Castleton Autumnal Tulip Black Tea (2013 Autumn Flush) from Darjeeling Tea Lovers


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

CASTLETON AUTUMNAL TULIP, as the name suggests is an AUTUMNAL TEA or THIRD FLUSH tea from the estates of CASTLETON TEA ESTATE.

This tea comes with Malty, Muscatel & spicy notes smooth yet complex in flavour. “LIGHT & BRIGHT” is an ideal way to describe this tea. It has a very smooth cup with plenty of sweet muscatel notes. An ideal tea for your breakfast.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of the dry leaf is sweet with some spice notes and floral tones.  The brewed tea has a fruitier fragrance, smelling a lot more like fruit than flower.  I still pick up on sweet and spice, but mostly, I’m picking up on a delightful grape-y scent!  You know what that means, right?  Muscatel!

Oh yeah!  And this tea has the muscatel that you’re looking for!  It has a very wine-like taste, with bright, fruity notes that taper to a slight dryness at the finish and the aftertaste is sweet and fruity, with notes of grape and black currant.

The sip starts with a sweet yet spicy note.  The malty notes of this tea accentuate the sweetness, although I’m not finding this tea to be overly sweet.  I think that the spice notes add enough contrast to the overall flavor to keep this from tasting like your average Darjeeling.  This is – in my humble opinion – head and shoulders above that average Darjeeling.  I love the muscatel notes here, and I love the crisp, light flavor of the cup.

This is not a heavy tasting black (not surprising, it is a Darjeeling, after all!) and it would make a great tea for mid-morning or early afternoon.  The above description suggests this as a breakfast tea, and I could see that too, there is a certain briskness to this cup that is quite invigorating.  Although, I wouldn’t add milk to this cup – it would overwhelm the fabulous flavors going on.  So, if you’re one who wants milk in your breakfast tea, save this one for the second cup of the day when you are ready for some unfettered tea flavor.

As I continue sipping, I’m picking up on some bright citrus notes that arrive just after mid-sip, and re-emerge in the aftertaste.  I don’t usually associate citrus flavors with Darjeeling, but this tea has some sunny notes of lemon!  Nice!

There is some astringency to this cup, but, it’s a fairly mellow astringency.  It isn’t leaving the insides of my cheeks feeling puckered or dry, although there is a gentle “clean” feeling to my palate.

Another delightful autumnal flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers!

Product Review: Spicy Ginger Chai Concentrate from Third Street Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

For more information, visit:  Third Street Chai

Product Description:

A generously spiced blend of fine black tea, fiery ginger, and freshly-milled aromatic spices.

Ingredients:  Filtered Water, Evaporated Cane Juice, Fair Trade Certified Organic Black Tea, Organic Cardamom, Organic Clove, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Fennel, Organic Nutmeg, Citric Acid.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t usually go for chai concentrates.  I don’t stop at a lot of coffee shops (although here in the Pacific Northwest, there seems to be at least one on every street corner) and order chai lattes that are made from those concentrates.  The reason is that I find that they don’t really taste very much like tea.  They are more like some sort of sweet (sometimes sickeningly sweet), spicy, milky beverage that is alright, but not something I’d want to drink on a regular basis.  On average, I’d say I have one of those coffee shop chai lattes about three times a year.

But… if I found a local coffee shop that used THIS chai concentrate, I might visit more often!  This is really good.  I prepared it according to package directions, using a ratio of 1 part concentrate to 1 part milk, put it into a mug and then zap it in the microwave for a minute or two.

The results are delightful.  Although it is sweetened – it is sweetened just right for me.  It is not so sweet that the sweetener overpowers the flavor of the black tea and the spices.  And neither does the milk.

I can taste the strong black tea and the spices – and if the name of this particular variety is any indication to you, I especially taste the ginger.  It is peppery but not over-the-top spicy.  It warms me up without making me feel like I need something to offset the hot spice.  Just enough zing without making my mouth feel like I should call the fire department!

This is really delicious!