Thanks to The Tea Merchant for this sample! I am woefully unfamiliar with the intricacies of Darjeelings, but I’d like to broaden my experience with them and I think this is an excellent place to start. They’re a really interesting type of tea—much lighter than a black, but with flavor profiles really different from a green/oolong/white/etc. Actually, maybe a bit similar to an oolong in complexity, and I think there are some Darjeelings that ARE oolongs so I suppose that makes sense! And they brew up so pale—this one is a soft, almost peachy amber.
It smells a little bit like an English Breakfast, but with much softer flavors. The dominant taste to me is woodsy and a bit fruity, apple or grape? It’s faint but crisp, and melds into a softly floral background. It’s very full-tasting, and it lingers in your mouth for quite a while. It’s also quite sweet with no additions, and I’ve gotten 3 good steeps out of it so far!
This is the only quality Darjeeling I’ve tried so I have nothing to compare it to, but I enjoyed it! A very different tea experience, and it left me feeling a bit contemplative. And for some reason, I think this would be really nice cold-brewed, so I’ll be trying it out that way soon!