Sample package label:
“This Darjeeling is a bright, woodsy and earthy, with notes of honey, fresh mushrooms and meadow flower. Parve.
1.25 teaspoon, 98*C (208*F), 5 min.”

“Darjeeling is known as the “champagne” of teas: if it doesn’t come from India’s Darjeeling region, you aren’t allowed to use the name. That might be why the best Darjeelings taste just like the mountains they were grown on. While the first leaves in the spring tend to be delicate and almost green in flavour, second flush Darjeelings generally have a richer, darker taste. This one is bright, woodsy and earthy, with notes of honey, fresh mushrooms and meadow flowers – like a forest getaway in a cup.

Second flush Darjeeling tea (grade FTGFOP 1) from Darjeeling, India.

How to prepare
1 tsp / 98°C / 208°F / 5 min”

Heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 208*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer
Steeped the entire 5 g tea sample in 12-oz for 5 minutes, then poured two six ounce servings.

Tasted without sweeteners, milk or cream.

The tea had a light woodsy/earthy fragrance.

Amber brown hue

First Infusion – 5-min:
This tea a light woodsy/earthy fragrance. It’s a full-bodied tea without any bitterness and a clean fresh finish. There was a slight but pleasurable hint of astringency.
2nd Infusion – 6-min:
A tad less full-bodied, with a slight trace of astringency but just as enjoyable as the first cup.
3rd Infusion – 7-min:
Too weak for an enjoyable 3rd infusion.

Impression: An excellent, full-bodied tea without any bitterness, a mild pleasurable astringency and a clean fresh finish. Well Done!

Thanks to DAVIDsTEA for providing this free sample.

5 min, 0 sec

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I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our recent orders have been from: Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, and Verdant. Kudos to: Tao, Brenden, Boris, Angel Chen, Alistair Rea, Garret Sorensen, Kenneth Son, & David Duckler who have all been extremely helpful.

My cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see:

#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter:

- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1:

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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