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Recent Tasting Notes
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.)
Tea #2 from Another Traveling Tea Box. Moraiwe tossed this in the box for me to try because I said I was in sort of a tea slump and she said this always picked her up. I can see why. This was an interesting tea to try.
I haven’t really had good experiences with Darjeeling in the past. The first one I ever had tasted like musty old leather and really put me off it. I’ve collected a few from swaps and whatnot but I’ve never gotten the nerve up to try them fearing for another bad experience. After this one, I might just start dipping into them now.
Smelling the brew it’s got a rich sort of fruity smell which I wasn’t expecting. I just about stuck my nose in my tea trying to catch it, but then, my nose has been kinda stuffy/wonky with this new medicine I’ve been on.
Tasting it I’m definitely getting that musky sort of taste, but I also get a kinda green ‘pulling-weeds-scent’ sort of taste from it too. Which is a strange way to describe it, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s not an unpleasant sort of taste, but it definitely makes me sit and ponder and sip some more on it. Very little, if any astringency which I always like to find.
This is a very nice tea to drink straight, but I always have to add sugar to all my first time trying teas just to see. I have a feeling I might’ve added just a bit too much Truvia but it’s still definitely drinkable. The green/musky taste is toned down and I get more of a vague fruity taste now. Either way, it was a very pleasant cup to drink
This tea definitely makes me see why some people are absolutely crazy about Darjeeling. Personally it’s not a tea that I could see myself craving enough to keep much of around. But I’d consider keeping a few cups worth of around for those rare times I want a black tea that’s not malty (like I usually drink)
Edit – Did a second steep (because why not. Lol.) – 4:30min @195* – A bit more of a watered down taste and I’m getting a peppery sort of malty-ness now from the tea. Vaguely fruity and much more astringent now.
4g / 200ml glaspot.
Single infusion. 4m @ 75C
Ah have to start checking my notes here on steepster. Should do 80C for 5m. Haha maybe next time. Been doing a darjeeling sunday, and this white tea is very special. The flacour is so incredibly mild and pure while still having a complex set of flavours. The texture and body is fairly thick for such a light cup. The color is very very pale yelllowish white. Vegetables and fresh nutty citrus maybe? hard to describe but fabulous! Will restock come spring since im almost out!
I wasn’t sure what I expected from this tea, but I love Darjeeling and I love oolong, so the combination seemed like a good idea.
My initial tastes were disappointing, as there was a strong vegetable flavor that I didn’t care for (the same reason I dislike many green teas). Today, however, the veggies seem very subdued. Instead, there are floral highlights with maybe a hint of mint. The aroma is delicate in comparison the the Thunderbolt Moonlight that I just finished, but probably more in line with what I expect from a Darjeeling.
The flavors are similar to the aromas, but the mouth-feel is a bit coarse and tannic, and doesn’t flow gracefully into the finish. Not bad, really, but lacking in elegance. A decent tea, but not special. To be fair, this is a “bargain” tea compared to other Thunderbolt offerings, and it serves that role nicely.
I think I need to play around with the water temperature since I’m seeing a lot of variation in my tasting notes for this tea, and also significant variation in temperature (depending on how impatient I am at the stove). If I find a pattern, I’ll update my tasting notes.
I’ve been negligent about writing reviews. I’ve had my Thunderbolt order for about two weeks and haven’t written about the teas yet. Saturday is a nice day to sip through the teas and write reviews.
The aroma is fairly powerful, but soft, reminding me of damp forest leaves. That flavor continues in the taste, but with hints of herb and fruit. I tend to think of Darjeelings as being delicate, but this is a big, powerful tea. There is some astringency but without bitterness. There is a smooth transition into a long and powerful finish without bitterness.
The previous time I drank this tea, I steeped at boiling temperature, which gave a more fruity flavor that I preferred. Good either way. I also noted that it tasted good at room temperature. I only drink iced tea in the summer, but I think this would make a good iced tea.
I really like how pretty this tea is dry. It’s a chocolate brown color with flecks of gold and orange. The leaf is large and extremely wiry.
Again, a really nice musk flavor with beautiful plummy fruit notes and a rich, warming earthiness.
It also has a pretty decent second steep. It’s nuttier and richer with strong malt and earth notes. The gentle floral and fruit notes aren’t present at all, but it still has more character than a lot of black teas.
Perfect for this rainy weather!
Terri sent this one my way and i am so delighted with it, that rather than saving the other cups of this one, i’m going to send the rest off to omgsrsly so that she can try it, and hopefully share it with shaynebear too. i’m not sure how to describe this one..it’s a bright? tea…not astringency and it’s sort of fruity but yet not? heh thanks terri!
3g / 200ml glaspot water from Kunzan tetsubin.
3m @ 90C
Ah, a perfect single infusion. This is the mildest first flush iv´e tasted. Yet it is full of a slightly nutty vanilla. Some slight citrus on the aftertaste. The smell is very sweet.
Perfect for afternoon tea :)
Another darjeeling from the Grab Bag. This one is a 2nd flush, with a richer muskier taste, thicker mouth, less astringency, & it’s rather fruity as well. I now have the hang of Darjeelings, at least as far as the brewing is concerned. I’ve been giving them 190 for about 3 – 4 minutes, & that seems to result in a pretty decent cup of tea.
