290 Tasting Notes
This is is back in stock in Verdant’s, but it’ll probably be out of stock pretty soon, if the past is any indicator of things.
Anyway, I’m dead tired, with a splitting headache, after a pretty useless “Risk Management” seminar at work. Tomorrow the next semester starts, and I still have papers to hand in, books to read, etc, etc.
Anyway, trying to keep a positive perspective on things, so I made this cup of tea as a much needed pick me up. My version of chocolate or Haagen Daz.
It, as usual, did the trick. They headache has subsided, and I can feel myself decompressing. Everyone should have a tea like this (or even better – this tea!) in their cupboard.
What’s your pick-me-up favorite?
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey
Yea gods this tea is good! I swear that if you’d told me that this is a Darj I would have laughed.
It’s a 2nd flush (my favorite!) Darjeeling, and being only FOP, you’d think that it wouldn’t be great, but it is!
Imagine the best of Assam joined with the best of Darjeeling, and this will be it. And no, this is not a blend. There is something of the etherealness and light body of the Darj, coupled with the bassiness and nutty, earthy sweetness of Assam in this tea.
The only minus to be found is that it is astringent, and it’s not shy about it. I used a bit of sugar (less than a spoon) to tone it down, otherwise it would have been unpleasant. As it was, it was just a faint puckering of the mouth after every sip.
A unique tea experience, and something that I will buy more of.
Part of the Teabox all the Darjeelings sample.
This is a white tea, so if you don’t enjoy white teas, move along, move along home (I wonder who will get the reference…).
If you, like me, enjoy white teas, then this tea is definitely not for you. You will be disappointed.
The leaves of this tea are very light olive green, with a lot of white interspersed. They look impressive – large, whole leaves, that look to have been meticulously picked.
Teabox recommends that you brew this at 85-90C. I tried it at 70C at first (standard white tea setting, because I wasn’t paying attention to the package), and brewed it for about 7 minutes, because it looked like the tea needed more time in the water. I have a feeling that I could have left it there for an hour at that temperature and I’d still would have gotten the same result: very lightly tinted warm water. No taste worth mentioning. Fail.
Next try was as Teabox directed – 90C, for 5 minutes. I got some flavor!!! I wish that I hadn’t!!!!
Take a cucumber. Squeeze out all of its juice into a glass. Fill the glass with water – and there you have it. This is what this tea tastes like. Very diluted cucumber juice.
Now I love white tea, and I love cucumber-y white tea, but this is the first time ever that I’ve tasted a white tea that actually tasted like thinned out cucumber juice, and didn’t just have subtle hints of cucumber. It wasn’t pleasant, and to the sink went the cup.
I hate giving up on a tea without giving it a fair chance, so I chucked it into my Takaya pitcher, and stuck it in the fridge overnight, to cold brew. After tasting it in the morning I was not impressed. Added some lemon and mint leaves, and left it to settle for a while longer in the fridge. If it’s not good by tomorrow, then I’m chucking it out and writing this tea off as a failure. For now, I DO NOT RECOMMEND!
I’ve already written about Teabox’s wonderful customer service. Well the box of tea samples arrived today and it is AMAZING!!!!! I’ve never seen anything like it.
You get dozens and dozens and dozens of beautiful tiny black tea pouches, each with zip lock closure, each with an individual label with everything you need to know about the tea, as well as steeping instructions. What more do you need?
The samples that I got (in the “all the Darjeelings” sample pack) included mostly black teas, but also several white teas, green teas and oolongs. There were also three free samples with the pack – two Assams and a Nilgiri.
Each sample is 10g, which is enough for 2-3 servings (at least), and a very generous amount indeed. If you have a tea loving friend nearby, you could easily buy a sample pack, and split it between you.
Now off to the review:
Dry leaves are dark, large sized (for a black tea. They are medium sized compared to oolongs), with an occasional greenish silver leaf or a golden brown tip tucked between them. They, strangely enough, smell of raw dark chocolate.
Followed the brewing recommendations: boiling water, 1 tsp of tea for a 200 ml cup (using a Finum brew basket), infused for 3 minutes.
The liquor is a clear light golden red, between the color of amber and of maple leaves in the fall. It smells fruity.
The tea is medium bodied, with a medium-low caffeine content,with no astringency. It won’t take milk well, like all the Darjeelings that I’ve encountered. It is a tad bitter when brewed without sweeteners, but not to a point of being undrinkable. Just a little kick at the edge of each sip. If that’s not your “cup of tea,” a bit of sugar removes the bitterness and enhances the fruity tastes of this tea.
This is a fruity tea (stone fruit, raisins), and has a bit of the famous “muscatel” flavor, that adds spiciness and depth to the cup.
A great introduction to Darjeeling tea for people venturing into it for the first time, particularly if they’ve only experienced Chinese teas before.
A tasty brew to “share with friends”, as teabox recommends.
Flavors: Raisins, Stonefruits