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72

This is the combination of my tasting notes for three separate days.

There was no info on the website so I brewed with a moderately-heaped teaspoon steeped for two minutes, boiling water.

It made a medium intensity, clear, orange brew looking greenish-yellow round the miniscus.

I got very little in the nose but there might have been the very faintest hints of chocolate and digestive biscuit.

The flavour-notes were very weak. There was a slightly metallic touch, but not unpleasantly so – it’s too weak for that. There might have been the slightest hints of basic tea, chocolate and a sweatiness (I imagine some gnarled old tea-master rolling the leaves between sweaty palms); but they were so faint I wasn’t sure I wasn’t imagining them – really, I was struggling for flavour-notes to write up. Actually, with the basic tea, I should probably say that I wasn’t really getting it but that it was not noticeable by its absence – so there must have been some there.

It was quite a bland tea, really.

I made a second infusion, the same way, but it wasn’t really any different.

I tried another brew with a moderately-heaped teaspoon again, steeped for three minutes, this time.

It was a slightly more intense colour, but I didn’t get any more in the nose than with the previous brew.

In the mouth my immediate impression was of digestive biscuit – or some similar biscuit – it was still very faint, though, but a fraction less so than the previous time. The chocolate wasn’t any stronger – it was still just the faintest hint – hardly there. The same went for the metallic hint. I didn’t really pick up on that sweaty thing.

I used all that was left of the sample today – at least a well-heaped teaspoon. This time I steeped for three and a half minutes.

This time there is more of an aroma. It’s difficult to pin down. It’s not exactly the smell of nettles, possibly the smell of nettles blended with either a hint of dark chocolate or a hint of something roast-meaty. There’s the faintest hint of that sweatiness, again.

In the mouth I’m getting that digestive biscuit, again, and there’s a hint of warm butter. There’s some good basic tea and the tiniest hint, right on the edge of taste, of that sweatiness again. Then there’s that ‘metallic’ note. This is a really difficult note to characterise. It’s somewhere between metallic, spearmint and smell of nettles. There’s the very faintest bite to it and it’s not metallic enough to be unpleasant; it’s firm rather than sweet, but that’s balanced by the digestive biscuit, so it’s not a problem.

I made a second infusion but this was rather bland, rather like the first brew I made.

This strikes me as a rather unusual Darjeeling. I’m not sure that it’s really to my taste; but I’m not sure that I can really fault it and I’m not sure that I really got to grips with brewing it properly – it doesn’t interest me enough for me to get any more to experiment with, though. To sum up, this is a pretty good tea, but nothing special.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Happily retired male.

Started exploring ‘proper’ tea in March, 2010 after decades of PG Tips teabags. I was initially looking for ‘the perfect tea’; now I don’t want to find one – I’m so much more enjoying exploring the variety.

A confession: I take my tea with four sweeteners to a half-pint mug.
28/05/2012 – I’ve decided to wean myself off the sweeteners, starting this morning, so, three per mug instead of four (I’m getting a growing feeling that I’m failing to get the best out of some of the oolongs and greens I try and I intend getting a gaiwan and the appropriate little cups, and sweeteners don’t seem to be appropriate, there). 16/02/2013 – since New Year’s Day I’ve only been using two sweeteners. I’m struggling to get used to it, to be honest – some teas are more difficult than others.

How I make tea: either in a traditional teapot which holds enough for three half-pint mugs and has a removable infuser (London Teapot Company); or in a half-pint mug with an Agatha’s Bester filter. Sometimes I vaguely think about getting some nice, genteel cups and saucers …

Important: I measure the tea with plastic kitchen measuring spoons – teaspoon and half-teaspoon sizes – so when I say a ‘heaped teaspoon’, as the correct measure is a levelled one, I should probably be calling it ‘two teaspoons’!

Location

Derbyshire/Staffordshire, UK.

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