This is my first true Darjeeling I’ve prepared for myself. I really love how Adagio’s samples are both large and very affordable. It gives you good opportunity to try a new tea in absolute peace, not having to worry that if you mess this one up there won’t be enough to try again.
I’m using 2.3g for 200ml boiling water, and steeps of 3 and 4 minutes.
1st steep: The dry leaves smell of yeast, freshly baked bread crusts and white grapes, maybe with a hint of vanilla. (I think I can smell that last one, but I have no idea if that’s supposed to be there or not. Are my nose and brain playing games with me?) The wet leaves have that same bread crust scent with some juiciness, but I am also surprised by a quick blast of sweet spices. I like that! In the cup (I wish I could have more than one way of saying that) it is a deep amber color and tastes very much as the scent of the wet leaves. The grape aspect has a sharpness to it, the way the acid plays with the sweetness when you bite through a grape, particularly if it has a thicker skin.
2nd steep: The color is a medium amber this time, and seems to tell the tale for this cup being weaker than the first. The astringency is the same, but the flavors are less this time to the point that the grape notes are hardly noticeable. I originally planned to steep this time for 5 minutes, but at the last decided to try just 4 minutes, only to find that I probably should have stuck to my first thought.