As with Bai Hao and Chi-Tsu Bing Cha, this tea is characterized by a sweet, tannic and woody base with walnut-shell notes in aroma and flavor. Darjeeling is certainly the most tannic tea of this trio and a tea I often enjoy with coconut milk…without feeling guilty about it. It’s a classic—the basic Darjeeling, like say, the basic pair of blue jeans. They’re not bell-bottomed, scratched-up, flared-out, torn-down, or designer jeans, they’re just your basic pair of jeans you would wear to the park. It’s a lovely, standard tea…the quintessential flowery headnote with it’s broader declamation of “paradigm tea flavor.” This tea is an Aries tea. It comes into the world and says, “I am tea!” And for the Western tradition, it pretty much is.

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Tea combines the all sensual, earthly, sacred, social, philosophical, and artistic elements of this world. It is where culture meets nature gently, as in an offering to dance. It is part ritual, part impossible moment—“one meeting, one chance.”

I am a chaiwala because the tea experience is a way of sharing in a great reverence—for nature, for pleasure, for the present moment, for each other— a reverence that the busy world often forgets.


Burlington, VT



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