

When it comes to the layers of flavor in teas, “woodsy” is not one of those flavors that I often celebrate.  It’s more or less one of those flavor profiles that I can take or leave.  It’s not something I usually get excited about.  I’m not usually like “Wow!  I love the woodsy flavors of this tea!”  Then again, I’m not usually like “Gah, I really don’t like that woodsy note.”  For me it’s something that I don’t really mind one way or another if it’s there or not.

But, I really am enjoying the woodsy tones of this.  It’s not a bitter wood or sour wood note.  It’s smooth and beautiful.  It melds beautifully with the fruit and the flower.  It’s a warm, slightly earthy note that is quite appealing.

Since I typically think of a breakfast tea as something that I might add milk and honey to, I don’t know that I’d consider this a breakfast tea.  It’s a brisk, bright flavored tea so I can understand why Darjeeling Tea Lovers might call this a breakfast blend – but I wouldn’t advise adding milk and/or sweetener to this.  It would really overwhelm the beautiful balance of flavors!

Instead, enjoy the gently nuanced flavors of the cup as they are.

2014 Giddapahar Spring Bliss First Flush (SFTGFOP1) from Darjeeling Tea Lovers


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

Giddapahar Spring Bliss as the name suggests is one of the most ‘Blissful’ First Flush tea we have. A very yummy tea which is ideal for all day.

This is a tea that actually meets the First Flush mantra of ‘LIGHT & BRIGHT’. It is a full bouquet of fruity peach like notes and if you really care to understand what PURE CHINA BLACK TEA tastes like, this is the ideal tea. We assure you that it will be difficult to stop with just one cup.

A BLISSFUL, DELIGHTFUL, ENERGETIC tea from the house of GIDDAPAHAR TEA. A must have for every tea connoisseur. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh wow … what a lovely first flush Darjeeling!

The above description is pretty effective at describing this tea:  light, bright, aromatic with notes of peach that don’t just tickle the nose but also the palate with peachy flavor!

The dry leaf looks very much like a Darjeeling:  the leaves vary in color from green to brown.  I like that these are long and wiry leaves rather than chopped and torn.  Once brewed and completely unfurled, you can see that these are whole leaves.  I like that.

GIDDAPAHAR SPRING BLISS1When it comes to Darjeeling tea, I usually use a slightly lower than boiling temperature, because Darjeeling tea usually is not oxidized for quite as long as other black teas.  I go with 195°F and steep the leaves for 2 1/2 minutes.  This produced a light amber colored liquor that is delightfully fragrant.

And delicious!

As I mentioned before, I can taste the peach.  I am loving that.  I don’t typically taste peach-like notes in a Darjeeling tea.  This is sweet and fruity with lovely floral notes that are dancing in the background.

Darjeeling teas tend to be lighter in texture and this is no exception, but this doesn’t have the same dry astringency toward the tail that other Darjeeling teas tend to have.  This has a silkier texture than I’m used to with Darjeeling teas, and I am enjoying how easy and smooth it is to drink.

I know I’ve said it before, but if you are a fan of Darjeeling Teas … you really should give Darjeeling Tea Lovers a try.  I have been so impressed with everything that I’ve tried from them.  Their teas are top notch.  An apt name for this company, because it would seem to me, based on everything that I’ve tried from them, that this is a company that has dedicated itself to acquiring the very finest teas for lovers of Darjeeling tea!

2014 Jungpana Nirvana First Flush (FTGFOP1) from Darjeeling Tea Lovers


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

JUNGPANA TEA ESTATE was the ‘show stopper’ last season. Some of the best teas of 2013 were produced in this Vintage Jungpana Tea Estate. We were very eager this season to see what is in store from this estate, and YES yet again this tea has re-defined the First Flush. Undoubtedly this tea is NIRVANA.

When steeped for 4 mins, it gives bright amber liquor and the flavours are very natural. It has a mouthful of flowery notes which only keeps you anxious for what is in store with the second sip. The aftertaste has a faint muscatel note which is a trademark for Darjeeling. Overall a clean crisp flavour with zero astringency.

We actually feel proud to have this tea in our store and THIS IS WHAT A PURE ORGANIC FIRST FLUSH DARJEELING BLACK TEA SHOULD BE. No wonder the teas from this estate make it to the Royal Tea Parties in England.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

On the Darjeeling Tea Lovers website, this tea mentions that it’s a “Special China Black Tea” and I’m not sure exactly what is meant by that.  I was operating under the belief that the Jungpana estate is in India (Darjeeling).  Does the Special China refer to the type of tea plant?

Despite my confusion (it’s easy to confuse me) I found myself falling in love at first sip with this Jungpana Nirvana First Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers!

When I’m about to indulge in a first flush Darjeeling, I don’t expect a strong “muscatel” essence from it, it’s been my experience that muscatel is more common with the second flush, not so much the first.  Both flushes are great for different reasons, but if it’s muscatel that a tea drinker is looking for, then they’d be better served to choose a second flush tea.

But, that’s not the case with this Jungpana Nirvana First Flush!  There are some delightful muscatel notes to this tea!  Sweet, grape-y notes with a luscious body to it – I’d describe it as a thick, silky mouthfeel.  There is an almost sugary sweetness to this cup that I’m finding irresistible.  In fact, it’s difficult to actually write this review because I find myself wanting to keep sipping.  I don’t want to put my cup down long enough to write!

It’s sweet and fruity, with hints of earthy/woodsy tones in the distance.  There is a very light astringency to this.  With the first few sips, the astringency was barely noticeable at all, and now that I’m more than halfway through the cup, I am starting to notice the astringency a little more – it develops.

