Jun Chiyabari FTGFOP1 First Flush (2012) from Rare Tea Republic

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Republic

Tea Description:

This easy-drinking selection has a minty aroma and a smooth, full flavor with soft notes of dry apricot in a light liquor. A sweet, balanced selection.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve got to tell you, this year’s first flush Darjeeling teas seem to be green in color!  Each of the three first flush Darjeeling teas I’ve tried from Rare Tea Republic, while technically categorized as black teas because they’ve been oxidized, all have leaves that have made me go back and check the website to make sure that I’m dealing with a black tea and not a green!

That’s neither a bad thing nor a good thing … I’m just so used to looking at a leaf and being able to determine what type of tea it is.  Admittedly, there were a few times I’ve judged incorrectly … perhaps more than a few.  But, I would say that I’m about 90% accurate with those judgment calls.  But with the three teas I’ve tasted from this past spring’s harvest offered by Rare Tea Republic:  the Phoomsering, the Wah, and this Jun Chiyabari, I’ve had to double check to make sure they’re black teas and not green!

But no matter … really, what it all comes down to is the taste, and taste (and quality!) wise the teas from Rare Tea Republic simply are the best!  This Jun Chiyabari is no exception.  It is so deliciously flavorful, with interesting notes of cream as well as a crisp, cooling sensation that is quite mint-ish.  I do taste the sweet, dried apricot flavor to this as well – and it’s quite a lovely contrast to the zesty, herbaceous mint-like tone.

What also sets it apart from other Darjeeling-esque teas is that it doesn’t have the same level of astringency that I often experience with a Darjeeling.  The finish is dry and sweet (like a fine wine) but, it isn’t overly astringent.  The delivery is smooth from start to finish, providing lovely, sweet fruit tones that I am finding irresistible.

The lovely lightness to this cup makes it a delightful choice to serve in the afternoon, when you’re looking for a little pick-me-up but nothing too heavy or assertive.  That’s not to say that this isn’t packed with flavor – it is!  But it is such a creamy, smooth kind of flavor.

Really quite wonderful!  The kind of tea you’ll want to spend time with – often!

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