Finally trying this sample from my order a while back. It sounded interesting and especially unique for a Darjeeling. And it is! It seems like this is where that flavor that was missing from the new batch of Hattialli Assam has gone to! I used a bit more than a teaspoon of leaves to even out the rest of my sample for next time.
Steep #1 // 20 minutes after boiling // 4 min
Accidently went for 4 minutes when I was going for 3. But from the fragrance I can tell this one will be divine. It has that lovely plumy/fruity flavor… that elusive flavor from the Hattialli. Sadly, it does have a bit of astringency that is odd since I don’t really find that in Darjeelings. It can be tamed though! With a level teaspoon and a shorter steep time. I don’t really get the chocolate flavor that is mentioned by Butiki. Other than the astringency, it doesn’t taste like a black tea.. but I just wish the plum could be separated and leave the bitter behind… which does get worse as the cup cools. But this is definitely a unique Darjeeling.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 3 min
This cup had much less of the magic/plum but also much less of the astringency. I think if I hadn’t oversteeped the first cup, the second would have been much better. It wasn’t bad though! Much more like a typical non-special Darjeeling!