I received this as a free sample with my last RtR order. I was excited to get a tea from Sikkim as I am new to teas from that area. However, I was a little concerned when I realized how close it was to Darjeeling considering I haven’t enjoyed Darjeelings as much as I thought I would.
The dry leaves smell fragrant and fruity. I wonder if they are picking up a little of the aroma of the orange trees grown on the estate? They are short-medium in length and tightly rolled. About half are chocolate brown and the other half a medium brown like chestnut.
The brewed leaves have a bit of that muscatel type odor that is associated with 2nd flush Darjeelings. There is no baked bread aroma like RtR promises. (I may not be the greatest at determining all the complex flavors in a tea, but I know what fresh baked bread smells like, and this does not smell like fresh bread). The liquor is reddish copper.
1st steep-The flavor is very fruity and sweet and I don’t really notice the muscatel in the flavor-which is very good, in my opinion. I enjoyed this cup.
2nd steep-I don’t taste much fruit anymore-just some of the muscatel flavor that I don’t care for. It’s not as strong as in a 2nd flush darjeeling, but it’s there and it’s the only discernible flavor here. Not my thing.
3rd steep-liquor is a pale amber now. Muscatel flavor is mostly gone, but I am not tasting a lot of anything else.
Verdict-If you like 2nd flush Darjeeling, you might enjoy this. I probably wouldn’t buy this, as for me, it’s only tasty for one steep. My rating number is based on just that 1st steep.