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East India Company

Recent Tasting Notes

4

As a recent convert to Darjeeling teas – my previous experience went no further than Twinings Darjeeling with a light lunch – I was quite looking forward to this.

I recall when I first arrived in London as a rather naive 23 year-old I was looking for my perfect cigarette – something that would invoke bygone eras of smoking jackets and private members’ clubs in St James Square. And so, I started smoking Mayfair and Pall Malls under the rather naive notion that such a fancy name would match its product, only to find that this was the house brand of the sink estates and dole queues.

The point of this rather self-indulgent rambling? Despite the name and despite being sold from a store in Mayfair, East India’s Ceylon and Darjeelings teas taste like some vile, adulterated product served in a service station cafe in the ninth circle of hell. I have, at least, a nice tin which I have filled with a 2nd Flush Darjeeling tea from the Tea Centre. Shame it cost me AUD$30 for the privilege.

Avoid.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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7

East India Company sells a selection of their teas in the gourmet food section of a major Sydney department store. It immediately caught my eye with their nice little tins – printed directly onto the tin rather than the usual sticker on plain aluminium – and the name that evokes long-distant memories of the Raj and a life of decadent leisure.

I rarely throw away a cup of tea unless it is completely undrinkable or totally oversteeped, but after two mouthfuls this tea went down the sink. I absolutely adore Ceylon teas, but this was so acrid and full of tannin it tasted like burnt sugar and dishwater. The dubious honour of the worst tea I have ever tasted belongs to Fortnum & Mason Christmas Tea, but this is a very close second.

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

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89

A nice chai. Quite strong finish of spices.

Preparation
Boiling

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