Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Darjeeling Tea Lovers
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.
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!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: East Pacific Tea Co.
This certified tea from the Darjeeling region of India produces a cup of refined exotic flavours like no other. The mountain grown leaves have a distinct rich taste that you will love.
Wow! When I first opened the pouch and smelled the slightly spicy tones of this tea, I didn’t realize it was an Oolong. I read the package and saw that it was a Darjeeling tea, so I steeped it according to the parameters I generally set for a Darjeeling black tea (that is: 195° F, for 2 1/2 minutes in my Breville One-Touch). Fortunately, these parameters seemed to work well with this Oolong.
Even as I sat here, contemplating my initial thoughts about this tea (the color and aroma: clear, medium-toned amber and sweet, spicy notes with a raisin-y front note), I hadn’t thought of this as an Oolong, but as a rather intriguing and unusual Darjeeling black. However, after the first few sips, I knew that this wasn’t a black Darjeeling, it is more similar to an Oolong. A quick visit to the East Pacific Tea Company’s webpage for this tea confirmed my suspicions.
Having only tried a few Darjeeling Oolong teas, I am very pleased to be able to have the opportunity to try this one. And of the ones that I have tried, I must say that this one is probably the most memorable. It has a sweet, somewhat fruit-like flavor (raisins?) to it. The texture is smooth and silky. There is some astringency to this, but not nearly as much as I would usually associate with a Darjeeling black. The astringency here is nice as it seems to cleanse the palate of the soft mouthfeel. The soft, smooth texture doesn’t build up on the tongue. It feels fresh and new each time I take a sip.
What is very special about this Darjeeling Oolong are those aforementioned sweet, spicy notes. This set of spice tones combined with the fruit flavors (I’m starting to notice an apricot-y kind of taste now, along with the raisin) makes for a very rewarding cuppa.
Now that I’ve tried this tea, and realized it to be an Oolong, the next time I shall enjoy it even more fully by brewing in my Gaiwan! I look forward to my next experience with this tea – and I highly recommend that my readers try this one. A truly memorable tea, one with which you will enjoy making memories!