Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the WordPress.org documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: https://wordpress.org/documentation/article/styles-overview/#applying-custom-css in /home/cuppag5/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078
Muscatel

Organic Okayti Wonder – Second Flush From Vahdam Teas

Okayti-Wonder-Darjeeling-Black-Tea-Second-Flush-_Organic_-main_grandeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Darjeeling Tea

Where to Buy: Vahdam Teas

Tea Description:

A certified organic fresh summer black from Okayti. The well manufactured leaves offer a delightful appearance with golden tips sprinkled all over. The tea is elegantly rich and bodied supported by aromas of fruits and berries. Discover zesty notes of chocolate with hints of muscat grapes in every sip. The aftertaste lingers on to a sweet floral finish. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I will start by explaining that Vahdam Teas is a new name for an older company, formally known as Golden Tips Teas. This tea was a free sample from my previous order with them; of which I am thankful to try.

Darjeeling to me is perfect for the summer months and today has been a little dull but warm and dry non the less, ideal to review this sample. This tea is certified organic and is graded as: SFTGFOP1 which stands for (Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1).  The packaging label also shows the ‘Date of Picking’ which is a bonus and very nice to see. My sample was picked 15th May 2015, so it’s just over a year old. This crop is still available for sale on their website.

As I open the packet and spread a selection of the leaves in my palm I can note: small/medium dark brown leaves, thinly rolled with some curl and a few golden tips scattered about. They have a dry and sour scent with elements of musk and wood.

Steeping Parameters: 3-4g of leaf into a 320ml vessel with boiling water for 3 minutes. 

The result is an amber coloured tea liquid that bares the same muscatel, wooden scent as it’s raw form.

Flavour is slightly sour with mild leather and malt flavours with dryness in the after taste. There is also some sweetness which cuts through the sourness a little. The musk is also present but it smells stronger than it tastes. As it cools the sourness tones down slightly but the malt and dry leaf flavour remains dominant and fills my mouth. The dryness increases but remains at a manageable level.

After the steep the used tea leaves are mostly whole and now fully opened, baring a brown colour with a red hue. They have no discolouration or holes/marks and I can see no stems other than those that have broken off from the leaves.

There are a few reasons that I tend to prefer 2nd flush Darjeeling and the main reason is the muscatel flavour/scent. It is unique to Darjeeling and that makes it special, and also a favourite of mine. This is a nice example of a 2nd flush Darjeeling, though the musk is not as strong with this one as it can be. Still, overall it tasted and smelled wonderful which is all I can ask for. And it’s aided me on this warm day beautifully.

Until next time, Happy Steeping!

Goomtee China Classic First Flush Darjeeling from Udyan Tea

GoomteeChinaClassicTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy: Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goomtee is a very well known Darjeeling heritage garden planted with pure china bushes almost a century ago. Picked from special section of the garden called Ghani between 3000-4000 sq.ft. height, this tea is for the strong hearted first flush lovers as it has a strong body with a very slight tinge of muscatel (grape flavour usually associated with second flush Darjeelings). It is a well balanced cup that leaves a stong after taste as well. With repeated steepings, the liquor becomes sweeter and midler. Perfect tea for long winding day with a good book in hand to read.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

First Flush Darjeelings are among my favourite black teas, as I’m sure I’ve intimated several times before. This one – from the Goomtee Estate – is apparently perfect for “strong hearted first flush lovers”. Well, we shall see. The dry leaf is a thing of beauty. There’s a mixture of long and shorter leaves, which have primarily been either rolled or twisted, although there are also some downy silver buds. There’s a variety of colours, from palest white/silver, through creamy green, darker grass green, to the medium brown of tree bark. The scent is fresh and mildly floral. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is golden yellow, the scent reminiscent of rose water with an undertone of freshly shelled peas.

One thing’s for sure, this tea tastes glorious! The initial sip is crisp and fresh-tasting, with a mild floral undertone. It makes me think of dew on rose petals – a clean, sweet freshness. The floral flavour develops in the mid-sip, where it’s more recognisably rose-like, with a strong perfumey aftertaste. There’s a hint of classic muscatel right at the tail end of the sip, richly grapey and a little drying. It’s not exactly astringency at this point, but nearly. I get the impression that this tea may become astringent as it cools, or if oversteeped.

It’s fair to say that I prefer the clean, fresh flavour of the initial sip to the strong, heavily perfume-like aftertaste. I dislike heavily floral tea in general, though, so that’s no surprise to me. I enjoyed my cup immensely for its flavourful nature, and it’s a great example of a first flush Darjeeling. It’s stronger than most I’ve come across, and while I typically appreciate the delicate flavours characteristic of this variety, I also enjoyed the bolder experience here. I’d certainly try another Goomtee Estate Darjeeling if the opportunity arose, and Udyan Tea is now firmly on my radar.

