is there such thing as a smooth darjeeling?

i want to like it but…the astringency isnt letting me :(

20 Replies
momo said

How are you making it? What Darjeeling is it? No matter what they’re going to have astringency (usually like a little bite at the end) but I find them to be smooth even with that.

Margaret’s Hope.

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Uniquity said

I’ve only had a couple but I didn’t notice a lot of astringency (I don’t care for astringecy). I steep about 2.5 – 3 minutes, maybe try that or perhaps a bit less leaf or temp.

which ones?

Uniquity said

Davids Tea’s Second Flush Darjeeling, Organic Darjeeling from California Tea House and Biodynamic Darjeeling from the Tea Merchant. I doubt any of them are the best examples of Darjeelings but I found them all palatable. The one from California Tea House was probable my favourite.

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Well, Darjeelings are supposed to be at least a bit astringent. The first and second flushes however are less so. To lessen the astringency, try lowering the temperature of the water you brew it with and/or use less leaves. Over brewing will make in more bitter too, so you could try brewing for a shorter time.

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i will try less leaves, thanks guys

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Lazey said

Darjeeling Song from the sTEApe Shoppe seemed smooth to me, but probably was the vanilla.

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If your tea is not astringent, it may not be good tea. Without that astringency, it can be flat. Once you learn to love that sensation, you will find your appreciation(and collection) of great teas expand.


I wish to point out that personal taste is subjective. Some people can’t stand bitter tea while others don’t like sweet tea. There is an abundant variety of tea to choose from to find satisfaction for anyone and everyone. Tea is a beverage to be enjoyed, so be happy.

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try reducing the brewing temp a few degrees. it seems to really make a difference in some of the reviews I’ve read!

That, and/or reduce the AMOUNT of tea you brew.

I have only had Darjeeling a couple of times myself but found it too dry. next chance I will adjust according to the advice given. Thanks

Oh! one more thing, I find it takes honey really well. Some people also like to add some lemon, it seems to react differently than most black teas.
Good luck!

hmmmm honey is good

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Excelsior said

I have been obsessed with Darjeelings for as long as I can remember. This obsession has led me to one retailer, Mariage Freres. If you want a smooth Darjeeling try any one of their top tier Spring Flush teas. It is very costly (20-40+ euros), but they seldom disappoint. The astringency is present, yet rather than being bitter and overbearing, it is light and compliments all the complex flavors a Spring Darjeeling has to offer. Their lower cost FF Darjeelings are not nearly as good and will yield a fair amount of astringency without all the complex flavors.

The taste of each Darjeeling will change each year. To adjust to the changes, Mariage Freres will taste each tea and will suggest the steeping parameters for the best brew. 2011 FF Castleton, the suggested steeping time was 5 minutes. For this year, the FF Castleton has a suggested steeping time of 2 minutes. I have steeped the tea for 2, 3, 5 minutes and sure enough, the 2 minute steep provided the best taste. In this way, I believe the steeping time is the most influential parameter to alter the taste of the tea. If your tea is too astringent than try to lessen the steeping time of the Darjeeling. Lowering the temperature of the water will help, but lower it too much and you will get a flat, thin tea. Reduce the amount of teas too much and this will also yield a poor result. It may take a lot of trial and error.

One last thing, make sure to purchase your Darjeelings from a reputable retailer. Every year, the amount of Darjeelings sold exceeds the amount of Darjeelings picked. So some teas out their may be sold under the Darjeeling name but may be a blend of teas or might not even be a Darjeeling at all.

ah, so nice to hear from a darjeeling connoisseur. i knew there was something i would love about darjeeling, just the name of it is so…sweet!

so: buy from a reputable source, steep for a shorter time at the right temperature with the right amount of leaves. got that.

been contemplating ordering from MF but it is good that i am holding it off for a bit since ive still got lots to learn! and a lot more money to save up, haha

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ashmanra said

My daughter bought one for me in Budapest that is so earthy and good, it is unlike any other Darjeeling I have tried. There is no bite at all. It was from Luis Tea, called Darjeeling, King Of Teas.

i was going to say “noted” but when i saw that budapest is actually in hungary, i realized that i dont know anybody from there lol.

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