This tea tricked and impressed me. I received it yesterday as one of four free samples from The Tea Merchant – thank you! It came wrapped up in brown tissue paper with a golden wax seal. LOVED that. I steeped up a cuppa this darjeeling this afternoon and must admit it’s my first darjeeling. While I love black teas, I have not experienced a darjeeling yet so I didn’t know what I was in for. The aroma was a bit musty and reminded me of barns and animals – not in a negative way, but in a hay-ish sort of way. No poo smell, I swear.

Steeped for three minutes, I have a surprisingly light orangeish liquor which shares the aroma of the dry leaf, but more refined somehow. It’s like the dry aroma was a fuzzy picture and the steeped liquor is it’s sharper cousin. The taste is impressive – again, it’s clearly a black tea but really good quality. It’s smooth and has a hint of astringency underneath the tea. I find it hard to describe, other than black tea. My words are failing me today.. EDIT: After reading other reviews, malty totally fits what I am getting here. It’s very malty – I don’t know what muscatel means, really, so I can’t speak to that but it reminds me of rich beer, almost.

I must say that I thought the leaves were a bit small for a pure tea and I expected that to translate into more bitterness, but it doesn’t seem to have. I expected fuller leaf, but this doesn’t suffer for the breakage that is there. Solid black tea – not my favourite, but certainly would make a good standard black in the cupboard.


I liked this one too!

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I liked this one too!

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I’ve been drinking loose tea since 2010 and my tastes have changed a lot over those years. For the last few, I’ve been a fan of unflavoured Chinese blacks and shu puerh. I still drink other things, but that’s where I am.

I live in a rural area with my husband, cat, and soon to be firstborn. I love tea, reading, doctor who, knitting, crosswords, board games, the marvel universe, and lots of other things.

I’m not often rating teas numerically any more but I want to leave this to explain my past ratings:
I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.



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