Gielle 1st Flush Darjeeling Black Tea from Harney & Sons

gielle_1st_flushTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons

Tea Description:

This beautiful estate is set off to the side, away from most other Darjeeling estates, and this discreet locale aptly suits the owners of Gielle. They do what they think is best – in particular, to use the old “Chinese” tea bushes and to make an older style First Flush Darjeeling. Our tea mentor, Bernd Wulf, helped to develop this older style back in the 1960s. It was less oxidized than the Darjeelings of that time, thus lighter and greener, yet still with enough body to handle milk and sugar. Bernd was the father of our tea supplier Marcus Wulf – a cornerstone of our Tradition of Tea that ensures you excellent tea, produced and sourced with great care over generations.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I should probably say upfront that first flush Darjeeling is one of my favourite varieties of black tea, so this one is preaching to the converted with me. The dry leaf itself is a thing of beauty – light and medium green leaves, and some downy silver-white buds. They’re a little twisted, and of about 1-2cm in length. The scent is mildly grapey with hints of stone fruit. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-orange.

To taste, it’s pretty much perfection. The main flavour I can discern is dried apricot – quite rich and fruity. It lingers beautifully right until the end of the sip. There’s a very light hint of muscatel grape, which develops primarily at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, and something that’s reminding me just a little of frangipane – a sort of nutty, almondy sweetness. It pairs beautifully with the apricot. There’s the slightest touch of what I can only describe as briskness – not bitterness or astringency, but a slight sharpness that takes this tea to a whole new level. It seems to enhance the grape notes a little, cutting through the initial rich sweetness. Certainly no bad thing!

This is a fine example of a first flush Darjeeling – clean-tasting, and beautifully light and delicate. Each one I’ve tried seems to have a slightly different character, and drinking this cup has been another pleasant experience. I’d not hesitate to recommend it to Darjeeling fans.

Goomtee Autumnal Black Tea from Udyan Tea

GoomteeAutumnalTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Goomtee is a very well known Darjeeling heritage garden planted with pure china bushes almost a century ago. This tea is for the strong hearted autumn flush lovers as it has a strong body with a very slight tinge of muscatel (grape flavour usually associated with second flush Darjeelings). It is a well balanced cup that leaves a stong after taste as well. With repeated steepings, the liquor becomes sweeter and midler. Perfect tea for long winding day with a good book in hand to read.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A lovely second flush Darjeeling tea, this Goomtee Autumnal Black Tea from Udyan Tea!  It’s a stronger tea than what you might expect from a Darjeeling tea.  This is not as crisp and light as a typical Darjeeling, but it’s not as heavy as other black teas.  This still has a very recognizable Darjeeling character to it.  When I sip this, my palate still identifies it as a Darjeeling.

And the question I usually have for a Darjeeling (especially a second flush) is:  am I tasting muscatel?  And the answer here is YES!  The muscatel here isn’t as strong as one of those lighter, crisper second flush Darjeeling teas but there is still that lovely, muscat grape taste that I absolutely covet when it comes to Darjeeling.

The sip starts out brisk with woodsy notes.  Almost immediately after my palate notices those woodsy tones, I start to pick up on a sweetness that reminds me of the sweetness I’d experience from golden raisins.  By mid-sip, that raisin-y note transcends into something more like a muscat grape taste.  The finish is dry and slightly astringent, but not overly so.

When it comes to Darjeeling teas, the autumnal harvest is usually my favorite, so I’m really glad that I got to experience this Autumnal Black from the Goomtee estate.  It’s really delightful to sip.

Giddapahar Muscatel Darjeeling Second Flush Black Tea from Golden Tips

gidda-muscTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips

Tea Description:

An excellent second flush Darjeeling with an abundance of natural muscatel. A handpicked tea from the Giddhpahar tea estate in Darjeeling with gentle fruity notes, a rich aroma and a complete rounded flavor which is a defining characteristic of premium summer Darjeeling teas.  A must-have for anytime of the day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, love!  LOVE!  This has the muscatel that I adore!

This is an excellent Darjeeling, one of the best that I’ve tried.  The flavor is strong – this is a stronger tasting Darjeeling than the typical light-to-medium bodied Darjeeling.  I’d categorize this as a medium-to-full bodied Darjeeling!

It has a really nice, well rounded flavor.  It almost tastes too strong and well rounded for a Darjeeling because I typically think of them as crisper and lighter teas.  This is much more robust and satisfying.  I daresay, it would make a nice morning cuppa.  Typically, I think of Darjeeling as an afternoon tea.

And it’s remarkably smooth too!  This doesn’t have the astringency that I normally experience with a Darjeeling.

So, if the first few paragraphs of this review indicate anything to you, it should be that this is NOT your typical Darjeeling!  Not by a long shot.

The flavor starts off sweet with notes of wood and grape.  There is some of that Darjeeling ‘crispness’ right at the start, but as it moves to mid-sip, the flavor develops and becomes a richer experience for the palate.  The grape flavor intensifies!  By the finish, I’m getting a really lovely muscatel finish, but without a strong astringency.  This has all that is really GREAT about a 2nd flush Darjeeling and none of the bad!

This is best hot.  I think that this is true of most Darjeeling tea.  However, I do recommend letting it cool for a few minutes before you start sipping.  I find that the muscatel really shines through best after it’s had time to cool for about three or four minutes.

This Darjeeling is one that EVERY tea drinker should try.