Overall, a really, really good Darjeeling Experience, even if it’s a little different than I would have expected from a Darjeeling.  Different is good!  And be sure to re-steep the leaves!  The second infusion is just as flavorful as the first!

Lovers’ Leap Tea Estate Black Tea from P.M.David Silva & Sons

lovers-leapTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  PMD (P.M.David Silva & Sons)

Tea Description: 

Sitting proudly above the town of Nuwara Eliya, Lovers’ Leap Estate is steeped in tradition and legend. The Nuwara Eliya district is famed for producing the “champagne of Ceylon teas” and is often mistaken for the British countryside with its red post boxes and colonial bungalows. The estate bears the name from the tragic tale of a young couple that leapt of a waterfall on the estate. Moreover, it was the only tea to be served at the HM Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – a tea for those who enjoy the finer things in life!

Lovers’ Leap teas are reputed for their delicate and elegant characteristics. The estate is home not only to tea, moreover, the abundance of eucalyptus, cypress trees and wild mint bushes give the air a pleasant mentholated fragrance. The tea absorbs the fragrances and when infused it bears a remarkable golden, light green infusion. The flavours are bright, crisp and clean – the pleasant mentholated undertones will leave your taste buds tingling! We recommend Lovers’ Leap to be taken without milk or alternatively with a slice of lemon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know that I’ve tried Lovers’ Leap estate teas before, but, I can’t recall ever trying one quite like this one.  The description states that this is a Ceylon, and the leaves look like Ceylon to me.  But the color of the brewed tea and the crisp, light flavor is almost Darjeeling-esque to me.  It’s like a beautiful marriage of the two tea types.

As I said, it’s light and crisp … almost effervescent in flavor.  There is something very uplifting about the flavor of this tea.  It is sweet, and I taste the notes of eucalyptus and cypress trees that surround the Lover’s Leap estate, as well as the wild mint!  These aren’t strong flavor profiles in this cup, but they are definitely present in the many layers of this complex cuppa.

I am really enjoying the different flavors this tea has to offer within it’s layers.  Notes of menthol, woodsy notes, grape-like tones, light notes of citrus and sweet whispers of flower are just some of the flavors I’m experiencing here.

The sip starts out with a crisp note.  I can taste the notes of wood and flower right at the start.  As the sip develops, I notice the mint-like notes – very clean and cool! – and then I taste notes of grape.  Toward the end of the sip, there is a brightness to the cup, it’s almost citrus-y and this is noticeable especially toward the finish.  These citrus-y flavors linger in the aftertaste.  It’s not an overly astringent brew, but I’m experiencing some puckering of the inside of my cheeks toward the finish.  If I inhale after the sip is finished, the air that floats over my palate delivers a light mint-y note.

If I were to choose a season to compare this tea to, I’d choose summer, because it has a sunny flavor, reminiscent of a warm day with a gentle breeze blowing through the countryside.  The air is clean and invigorating with notes of the trees, flowers and some of the herbaceous tones that surround you.

This is not a tea that I’d choose for a breakfast or early morning tea, mostly because those earliest cups of tea I want to be more hefty and substantial.  This would make a stunning afternoon cup, though, and one that I’d serve to guests, because it makes a very impressive beverage.

A bright and beautiful cup of tea!  I’m becoming more impressed with the quality of teas that I’m trying from this company – PMDavid Silva & Sons – the more I taste from them, the more I like them!

Goomtee Grand Reserve Spring Tea First Flush 2014 from Darjeeling Tea Lovers


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

Goomtee Grand Reserve is a LIMITED EDITION tea. Not all teas get the prestigious tag of GRAND RESERVE but this tea deserves every bit of this.

The leaves have been plucked from the highest elevated section of this garden which is also called the MUSCATEL VALLEY. Super fine plucking of the leaves and tender processing has resulted with a masterpiece.

High floral notes with distinct JASMINE LIKE flavour will make every tea connoisseur mesmerized. It is only Goomtee that could deliver such a beauty.  

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This 2014 Goomtee Grand Reserve Spring Tea First Flush is a lot greener than most of the Darjeeling teas that I’ve encountered lately.  In fact, it looks very much like a green tea rather than a black tea.

Taking this into account, I lowered the temperature slightly.  Normally, I would steep a Darjeeling tea at 195°F, but for this greener Darjeeling, I lowered the temperature to 185°F, and using my Breville One-Touch tea maker, I set the steep time for 2 minutes.

The result is a delightful cup of tea!  The aroma of the brewed cup is crazy floral – it is really beautiful.

And the flavor!  Sweet!  Floral!  There are even hints of muscatel in this cup.  The floral notes are profound, and as the description above promises, there is a “distinct jasmine like” flavor.  There is a soft, pleasant texture.  The astringency sort of tingles on the tongue in the finish, and I find that it accentuates the floral notes of this cup.

I’m mesmerized by the jasmine tones of this cup.  I don’t think that this tea was actually *scented* with jasmine, but, it almost tastes as though it has been processed similar to a typical jasmine scented tea.  The jasmine essence is a bit more subdued than in a typical jasmine green tea, for example, but, it’s still a rather surprising taste to find in a Darjeeling tea such as this.

I’d recommend this to all those that enjoy drinking tea!  Those that love jasmine, as I do, this is an exciting twist on that classic favorite.  Those that love Darjeeling, this is one that you should have on your cupboard because it’s a stunning representation of a fine Darjeeling first flush.  Those that simply love all teas, this is quite a unique tea and unlike any that I’ve tried thus far (and I’ve tried a lot of tea!)  It’s one you should try too!

A truly remarkable and … rather unexpected Darjeeling tea.