One day a while back when I was whining about how every time I was moved to order a first flush darjeeling I’d been met with “OUT OF STOCK” (which really is almost as disheartening sometimes as “GAME OVER”), Rabs very kindly offered me a taste of this, the full name of which, according to her darling Old Typewriter fonted label is “Namring Upper Estate 1st Fl Darjeeling FTGFOP1 (TD88).” I’ve been waiting for the right time to give it a taste, and, unfortunately, I’ve discovered that as with having children, there is no right time. I must just come to grips with the fact that there’s never going to be a quiet day when I’m rested yet perky with a relaxing expanse of time in which to savor this.
So instead, I’m going to have it now, after a day that included a flat tire coming back from a work related event and an afternoon (when I should have been doing more work) at the doctor’s office trying to get number 1 son in to be checked for strep throat (again) before the weekend, along with an unhealthy degree of anxiety over the fact that I haven’t done my weight workout yet today which makes a full week of no weights. I hate doing the weights, so I feel particularly guilty about it, as though any discipline I once may have had has flown the coop.
However, I have been granted a furlough of a few hours by the BF who has said he’ll amuse the kids (which I think means sleeping while they play with the Wii) so I can work out. And yet, as you can see, I’m not yet working out. I’m gonna have some tea, dammit.
How green this looks! I’ve read that darjeelings aren’t fully oxidized, but seriously, this looks very very green. Like a green tea. Or maybe white? It’s green in color but it has that silver/grey tip thing that white teas sometimes have. In any case the color is not at all what I’ve seen in other darjeelings. The leaves are for the most part fairly large and curly. They have that sharp smell I associate with darjeelings and that I’m guessing is “muscatel” since I don’t know what muscatel smells like. One day I’ll have to find out.
The tea’s liquor is a deep yellow, sort of the color of liquified butter. Its aroma isn’t strong, but I pick up a nut current as well as a very dilute essence of the sharper smell of the dry leaves.
The mouth feel is pretty amazing on this. It’s soft. Really soft. It reminds me of how I used to feel after visiting some place with hard water and then returning to New York, and washing my hair. And feeling like I couldn’t get the conditioner out no matter how long I was under the shower. Then realizing that it was out, it was just the softness of the water that made it feel like it was still full of conditioner. Brooklyn water was even more that way than Manhattan water. This tea feels like Brooklyn water.
To me the flavor isn’t really rich. It’s delicate. Mild and smooth; no sharp edges to this one. It’s the second darjeeling I’ve had recently that seemed closely related to an oolong, in that it seems toasty and buttery like an oolong. I do get the muscatel notes, or at least what I think they are from the fact that they taste like the smell (see above). And I am getting a really nice finish with a sweet aftertaste. It’s kind of like a darker version of one of the better green oolongs, if that makes sense.
Anyway, I’m quite enjoying it. Thanks much, again, Rabs!