82

I didn’t get much aroma from the dry tea, but the hot liquor greeted me with a sweet, flowery scent. Tasting happened immediately, because I grabbed the gravy ladle (which scoops and cools off a tbsp of tea very rapidly), blew, paused, and slurped. Yum! Brisk and piquant, without being outright bitter. And the astringency is mild, as well. There’s a toasty component alongside the muscatel brightness. This may be the first time I’ve drunk a first-flush Darj. The ones I’ve had were sometimes oversteeped, too (back when I thought all black tea needed to brew for 5 minutes). Whatever the cause, I’ve been leery of Darjeelings because bitterness puts me off rather quickly, and the only one I’ve really liked was a 2nd flush from Mim estate. This doesn’t have the maturity and complexity of that 2nd flush experience, but its lightness and clarity are really enjoyable, letting the fruitiness shine forth.

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

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.

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Southern California, USA

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