Gopaldhara Spring Special Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Gopaldhara Spring SpecialTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goapldhara is one of the highest tea estates of Darjeeling and is located in the Mirik valley. The garden is planted with high quality clonal bushes and produces exquisite teas. Gopaldhara First Flush Darjeeling Tea has a floral aroma and a sweet & mellow taste. A great tea to relax and refresh your mind.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh. My.  Goodness!  What a lovely Darjeeling!

I steeped this Gopaldhara Spring Special Black Tea from Udyan Tea in my Breville One-Touch, and I was a little surprised when the tea maker finished it’s cycle – the tea is not black.  It’s not even coppery.  It’s yellow!  Like the color of melted butter that had been slightly browned – but only ever so slightly – still more yellow than brown.

Parameters:  I measured 2 bamboo scoops of tea in the basket of my Breville and added 500ml of freshly filtered water to the jug.   Then I set the temperature for 195°F and the timer for 2 1/2 minutes.

But don’t let this rather unusual color for a ‘black’ tea freak you out – this is some seriously good stuff!  Think of it as liquid gold.


Really smooth – much smoother than I’m used to from a Darjeeling.  There is some dry astringency toward the tail – but not a lot.  No bitterness.  Now, I can’t say that you wouldn’t experience those things if you brewed it at a different temperature (I find that with Darjeeling, it’s important to keep the temperature below boiling because the boil is a tad too hot for Darjeeling tea) and a different steep time (2 1/2 minutes is my sweet spot when it comes to Darjeeling tea).

This is sweet and floral.  No overt sharpness from the floral notes, it’s very soft and beautiful.  There are some delicate fruit notes to this – more like a citrus note than a grape-y note like you might experience from other Darjeeling teas.  Imagine a splash of a fruity/grape-y wine added to your orange juice and you would have the fruit-like notes I’m experiencing.

But mostly, what I taste is a delightful medley of flower.

It’s soft and pleasant – a lovely afternoon tea.  This is the kind of tea you want to serve to people you want to impress.  They’ll be impressed!

Truly a remarkable tea – beautiful!

Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling Black Tea Autumn Flush from Golden Tips

Gopaldhara GoldTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips

Tea Description:

Among the most sought after invoice’s from the years pre-winter harvest, the Gopaldhara Gold is an autumnal beauty. A delicate yet rounded black tea with intricate flowery notes. The tea brings about a subtle and sweet profile with hints of fine muscatel and an slightly earthy roundness. The lingering aftertaste brings in sensations of dark bold chocolate and cocoa. A fantastic leaf tea texture with golden tips spread evenly, this is definitely among our better autumn Darjeeling’s.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Nice!  This is Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling Black Tea Autumn Flush from Golden Tips is a beauty!  It’s not your typical Darjeeling – and that’s a very good thing!

This has a richness to it that I don’t often find in a Darjeeling tea.  It’s very satisfying and well-rounded.  It is almost robust!  Almost.  It has a very rich, pleasing flavor that I might find in a stronger tea.  It’s not quite as ‘light’ or crisp as a typical Darjeeling, but it does have that familiar mustcatel that I look for in an autumn harvest Darjeeling.  It’s like the best of both worlds in one teacup!

While it’s not quite as thick or strong as I would want for a morning cuppa, it does have a strong enough flavor that I’d enjoy it as a later morning or early afternoon cup.  It’d make a really good pick-me-up when you’re looking for that boost mid-day.

It’s wonderfully smooth with very little astringency.  I notice just a hint of dryness as the sip progresses into the aftertaste, but it’s very slight.  There’s no bitterness to this cup.  It’s sweet with notes of fruit and a wine-like quality without the astringency of the wine.  And as suggested in the above description, I’m even picking up on a chocolate-y note.  (I’m thinking that this tea would be a fabulous accompaniment to a chocolate bar.  Then again, who needs an excuse for either good tea or chocolate?)

I’ve tasted quite a few teas from Golden Tips now, and I think that this one might be my favorite thus far.  It’s just so spectacular.

Gopaldhara Wonder Tea First Flush 2014 from Darjeeling Tea Lovers


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

GOPALDHARA WONDER ‘GOLD’ one of the most popular tea among the Darjeeling Tea Connoisseurs. A very limited stock is manufactured from the YOUNG TEA PLANTATIONS of this garden and this particular lot has been tagged as GOLD due to the supreme quality.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf looks a lot more like a green tea than a black tea.  The aroma is pleasantly floral.  Because the leaves are more “green” than black, I would advise not going higher than 195°F to brew this tea – that’s what I used and I’m quite pleased with the result.  This is my usual ‘go-to’ temperature when it comes to Darjeeling teas, because they don’t seem to be as fully oxidized as other black teas are, even though they are usually categorized as a black tea.  Darjeeling teas tend to be a little more delicate and should be treated differently.

