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Cheers to Michelle for sending me this and the next Darjeeling I’ll be logging! I feel Darjeeling is a natural follow up to Oriental Beauty and often want to compare them. They both have a the muscatel thing going on, the darjeeling more so, as well as floral and woodsy notes but darjeeling feels more airy and has more high notes, it’s more flowery and peppery where as the formosa has smoother, warmer, lower notes of leather and camphor.

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with Darjeelings compared to some folks on here. I’ve had two from Teavana and one straight from Upton, plus a few in their blends and lovely white one and I got to taste a Darjeeling Oolong at Adagio. Most have been first or second flushes and while I’m sure I could look up their estates in some cases, I don’t recall them off the top up my head.

At first I feel in love with them, then I really disliked them, them I tolerated them and it seems today I am appreciating them more than I have in a long time. And this is quite nice. It starts off tasting like grape leaves and vine, woody and nice balance of green, sweet and salty. But this tea really shines when it’s cooled down, which I think is a testament to its quality, many teas turn bitter when they cool but this one only gets sweeter.

I infused this one three times, the second was my favorite and it had some nice fruity and honey notes. I felt the third tasted a bit watered down despite being steeped for 5 minutes (I actually followed recommended brewing parameter on this one somewhat, though it looks like it might have been Michelle’s recommendation rather than the merchant’s though my first infusion was close to their’s temp wise) but it did develop some interesting pepper notes and then once again sweetened when cooled. Thanks Michelle!

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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