No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.
The Subject: Darjeeling #1 from Company Name.
Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes (see comments)
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings added: N/A
Aroma, dry tea leaves: fruity, planty
Aroma in the cup, plain: fruity
Taste, plain: fruity, complex, takes on some bitterness as it cools
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A
Additional Infusion(s): One – lighter in color and flavor, no bitterness
Chilled: Didn’t do
This tea was part of a package of samples we received from a relatively new tea vendor (started March 2009). They very kindly sent a range of teas and also seemed to know the sort of things we would not like and avoided sending those.
The tea vendor’s preparation instructions on their website:
Tea to Water Ratio 1:1. If you prefer a stronger flavor, use up to two grams of tea for each cup of water. Water: Filtered water is best. Use water at 212ºF (fully boiling). Traditional Steeping: 3 to 5 minutes. Flash Steeping: First, we run warm water over the tea leaves and pour it off very quickly. This removes any impurities and “awakens” the tealeaves for brewing. Then, we steep the tea – 35 to 60 seconds.Note that the directions on the tea package label do not agree with the above. We followed the package label.
This is another tea that would do better with a shorter first steep. We recommend 4 minutes.
…our Darjeeling First Flush Rhapsody No. 1 has a refreshing, floral flavor that speaks of the freshness and abundance of springtime. Harvested at 7,000 feet elevation on…Sungma Estate, this tea’s small black leaves infuse into a coppery red brew with a clean, complex, roasty, mineral-tinged, fruity and floral aroma. Its flavor is brisk, with a sweet-astringent balance and notes of cinnamon, dark chocolate, hardwoods, dried flowers, stonefruits and pears. The refreshingly clean aftertaste hints at unripe pear and the second infusion is sweeter, mellower and less astringent.The Sungma Estate is one that Benoy Thapa of Thunderbolt Tea visited awhile ago. See photos on his site. The estate is not one of the largest in Darjeeling, India, with about 282 hectares planted in tea, but it has been around awhile and knows a thing or two about tea. Tea grown at such a high elevation is quite special and a bit tricky to tend and harvest.
Our taste experience differed a bit from what they described. For one thing, this is the most fruity Darjeeling we have tasted to date (see the page of tea types). For another, the tea liquid was much darker than the photo on their site, which shows it being more golden.
Hubby went so far as to add a touch of sweetener to the tea just to try it. I took a sip of this concoction as well. To my dismay, sweetener in this tea is not at all suitable. Possibly sugar would be better. But the aspartame clashed with that fruitiness. The tea does take on some bitter flavor notes as it cools. One option, therefore, is to drink it fairly quickly (let it cool to the count of 20 before taking your first sip, though).
We did a 2nd infusion. It was lighter in color and flavor and was free of bitterness. Any tea that can produce at least a couple of drinkable infusions is a money saver. As you can see, the tea leaf pieces are good size:
Their packaging of these sample sizes were rather interesting.
Hubby and I don’t fall for the organic mumbo-jumbo nor assume that something labeled “organic” is going to be better quality (often, it’s just more expensive).
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.