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Recent Tasting Notes
Holy Camellia. I cold steeped this while I was at school/rehearsal, and I just finally got to drink it. I think I owe Moraiwe my first-born for giving me the sample. There are so many different layers of taste to this tea, it was a enlightening experience. I can taste fruitiness, and some deep dark layers of mystery darjeeling-ness. I love that taste. Someone needs to find a name for it.
This was especially perfect cold today. My school had service day with an all-boys school, probably to try to get us to be social (?). We were packing meals to send to Africa, and we actually did 20,000 meals, each feeding 6 people! It was great. However, I succumbed to my feminism and my need to show off. At the same time. When the leader called for “Boys to carry the bags of rice and soy around and refill the bins. Well, maybe girls too. I mean, anyone is fine.” I knew had to carry these bags around, just because I knew I could do it. It also meant that I wouldn’t be bagging meals with some random group of people for 1.5 hours. But my arms are SO TIRED. I did however get to see 4 boys lift a bag of soy that I managed to carry around by myself. So that was nice. However, after calling “line” about 50 times during rehearsal and then practicing sword fighting (ugh hand-to-hand on the floor why do you do that.) this tea was really nice to have.
Ah this is nice.
Had a late meeting at work so my usual routine got a bit delayed, came home much to late from the gym for a cup of yunnan black. I thought this might be a good time for some low caffeine white tea.
And in the back in the cupboard i found my tin of Arya Pearl. the dry leaf is wonderfully green and whole. 8g filled up my large banko pot… ^^
Only doing one infusion, seems maybe like a waste since this the is very nice. Light in the extreme but still a complex mix of of flavour. Flowery exotic fruits with a tiny hint of butter. This tea gives of a warming cozy sensation. Perfect evening tea.
Drinking this tea reminds me that all the darjeeling first flush teas is out and ready for purchase! I smell a packet from India coming my way soon…. :)
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Peach
not 100% sure if this is the exact tea I’ve got in my cup, but Sil sent me a sample via OMGsrsly of Giddapahar SFTGFOPI (SPL) Musk 2nd Flush. It’s been sitting in the depths of my sample bin because, in all honesty, I’ve been TERRFIED to try it! I’m SUPER anti-darjeeling. I treat it like a delicate green, doing shortish steeps at low temperature, and I STILL end up with a hellishly bitter cuppa. So I tend to avoid darjeeling like the plague.
I made a cup of a sample I got from Fjellrev earlier, that had a darjeeling base, and I couldn’t finish the cup. I barely got halfway through it before giving up. It was super depressing, actually.
So I poked at my Facebook groupies, looking for advice as to how best to make a cup of this Sil sample. I got some great suggestions, and have made the cup but….
it’s sitting on my desk, in front of me, ready to sip, and I’m too scared to try it. It SMELLS lovely, a bit earthy, but with an underlying crispness. It’s a lovely coloured liquor and crystal clear. I just can’t convince myself to try it.
I’ll report back shortly, assuming I don’t end up dying from “Attack of the Bitter Tea”
Wow, I’m actually REALLY pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s definitely not what I expected, given that it’s a darjeeling. It tastes a bit more like a very short-steeped yunnan. It’s on the cusp of astringency, as if I pulled the infuser out milliseconds before the bitterness would’ve come out, and it dried out my mouth slightly, but in a good way, if that’s even possible?
I have enough leaf for a cup or two more, and I definitely won’t be afraid to steep it now!
Now, if only I could find MORE darjeelings like this one to add to my collection…
Tonight I decided to have Indian curry for dinner (which is a speciality of mine) and my post dinner tea pairing is this beautiful Darjeeling. After this pot I have one more left leaf quantity wise which I will try to drink shortly to make way for another. Darjeeling is usually a late spring/early summer craving of mine and it’s been very warm here in Leicester, the last few days have given highs of 17 C.