As this one cools, I’m getting a very bright almost lemony sensation towards the back center of my tongue that lingers after the sip.
3g / 200ml glaspot.
Forgot to press the timer but guess around 2-4min @ 90C
Was in the mood for a classic british cup of morning tea. So my choice really fell on a darjeeling since i dont really drink blended teas. Otherwise i guess a cup of earl grey would be in order.
This Singbulli is likely the best first flush darjeeling iv´e tried. I hope it lasts until the next harvest! The smell is sweet and fruity (ripe mango?), it smells sweet enough that you´d might think there was sugar added.
The flavor is sweet and a bit floral at first but soon it changes to a pleasant astringency and a spicy feel on the tip of the tounge. I guess this is a rather bold variant of first flush. So if you enjoy a powerful cup as I do, this is spot on!
5g / 200ml water in a bano-yaki kyusu.
Single infusion 3m @75C
My memory failed me so i brewed it slighlty cold and a fair bit to short.
However the mild smooth liquid was a very pleasant way to end a good day.
White teas are just lovely in the evening, so calming.
Next time i will do 80C for 5m
Sure, this one tastes like Darjeeling but with a slightly-bitter/tart type fruity flavor…somewhat compared to a currant, perhaps? Plus it has a carob sort of hint to it. I wouldn’t say Chocolate, Cocoa, or even cacao…closer to carob to my tongue. It has a woodsy lingering flavor. It’s more of a masculine darjeeling than some I have had lately. And it lingers way more than I anticipate. This is ok but not my favorite dajeeling-type to sip.
The thing I really like about Darjeeling teas is that they’re wonderfully nuanced.
This one cold-steeped was no exception. There was sweet floral that touched first, followed by nuttiness with smooth malt notes and then finishing with some earthy muskiness.
I still prefer my Giddapahar estate teas, they’re a little smoother with slightly less atringency. The earth flavors here though, really shine.
It’s like if I’m having a bad day, bad week or think I’m sick of tea for a while, I can grab one of these and it just coaxes me out of my slumps.
Summers are always good for these slumps because Fiance has several week long business trips in quick succession and I get weirdly lonely. I think the birds do too (or they feel it off me) because they don’t sing as much either. Perk up little peepers.
Recieved my last restock of first flush darjeeling for 2013.
Among them was this much anticipated tea from Singbullis “Tingling” division.
The leaf is long and curly, green with a bit of silver.
6g / 400ml glaspot
Single infusion 3m @ 90C.
A powerful “thick” tea with loads of flavour and a dry astringency ever present. Now this is a first flush for me. The jungpana was also VERY good but this tea although similar flavours has a better balance of sweetness and astringency.
Top notch tea!
Thank you Dag Wedin for this sample.
Warm day + long flowing summer dress = craving for Darjeeling.
The leaves are a beautiful combination of brown, dark green and silver with most being tight curls in shape. They have a dry, floral and musky scent.
Once steeped this tea is dark golden brown in colour with a sweet yet dry floral aroma.
Flavour is sweet, muscatel, floral, earthy dry and fruity. It has everything that I look for in a Darjeeling and more. I feel this is rather muscatel and dry but the sweet floral and fruity nature lightens it up wonderfully. I’m also getting a subtle toasted flavour amidst the dryness.
I’m so taken away with it, I think this is now my new favourite Darjeeling. :)
5g / 200ml glaspot
Single infusion 3:30 @ 75C
Been awhile since i´ve last enjoyed this tea.
Still the most wonderful dry leaf i´ve seen, looks like they were plucked right of a tree and shockdried :) Large whole green leaves….
I must say i failed with the brewing this time. Recommended brewing is 80-85C for a minimum of 5min. I managed to use 75C and pour much to early. And the result is a mild brew that still is good but lacks the shockful heap of flavour this tea manages when brewed right.
Oh well still nice!
i think i may be very out of it due to only getting about 3 hours sleep. and i think i may have steeped this tea in not-hot-enough water. and i think i may have slipped into a worm hole because i’m certain this past hour has only lasted 20 min.
forgive me moraiwe but i’m gonna have to review this properly one i become my self again. thanks for the lovely sample!
(posted last night at maybe 2am…)
i’m gonna drink this tea tomorrow.
but i’m up late and full of wine and wanna talk to my steepsters.
this episode of Merlin is good. the second season has much better acting/writing/development. like MUCH BETTER. i’ve cheered at least 5 times during this episode. (yes i’m a cheerer.) (you expected nothing less i’m sure.) plus Gilbet from Being Human is in it. i loved that guy!!
also, did you know how many people are in the Captain America movie? i mean, Thorin (Richard Armitage), and Matrix guy/Star Trek baddie (Hugo Weaving), and even Clara (the impossible girl) from Doctor Who. i only watched the first half of the movie again because, well, i MAY have read some Avengers slash. and i MAY have needed to see the Cap meet papa Stark. maybe.
also, bonus! …my phone texting turns Armitage into ‘armpit age’. which made me laugh so hard i almost shot wine out of my nose.
apparently this week i hate sleeping and fandom will carry me through.