94

2 heaping tsp. leaf to 500ml. in my Breville.

Last time I had this I steeped it at 3:30 and thought that the taste could be developed a bit more. So tonight I went with an extra 30 seconds, taking it up to 4 minutes, which is my usual steep time for black teas.

I think that this time the flavor of the tea came through even when hot – with the trade-off being that there was more astringency too.

Bottom line: I think it’s a more of an everyday black tea – the taste and smell are wonderful but there’s nothing overly complex about it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

That seems really long for a Darjeeling. I wonder why it needs such a long steep.

JoonSusanna

I followed Upton’s parameters and my own preferences for a black tea when making this. Do Darjeelings normally require shortened times, despite technically being a black tea?

Jim Marks

In my experience, Darjeeling teas are quite delicate and tend to fare better at 2 minutes, or there abouts. You’re correct, of course, Upton does recommend a longer steep for this particular leaf. I was just wondering (aloud) why that would be. Especially for a tea that Upton claims is so popular and which you found to be rather flat even when steeped sufficiently.

Maybe it is just a bad year for this leaf…

Camiah

Upton seems to recommend ridiculously long steep times as well. I’ve had some greens they recommended a five minute steep for. Let me tell you, nope. They were much better at shorter steeps.

Jim Marks

I’ve been learning recently that, for most but not all teas, a 5-30 second steep with more generous amounts of leaf, not only produces a better first cup, it allows one to produce many, many cups.

Maybe I’ll get a sample of this the next time I order my benchmark lapsang and pu-erh from Upton and do a whole series of steeps at different lengths.

JoonSusanna

@Camiah: You’re right – sometimes Upton can be a little too generous on their steeping time. I’ve noticed definite improvement before in some of their teas by cutting a minute or two off total steeping, so that is something I will try with this tea as well when I make it again.

@Jim: I don’t think it’s a bad year for the leaf – I did have it cold brewed once and the nuances of the flavors were present then, which leads me to suspect that shorter exposure to the heated water will help the tea immensely. I will aim for about a 2:30 steep time and see what happens then.

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Jim Marks

That seems really long for a Darjeeling. I wonder why it needs such a long steep.

JoonSusanna

I followed Upton’s parameters and my own preferences for a black tea when making this. Do Darjeelings normally require shortened times, despite technically being a black tea?

Jim Marks

In my experience, Darjeeling teas are quite delicate and tend to fare better at 2 minutes, or there abouts. You’re correct, of course, Upton does recommend a longer steep for this particular leaf. I was just wondering (aloud) why that would be. Especially for a tea that Upton claims is so popular and which you found to be rather flat even when steeped sufficiently.

Maybe it is just a bad year for this leaf…

Camiah

Upton seems to recommend ridiculously long steep times as well. I’ve had some greens they recommended a five minute steep for. Let me tell you, nope. They were much better at shorter steeps.

Jim Marks

I’ve been learning recently that, for most but not all teas, a 5-30 second steep with more generous amounts of leaf, not only produces a better first cup, it allows one to produce many, many cups.

Maybe I’ll get a sample of this the next time I order my benchmark lapsang and pu-erh from Upton and do a whole series of steeps at different lengths.

JoonSusanna

@Camiah: You’re right – sometimes Upton can be a little too generous on their steeping time. I’ve noticed definite improvement before in some of their teas by cutting a minute or two off total steeping, so that is something I will try with this tea as well when I make it again.

@Jim: I don’t think it’s a bad year for the leaf – I did have it cold brewed once and the nuances of the flavors were present then, which leads me to suspect that shorter exposure to the heated water will help the tea immensely. I will aim for about a 2:30 steep time and see what happens then.

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Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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