I’m using a new teapot too that my mother got me, it says ARABIA and underneath MADE IN FINLAND. A Finnish teapot is the first in my collection. It’s black and round with a large flat lid and a straw handle, giving it a Chinese/Japanese look. Not sure how much it holds but it looks like roughly 800ml.
Re-visiting a tea that I had previously rated 100/100 is always an interesting experience. Would I give it top marks now? Yes, if not top then very near to it. My memories of this tea were exact and I will be very sorry to see this one go. Goodbye my beloved Himalayan Mystic.
EDIT – I just found out that my new teapot is worth around $100! It’s from mid-late 1960’s and was designed by Ulla Procope. My mum saw it for £2 (not even $5) and got it me as a gift when we went out a few weeks ago. Obviously they had no idea what it was, well neither did I but thank you internet.
Wonderful as always.
Full of applepeel! Slight astringancy, clean complex well balanced flavour.
Ah, this was a nice finish after a hectic day. loads to do at work and a killer workout @ the gym ^^
Thank the heavens for tea.
Yesterday me and some friends had our dinnerclub where we take turns bi-weekly to invite each other for dinner. My friend treated us to some peppermint herbal tea picked from her garden. Reminded me of warm childhood memories. Must get peppermint!
This one came my way from KittyLovesTea – thanks!
What an interesting black tea. It’s so creamy! I love creaminess in teas. The flavour is creamy and thick, yet also light. There’s a very subtle nutty flavour in the background as well. Somewhat reminiscent of a green tea minus any vegetal flavour. I’m so happy I got a chance to try this one.
I started off the day so productively with studying, and I’ve really lost some speed on that front. However, on the upside, I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of stuff on Kijiji hah. Yay for ridding my life of clutter.
Thank you so much Moraiwe for this tea! Also, the other teas that came in this here package, which are many in number… I was a tad bit overwhelmed when I opened the package. I’m super duper excited to try all of them. Anywho, I read her tasting note and it seems that we have almost exactly the same impressions of this tea.
Like she says, it’s very nuanced, with floral notes and then a good bit of muskiness. I found it to be quite earthy, which is good because I like super earthy tasting Darjeelings. For me, it was more astringent than it seemed to be for Moraiwe, probably because I’m lazy and it’s about 10 degrees outside so I didn’t cold steep it like she did. I want to do that with the rest of the packet though.
Also as Moraiwe says, it has a great second steep, obviously slightly muted but really not that different, albeit a bit earthier. It’s also gorgeous dry, always a plus.
In other news: my school’s doing RENT this weekend, and I’m SO EXCITED to go see it. I know that it will be fabulous, and I’m actually going on thursday and then ushering on Friday so that I can see it twice!
3g / 200ml glaspot
3m/5m @ 90C
First time trying two infusions. The result was adequate, second cup was much lighter but still flavourful. A very clear aftertaste of citrus. Perhaps i will do 6m on second cup and see what happens.
Hopefully i will recieve the newly ordered Darjeeling kyusu made from the natural Sado mumyoi clay (oxidationfired) of sado island, Japan. The Namigaki technique is so wonderfully lowtech and aesthetically pleasing, hopefully it brewes a good pot of darjeeling aswell!
3g / 200ml glaspot
3m @ 90C
Since i enjoy strong tea this cup sure is a treat. However it is even richer with water from the tetsubin, all that iron sure adds flavour. Anyone tried singbullis china varietals? Heard those are particulary nice.
This is probably the best first flush ivé tasted so far. :)
6g / 360ml banko-yaki kyusu, water kron kunzan tetsubin
2m @ 70c
Wonderfully sweet, floweryness mixed with som vegal and very slightly buttery and nutty notes.
Pure wonder just as the -12 harvest. The dry leaf is full of silver hairs. Beutiful!
My favorite non steamed green this year as well.
3g / 200ml glaspot
3m @ 100C
I always have high expectations on Arya estate teas. They seem to have a talent for producing superb teas.
The cup is bright golden and reminds me of forest honey. The smell is slightly nutty and sweet.