I brewed these beautiful pale green, silvery tipped leaves in my Breville One-Touch.  I used 2 bamboo scoops of leaf and 500ml of water heated to 195°F, and steeped the leaves for 2 ½ minutes.  As I said before, I’m quite pleased with the resulting tea.  Delicious!

Then again, I’ve been blown away by all the teas that I’ve tried from this company.  Let me tell you, Darjeeling Tea Lovers KNOWS Darjeeling tea.  If you’re a devotee of Darjeeling tea, this is a company you should be exploring.  They have some of the very best Darjeeling teas I’ve ever tasted.

And this Gopaldhara Wonder Tea is indeed a wonder!  Wonderful, that is!  Sweet, crisp and refreshing!  The liquid is somewhere between gold and green.  It’s much paler than many Darjeeling teas that I’ve had this year.  And it has a “greener” sort of taste to me.  It tastes lighter and cleaner than a typical “black” Darjeeling.  This doesn’t have that “muscatel” flavor that you might expect from a Darjeeling.  This tea seems more focused on the sweet, delicate notes of flower.  I taste notes of jasmine!  Nice!

There are also delicate vegetal notes.  Not so much vegetable (as in steamed veggies) as it is lightly grassy.  But this is a sweet grassy note, not a bitter one.  The sip starts out sweet and I pick up on the floral notes right away.  Toward mid-sip, some of those lightly sweet, grassy notes start to come into focus.  The sip ends with a floral note that is jasmine-esque, and this flavor lingers into the aftertaste.  There is a light astringency at the start of the cup, and this astringency does develop as I continue to sip, but never becomes a really strong or what I would call astringent tea, instead, it’s a moderate astringency that leaves the palate feeling clean and invigorated.

An excellent afternoon tea – break out this tea when you have special guests over that you’re looking to impress!  Or save it for an afternoon when you have time to reflect – this is one of those teas that I’d call meditative!  The kind of tea that I want to enjoy when I don’t have a 101 different things to do … or the kind of tea I want to enjoy when I do have 101 things to do but I want to forget about them and just enjoy a moment for me!

Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Gopaldhara Silver Needle White Tea from What-Cha Tea

GopaldharaSilverNeedleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

Another beautiful Silver Needle with a fruitier taste and delicate spicy finish. The ‘Cristal’ of the tea world; the most expensive type of tea from Darjeeling, known as the ‘Champagne’ region of the tea world.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of the dry leaf reminds me of the smell that fills the air in the early spring on Saturday afternoons – when everyone is mowing their lawns.  The smell of freshly cut grass fills the air and that’s what I smell with these tea leaves.  Fresh air and grass that has just been cut.  There’s a slight herbaceous smell to it too, in fact, the first time that I smelled the dry leaf, the first thought that popped into my head was ‘mint’ so I took another sniff to see if I was imagining things, and I didn’t smell mint that time but there is a definite “herb-y” smell to these leaves.

To brew these leaves, I scooped out some of the leaves (a full scoop using my bamboo scoop) and put them into the chamber of my gaiwan.  I heated freshly filtered water to 165°F and then I did a 15 second rinse, discarded the liquid from the rinse and proceeded to steep the first infusion for 90 seconds, adding 30 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.  (I usually brew white teas a little longer than other tea types.)   GopaldharaSilverNeedle1

The tea is lightly fragrant and is a medium golden amber color.  A little darker than the color in the picture to the right.  Perhaps to obtain this color they either steeped it less time or used less leaf.

Nevertheless, the flavor is delightful so I’m not worried at all about the color of the cup!  It is sweet and tastes of fruit!  I taste notes of grape with subtle hints of apple and apricot at the start of the sip.  As the sip progresses, I pick up on some warm spice notes, a gentle yet peppery spice, like white pepper.  This peppery tone lingers into the aftertaste which is also peppery with an intriguing sweet contrast.  One of the most interesting aftertastes I’ve experienced in a tea.

There is some astringency toward the finish – it is dry and I feel the insides of my cheeks puckering a bit from the dryness.  It reminds me a bit of a dry wine.

I found my second cup (infusions 3 and 4) to be very much like the first.  The sip began with notes of grape.  Instead of tasting apple and apricot, though, I am picking up on melon notes now.  The taste is sweet, crisp and vibrant.  At mid-sip I start to pick up on the zesty tingle of pepper.  The finish is dry.  It’s a very refreshing and clean taste.

I started to notice the spice notes change a bit in the third cup (infusions 5 and 6).  The peppery notes began to morph into a more nutmeg-like flavor with a warm, nutty, somewhat earthy taste.  The melon notes were emerging more, while the notes of grape began to taper and become more unified with the melon flavor.  This cup is definitely sweeter and smoother, it’s not quite as crisp tasting.  It’s mellowed somewhat.

I was so happy to have the opportunity to try this tea.  I have a soft spot for Darjeeling white tea, and this is one I’d recommend to anyone else who finds Darjeeling white teas to be as compelling as I do.