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97

1.5 tsp for 250mL water. 95C, 4-minute steep. Drunk bare.

Russian Caravan was the first ‘fancy’ tea I fell in love with, but my torrid affair with Darjeelings soon eclipsed that. Stash used to carry a very, very good Darjeeling, especially good for a bagged tea, just called ‘Darjeeling.’ It’s long been discontinued. Wah. Good muscatel and a sweet finish; I could drink 5 or 6 cups of it in rapid succession.

I could do that with Seeyok, too. I don’t know if it’s first or second flush, or a blend of both — I generally prefer second flush Darjeeling — but it’s got an agreeable astringency that never threatens to go sour, some earthiness from good soil (though certainly not pu-ehr earthiness), and that addictive muscatel note that makes me a bit weak in the knees, and in the head. I’ve made this cup strong on purpose to test for bitterness, but no: what develops in a strong cup is a wineyness. Nutty notes in the scent. The usual ratio of 1 tsp to the cup would better show off Seeyok’s charms.

I used 95C water (205/96 is closest I can get on the drag bar below) because I’ve found Darjeelings to be a bit delicate; too-hot water can bring out sharp bitterness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

FABULOUS aftertaste. Muscatel dances!

Michelle Butler Hallett

On the water temp — I made Seeyok Darjeeling with 100C/rolling boil water, and a lot of bitterness and some unpleasant astrigency came out. This Darjeeling needs a little coddling. Burnt, it takes a tantrum.

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Comments

Michelle Butler Hallett

FABULOUS aftertaste. Muscatel dances!

Michelle Butler Hallett

On the water temp — I made Seeyok Darjeeling with 100C/rolling boil water, and a lot of bitterness and some unpleasant astrigency came out. This Darjeeling needs a little coddling. Burnt, it takes a tantrum.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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