First sip reveals a veru clean flavourfull taste. the body is free from any dry grainyness. complex flavours, thee is some menthol/herb backed by nuttyness and a slight wellbalanced astringancy. This is by far the best second flush tea i´ve ever tasted. It is sublime! Perhaps there is some notes reminding me of applepeel. The aftertaste lingers without dry notes, only some sweet applepeel and astringancy.
WOW my whole mouth feels refreshed!
Thank you Dag for putting this into the EU box.
It’s a creamy Darjeeling with nutty and floral delicate touches. It also has some sweetness but more in the background towards the after taste. While it’s soft there is a crispness about it, like a warm spring day that has a cold and crisp wind.
Overall it’s a delicious Darjeeling and one that I am honoured to have tried. I hope our paths may cross again.
3g / 200ml glaspot.
3m @ 90C
Perfect cup of first flush. Singbullis firstflush is a powerfull cup. Nice and brisk the way i most enjoy a darjeeling. A tinge of spicyness on the tounge.
Refilled my tins from my Indian teabox. Found that i had a faitbit left of the arya pearl white tea. huzzah! bu since I am all out of second and autumn flush i went abit overboard ordering new teas. Even ordered a samplepack of assam! Thunderbolttea.com has 20% of today. My favorite store for darjeeling tea.
since today is laundyday i will be sipping loads of tea :)
Todays second sipdown.
10g / 360ml banko-yaki kyusu water krom kunzan tetsubin.
3m/5m @ 80C
Well this darjeeling white is a marvell so light but still full of flavour. A bit of nuttiness mixed with citrus. I feel almond? The flavour spreads over the whole pallet. Very nice. Will likely restock next harvest.
An aptly named tea: truly a delight!
1st steep: Lovely stone-fruit smell with hints of honey and orange marmalade. The aroma is so good that I just smell the tea, not bothering to drink it! The taste is soft and full and continues the stone fruit flavors with an earthy undercurrent. The taste seems to grow in the mouth, leading to a very good, very long finish. The flavors changed subtly as the tea cooled, but in no way diminished in quality.
This is the way tea is meant to be. I should probably give this a score of 100, but the earthy flavors contain a hint of bitterness, and the stone fruit doesn’t carry all the way through the finish. Also, the cup finished with some bitterness.
2nd steep: Same basic flavors but more subdued.
This was another one serving sample I removed from Momo’s B teabox…. it seems I’ve been trying many of them lately (probably because they are sipdowns – I tried to take some of the blends out of the box that only one teaspoon left). Darjeelings like this are making me love them more, though this doesn’t have quite the flavor of the favorites I’ve tried recently. It’s light – maybe that is the difference between a first flush and second? I like this one, but it seems less full and complex as the others. It actually seems lemony and there is a bit of fuzziness from the leaves that I don’t love. Darjeelings are certainly diverse though, but I guess every type of tea is. Tough to describe this one!
Another Darjeeling from Moraiwe :)
Of the five darjelings I sampled this morning, I liked this one the best. The flavor is not heavy and doesn’t weigh-down my stomach the way 2nd flush darjeelings do. This one is light and pleasant with notes of pear. Still not a tea that I love enough to buy for myself, but I would drink it again.
This Darjeeling comes to me, courtesy of Moraiwe
This darjeeling is the first that has a notable difference in flavor profile from the few I had before (see my tasting note for Upton TD33 thurbo Est.)
It has the same muscatel flavor with the addition of a sparkling character, almost champagne-like. But as I said in my previous note, I’m not a wine person. Although I can vaguely recognize the quality of some of these characteristics, it’s not my thing.
Still happy that I have the opportunity to get familiar with darjeelings though.
This is Fiance’s favorite iced tea, and while I don’t necessarily like using my favorite teas to make a pitcher of iced tea, I can’t really fault him for it.
It’s naturally sweet and the muscatel notes are fruity and bright. The aftertaste is just a little earthy and reminds me of a fall day after a rainstorm.
(It also got rave reviews when I served it to a friend at our last game night on Saturday.)